Diversifying the Vegetatiion in the McCain Courtyard
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Dalhousie University is an institution which recognizes the importance of sustainability and environmental awareness - this is expressed through its signing of the Talloires Declaration, various student groups, and the recent hiring of a Sustainability Director. That being said, there is always room for improvement - especially with respect to Dalhousie’s green spaces. This group project focuses on redesigning the natural interior of the open-air courtyard of the McCain so that it provides a space for interaction, learning, and inspiration. The McCain courtyard was chosen because it is a relatively blank canvas and also because it is a hub of student, faculty, and staff activity. Research methods such as questionnaires and face-to-face interviews were used to determine what the Dalhousie community would like to see incorporated into the space, and also how the area could be made as sustainable and low-maintenance as possible. Based on quantitative and qualitative results, it was determined that a space containing native plant species which promoted interaction and education was desired. The final proposed plan incorporates these suggestions, and hopefully can be used as a method of sparking other sustainable or green space initiatives, while promoting environmental awareness.