7 unique plants and general art and design elements that you can find throughout the 2.5-acre public garden at Amazon’s second headquarters
Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, includes a 2.5-acre park open to the public. Metropolitan Park offers peaceful walking trails, one-of-a-kind public art installations, a dog park, a children’s play area, and an active central green space, all set within a horticultural masterpiece inspired in part by the United States Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C.
The park is home to more than 50,000 underground plants, 300 trees and 160 native and adapted species. Thanks to the coordinated work of Amazon’s horticultural team, landscape contractors, and field operations specialists at James Corner Landscape Architects like Bill McLaughlin, with input from the Arlington neighborhood, the landscaping at Amazon Headquarters 2 is not only aesthetically beautiful, it is… A masterpiece of sustainability in a sustainable environment. urban areas.
Headquarters 2 was built with sustainability at its core, a commitment that includes the campus public garden. The talented staff at Headquarters 2 modify farming techniques based on options that are most sustainable and beneficial to the plants. The horticulture team provides consultations on new construction projects, post-occupancy care, and remodeling, to help plan, implement, and transition critical horticulture across the company’s locations around the world. Keep reading to learn about the unique design features and diverse plant species that call Metropolitan Park home.
Seven unique plants in Met Park
1. Franklin Tree (Franklinia atamaha)named after Benjamin Franklin, It is known for its gorgeous fall foliage and attractive flowers. The Franklin tree was discovered in 1765 by Philadelphia botanists John Bartram and his son William, part of the tea family (Theaceae). William returned to Philadelphia repeatedly to collect seeds and plants. But since 1790, the tree has not been observed in the wild, and may have been exposed to natural disasters, such as floods, or was wiped out by being collected in bulk to be shipped overseas.
2. American hazelnuts (Hamamelis virginiana) It can be drunk as a tea, applied topically, or used to wash wounds. Due to its astringent properties, witch hazel helps soothe the skin, tighten and soften tissues, and reduce inflammation. The flowers have four thin, cream-yellow to light yellow petals that bloom in mid to late fall. In this unusual flowering schedule, the fragrant flowers are the only source of color in the forest when the forest floor is covered in fallen autumn leaves. The hard, small, dark brown to gray capsules remain dormant during the winter months. During the following growing season, they grow and, in the fall, forcefully extrude two shiny black seeds, 10 to 20 feet long. After that, the seeds take another year to germinate. The forked shrub tips have an interesting application as divination or dowsing rods. Early European settlers saw Native Americans searching for underground water supplies using American witch hazel.
3. Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) he have Great qualities all year round. Early spring brings small, fragrant yellow flowers to bloom, followed by bright green leaves in summer and glowing yellow, orange, or red leaves in fall. Calling it “kvfi,” “pauame,” or “winauk,” indigenous peoples have traditionally used sassafras roots, wood, and bark. Early European explorers believed sassafras was the wonder drug of the New World. Dried, finely ground sassafras leaves make up a Creole spice, which acts as a thickening agent and gives okra its distinctive flavor. Chemicals released by sassafras roots have the potential to damage other plants in their root zone (allopathic).
4. Allegheny Chinquapin (Castania pumila) It is a native walnut tree that grows from eastern Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, through Florida and into the Carolinas. The Allegheny chinquapins is closely related to the American chestnut. While chestnut blight, an imported fungal disease, has wiped out the native American chestnut tree, the Allegheny chinquapin still exists in places within its native range. The nuts, covered with prickly shells, provide food for wildlife, from squirrels and deer to wild turkeys.
5. Persimmon tree (Diospyros virginiana) His original place Southeastern United States. In fact, for centuries, the indigenous peoples of this region have used persimmons for food, such as drying the fruit for storage or cooking fresh, and for beverages, such as local beer. Persimmons have also been used traditionally medicinally, either topically or ingested. Today, persimmons are still enjoyed as an ingredient in baking. Although the persimmon tree is somewhat slow-growing, it can reach great heights and is easily grown from seed. Once it begins producing fruit, persimmons provide food, shade, and fragrant flowers for people, animals, and birds. The unique flavor and texture of persimmons are prized in breads, custards, and desserts – and the enjoyment of this fruit dates back hundreds of years to local Native American communities in the region. Traditionally, persimmons were dried into flat cakes, sometimes with the addition of cornmeal. However, be careful, eating astringent and immature fruit is an unpleasant experience that you will not want to repeat soon.
6. American hazelnuts (American Corylus)A member of the birch family, it is native to North America, where it has been cultivated for centuries. The name comes from the Old English word for “filbert”. Hazelnuts are decorative in appearance, as well as being an important nutritional source. People eat the delicious and nutritious nuts raw, roasted, ground into flour, mixed into chocolate, or used in nut milk. Animals and birds also eat them. The shrub also has botanical uses. In warm seasons, it produces colorful, long, pendulous, pollen-bearing flowers. In fall, the heart-shaped leaves turn bright yellow. The shrub is also adaptable. Whether in sun or shade, in a forest or on a rocky hillside, cultivated or in the wild, hazelnuts can thrive.
7. Papaya (Asimina Triloba) He is The only native member of the large tropical plant family Annonaceae and produces the largest edible fruit native to North America. Technically, they are berries, highly nutritious and valuable in cancer treatments. Up to 20 feet tall, it is found in eastern North America and west to Texas. Like many trees in that region, it flowers in the spring and bears fruit in the fall. The bark naturally repels insects. The sweet, custardy fruit, plus the tree’s adaptable nature — water, mulch, and it grows — has made papaya very popular recently. However, its popularity goes back centuries, as the tree was valuable to indigenous people, who used it as a food source and also as a source of raw materials, such as harvesting the bark to make rope. Animals from raccoons to squirrels eat the fruit, while the fragrant leaves are the sole food source for zebra swallowtail butterflies.
Public art installations
Queen City by Nikisha Durrett (Washington, D.C.)
Standing tall and alert, Queen City It faces the federal government’s 1941 seizure of black-owned land to build the Pentagon. Within this work, 903 displaced residents of the Queen City are represented with handmade ceramic pots in the shape and color of a drop of water.
In the spirit of collaboration, the artist commissions Black ceramic artists from the local area and beyond while working with historians, descendants of Queen City residents, and local art spaces.
Untitled creatures By Inigo Manglano Offaly (Chicago, IL)
Untitled crouching creatures fill a person’s journey along a forest path with a series of events. The combination is familiar yet unexpected – a balanced canopy; The telescope was caught in mid-autumn; A reclining chair with a mug peeking out from its seat; The birdhouse sits on its perch with a dangling binoculars, a disposable cup with a lid and a straw weighed down with its contents. They invite the viewer to consider all the things that surround us, those that are overlooked and those that might otherwise occupy our focus. Each is part of everyday life, yet unusual, recognizable, and inexplicable.
Hush by Aurora Robson (New York, New York)
To create or create Hush, the artist hand-scanned both the mushrooms and sculpted figures and then 3D-printed them using recycled plastic. At night, each component responds to movement by softly glowing from within, reminiscent of the vibrant mushrooms found in nearby forests.
Hush It invites us to step out of everyday life to marvel at the amazing diversity of nature and the many things we often do not see or hear, unless we are quietly paying attention. Visitors can scan a QR code near the installation to learn more about the mushroom species, their locations, and the creative manufacturing method used to create the artwork.
Unique facts about Met Park
Our irrigation system
The majority of the garden is located on top of concrete, and each soil type has been carefully designed and positioned. To produce a realistic and impactful display, the team designed a custom drainage system and selected long-lasting soil types. From powering the buildings and lighting in the park with 100% renewable energy, to their biophilic design and deploying unique ways to conserve and reuse water inside and outside the buildings, Headquarters 2 was built with sustainability at its core. The park’s irrigation system uses reclaimed and recycled water from various sources, such as showers and sinks, within the buildings of Amazon’s Metropolitan Park. The system also tracks rainfall, humidity and temperature to know when water is needed and when it is not, allowing multiple zones to supply different trees and plantings with a customized amount of moisture. Combined with other water-saving measures at Amazon’s buildings, including low-flow fixtures and recycled rainwater used to supply the buildings’ cooling towers, Metropolitan Park uses 50% less water than similar projects and will recycle 7.5 million gallons of water annually.
How were the plants selected?
The first plant palette was developed by a team of landscape architects, who also drew inspiration from many local native habitats and the prestigious US Botanic Garden when defining and perfecting the design and expertise. Virginia and the National Capital Region are home to the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, and the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains—all of which were the inspiration for the plantations in Metropolitan Park. Next, the specialists and the Amazon team identified which species would thrive best in this urban environment.
Horticulture specialists regularly advise Amazon on how to improve plant life in the garden. This is part of Amazon’s commitment to ensuring that these factories and this space continue to thrive.
Learn more about Working in Amazon’s second headquarters.