Top and Bottom: Landscape fronting the Massachusetts Avenue entrance to the Kogod School of Business
A version of this article originally appeared in the Winter 2012 edition of The Facilities Visionary Newsletter
For those of you who have known AU for a long time, you probably recall the parking lot on Massachusetts Avenue adjacent to the university’s main entrance. For many years, this two-acre parking area greeted visitors as they entered the campus.
Three years ago, in conjunction with the expansion of the Kogod School of Business, this site was transformed into a graceful park-like setting that now offers a warm welcome, inviting visitors onto AU's campus arboretum. The Kogod Gardens now feature handicap-accessible walkways and promenades, two green roofs, a rain garden, a large central lawn, and extensively planted landscaping.
This rejuvenated landscape was recently recognized and selected for a Grand Award from the local chapter of the Landscape Contractor’s Association (LCA). It was the only university project selected by LCA this year, and was featured on their website and in their magazine "Groundworks."
Congratulations to landscape architect Paul Davis, who designed the project and spent many hours on-site managing the construction. Davis now recalls one exceptional story from the transformation of the former lot. During construction, Davis would often talk with a gentleman who would walk his dog by the site every day. This man, usually dressed in blue jeans and a t-shirt, would ask Davis questions about the project and it was evident that he had a growing interest in the transformation that was taking place before his eyes. It turns out his interest really was sincere as he contacted the development office and pledged a $50,000 donation to the campus arboretum to have a walkway named in recognition of his parents. The lesson learned, as Davis says: “Always be kind to strangers.”
If you would like to be directly involved in the continued growth and transformation of AU's award-winning campus arboretum, be sure to participate in Campus Beautification Day on Tuesday, April 17th. This AU tradition, part of Earth Week 2012, will feature nineteen planting sites around campus, including expansion of the rain garden that is part of the Kogod Gardens. For more information about Campus Beautification Day 2012, please visit our website.
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