Friends and colleagues of the late John Hopkins are planning to set up a fund to continue his work.
Called ‘The Global Garden Initiative’ after the book he was writing at the time of his death, the aim will be to provide theory, leadership and professional practice in the advancement of ecological planning and design.
The initiative was announced at a memorial event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 18 May by his partner Laura Adams, executive director of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy in the US, and former colleague and co-author of The Making of the Queen Elizabeth Park, Peter Neal.
A first proposal is to establish a cross-continental, visiting professorship that will focus on ecological planning an design, and there is also an ambition to support practical projects.
The memorial event provided visitors with a first look at the North Park since it closed at the end of the Olympics. It will re-open in July. Despite still being a construction site, it looks magnificent, showing the benefit of the legacy planning which was a large part of Hopkins’ concern as landscape client for the park.
Sir Nicholas Serota, a former member of the Olympic Delivery Authority Board spoke, saying, ‘For an epitaph you could hardly do better than Sir Christopher Wren’s plaque in St Paul’s cathedral,”‘If you seek his monument look around you'”,’.
Other speakers were Dennis Hone, former CEO of the Olympic Delivery Authority and now head of the London Legacy Development Corporation, Jo Watkins, past president of the Landscape Institute, and Hopkins’ daughter, Rosie Hopkins.
A meadow in the park has been named Hopkins’ Meadow, and an American oak tree has been planted, symbolising Hopkins’ strong links in the UK and US.