Estella Diggs Park Design

Built upon a once vacant lot in the Bronx, Estella Diggs Park has been transformed into a lush greenspace that merges the community’s history with the site’s naturally dramatic topographical features. Named for the New York state Assembly’s first African-American legislator who represented the Morrisania neighborhood, the park design incorporates local salvaged materials in its construction and showcases the areas glacial erratic boulders uncovered during excavation.

Originally named Rocks and Roots Park, the urban space underwent a complete reconstruction by Nancy Owens Studio with the help of McLaren Engineering Group. The team sought to preserve its naturalistic contours while incorporating communal areas, handicapped-accessible walking paths, and landscaped gardens. Construction on the lowland section of the park was completed in 2017, expanding its lawns, paths, and seating areas.

McLaren’s Civil and Survey divisions supported the park design, development, and revitalization of the urban greenspace. The team provided assessments of the park’s layout, internal circulation, and utilities as well as worked on the perimeter retaining walls, grading and drainage.

Surveying Estella Diggs Park

McLaren prepared a topographic survey to support the construction of a portion of the Park. All work conformed to NYC Parks specifications. To execute the survey, the team tied into existing vertical and horizontal controls and located improvements, structures, walks, curb cuts, utilities, and appurtenances. After field data was collected, boundary and vertical datum calculations, final mapping and drafting reviews, and final calculation review and approvals were performed. Geotechnical investigations of soil borings were also conducted at Lot 58 near Estella Diggs Park.

Site Civil Park Design

Full civil engineering services and schematic design to revamp Estella Diggs Park was performed by our Civil Engineering Group. Construction documents were prepared including plans, details, specifications, and cost estimates. The team attended city agency meetings for planning and approval of the project, and prepared applications to NYC Parks for the water and sewer connections. Requirements for the NYCDEP Site Connection Approval were met for the stormwater discharge to the adjacent combined sewers and NYCDEP Cross-Connection Controls by providing a backflow prevention device for the onsite water supply.