Thanks to efforts of more than 100 College of Architecture, Design and Construction graduate and undergraduate students, children at the Boykin Community Center now have a more beautiful place to play and the Saugahatchee watershed is healthier. This Green for Life! demonstration project created by the CADC students was awarded the Best Community Design Award by the Alabama Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in Birmingham on March 26, 2011 and received the Outstanding Team Project Award from the Alabama Chapter of American Planning Association in Eufaula on April 1, 2011.
For the last two years, teams of students from landscape architecture and the CADC Learning Community have been working with Auburn faculty and community partners affiliated with the Boykin Community Center to create the Green for Life! demonstration research and outreach project that corrects a stormwater runoff problem and provides a watershed education program. Fixing the erosion and drainage problems on the playground and in landscaped areas At Boykin has created a more attractive and usable place for children to play and stops sediment from polluting the Saugahatchee watershed. While the green watershed curriculum is creating environmentally aware citizens, Boykin residents are also seeing sustainable planning in action.
Under the direction of Charlene LeBleu, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Rebecca O’Neal Dagg, Interim Dean of the CADC, and Carla Jackson Bell, CADC Director of Multicultural Affairs, the project took a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to solving the Center’s stormwater runoff problems and creating a companion watershed education program. The CADC graduate student project managers, landscape architecture students Matthew Biesecker and Josh Lamberth, and Michael Glenboski, a CADC Design-Build Masters student, were critical not only in the early stages of the design and stormwater management research but also in the planning, design, and implementation of the Low Impact Demonstration (LID) site.
Professor LeBleu’s landscape architecture graduate class in stormwater design, freshmen from the CADC Learning Community, other Auburn University student volunteers, and Boykin community residents collaborated on the project. The finished LID project uses multiple Best Management Practices (BMPs) to address the stormwater runoff problems. They installed two bioswales, three rain gardens and four 1,000 gallon cisterns.
The project integrated their design with a watershed education program, Green for Life!, and educational signage around the community center. This curriculum targets after-school students, GreenKidz for Life! for grades K–8 and GreenTeenz for Life! for grades 9–12, by providing special indoor and outdoor classroom field days that offer green educational opportunities in a non-traditional environment.
“Rebecca O’Neal Dagg, Carla Bell and I nominated this project for the Best Community Design and for the Outstanding Planning Student-Team awards because we were so impressed by the ability of such a large group of students to work collaboratively to make this project a success,” says LeBleu.
Several agencies also provided crucial support: Boykin Center, the City of Auburn’s Parks and Recreation Department; a grant from the Saugahatchee Watershed Management Plan Committee through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management; Nature’s Tap in Birmingham who helped us purchase the cisterns; the Alabama Clean Water Partnership who provided watershed information; and Auburn University’s Office of Public Service. Other project support came from our Boykin partners at Head Start, Joyland Daycare, Auburn Daycare, and the Lee County Boys and Girls Club. We couldn’t have completed the Green for Life! project without this assistance.”
The CADC faculty and students are currently planning phase 2 of the project. For more information about green career paths through graduate work in landscape architecture or an undergraduate major in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture or other options at the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, go to http://www.cadc.auburn.edu/APLA.
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