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Storm King’s founders, H. Peter Stern and Ralph E. Ogden, commissioned the late landscape architect William A. Rutherford to develop Storm King’s 500 acres. Underscoring the inherent natural beauty of the region, the design is a subtle pastoral landscape, including vistas, hills, meadows, ponds, stands of trees, allées, and walking paths, scaled to embrace both small- and large-scale works of art in a variety of mediums.
Storm King Art Center’s dramatic landscape includes farmed fields, natural woodlands, lawns, native grasses, wetlands, and water. As Storm King has grown, its landscape has been gradually altered to accommodate and enhance the collection, frame vistas, and encourage movement through the site.
Dominated by native plant species, Storm King’s hallmark open fields boast 100 acres of native grass meadows and hayfields whose sweeping forms contrast with areas of mown turf. These zones of tall vegetation encourage an abundance of wildlife and provide a rich mosaic of colors and textures in a broadly sculptural landscape.
This year, as part of a broader revitalization project, Storm King has replaced 24 maple trees with black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) trees, which are better suited to withstand Storm King’s changing climate and ground conditions. Discover more about our initiative to increase the resiliency of our site in the video below.