The garden project has been a cooperative effort. The Longwood
Fellows organized design sessions with Holloway clients and other
stakeholders, as well as representatives from the professional
horticulture community. UD Extension and Department of
Agriculture professionals developed education programs which
became "Garden Day" Thursdays, when Extension and Department
of Agriculture staff and Master Gardeners offered structured
activities at the Holloway campus.
"It's been a win-win situation for all involved," says Bob Lyons,
director of UD's Longwood Graduate Program in Public
Horticulture. "The therapeutic and community garden has great
potential to improve the experience of the clients of the Holloway
campus; it also served to grow the Fellows' experience in
coordinating focus groups, design sessions and conceptual designs."
Lyons described the Professional Outreach Project as central to the
Longwood Fellows' experience. "Leading the outreach project gives
the students an opportunity to, as a group, identify a specific area
of public horticulture that they want greater exposure to and do so
via a real world public horticulture client relationship," said Lyons.
"The Professional Outreach Project instills a sense of both
accomplishment and altruism in the students, as well as providing
an incredible networking opportunity."
Planning meeting at Delaware Psychiatric Center. Clockwise from lower left: Ray Majewski, Bruce Beideman, Delaware Psychiatric Center; Rebecca Pineo, Zoe Panchen, Longwood Fellows; Faith Kuehn, Delaware Department of Agriculture; Laura Vogel, Kate Baltzell, Longwood Fellows [Photo by Dongah Shin]
Faith Kuehn from the Delaware Department of Agriculture has
been coordinating the project. "Gardens have their own magnetism
and are compelling for a lot of people," said Kuehn. "It's been a
positive aspect of this project that a lot of different people and
different groups – including the Longwood graduate students –
have been involved. They all bring different expertise, different
perspectives to the project, and that's a benefit."
The design created by the Longwood Fellows splits the one-acre
garden into quadrants that feature raised beds and green walls. One
quadrant will have a slate wall for chalk art, an idea suggested by
clients. Sustainable landscaping practices were incorporated into
every facet of the garden design, said Kuehn. The garden design
includes native plants whenever possible, uses some recycled
materials for garden hardscapes, designates rain collection in barrels
and by other means, incorporates a composting station and utilizes
solar and other green technologies.
Rebecca Pineo was the Longwood Fellows' project leader, and will complete her master of science in public horticulture this year.
"We are excited about the momentum behind the project and the
support and interest it has received so far, and are grateful for the
chance we had to contribute. We usually choose just one
organization to work with, but the nature of this project meant
that we got to work with a range of people from a range of
organizations. It was quite a learning experience to see effective
partnerships in action."
Steering Committee members and clients in garden. [Photo courtesy of Faith Kuehn]
Plans for continued funding and cooperation
Raakel Toppila was the Longwood Fellows' assistant project leader
last summer, and will lead the group's new Professional Outreach
Project this year. Although the Longwood Fellows' formal role in
the garden project ended this past fall, Toppila has been working
on funding proposals for the garden as part of a grant writing
seminar she completed this semester. "My goal is to continue
working on grants to obtain funding for the installation of the
garden as it was designed. Faith Kuehn has identified several
potential funders; it is my intention is to work with her in the next
few months, to develop some proposals."
Founded in 1967, the nationally known Longwood Graduate
Program represents a unique educational partnership between
Longwood Gardens and the University of Delaware. A hallmark of
the program is its interdisciplinary nature, with students customizing
their curriculum to enhance their professional and personal goals.
The program also requires and encourages the integration of Fellows
into Longwood staff, as well as volunteering at other gardens in the
region, and participation on boards of other organizations.
A community garden fall festival is being planned for September 10
at the DHSS Holloway Campus, opening the garden to the public
for educational activities, and highlighting the concept of
community gardens. The garden project will also be featured in a
display at UD's Ag Day April 30.
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