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The Grasslands Project

Arboretum Project Model

Graduate Landscape students in David Hill's Plant Spatiality course recently explored design possibilities for the urban meadow at Auburn’s very own Donald E. Davis Arboretum. Dedicated to the display of native woody plants of the Southeastern United States, the Davis Arboretum promotes ecological education through the study and observation of plants and their natural habitats. The students worked closely with Arboretum Curator Dee Smith to unpack potential didactic opportunities for the meadows that not only fulfilled the Arboretum’s educational goals but also resulted in an immersive landscape of plant textures. Each student approached the project individually, but common themes quickly emerged. Many of the proposals demonstrated the plant community of the native longleaf pine savannah, especially highlighting the quirky grass- and bottlebrush-stages of the native pine. Other design proposals exhibited native grass alternatives to the common lawn, while still others provided larval host plants for native pollinators. The design proposals together bear witness of the numerous diverse and beneficial educational opportunities within the Arboretum.

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