Place Game Scores:
Comfort and Image: 2
Access and Linkages: 2
Users and Activities: 3
1. What do you like best about this place?
I like the location of this place. Not too crowded by tall buildings, it is a very sunny and open space considering its location is smack in the middle of an urban environment. Situated in the middle of campus and the Wabash Arts Corridor, the garden sees a lot of foot traffic. Working in the garden during the summer, passer-bys always stop to ask questions about the space and about hand papermaking. People are surprised to learn that paper can be made from plants and many want to know how they can get involved. Unfortunately, being that it is a campus space, the garden remains inaccessible to non-Columbians. On the flip side, our neighbors and visitors are seem happy with the fact that we are doing something to liven the empty lot. It is at least (for now) enjoyable to look at…and will be much more so come this summer when Phase 2 construction begins.
2. List three things that you would do to improve this place that could be done right away and that wouldn’t cost a lot:
- Find extra furniture around school (preferably park benches or picnic tables) and place in the lot to fill the space
- tear down fence (though the school would absolutely not approve this) or plant ivy to run up the back fences
- place student sculpture artwork in the lot
3. What three changes would you make in the long term that would have the biggest impact?
- advance the landscaping; expanding/growing a bigger garden; planting trees
- making the space accessible to everyone at Columbia and perhaps the general public
- adding classes to curriculum that take place in the garden
4. Ask someone who is in the “place” what they like about it and what they would do to improve it? Their answer:
“It’s amazing that it’s student founded and it’s really cool if it’s really being used for material, but yeah it’s not very pretty but I know that’s because of winter.”
5. What local partnerships or local talent can you identify that could help implement some of your proposed improvements?
Through/at Columbia: Campus Facilities, Campus Recycling, Student Initiatives, Student Organizations, Student Artists at-large, science classes
Local partnerships: Wabash Arts Corridor, Hilton Hotel, Chicago CTA, Caribou coffee, Buddy Guys (could we host an evening of outdoor music?), City of Chicago (parks and rec.?), local gardening centers, South Loop community organizations