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July 11, 2008

Horticulture students win design scholarships

horticulture students
From left: Dr. Pat Lindsey and some of her horticulture class -- Chris Reid, Erica Pineiro, Chase Erwin -- at the Wakefield 'Renaissance' site.

Christopher Reid and Chase Erwin, recent North Carolina State University graduates, this spring were each awarded a $1,500 Wakefield Development Co. scholarship for a drought-tolerant landscape design for a public village green at Renaissance Park community near Raleigh.

Reid’s and Erwin’s winning design, “Olio Trace,” which combines elements of historic Tryon Palace architecture and an appeal to Generation X lifestyles, includes drought-tolerant ornamental grasses, trees and perennials, as well as open-space pockets.

On-site work began on implementing the design in mid-June, Erwin said.

Reed, Erwin and other students in Dr. Pat Lindsey’s principles in plant design course (HS 416) in the College’s Horticultural Science Department created and presented drought-tolerant design plans. The class visited the site early in the semester.

In the first project of this kind in the department, Lindsey asked the class to incorporate both low-maintenance “hardscapes,” which include structural elements and produce a strong sense of design; and “softscapes,” which include a plant and grass selection attractive to birds and butterflies. They also had to include an educational component for homeowners.

”This project was huge,” said Erwin. “It took two months and probably a couple hundred hours collectively between us to complete. But the opportunity was too great not to put everything into it.

“Money is always motivation for a college student,” he said, “but for us, the idea of seeing a real design come into fruition was the ultimate push. We do countless designs in school that never get implemented so the appeal starts to wear off towards your senior year. You find yourself saying, ‘Oh, just another design that vanishes into thin air.’ So when we were selected, the excitement and relief were immeasurable. It was the icing on the cake for our senior year.”

The winning team was chosen by a panel of industry experts, with input from Renaissance Park residents.

“We were thrilled with the professional quality of work we received from the students,” said John Myers, Wakefield Development Co. president, in a press release. “All three projects were outstanding, and made our decision difficult. With ‘Olio Trace,’ specifically, there is a true sense of human scale and intimacy. We look forward to implementing this design into the community.”
-A. Latham

Posted by Art at July 11, 2008 02:15 PM