Starting September with Sages & Sagebrush


Off and running! On the second day of the semester we already hit the field to visit Westscape Wholesale Nursery, where we learned about the challenges and opportunities of designing native plant communities in the urban context. Later this week the sage of sage, Dr. Matthew Lavin, will guest lecture on MT ecosystems from valleys to mountains and principles for managing healthy native plant communities. This is part of a series of studio activities to discover and critically analyze the life cycle and ecology of designing landscapes. This week's theme is vegetation and soil. Following themes will cover water, materials and energy, and human health & well-being.

This fall, the Advanced Landscape Design studio will be part of an national initiative to integrate landscape performance principles into landscape architectural education, thanks to a Landscape Architecture Foundation education grant.

We are working with City of Bozeman Water Conservation Division on designing and demonstrating landscape alternatives that contribute to water resource resiliency, among many other benefits. Currently, about one third of Bozeman’s treated water goes toward irrigation. To compare conventional and sustainable landscape scenarios, students will be calculating landscape performance functions related to irrigation, stormwater, carbon sequestration, floristic quality, biodiversity, maintenance and construction costs, and human well-being. This will be the first service-learning project that directly incorporates landscape performance principles and metrics to show partners and stakeholders the potential value of sustainable features.