Community Engaged Collaborative Design of a New Children's Garden at a Public Garden

Tuesday, July 23, 2013: 1:45 PM
Desert Salon 13-14 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Dana R. Reynolds , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Lucy K. Bradley , Horticulture, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Julieta T. Sherk, Registered Landscape Architect , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Julia L. Kornegay , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
The Elizabethan Gardens are on ten acres, situated on the Outer Banks in Manteo, NC. Located in a tourist destination, the Gardens have had difficulty expanding their membership base due to the transient nature of the surrounding population. Many public gardens have been successful in both expanding their membership and drawing in tourists by including a children’s garden. Therefore North Carolina State University partnered with the Elizabethan Gardens to develop a conceptual design for a new children’s garden. Several key partners have made this project possible. The North Carolina State Legislature provided tuition and a stipend for a graduate student. The Outer Banks Community Foundation agreed to provide grant funding for the design collaboration. The North Carolina State Horticulture Landscape Design Studio facilitated the community engaged design process and created conceptual designs. Community input was gathered during a four-hour workshop held at the garden in January 2013. Community members were divided into discussion groups and participated in three activities that helped them identify the children's garden program, theme and design elements. Utilizing the input from the community, six junior and senior North Carolina State University Horticultural Science Landscape Design students each created a design for the children’s garden space, and then presented it to the Elizabethan Gardens’ management team including administrators, staff, and board members. The management team identified the most desirable design program, theme and elements from the student's conceptual designs and contracted with a local design firm to combine them into one plan that will be used for fundraising and a phased installation.