Winter-Summer 2015, Internship, 2 Students

During the winter and summer months of 2015, UKLA/CEDIK’s Community Design Program facilitated and collaborated with the GoGarden Coalition, headed by the Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Extension Agent in Morgan County, on their GoGarden grant project to develop a community garden that would complement a commercial kitchen and demonstration garden. The project was funded with a $28,500 grant from the Bluegrass Community Foundation to achieve healthy nutritional and educational goals for the community. The garden site is located in a section of the newly relocated and built educational center/extension office property developed after a tornado ripped through town the previous year. The garden is adjacent to the potential commercial kitchen and the site was studied for suitability of development as a community garden and resting/gathering space. The garden will serve as a place for education and production with the purpose to assist in improving the health and quality of life for Morgan County’s residents. The garden was planned to support extension agents in delivering educational programs to residents in the county while also providing a community gathering place.

The volunteer steering committee members, representing a range of organizations, participated in a design workshop and provided feedback for the final plan. The Family and Consumer Science (FCS) Extension Agent also collaborated on the project for the community garden plan and design that volunteers can implement. Two undergraduate students were hired through the Department of Landscape Architecture (UKLA) to organize and lead the workshop and feedback session as part of their practical training. The design team provided the community group with a community garden design along with one alternative design for a specific section of the garden. The community work group implemented the garden design which was dedicated in Fall 2016. Overall, the community gained insight about the design process and were educated about the planning and spatial layout of gardens in general, with a special focus on the needs of a commercial kitchen garden. In addition, the project provides a restful gathering space for residents and visitors while also furthering environmental education and awareness.