Service-Learning for Silos

Matt Deane site plan line work


This fall my HORT 432 studio worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and a Citizens Action Group on master planning for Silos Recreation Area (Silos), a 250 acre campground on Canyon Ferry Lake reservoir in Townsend, Montana. The site is 45 minutes south of Helena and a statewide destination for water recreation enthusiasts, offering a marina, numerous boat launches, and amazing waterfront views to the Big Belt Mountains. Building off a recently completed Framework Plan by Robert Peccia & Associates, the students were tasked with envisioning master plan ideas.

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The student’s schematic master plan called for six distinct districts based on land use, programming, management scenarios, and water and land recreation nodes. For the final review, students further developed site design ideas for each district. The students presented their final work to design professionals, County Commissioners, and other community leaders – an audience with whom not many undergraduates have had the opportunity to interface! I was so proud of their professionalism.

Overall, our work provided concepts and visuals for ongoing discussions among stakeholders regarding site potentials as they progress toward applying for further funding, and ultimately, an approved site plan and construction. I feel lucky to be part of these service-learning projects – the applied context energizes students and I am continually energized by engaged citizens and their compassion for improving Montana landscapes.

Matt Deane rendering site plan