Our Firm

  • Happy Holidays from Confluence

    December 16, 2011

    As the Holiday Season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and on those who have helped to shape our business in a most significant way.

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    • We value our relationships and look forward to working with you in the year to come. We wish you a very happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with peace and prosperity.

  • Water Works Parkitecture Competition

    December 15, 2011

    The Team: Matthew Getch + Maciej Woroniecki + Whitewater Parks International + Confluence
    What: Water Works Parkitecture Competition Open House

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    • We invite you to attend the Public Open House on December 15 at the Des Moines Art Center from 6:00-8:00 pm. The five finalists will be exhibiting their designs for the “Parkitecture Competition” – an international design competition focused on the Water Works Park area of Des Moines.

      Water Works Park is a gem located in the heart of Des Moines. The Raccoon River meanders through a combinations of woods, wetlands, prairie, and plaza to serve as the center point of the 1,500 acre park, which is one of the largest parks in the United States.  

      Our team crafted “A New Vision for Water Works Park,” one of five design concepts selected by the jury for the final stage of the competition. The concept includes the Archipelagos, a collection of active and passive spaces that allow those young and old to enjoy themselves. The unique approach to land forms allows the park to flood, remain functional and become art. Come see this transformation!

      We encourage you to stop by and see our collaborative design as well as the other four unique concepts for Water Works Park.

      Water Works Parkitecture Competition Open House
      December 15, 2011
      6:00 – 8:00 PM
      Des Moines Art Center
      4700 Grand Avenue
      Des Moines, IA 50312

  • Confluence hosts students at Kansas City Career Exploration

    November 16, 2011

    On November 3, 2011, Confluence hosted thirty five students and their guests at the Kansas City Career Exploration event for Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning and Design.

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    • Career Exploration provides prospective KSU students the opportunity to learn about the design professions, visit with design professionals who are K-State alumni and meet fellow students interested in the design professions.

  • ASLA 2012 Elections

    November 7, 2011

    We would like to congratulate and recognize our team members for being elected to the following ASLA positions for 2012:

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      • Heidi Pollmann, ASLA, LEED AP was elected as Vice President, ASLA Prairie Gateway Chapter
      • Chad Kucker, ASLA, LEED AP was elected as President-Elect, ASLA Great Plains Chapter
      • Jessica White, Associate ASLA was elected as Associate-at-Large, ASLA Great Plains Chapter
      • Matt Carlile, ASLA, LEED AP was elected as Trustee, ASLA Iowa Chapter


      Congratulations again to everyone and thank you for all your hard work and dedication to ASLA.

  • Cline to Speak at Kansas APA Conference

    October 10, 2011

    Chris Cline, in collaboration with Vicki Noteis of Collins Noteis & Associates, will be speaking at the Kansas American Planning Association (APA) Annual Conference on Friday, October 14, 2011 in Topeka, Kansas. Their presentation of Revitalized Town Centers and Urban Districts calls upon decades of experience in place-making and improving the quality of life in urban districts.

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    • The presentation will explore successful community development strategies for creating vibrant destinations and enhancing existing urban areas. Cline/Noteis will discuss relevant examples of local and regional projects to illustrate a range of strategies and community development tools that can be used in the development and/or revitalization of pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use destinations.

      Cline and Noteis presented this same topic in May 2011 as part of MARC’s Toolbox Series in Kansas City, Missouri.

  • 2011 Kansas APA Award – Overland Park Downtown Form-Based Code

    September 29, 2011

    The Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) selected the Overland Park Downtown Form-Based Code to receive the 2011 Pioneer (Urban) Award for demonstrating creativity and innovation in planning. Confluence collaborated with Farrell Madden Lewis in the creation of this code for the City of Overland Park.

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    • This new code builds on the City’s previous planning efforts to establish a new vision for the entire Metcalf Corridor. The code is envisioned to ultimately change the overall development pattern along the corridor from a suburban character to more of an urban, pedestrian-friendly environment where dense multi-story mixed-use development is strongly encouraged. Opportunities for future public transit to serve this entire corridor are also incorporated into the planning recommendations.

      This award will be presented to the City of Overland Park during the 2011 Kansas APA Planning Conference at a luncheon on Thursday, October 13th from Noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Ramada Convention Center in Topeka, Kansas.

  • 2011 Missouri APA Award – Vine Street District Economic Development Plan

    September 28, 2011

    The Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) selected the Vine Street District Economic Development Plan for the Outstanding Special Community Initiative Award. This plan was created in collaboration with Collins Noteis Associates for Kansas City, Missouri’s Department of Planning and Development.

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    • This project represents the City of Kansas City’s first economic development plan for a specific area, with the intent to serve as a catalyst for revitalization of the Vine Street District. The plan includes urban revitalization, housing, commercial, infrastructure, and governance strategies, and was adopted by the City Council in 2010.

      The plan has now received three major awards for planning excellence in 2011.  This award will be presented during the 2011 MO APA award ceremony luncheon will be held on Thursday, October 20th from 11:30am to 1:30pm in the Starlight Room at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.  This year’s award submittals were evaluated by a committee of Illinois APA chapter members.

  • Confluence Gathers in Sioux Falls

    September 20, 2011

    Our Sioux Falls office hosted a two day company gathering last week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We toured several local projects, both completed and currently under construction, including Phillips Avenue Streetscape, Cherapa Place, Downtown River Greenway, Museum of Visual Materials and Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum.

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    • The group also took a trip to nearby Jasper, Minnesota for a walking tour of the Jasper Stone Company Quarry. On the tour, we learned more about the process of quarrying local quartzite. It was interesting to see this process and learn more about quartzite, a material used in several of our projects in the Sioux Falls area.

      Later that day the team headed to the Big Sioux River for an afternoon of river history, paddling, and a little unplanned swimming. This trip has been affectionately dubbed the “2011 Big Sioux River Dash” by several in our group, and the theme of the day seemed to be “if you aren’t wet, you aren’t trying”.

      Overall it was a wonderful trip! A special thanks to our Sioux Falls office for hosting the event.

  • An Inspiration to All Who Knew Her

    September 6, 2011

    Darla Jacobson passed away on Saturday morning after a five year battle with cancer. Darla was a special person who will be deeply missed by all who knew her. Your thoughts and prayers for Jon, Cait, and the Ver Steeg and Jacobson families in this difficult time are greatly appreciated.

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    • Visitation will begin today, Tuesday, September 6th, at 12:00 PM at the George Boom Funeral Chapel (2500 E. Aspen Blvd.) in Brandon, SD with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. A prayer service will begin at 7:00 PM.

      A memorial service will begin at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, at Beaver Valley Lutheran Church in rural Valley Springs, SD.

      In lieu of flowers, Darla’s family requests that memorials be directed to the following:

      Wheels of Hope
      Attn: Beth Thomas
      27206 Springdale Court
      Harrisburg, SD  57032



      Darla’s CaringBridge Site

      Darla’s Obituary


  • New Digs…Same Digits.

    September 1, 2011

    Our Iowa City office is in the midst of moving to a new Downtown location. While we are busy getting settled in at our new digs this week, please take a moment to update your files to include our new office address: 401 South Gilbert – First Floor, Iowa City, Iowa 52240. All our phone numbers and other contact information remain the same.

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  • Landscape Architecture. Your Environment. Designed.

    August 17, 2011

    What if, for just one day, all landscape architects across the country decided to let everyone know what the heck we do. That we create the very places used to live, work and play. That we connect cities. That we create experience. That landscape architecture is your environment, designed.

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    • The world needs to know about landscape architecture, and 08.17.11 is the day it all begins.  It’s the beginning of a movement to step out of the Understory and tell our story to the world.

      To celebrate this momentous occasion, Confluence decided to update and launch our new website.  As our firm has grown, so has our need to illustrate the energy, momentum, and depth of our experience.  We’ve incorporated the broad range of our experience into a new format, including information about our on-going efforts to make a difference in our communities – one project at a time.

  • Remembering a dear friend and co-worker

    June 6, 2011

    Michael J. Stenger, Jr., 43, passed away Saturday, June 4, 2011 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Mike was born on September of 1967 in Des Moines to Betty Porter and Mike Stenger. He graduated from Hoover High School, attended the University of Iowa and received his Bachelor Degree in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University.

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    • He graduated from Hoover High School, attended the University of Iowa and received his Bachelor Degree in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University. Mike was a Hawkeye fan and enjoyed sports. He loved teaching his kids about them. He coached many of his children’s teams and not only taught skills to play the game, but also instilled in them confidence and a sense of happiness. Mike was a gentle man, a faithful husband, loving father and his family’s master griller. Mike, we will miss you!

  • JE Dunn Corporate Headquarters Obtains LEED Gold Certification

    February 18, 2011

    As part of a commitment to sustainable construction, JE Dunn Construction obtained LEED® Gold certification – the internationally recognized stamp of approval from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – for their new Corporate Headquarters and Parking Garage project located in Kansas City, Missouri.

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    • JE Dunn’s new headquarters houses over 500 employees and serves as an anchor to a major downtown redevelopment in the northeast portion of downtown Kansas City. As part of this project, Confluence provided design services for plazas, auto court, streetscape and a green roof. The design incorporates a rain garden into the auto court and holding tank for capturing rain water for irrigation. We also designed a green roof system that is considered part of JE Dunn’s long term sustainability improvements.

  • Lenexa Fire Station 5 Achieves LEED Silver Certification

    February 17, 2011

    In September 2010, The City of Lenexa achieved LEED® Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for their new Fire Station. LEED is the USBGC’s leading edge system for designing and construction the world’s greenest, energy efficient and high performing buildings.

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    • The Lenexa Fire Station was designed to operate on a minimal acreage site. Confluence assisted in the site design and developed the landscape plan. The landscape design incorporates native plantings to conserve water use and minimize site maintenance needs. A rain garden collects and infiltrates rain water and helps manage site runoff. A green roof system was installed over a portion of the facility, providing benefits to the surrounding environment, as well as creating a visible and education tool for the City. The green roof absorbs rain water, reduces the heat island effect, and acts as added insulation to the building reducing overall energy consumption.

  • Aviva’s U.S. Operations Headquarters Receives Gold-Level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification

    January 5, 2011

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 5, 2011) — Aviva USA’s new headquarters has become the largest LEED-gold certified building in Iowa and one of only five its size or larger in America to achieve that designation, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The U.S. Green Building Council informed Aviva USA that it had been awarded gold certification on the 360,000-squarefoot building. Aviva USA is part of Aviva plc – the world’s sixth-largest insurance group and the first global insurance company to become carbon-neutral. Aviva’s project becomes the 24th LEED gold building in Iowa and only the fourth in metropolitan Des Moines.

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    • LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The U.S. Green Building Council informed Aviva USA that it had been awarded gold certification on the 360,000-squarefoot building. Aviva USA is part of Aviva plc – the world’s sixth-largest insurance group and the first global insurance company to become carbon-neutral. Aviva’s project becomes the 24th LEED gold building in Iowa and only the fourth in metropolitan Des Moines.