Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUL 2014

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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156 Landscape Architect and Specifier News s t e w a rd s h i p Exeter Gardens - Inspiring a Community Left Over the course of 18 months, five Mahan Rykiel Associates staff volunteers worked with Baltimore residents to establish parameters for Exeter Gardens, incorporate donations, and coordinate construction. They developed concept plans and generated budget cost estimates. Right City Springs Elementary School is now partnered with the community; children help maintain the garden, and use it as an educational resource. Students are conducting experiments to see which soils work best and if staking increases the productivity of pea plants. Landscape Architect & Specifier News (ISSN 1060-9962) is published monthly by Landscape Communications, Inc., 14771 Plaza Drive Suite M, Tustin, California 92780 Phone: 714-979-LASN (5276); Fax: 714-434-3862. Online version (ISSN 2150-9123). Copyright 2014 by Landscape Communications, Inc. Printed in the U.S.A. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission. Periodicals postage paid at Tustin, CA and additional mailing offices. Subscription Inquiries: Send new or renewal notices or change of address (send both new and old addresses) to Landscape Architect & Specifier News, P.O. Box 1126, Tustin, CA 92781- 1126. Subscriptions: Licensed/Registered Landscape Architects free of charge. Others, Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii & Canada: 12 issues, $34.95, 24 issues, $55.00, Mexico: 12 issues, $65.00 per year. Additional copies may be purchased by contacting LASN at or 714-979-5276 ext. 115. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Landscape Architect & Specifier News, P.O. Box 1126, Tustin, CA 92781-1126. Like more than 24 million other Americans, the residents of Jonestown in Baltimore live in a food desert – a community where there is little or no access to affordable, healthy food. The goal of creating Exeter Gardens was to create a community oasis where families are able to grow those healthy foods themselves. Mahan Rykiel Associates Landscape Architects of Baltimore provided pro-bono services to help the residents design and build this community garden on an abandoned lot. Exeter Gardens lies at the heart of the former Flaghouse Courts, a high-rise public housing community riddled with crime and decay. Demolished in 2001, the community has been replaced with low-rise buildings and traditional homes, on a site that is reconnected with the city grid and adjacent neighborhoods. The gardens project will have a valuable role in the continued revitalization of this important neighborhood. Working through the city's Adopt-a-Lot program, these volunteers reviewed two different sites, evaluating them in terms of social impact and constructability. Whole Foods held a 5 percent day to benefit the garden, and MRA staffed the store to explain the project and generate enthusiasm with shoppers. Working alongside WPM Management, MRA helped to contact vendors and get donated materials for construction. In late June 2013, Mahan Rykiel staff and a variety of other local organizations (listed below) joined neighbors to build the garden in one weekend. With the help of over 100 volunteers, the garden became a reality, complete with a mural painted by a local artist. At the end of the weekend, Baltimore Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings- Blake, participated in the festivities by working with kids to plant herbs in the new garden. As one of the Founders of the garden, Lindsay Thompson, said, "Exeter Gardens is more than a community garden; it is designed to be a place for learning from experience about how we can grow our own food and what it takes to live in harmony with nature." The once neglected, concrete, eyesore has become a source of pride almost overnight. By Cynthia Fraser and Lydia Kimball, Mahan Rykiel Associates If you have a project where landscape architectural design services were provided pro bono, you can submit your Stewardship proposal to: or call Larry Shield at (714) 979-5276 x125. Story Ideas? PhotoS CourteSy of Mahan rykiel aSSoCiateS

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