Dr. Marcha Johnson, ASLA is a landscape architect with NYC Parks & Recreation, specializing in ecological restoration and the design of post-industrial urban waterfront parks. She has been an adjunct professor at City College of NY for the past 22 years, teaching regional ecology, plant identification, planting design and sustainable soil and water in the School of Architecture. Her career focus is the design of post-industrial waterfronts which are integrated with their ecological context. Marcha’s current collaborative work at Randall’s Island explores the opportunity to disassemble a collapsing stone sea wall, creating a habitat-rich shoreline which accommodates changing water levels . Recent award-winning work at Harlem R. Park resulted in a prototypical porous seawall, blending ecology, community involvement, access and environmental education. Construction was completed in 2009. Some of her other NYC Parks projects include an award-winning design for Brooklyn Bridge Park (leading a team of 4 other landscape architects); stabilizing a growing sand dune with native plants at Bayview Park, Brooklyn; salt marsh restorations in Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx; and restorations of freshwater ponds. She has represented NYC Parks in reviewing the consultant design work for Hudson River Park, 5 miles of new public waterfront on Manhattan’s west side. On the pro-bono side, Marcha is a long-standing executive board member of ASLA’s NY Chapter, and a former ASLA Trustee; serves as Landscape Architecture Accreditation Teams at schools throughout the US. She also serves on the executive board of The River Project.
Dr. Johnson recently co-edited Coastal Change, Ocean Conservation and Resilient Communities, a collection of essays and design case studies that explores a range of ideas and best practices for adapting to dynamic waterfront conditions while incorporating nature conservation in urbanized coastal areas.