On The Drawing Board: Walking Trails & Meadows

The Dining Patio will be connected to the walking trails. This space was
designed by Danilo Maffei in 2009.
The Institutes in Malvern, Pennsylvania is working with Maffei Landscape Design, LLC to reduce their demands on natural, human and financial resources while improving employee health and productivity, in this the next phase of their multi-year landcape master plan. The company, which produces and administers educational materials and professional certifications for the insurance and risk management industries, occupies a 60-acre site in the rural, equestrian heartland of Willistown Township and has 200 employees and tenants in three separate buildings.
Walking Trail and Meadow Sketch Plan (aerial photo by Google)

Orphaned stairs to be
reunited in the trail plan
As part of their corporate culture, the employees take pride in their campus and enjoy the opportunity to take walks around the grounds on their lunch breaks. Knowing that exercise and spending time outdoors promotes healthy, happy and productive employees, Danilo Maffei suggested that the existing 1/3 mile trail (which is disconnected from any other walkway and can only be accessed via busy driveways and parking areas), be expanded and linked to the existing system of walkways to allow access and enjoyment of the entire site. This design adds more than half a mile of dedicated walking trails and, when linked with the existing walkways, creates the opportunity to walk nearly 1.5 miles without leaving the property.

Lawn to be converted to meadow
The plan also includes the replacement of 10 acres of lawn with warm season meadows. Once completed and established, these meadows will not only provide seasonal beauty and interest, but will save the company as much as $6,000 per year in maintenance costs. Another benefit will be reductions in pollution. According to the EPA, one hour of lawn mowing produces the same amount of pollution as driving your car 350 miles. Using this data, the new 10 acre meadow will save the pollution equivalent of driving a car 50,400 miles per year!


  1. Sounds great Dan. Several years ago I worked for a lawn maintenance company and we serviced a large business center with a dedicated walking path. You could see that people really enjoyed it. It is so important for people, especially those who spend long periods sitting, to have the option to get up, get out, and get moving. Having a beautiful landscape to observe over the seasons (as well as the potential wildlife in it) makes it that much more enjoyable and surely a great stress reducer.

    Hope you share the developments!

  2. Thanks, Tim. What makes this place special is how sincere the employees are in their respect for the outdoor spaces. They really do want to get outside on their breaks and they appreciate the views out the windows when they are inside.