Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc. (GHA) partnered with the Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) to complete the “Welcome Projects,” a series of improvements designed to enhance the visitor experience. GHA’s civil engineering services played a key role in meeting the objectives of the projects while ensuring seamless integration with the natural landscape and adhering to floodplain and floodway regulations.

The project, carefully designed to complement the existing environment, included upgrades to the welcome plaza, Stone Family Picnic Glade, and maintenance yard.  A walkway was introduced to connect the Welcome Plaza with the Stone Family Picnic Glade, improving pedestrian connectivity to the parking areas.  GHA collaborated closely with CBG staff and the design team, ensuring project success through open communication.

GHA’s scope of work included developing a detailed grading plan that met accessibility standards for the plaza reconstruction while navigating the challenges of a regulatory floodplain and floodway.

A comprehensive stormwater management strategy incorporated permeable pavements and strategically placed volume control systems, following Metropolitan Water Reclamation District requirements. GHA’s expertise in navigating complex regulatory landscapes ensured a smooth permit acquisition process across multiple agencies.

The transformed Welcome Plaza offers visitors a refreshed arrival experience, while the new walkway, Stone Family Picnic Glade, and Maintenance Yard seamlessly blend functionality with the Garden’s scenic beauty. This project exemplifies GHA’s dedication to exceptional engineering services that harmonize with the environment and serve the community.