Nototomne Park

ClientRiver Islands Development
LocationLathrop, CA
DisciplinesCivil Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture
AwardASLA Sierra Chapter 2022 Merit Award under the Research/Analysis/Planning/ Communication/Unbuilt category

During construction of the River Islands Development, artifacts from the Tomchom village of the Northern Valley Yokuts were uncovered. In light of this discovery, Nototomne Park was born. The space is a unique and amazing opportunity to honor the history of indigenous peoples of the region and provide an educational opportunity for the community. The design intent is to transport park patrons back in time to a historical San Joaquin Valley landscape through modern recreational amenities. Instead of a museum-like approach, cultural aspects of the indigenous people’s daily lives were used as tactful and authentic guiding forces behind design decisions for this park.

The design team collaborated extensively and directly with the local tribe (Nototomne Cultural Preservation), the designated Most Likely Descendant, the property owner, the City, and archaeologists familiar with the dig on this site. Countless hours were spent reviewing anthropological records, published literature, historical maps and photos, and documentation provided by the tribe.  Interviews and discussions with tribe members were held during the design process to ensure that they were always informed and contributing to the design. The result is a magical, spiritual, reflective space that speaks to the hearts of the tribe and the minds of the users.