Submission by Planning Design Studio
Lake Land College, a public community college in rural central Illinois, recognized a need to modernize a tired and overgrown landscape on their campus. They initially had identified two priority projects; (1) to enhance their main entrance to bring the college's identity to the campus perimeter and (2) to breathe new life into two neglected sunken plazas in the college's central quads. They hired Planning Design Studio (PDS) to come up with concept plans to address these issues. However, during initial consultations with college leaders PDS saw the potential to expand the college's vision from a purely landscape design project to an integrated framework plan that brought together a multitude of other pressing issues on campus. College leaders enthusiastically embraced this holistic approach for their campus.
Planning Design Studio began the process by leading collaborative input sessions with master gardeners, facility managers, college executives, student services liaisons, horticulture and environmental science professors, and marketing leaders. From these sessions the project team began to conceptualize and later refine a set of initiatives to guide them through the process of framework building, such as:
1. A need to alleviate nutrient loading from adjacent agricultural areas into the two campus lakes - to improve habitat for aquatic life, beautify the college's namesake, and better connect the community to this critical natural amenity.
2. Inspire the college community to connect to an outdoor environment that reinforces teaching, research, learning, and outreach.