Site Assessment and Landscape Planning Strategy for the Student Garden at the College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
Taylor, Carl A.
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This thesis project created a landscape design framework for the Student Garden at the College of Charleston that took into account stakeholder needs and landscape constraints, thereby allowing the Garden to better fulfill its mission. Steps for this project were to perform a stakeholder analysis to determine perceptions of mission, vision, and needs for the Garden. This was then paired with a landscape suitability assessment. The assessment was performed in GIS using available soil data from the Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) to analyze for agricultural suitability. Based on interview data, stakeholders considered the main mission of the Garden to lie in three areas: education, student research projects, and vegetable production. Landscape suitability analysis determined that the Garden was situated in the least favorable location within its available land area from an ecosystem standpoint. The landscape design incorporated the stakeholder needs of education, research, and production while proposing an expansion in a new, more centralized location that has soil better suited for agriculture along with new infrastructure. It incorporated a centralized building with office, rest area, and shaded work area that has facilities approved for vegetable processing for the CSA. Adjoining the building are beds showcasing sustainable agricultural techniques, greenhouses for seed starting and production, area for a food forest, and open fields for row crops.