Brown Springs EcoScape
The Brown Springs EcoScape is a community garden on 73rd Street North near Oporto Avenue at Brown Springs in the Brown Springs neighborhood. The aim of the project, which was dedicated in 2006, was to restore the historical community gathering place around the re-opened spring.
It was built in a city-owned vacant lot surrounding the historical site of a natural spring from which the community took its name. Birmingham-Southern College's Southern Environmental Center coordinated the design of the ecoscape with landscaper Arnie Rutkis. Rutkis then executed the design which incorporates large steel panels created by artist Fonde Taylor.
Sponsors for the initial project included the Brown Springs Neighborhood Association, Valerie Abbott, the Wachovia Foundation, the Tractor & Equipment Company, Wade Sand and Gravel, and Shelia Smoot. Later planned work included planting a community orchard on an adjacent lot.
The project was largely responsible for Brown Springs' second-place finish in the 2006 Neighborhoods USA "Neighborhood of the Year" national award. The neighborhood took over management of the EcoScape in 2015.
- Abrams, Vivi (July 27, 2005) "Brown Springs returns to past as it develops 'ecoscape' park." The Birmingham News
- Singleton, William C. III (April 12, 2006) "Neighborhood association up for national recognition." The Birmingham News