The concept for this garden was initiated by Madeline Dunn and Michael Petzak during their winter 2013 semester independent study with Mike Shriberg. Both peers took Environment 391: Sustainability and the Campus and submitted deliverables at the end of the semester that included the ignition of satellite permaculture gardens, to the University of Michigan Campus Farm, on central and north campuses. There has been a great deal of interest on the part of the Michigan Community Scholars Program as well as within the Residential College at East Quad Residential Hall to implement a living laboratory (permaculture garden) in one of the courtyards at the quad. East Quad is home to the MSCP and the RC. Most of the students in these programs live in the building therefore making them key stakeholders in the permaculture garden.
The current East Quad permaculture garden coordinator is David Schoem. David is Director of the Michigan Community Scholars Program and teaches in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan. At Michigan, Dr. Schoem has served as Assistant Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and, also, as Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He has played a leadership role there in many of the major initiatives in undergraduate education, diversity, and civic engagement in curricular, pedagogical, and co-curricular areas.
There was a lot of input on what the space could look like and much of the final product will rely on the input of those mentioned above but a few of the ideas include: raised beds, permeable pavers, a seed starting house, an amphitheater, an outdoor classroom, art pedestals, a meditation space, and benches for students, staff, and faculty to utilize: all of which are handicap accessible. The soil has been tested during the renovation process and has been cleared of all contaminants. Diana Adzemovic, the Design Project Manager for the East Quad renovations, is very excited about this opportunity and mentioned that a garden space was originally sketched into possible plans for the space after the East Quad renovations were complete. The design phase is still in progress with the ground breaking scheduled for Spring 2014.
Some initial designs include the following: