Friends of the Tecumseh Monument respects the ecosystem surrounding the monument site, particularly since it is the final resting place of one of the First Nations’ most revered heroes. To preserve these values, our site design specifically addresses several environmental considerations:
Since the Tecumseh Commemorative Park is adjacent to the Thames River, and has been subject to periodic flooding in the past, any site improvements must be mindful of the ecology and hydrology of the river. A site plan has been proposed that locates the only minor building out of the flood zone, and places flood tolerant landscape features at the top of bank. In addition, restorative plantings and slope bioengineering techniques will not only mitigate the erosion, but may improve the condition of the bank.
River access should be restricted to minimize erosion and destabilization of the bank. To discourage access, the slope will be restored with additional plantings of native shrubs and ground covers that are appropriate to the soil type found onsite, and hardy enough to tolerate potential ice flows and periodic flood conditions. Such species may include: Red Osier Dogwood, Pasture Rose, Purple Leaf Raspberry, Fragrant Sumac, Shrub Willow, Virginia Creeper, and American Elder. This will be undertaken with specific input and guidance from the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority. A river overlook has a minimal footprint and is intended to cantilever over the slope, limiting any site disturbance.
Respect the setting and the sense of place
Where possible, signage will be clustered as defined “stations” or nodes to augment and deepen stories, without littering the landscape with signage—especially in ways that overpower or impede views to important areas. Signage will not be imposed on the site without careful thought and respect for the natural environment (e.g., movement of water, rainfall, plant growth, etc.). Rooflines, built works and other elements of interpretive infrastructure (e.g., orientation pavilion) will respect the scale and overall qualities of the site.
Materials that are true to the setting and story
The story of Tecumseh and the Battle of the Thames is one of forest, swamp, field, stone, bone, wood, and steel. Wherever possible, these materials will help reinforce the communication of a story or message. Plantings native to the Thames River valley, and to southern Ontario should be incorporated in lieu of foreign species.
The access drive, parking lot, orientation pavilion, and other key site elements must be lit for visibility and security, but fixtures used must minimize the negative impacts of light pollution (i.e. glare, over-illumination, and sky glow). Energy efficient, dark-sky compliant light fixtures are specially designed to direct light downward, focusing on where light is really needed.