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BY KOFI BOONE, ASLA

A civic hydrology park emerges on Duke University’s campus.

FROM THE DECEMBER 2019 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

Having lived in Durham, North Carolina, for more than a decade, I’ve come to realize that it’s almost impossible to discuss Durham without referencing Duke University, and vice versa. Duke is a private university, and its West Campus, although in the city, stands apart and within Duke Forest, a vast patch of woods created through a component of a century-old Olmsted Brothers master plan. The campus landscapes cultivated by Duke offer a stark experiential contrast to the eclectic environmental qualities of a rapidly suburbanizing region. Duke’s campus is a big draw for wedding receptions, picnics, walking and biking, and the occasional respite from nearby urban life. Durhamites regularly use the campus as an extended city park system. I’ve visited Duke’s landscapes many times with family and students in search of memorable settings in an educational environment.

Duke Pond, one of the newest campus landscapes, has been an increasingly popular attraction. On a recent visit to Duke Pond with my daughter, she waded into shallow water to scoop up a tadpole and said, “This place is kinda scruffy, but I like it!” When I relayed this story to Warren T. Byrd Jr., FASLA, the renowned landscape architect who concluded his career at Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects with this project, he laughed. He was thrilled that younger generations felt comfortable engaging the landscape directly. Enabling the informal discovery of ecology was what he had in mind. On a campus populated with works by many leading landscape architects, most of them manicured and tightly controlled, the pond offers an example of a different aesthetic as well as the roles landscape can play in exciting the next generation about environmental stewardship. (more…)

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Credit: Andy Stephenson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Credit: Andy Stephenson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Find the LAM staff out and about in May and June:

May 6–7

Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies Symposium, Washington, D.C.

June 1–4

2016 Vernacular Architecture Forum, Durham, North Carolina

June 10–11

2016 Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, Philadelphia

June 13–19

Dredgefest California, Berkeley, California

June 21–23

A Century of Design in the Parks, Santa Fe, New Mexico

You can also find Landscape Architecture Magazine this spring at the following shows:

May 19–21

AIA Convention 2016, Philadelphia

And, as always, at more than 200 Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.

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