Spring-Fall 2015, Internship, 2 Students

The North Limestone (NoLi) Community Development Corporation (hereinafter as NoLi) is a neighborhood organization in Lexington, KY, that is actively working on improving the lives of its community members. In Fall 2014, NoLi partnered with the UK Departments of Landscape Architecture (UKLA) and Community and Leadership Development (UK CLD) along with the Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) that are within the physical boundary of the North Limestone area and applied to the inaugural UK Sustainability Challenge Grant Program. The collaborative project was awarded $17,350 to facilitate the initiation of a genuine community-generated vision for the neighborhood’s public spaces and cultural future. This effort also leveraged NoLi’s Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to create a community informed master plan for the cultural development of the North Limestone Corridor. The collaborative community-based partnership structured and provided resources and tools for community leaders in the North Limestone neighborhood in their efforts for creative placemaking which is a nationally recognized approach that leverages the creativity of people from various backgrounds and income levels to create vibrant places that people value. The North Limestone area has two parks, several murals that were designed by a variety of artists and a monthly neighborhood street festival (Night Market).

Radical Walking,” a form of community asset and needs assessment, was formalized as a program and tool where youth in the North Limestone area were invited to participate in the project. FCPS believed that the collaboration would allow for building democracy with students while also stimulating creative thinking. During the spring of 2015, two UK landscape architecture student interns supported Radical Walking activities and public space and arts survey activities after the North Limestone youth and students went on walks with their teachers along North Limestone to the Lexington Art League in Castlewood Park. Through the Radical Walks, youth were able to voice what they observed, sensed and thought regarding the public spaces and arts in the North Limestone neighborhood. Youth were empowered to express and represent dreams that can become creative outcomes through filling out surveys, engaging in mapping activities, and posting prioritized comments on posters. Youth voiced what concerned them and what they would like changed or improved as well as their vision for the neighborhood built environment. The different types of activities for individuals (surveys) and groups (mapping and sticky notes) also gave youth the opportunity to learn about what their peers’ thought.

Simultaneously, in Spring 2015, one student worked on an independent study project which was located in the North Limestone neighborhood in Lexington, KY. The student submitted a project proposal that outlined the goals, objectives, and deliverables to conduct a physical assessment of the North Limestone corridor which contributes to the Cultural Plan being developed by the North Limestone Community Development Corporation. Ultimately, the project scope expanded from an assessment to a design proposal for Art Rehabilitation. The student submitted the project titled Art Rehabilitation in the Urban Landscape: North Limestone Corridor to the 2015 ASLA Student Award competition.