Elizabeth Caruthers Park


This two acre park is tucked into the South Waterfront development, a gentle respite from the glass towers rising all around it. You can see it from a landscape architect’s point of view here and learn about its namesake here by scrolling down to Anna B’s comments. But first, lets just stroll around and see what there is to see.

bridge over swale

At the southern end of the park there are swales spanned by plank bridges in sweeping curves.

another view

My first impression was of all native plantings, but in fact there are some non-natives worked in to better serve the design.


These birches are a case in point.

birches from farther back

I can’t imagine this scene without them.

boardwalk bench

Benches have been worked in here and there, each in a style appropriate to its surroundings. Here the bridge planks have been extended to keep sitters out of the flow of foot traffic.

heading North towards the berm

Heading North, you can see the wedge-shaped berm creating a grassy clearing at the center of the park.

looking back

Looking back at the berm from the far side, you can see that the plant material and style of planting has changed.


Mass plantings of Cistus (no signage mars the scheme, so my minimal info will have to suffice).

long borders of Cornus

Long borders of red twig dogwood

variegated red twig dogwood

…must be equally striking once the branches are bare.

grasses and liriope

Here’s a long border of grasses fronted by liriope.

decomposed granite paths

On this northern end of the park, the paths are made of crushed decomposed granite.


The fountain was not operational on this day, but each of those (rubber) pads has a spout. I can imagine it will be a powerful draw on sunny, hot days.


Liriope used alone.


One of several styles of lamps, with the tram in the distance. I want to visit this park sometime after dark to see the effect of the lighting.

wind-activated music makers

…and again on a windy day to hear the music

lunch spot



Not all benches look the part.

dressed-up trash cans

Even the trash cans get the royal treatment. Let me leave you with a few shots of the featured plants and invite you to check out this park at 3508 SW Moody Ave if you find yourself in the neighborhood.




Hydrangea quercifolia


10 thoughts on “Elizabeth Caruthers Park

  1. I watched the park take shape and now I’m enjoying seeing it settle into its spot. I love the boardwalk over the depressed drainage swales. I bet kids adore running around it (if there are any kids at all in South Waterfront!) It’s a lovely place on a sunny day, or on a rainy Saturday trek.

  2. Every day after work as I waited in traffic to merge onto I5-NB I watched this park be built. Last summer I kept meaning to drive down there and have a look see at how it turned out but I never got around to it. Thank you for this virtual visit, it’s a lot warmer and drier than going there in real life.

  3. A pretty addition to your city and a nice place to spend a few minutes along the waterfront. So very green and interesting to note the swath of grasses with the green as contrast is a good idea to take away.

  4. Alison~I bet you could do a lot in 10 to 15 feet, but it’s hard to commit to repetition of a single plant when space is limited. I’m tempted to mimic their use of Liriope.

    Jane~There is a Montessori-type business in one of the spaces, and kids have a way of sniffing out fountains when the weather is right.

    Loree~Warm weather WILL return…have faith.

    Peter~I keep stumbling upon great little parks tucked here and there, so more will be forthcoming.

  5. Wendy~I think that would be a great place to brown bag it on a summer day.

    Bria~I love Tanner Springs, but have found it very difficult to photograph. Perhaps it’s time for another try. I kicked myself for having no camera when I spotted a lone, black kimonoed fellow practicing Tai Chi there (do you suppose I would have needed him to sign a disclaimer?)

    Linda~Stuck in the ‘Couve?

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