November 2020: HKGi Promotes Lance Bernard to Associate

HKGi is pleased to announce the promotion of Lance Bernard to the position of Associate. HKGi President Paul Paige said, “His strong management skills, work ethic, and expertise in funding have always brought great value to us and to our client communities. We are excited to promote Lance into a role where he can contribute more meaningfully to the future evolution of the firm.”

Bernard began his professional career as a transportation planner in 2002 before joining HKGi, where he served as a Planner from 2005 through 2009. He returned to HKGi in 2017 where he has continued providing community planning services and serves as a Project Manager on a variety of projects including county and municipal comprehensive plans, bicycle-pedestrian plans, multi-modal connectivity and transportation studies, grant writing, and strategic planning related to parking and investments in public infrastructure. Bernard, who will have an expanded role in the overall direction of the firm, said, "HKGi has built a strong practice that encourages creative thinking and collaboration, which makes our work so much fun. I look forward to continuing to enrich the culture here, which encourages our team to reflect on project challenges and find ways to turn them into success stories."

Bernard is a graduate of St. Cloud State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Community Development and Urban Affairs. He has been an active member of the Minnesota chapter of the American Planning Association (APA MN), serving in several leadership positions as a volunteer, including serving as a Past President of the organization and as a Past Conference Chair for the organization’s annual conference. He is currently serving as Co-Chair for the APA MN Legislative and Law Committee, tracking legislative initiatives that impact public agency planning efforts.

Since returning to HKGi, Bernard has enhanced the firm’s planning service capability. His experience and knowledge about infrastructure funding has enriched HKGi’s ability to assist clients with strategic planning related to public transportation and park and trail improvements, and he has also brought experience conducting various planning initiatives at the county level. Bernard’s recent work includes:

  • Leadership on comprehensive planning processes in several metropolitan communities and Greater Minnesota counties, including an innovative online comprehensive plan report produced for Stearns County;
  • Collaboration with the Metropolitan Council and a consulting engineer to conduct a multi-phase study of the impact of grant funding on transportation-related projects across the region;
  • Bicycle-pedestrian planning and strategic planning related to parking management for clients such as the Cities of Woodbury, Duluth, Victoria, St. Louis Park, Stillwater, and Washington County;
  • Grant writing to aid clients in securing funding for infrastructure and active living improvements.

Please join us in congratulating Lance(email) on this career milestone.

October 2020: HKGi Welcomes Bruce Chamberlain Back To the Firm as an Urban Strategist and Design Practice Leader

HKGi is pleased to announce that Bruce Chamberlain is returning to the firm as an urban strategy and design practice leader. Paul Paige, HKGi President, says, “I could not be more thrilled to welcome Bruce back to HKGi. Bruce brings a context-based and strategic perspective to our urban design and community planning projects that will be of value to our clients and our firm. As a relentless advocate for the role of Landscape Architecture at all scales, he consistently elevates the projects that he leads and I look forward to working side by side with him again.”

In his decade away from the firm, Chamberlain has attained noted achievements including executive leadership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, launching a distinctive urban strategy practice called Loam, induction as a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and selection as the inaugural Parks Fellow with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. Chamberlain says “HKGi has always been a strong creative practice and as we all navigate challenging questions about the future of almost everything, what a fantastic platform from which to influence lasting impact…and do really cool work.”

Chamberlain has built an impressive portfolio of transformative planning and design works. In recent years he has played leadership roles in numerous complex Minneapolis efforts that include the new downtown riverfront park called Water Works, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Trailhead at Wirth Regional Park and RiverFirst, a generational initiative to transform the city’s remaining industrial riverfront to parkland. In his prior two decades with HKGi, Chamberlain led nearly two dozen award winning projects, including authorship of the Mississippi River Greenway Plan, which won a National Merit Award in 2002 from the ASLA.

Chamberlain is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and was recently awarded the distinguished Alumni Service Award. He continues to stay involved with academia as an adjunct professor, mentor, university advisor and invited speaker. He is an avid Nordic skier, biker and maker.

Please join us in welcoming Bruce(email) back to HKGi.

September 2020: HKGi Contributes Planning and Design Leadership to Three Awards Winning Park Projects

The 2020 Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association's annual Awards of Excellence lineup included three projects for which HKGi provided design and planning leadership.

  • Fernbrook Athletic Fields Complex, City of Maple Grove: This tournament-quality athletic fields complex was honored as one of the state's outstanding new Parks and Facilities. HKGi conducted the initial feasibility study for the football/soccer/la crosse complex, and provided site design services for many of the amenities featured in the facility. Watch a compilation of the animation video that was used to envision the final facility, and an aerial video that shows the complex after completion.
  • Park, Recreation, and Community Education System Plan, City of Hutchinson: This system planning project was recognized for excellence in the Administrative or Management Strategies category. Hutchinson has long been a community that values and invests in its parks, trails, and recreational facilities. HKGi conducted the community-wide planning process for the City, engaging the whole community in identifying priorities for future investments in the community's park system. HKGi conducted an extremely efficient planning process, and thus was able to conduct preliminary concept planning and create 3D visualizations for several of the community's key parks and facilities.
  • River's Edge Commons Park Expansion, City of Elk River: This popular downtown amphitheater along the banks of the Mississippi River underwent an expansion in 2019. The project was recognized for excellence in the Park and Facility category. HKGi provided lead design services for the expansion, which built on the first phase of the project, also designed by HKGi's landscape architects. The expansion added new amphitheater seating, parking, walkways, and viewing/gathering spaces along the upper level of the park. Watch a video of the facility.

Congratulations to the parks and recreation, public works, and other staff at the Cities of Maple Grove, Hutchinson, and Elk River. We are proud to have been involved in such fantastic projects and having the opportunity to collaborate with such great clients.