Thomas Kane discusses his plan for Reflection Riding

Strong supporters of the proposed plan for Reflection Riding discuss the plans with Thomas Kane.

Strong supporters of the proposed plan for Reflection Riding discuss the plans with Mr. Kane. From left, Mrs. John McDonald, Jim Wood, Mr. Kane, Patrick Kane and Mrs. James Irvine Jr.

The Plan
In the 1980’s Thomas Kane was asked by the Reflection Riding Board to evaluate the landscape park and create a plan for development and preservation. It was necessary first to produce a drawing of the existing conditions. Tom Kane wrote: “The drawing cannot express the spirit or the genius of the place which can only be described after personal immersion and realization. I perceive Reflection Riding to be not a nature preserve, bucolic environment, landscape park, or educational resource but all of these. Each has been allowed to evolve in a process displaying artful development combined with a beguiling artlessness which together contribute to the uniqueness of the place….The paramount recommendation or plea, however, is that you be very careful not to spoil the magic balance which is Reflection Riding. The personal and evolutionary history which created the place must be preserved.

The proposal I have submitted said Mr. Kane “is basically a park that will have three distinct sections. First, there is the woodland area-the native, natural setting. Second, there is the bucolic land- the farm land. Third, there’s the landscaped park. It will be a total look at what nature has to offer.”

“My most difficult task was that of dealing with the natural environment-managing it so that it would be done right and yet not overdone. Another challenge was to preserve the uniqueness of the place without changing it. I think people really need to understand just how special this place really is. There’s simply no place like it in the whole world.”

Thomas Kane wrote to future stewards of Reflection Riding on his master plan:

“Great care should be taken, however, in adding more features. Now there is a balance of features subordinated to the landscape. Too many additions would distort this balance.”

“The integrity of Reflection Riding is paramount. Any improvement and all maintenance should support its unique quality, a quality which is, in fact, quite fragile.” 1982

“The paramount recommendation or plea, however, is that you be very careful not to spoil the magical balance which is Reflection Riding. The personal and evolutionary history which created the place must be preserved.”