SAVANNAH, Ga. – May 19, 2009 – The public has voted and named Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. of Savannah winner of the waterSmart Landscape Challenge and a $35,000 contract with the city of Savannah to install its garden design in Bryan Square.

“The winning garden design shows that the waterSmart landscaping principles can be used to produce beautiful, innovative landscapes,” said Deron Davis, director of the waterSmartprogram for the state Environmental Protection Division. “This garden will inspire the public to create water-efficient, sustainable landscapes at their own homes to help preserve our state’s water resources.”

In January, the city of Savannah and the Georgia waterSmart program asked the state’s most creative landscape designers to create organic, water-efficient designs for Bryan Square. A panel comprised of landscaping professionals and knowledgeable representatives selected three finalist designs that were posted online in April. The public selected the final design through a period of online voting that ended last week.

Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co., led by designers Timothy M. Gay and Daniel E. Gay Jr., said it sought to create a sustainable, eco-friendly design while maintaining a renewed sense of place through a visually intriguing design that tied to the existing beauty of Bryan Square.

“Our design not only invigorates the surrounding uses, but also educates the public through a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant waterSmart landscape filled with exciting new concepts in sustainable design that can be applied in backyards across the state,” said Timothy Gay.

Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. is a privately held, civil engineering firm headquartered in Savannah. The company was founded in 1955 and its services include land planning/landscape architecture, sustainable design, and civil engineering consulting and design. Regional offices are located in Brunswick, Ga., Charleston and Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C.

“Thomas & Hutton created a beautiful design for Bryan Square that is also sustainable and water-efficient,” said Laura Walker, administrator of Savannah’s Environmental Affairs Department. “I’m sure both visitors and citizens of Savannah will enjoy the garden and hopefully be inspired to create their own waterSmart landscapes at home.” 

Bryan Square is located on Hutchinson Island and sits between the ferry landing and the entrance to the new Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, where thousands of visitors arrive each year. The property is also part of the Savannah Harbor at Hutchinson Island development, which will rely significantly on reclaimed water for landscaping needs. Installation of the design will begin within the next few weeks by Turf Services Unlimited, Inc.

The waterSmart Landscape Challenge’s main objectives are to promote water conservation and education, while highlighting the creative potential of waterSmart landscape principles, specifically selecting plants that suit the location and minimizing the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The selection of the right plants used in the right places will yield landscapes that, once established, can be maintained with little or no supplemental watering.

The city of Savannah is working in partnership with the waterSmart program of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.


About waterSmart
waterSmart is an education program designed to give Georgians the information they need to successfully conserve water. Developed by the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority in 2000 for residents in its service area, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division began using the waterSmart brand in communications and education activities in 2006 to help residents statewide understand how to maintain their landscapes while using less water. The State waterSmart program was piloted in six communities in 2007 and went statewide through a partnership with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in 2008.  For more information, please visit www.conservewatergeorgia.net.