Master Plans

Common Ground

Common Ground is a spiritual retreat in Loraine County, Ohio that reflects the collective wisdom of its community. The planning process was inaugurated in a workshop weekend with 70 participants in a collective process of creativity, innovation, play and spirit called Open Space Technology. The collective passion and directives of the community set the framework of design for these 28 acres of river valley.

In the next 40 days, Virginia developed the master plan that transformed recreational landscape into a scenic, meditative place where people could reconnect with their spirits by reconnecting with the earth. The overall concept was governed by: creation of opportunities for the land to heal itself, focus on places for ritual and meditation; the use of healing properties of the Medicine Wheel both for the land and people; and, integrating the site’s naturally occurring attributes, the river, the forest, Dead Man’s Mountain, and pine grove with the collective wisdom of the community. The site is experienced through a series of journeys, each with a destination and discoveries of self and landscape along the way.

For this innovative master plan and community process, Virginia Burt Designs received a National Professional Merit Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects in Analysis and Planning.