Michael Parkey has unique qualifications for the planning and design of botanic gardens. He has been involved in many projects that require interpretation of the natural sciences, such as arboreta, public gardens, historic gardens, zoos and nature centers. He has taught at the university level, and has written and lectured on topics including landscape design, horticulture, ecology and native plants.
Mr. Parkey's professional expertise spans a wide range. As a landscape architect in professional consulting firms, he has been a team member in a number of governmental and institutional planning efforts. What sets him apart from other design consultants is his direct experience as a capital project administrator in not-for-profit organizations. This gives him special insight for the design of botanic gardens. He has also worked closely with municipal park, planning and transportation departments, and with state agencies.
Mr. Parkey has experience in environmental and land use analysis, especially in the assessment of existing vegetation and constraints to development imposed by unusual local soil types and other geo-technical considerations. He has studied restoration of native plant communities from both an academic and practical point of view. In one notable project (the Jonsson Garden and Fern Dell of the Dallas Arboretum) he helped to simulate soil and microclimate conditions of the Southeastern United States in the very different environment of North Texas.
He is comfortable with large-scale program issues, and has developed phasing strategies for several master plan projects. He is familiar with facility planning and design, budgetary constraints and the necessity of fund raising efforts, tight schedules, user group analysis, community involvement, and the complex interface between different governing agencies. Mr. Parkey has a genuine understanding of the relationship between an organization's mission and the design of its facilities.