May 2012

Primary Community Partner
Green Forests Work

Undergraduate Students
Jason Dabbikeh, Tyler Dixon, Spencer Heuke, Jason Kulsveen, Brandon Perry, Moore Russell, Cameron Stone, Derek Tripplett

Project Statement
This project is focused on the Flight 93 National Memorial and a theme of "Heal the Land, Heal the People." The focus of this project was to provide the National Park Service with a series of ideas generating design proposals that focused on the overall master plan as well as individual challenges on site, these proposals ranged from sustainable energy development to addressing the reclaimed strip mine that is at the heart of the site.

Project Narrative
In Spring 2012, the Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio was approached with an opportunity to work in conjunction with an organization known as Green Forests Work, which has ties to the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative or ARRI, on a design generating process that would provide the National Park Service and the Flight 93 National Memorial with ideas on ways to approach developing the rest of their site now that the memorial is under construction. Concepts generated ranged from the use of sustainable energy to learning opportunities provided by enhancing the Acid Mine Drainage System that is on this site. There also was a more hands on aspect to this project involving eight students who participated in multiple trips to the site, including two visits to provide assistance and leadership in public tree planting events.

These eight students worked for over three months to develop a site inventory, analyze site conditions, and generate design proposals that ultimately were made into a report given to the National Park Service to help make the Flight 93 National Memorial a better, more sustainable place where visitors can not only visit the memorial but encounter a variety of other experiences. None of the ideas generated were intended to take from or change the existing memorial which was designed by Paul Murdoch Architects, but rather enhance the current design and engage the remainder of the 2,200 acre site. Opportunities exist not only to heal the people who visit this site through the existing Flight 93 National Memorial, but also to educate them since this could possibly be one of the most visited reclaimed strip mines in the Nation.

Before starting this project, we conducted research to determine what makes something a "memorial" and the components that comprise it. Several memorials from around the world were examined in detail, including the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC; 9/11 memorials in Arlington, VA, and New York, NY; and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan. The impact that a landscape can have on a person's healing process is something that should be considered when designing a memorial. Not only does a memorial have the ability to heal on a psychological level, it exists in a landscape that has cultural significance. Memorials around the world tell stories and intertwine those stories with public open space. The real questions are, "What story does the memorial landscape tell?" and "Is the memorial landscape successful in portraying the intended story?" These questions are ones that a landscape architect should ask him/herself during the design process and again at the conclusion of the construction process to determine if the memorial is successful.

To landscape architects, the design of a "place" may have significance on several different levels. In this specific memorial, the design elicits an emotional response from visitors. Our team was asked to generate additional ideas for the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA. We consider this a great honor and hold this responsibility dearly. In all the work presented in this report we have sought to respect and honor the victims and families, as well as all those who have worked before us to bring to fruition that which is the Flight 93 National Memorial.


PDF iconfinal_report_clw.pdf