LAWRENCE — Throughout her 14 years as the University of Kansas landscape architect, Peg Livingood dedicated herself to bringing recognition to the spaces that make the Lawrence campus special. From cleaning up Potter Lake to creating rain gardens, from reimagining Wescoe Beach to reconstructing Jayhawk Boulevard, she always made sure the campus was getting the attention it deserved.
On Friday, her peers in the local chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects took a moment to give Livingood the recognition she deserves by honoring her with the Alton B. Thomas Award.
The Alton B. Thomas Award is the Prairie Gateway Chapter’s (PGASLA’s) highest honor and only given to a member, affiliate, outstanding citizen or community leader who has performed in a manner above and beyond the norm, with the result promoting or enhancing the image of landscape architecture.
Livingood’s performance going “above and beyond” is evident across the Lawrence campus, and even more significantly in the major documents and designations across campus she guided that will set the direction of growth and development on Mount Oread for years to come.
Her efforts included the 2001 KU Landscape Master Plan, the 2003 Jayhawk Boulevard Design Development, the 2004 Mid-hill Walk Design Development and the 2008 Campus Heritage Plan. She was part of the team that submitted KU’s 2013 National Historic District Nomination and KU’s 2014 National Historic East Campus District Nomination.
And in her last year in Lawrence, she was the project manager for KU’s 2014-2024 Campus Master Plan and was instrumental in the ongoing, historic Jayhawk Boulevard Restoration project. The official unveiling of the Campus Master Plan was celebrated just days after Livingood’s retirement in February, a fitting tribute, according to Jim Modig, university architect and director of Design & Construction Management.
“Peg has been a tireless advocate for preserving and enhancing campus, and I’m sure she’ll continue to find ways to do so as she enjoys her retirement. I cannot think of two more lasting ways to mark her achievements at KU than our new Campus Master Plan and now this recognition from her peers at PGASLA. It is well-deserved, and all of us at DCM are incredibly proud and honored to have worked alongside her.”
Modig noted that staff and colleagues of Livingood have been making contributions in her name to the “Jayhawk Boulevard Landscaping Fund, in honor of Peg Livingood” at the KU Endowment Association as a lasting tribute to her legacy. The fund is being used to restore the historic tree canopy as part of the Jayhawk Boulevard renovation project.
Livingood joined KU as landscape architect in 2001. She also worked for the Kansas Department of Commerce from 1984-1991 and the Lawrence architecture firm Landplan Engineering. She is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the National Trust of Historic Preservation, the Tau Sigma Delta Architecture Honorary Society and the Alpha Zeta Agriculture Honorary Society. She holds a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from Kansas State University.
In addition to honoring Livingood, the PGASLA recognized the University of Kansas National Historic District with the Kessler Legacy Award. This PGASLA Landscape Legacy Award recognizes those works of landscape architecture that have endured in the Prairie Gateway region and are a viable component of the regional landscape heritage.
The Kessler Legacy Award honors George Kessler, who first helped promote the City Beautiful movement in Kansas City and who created the KU’s original Campus Master Plan in 1904.