Jackson Meadow is a nationally recognized residential development in the small town of Marine-on-St. Croix, Minnesota. The project is located on 145 acres of former agricultural land in the St. Croix River valley, amidst open fields and wooded hills on a glacial bench above the town. As a nod to the site’s historic past, project takes its name from Tom Jackson, the owner of the former farm.
In a collaboration with Salmela Architect, the landscape plan works to redefine typical suburban development patterns by employing a rural community typology. The development is metaphorically organized like the town of Marine, with a central neighborhood organized around a series of small gridded lots, and larger ‘country’ lots set along a loop road following the tree line. The houses themselves were designed after careful study of Marine-on-St Croix’s local architecture but are smaller than typical suburban homes in order to emphasize the feeling of a village. The simple vocabulary of pitched roofs, limited materials, and native plantings comprise the palette. With only one architect and one landscape architect, the resulting design language is consistent and cohesive.
Within a simple community framework, this place provides both Jackson Meadow and Marine-on-St Croix residents access to and from adjacent open space corridors. Front porches connect directly to trails linking over 350 acres of land, linking Jackson Meadow to William O’Brien State Park, Tanglewood Nature Preserve, adjacent neighborhoods, and downtown Marine-on-St. Croix. Children use the trail system to walk to Marine elementary School or play in the open spaces throughout the community. Through a series of thoughtful design moves and contextual inspiration, Jackson Meadow offers an alternative method for future neighborhood develop to create a meaningful place.