The GardenAerial Project


Transforming our greatest natural asset


FlourGarden is GardenAerial’s first completed capital project and is already transforming the public space at High Falls.

Located in an interpretive millrace along the site of the original Browns Race, the FlourGarden is a 300-foot-long sustainable, native-planted garden, water and fountain works, created inside an abandoned artificial raceway!

The FlourGarden has revived a deserted artificial raceway (on Browns Race) that once had water flowing through it. Over the past several years, the raceway was shut off and began collecting trash. Through the generosity of private individuals and companies, the City of Rochester, and a grant from the State of New York, Greentopia has recreated this feature in a new way that honors our past while celebrating our future of sustainability.The project beautifies the hard streetscape and now serves as a”window” into future GardenAerial capital improvements.

This project features beautiful native, non-invasive plantings and sustainable water works features that have created a new showcase of green space and green technology! The garden will maximize year-long attractions and utilizes a variety of green technologies.

Finally, the FlourGarden serves as a tribute to the geography and history of High Falls. The former race is designed in six sections: The Gorge, Lower Race, Middle Race, The Promontory, Millstone Falls, and The Falls; all echoing natural and man-made histories.

Native & non-invasive plants

The planted beds contain 100% native, non-invasive plant species that will combine in harmony to create a colored, textured garden. Trees, shrubs, flowering plants and ground cover – carefully planned to create a fascinating and textured garden – create a new destination at High Falls. Check out the plant list here: Plant list

Design & Engineering

LGDN Landscape Architects

FlourGarden is designed by LDGN (formerly LANDGARDEN), a world-renowned landscape design firm based in New York City. LDGN has worked on projects all over the world, including Songdo, Korea, and on projects in and around the New York Metro area. Our thanks to Jeff Dragan at LDGN for his tireless dedication to our project.

Jeffery S. Dragan, RLA, graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree and joined LDGN as principal in 2008. Jeff spent his entire career working in New York City for a variety of firm types and sizes, working on a broad spectrum of projects. Mr. Dragan’s wide ranging experience across all aspects of the profession includes planning studies, master plans, waterfronts, campus planning, office parks, urban plazas, interiors, rooftops, parks, and playgrounds. His work with government agencies universities, and private sector clients including architects, developers, and corporations, has resulted in award-winning built works throughout the world.

Mr. Dragan’s extensive experience in government work includes projects with Federal, State, and City agencies. These include waterfronts, parks, playgrounds, security enhancements and general site development. His educational experience includes campus master planning and landscape development along for colleges, elementary, junior and senior high schools. Mr. Dragan’s development portfolio consists of multi-family housing, senior centers and housing complexes in both urban and suburban settings. Jeff’s designs have incorporated sustainable elements including green roofs, wind turbines, solar panels, rain water harvesting, and storm water management. Jeff’s portfolio includes projects throughout the country and in the Middle and the Far East. Mr. Dragan’s work has been featured in a variety of publications and he has won multiple design awards.

T.Y. Lin International

T.Y. Lin International (TYLI) is a multi-disciplinary engineering and architectural services firm recognized for solving some of the most significant infrastructure challenges of our age. Their Rochester, NY office is lending its mechanical, electrical, and structural expertise to Friends of the GardenAerial, Inc. (Greentopia) to complete the FlourGarden project. Special thanks to Tara Boggio for making this happen!

As a commitment to our community and the extensive efforts that the Friends of the GardenAerial have made to creating the unique feature in the City of Rochester, TYLIN agreed to provide all services pro bono.

T.Y. Lin’s engineers confirmed the plumbing, power, and lighting requirements of the project and determined how best to meet the project’s needs with the available infrastructure. Additionally, they provided design and detailing for the relocation of an existing steel stringer bridge.

FlourGarden Quick Facts

  • FlourGarden is 300 Feet Long. 14 feet wide, and up to 7 feet deep in certain sections.
  • It was initially built as an interpretive Raceway by Labella in 1992.
  • The FlourGarden features native, non-invasive plantings.
  • The FlourGarden serves as a tribute to High Falls in its design of six sections of the race.
  • The FlourGarden showcases lighting options including glass bead joints in the raceway component of the project, and a stunning fiber optic reed sculpture called “The Rushes”.
  • The FlourGarden’s SEVEN fountains and waterworks are completely programmable and will eventually be programmed to “react” to movements and presence of visitors. Talk about interactive…

Join us in supporting our first public project.

Greentopia is still fundraising for continued maintenance, operations and the addition of features that were not possible in the first round of construction. We could not achieve this project without the generous support of individuals, foundations, corporate and other organizations, and state and federal agencies.

FlourGarden Donor Recognition Wall

This project, built for the free and public use by the community, needs support from you, our community. Won’t you consider becoming a member or making a private or corporate donation to this incredible project today?

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