Our Quad

Our Quad
Photo Credit: Janine DeBaise

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Element Five: The Design

Hi everyone! The final week of our project has come, and we would like to share with you our design for a new quad! This new quad design takes into consideration both aesthetics and functionality, as we believe it is imperative to include both. In our scaled design, we have added numerous new features, including the following:
  • An improved rain garden that will naturally reduce water buildup on the quad, using plants included in our rain garden brochure.
  • A moveable fire pit that will allow for good times and social gatherings.
  • A terraced slope for even terrain and a place for people to gather and enjoy the quad.
  • Various plants which are suited for the soil conditions of our quad and will add shade for students. 
  • Open space to play frisbee, soccer, and other fun activities.
  • A permeable sidewalk surrounding the quad, allowing for improved water runoff and less salt usage in winter.
The first diagram shows the permeable sidewalk and terracing features we have included. The second diagram shows the location of various plants and the movable fire pit. The third diagram shows the layout of the rain garden and the plants we will include in it.
 Quad Layout 1--Features

Quad Layout 2--Plants

Rain Garden

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Element Four: Rain Garden Brochure

Howdy y'all! This week we put together a brochure with the purpose of educating students about rain gardens with some short prose summarizing the benefits of the system. The brochure contains the soil requirements for a rain garden and seven different plants that would be suitable in a garden on the quad.

Some of the plants from the Illick Hall rain garden were used in the new plan, but only ones that are capable of living in an environment with complete sun exposure. The plants were researched using the United States Department of Agriculture website, which gave information on the pH, growth in sunlight, and water usage of each species. We selected plants that tolerate a pH of 6-7, do well in sunlight, and have a high water usage.

We distributed the brochures throughout Moon Library so that students and professors could read them. Here are some pictures of the brochure, and a student (Gavin Cohen) reading up on rain garden philosophy:

Photo credit: Connon Thomas

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Element Three: Soil Evaluation

Hello everyone! This week we looked at ESF quad soil data to predict what plants the could thrive in the current soil conditions. This information was collected from Professor Russell Briggs and Assistant Professor Tim Toland. We created a prezi to better organize charts and tables about the soil, and suggest some plants that could be implemented into the quad's new design. Click here to view our prezi!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thanks to everyone who participated in our twitter chat last night! If you would like to see the highlights click here!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Element Two Follow Up

Hi everyone! Here are some of the results of the survey we gave:

78% of all those surveyed spend less than an hour a week participating in activities on their quad when it is nice outside. On average, however, students spend a little more than one hour per week on their quad.

91% of those surveyed say their favorite activity on the quad is just relaxing or reading a book. 49% also said frisbee was one of their favorite activities. Earthweek (an ESF event) and tie-dying were other activities that students enjoyed on the quad.

A large portion (89%) of those surveyed would love to see more activities and events on their quad (such as outdoor concerts, organized games, etc.), but the majority say that they would only go if they were fun and interesting events.

One of the major things students love about their quad is how it is the hub of the campus and is a good space to play and relax. One overwhelming suggestion for improvement is the implementation of more trees, grass, and better scenery. Another flaw about ESF's quad that many people pointed out is the downward slope and the poor drainage. On the contrary, a few students say they believe the quad is just fine as is.

Once again, thank you all for participating in our survey! If you haven't yet filled it out and have anything else to add, feel free to write something.
Tonight at 9pm we are hosting a Twitter chat! We want your opinions on how you feel about your quad. What do you like? What don't you like? What can be improved?



We look forward to chatting with you!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Element Two: Survey

For our second element, we created a survey which questions how people interact with their campus quad. Please help us by filling out the survey. Your contribution will aid in our assessment of what aspects of the green space are important to students.

                                          University of Washington
                                          Photographed by: Joe Mabel