Students in the Landscape Architecture 340 Site Design studio worked with the National Agricultural Library to develop a program and recommend a Low Impact Development (LID) master plan for the 12 acre site surrounding the NAL Abraham Lincoln Building in Beltsville, Md. The students produced a site analysis that formulated guiding conclusions about natural, built, and sociological systems as they presently exist.
To better understand the program for the intended site design, students researched LID techniques and met with NAL administrators and staff. The students learned hands-on about wetlands, a major component of LID, through a canoe trip down the Patuxent River and a visit to an award winning wetland designed by their Instructor Dennis Nola. Students also met with agricultural experts to better understand practices such as apple orchard design.
After extensive research the students made suggestions for improvements to the site that would benefit the NAL employees, the public, and the environment. Suggestions included educational initiatives in the landscape (including the addition of an apple orchard that would educate visitors about the history of apple development in the United States) and the use of LID techniques related to the retention and infiltration of storm water runoff by utilizing rain gardens, wetlands, reforestation, and bio-retention swales. Through a careful design and information gathering processes students searched for design precedent in built work; interacted with Plant Science faculty regarding historical information about agriculture and apple development; and produced plans, models, brochures, and illustrations to communicate their well-developed final concepts.
Each team’s final design concepts are available in further detail: comming VERY soon.