In 1992, the
internationally recognized landscape architectural firm of Sasaki
Associates, Inc., created a long-term Master Site Plan for MBC. The
Plan defined long-term land use, access and circulation, and landscape
structure. A major landscape project within the Master Site Plan was
the upgrading and expansion of the “
Cycad Walk,” which was originally
conceived and developed in the 1970s as a small, east-to-west walking
path lined with a few cycads.
Conceptual drawing of
original Cycad Walk
drawing of the
1995 Cycad Walk expansion
The 1995 Cycad Walk
design is based on the original geographical source of the population
samples. Within the six acres, the design plan includes multiple beds
from each cycad region of the world. The 1995 concept of the Cycad Walk
was completed in 2003 and now consists of 15 Asia beds, 2 Africa beds,
6 America beds, and 3 Australia beds. Shortly thereafter, the area was
re-named the Cycad Geographic Collection.
In 2001, due in part to
the success of the numerous international expeditions MBC has
undertaken, contributions from individuals and other institutions
throughout the world, and the large number of new cycad populations and
taxa being discovered and described, Sasaki Associates critically
evaluated the 1995 Cycad Walk design with respect to available planting
space. Based on their evaluation, the Cycad Walk area was doubled to
include over 13 acres of the 120-acre property.
The 1995 design plan by
Sasaki Associates for MBC's Cycad Walk. At the top is Nell's House,
where the Cycad Walk begins.
will ultimately contain approximately 5,000 cycads when completed.
Instead of moving east-to-west, the main path of the Cycad Walk now
runs north-to-south to take advantage of the full length of the
property. This new addition to the Cycad Walk has been named the Cycad
conceptual drawing of the
2002 Cycad Walk expansion.
The planting design
within Cycad Ecologic Collection will take a different approach than
the geographically-oriented concept for the original Cycad Geographic
Collection. Instead of arranging plants by their region of origin,
plants will be arranged based on their respective habitat preferences.
The current plan
includes a 4.5-acre Cycad Savannah area, which will house cycad species
that grow in desert and savannah habitats in Africa, Australia, India,
and Mexico. The 1.5-acre Oak Woodland area will consist of primarily
cycads of the genus Dioon, as well as other New World species
that typically grow within tropical oak forests. Finally, the 1-acre
Tropical Forest area will be heavily wooded, will include an extensive
below-grade grotto, and will be the future home of tropical rainforest