November 18, 2021

Jason Kentner Wins 2021 OCASLA Award of Excellence

IMPLEMENT, Kentner’s landscape architecture practice, received the award for his project, Ravenna Downtown District Plan.

Associate Professor of Practice Jason Kentner’s landscape architecture practice, IMPLEMENT, received the 2021 Award of Excellence from the Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his project, Ravenna Downtown District Plan. Kentner’s project focuses on the potential of landscape as a means of reimagining a small downtown area struggling to retain residents and attract new businesses.

IMPLEMENT was also awarded a Merit Award for its Village Garden project.

Ravenna Downtown District Plan

Ravenna is a special place, a town whose history is richer and deeper than is often recognized. Among the first towns laid out in conjunction with the great national survey in 1808 (Schafer and Bruegmann) the city’s Main Street feels like a lot of Mid-West downtowns. But architectural landmarks like the Riddle Block #9 and I.O.O.F Buildings demonstrate past investment and ambitions. This project leverages landscape, the public open and green space, as a means of unifying and transforming the character of Ravenna.

David Dix, the former publisher of the Record-Courier, has authored numerous articles about the history, state, and potential of Ravenna as a community and recently as a place that might better reflect our civic pride and sense of duty to each other. Those articles helped spark the idea of developing a district plan that would illustrate the combined potentials of public open space, civic and historic landmarks, bike trails, and wayfinding to preserve and transform Downtown Ravenna.

Through the summer and into the early fall of 2020 the project team worked to engage with stakeholder groups, residents, and visitors through a range of efforts that due to the COVID 19 pandemic will focus heavily on social media. The group had in-town displays starting in mid-June and monthly workshops in late July and August that allowed those interested to work directly with the project team to share and develop ideas.

Made possible by private donations, the Ravenna Downtown District Plan is led by Main Street Ravenna’s Design Committee. Chaired by William Barber, the committee includes a wide range of Portage County and Ravenna City stakeholder groups while engaging with residents and visitors throughout the project. By being open and inclusive throughout the process the Downtown District Plan has the potential to create a shared pride in, ambition for, and vision of Ravenna.

The Downtown District Plan aims to bring unity to ongoing projects focused on visitor wayfinding, historic preservation, and community programming. Additionally, the project illustrates various approaches to and benefits of landscape to improve the aesthetics and sustainability of open spaces including parking lots, pocket parks, and neighborhood streets.

— Jason Kentner, IMPLEMENT

IMPLEMENT is a design-focused landscape architecture practice based in Columbus Ohio; the studio name speaks to our ambition and reflects the pragmatic values that have shaped the agricultural and industrial landscapes of our Midwestern context. The practice explores the potential of landscape to be a tool for creative change, community engagement, and dynamic place-making.  

Led by Design Principal Jason Kentner, the studio leverages its facility for conceptual visualization and strategic planning along with a craftsman-like attention to the quality of materials and resolution of construction details. That design dexterity allows the studio to work across scales from large to small; in a variety of contexts from rural to urban; and within a range of project typologies from parks and gardens to vacant lots and post-industrial sites.