The purpose of this project is an educational Recycling Zone Prototype located along a premier corridor within the campus surrounded by campus living learning centers demonstrating sustainable design through landscape and construction processes. Literature on student involvement and physical campus environments suggests that a well-designed campus may positively influence behavior and set an example for sustainable life practices that transcend the college experience. Though the University has a well-developed recycling program, it is not visually well represented; and therefore, does not highlight the University’s achievements in sustainability. Understanding this need, prime locations for the implementation for the Recycling Zone have been identified. This project aligns directly with the University Strategic Plan goal for Creating A Sense of Place whereby students, faculty, and staff are connected to the University, not only in school spirit, but also through a well-designed built environment.
Innovations and challenges existed within the location of the project. The area was selected for future development within the University Master Plan; however, the design was simply a tree and sod finish without specific attention to creating an outdoor learning space. Therefore, this design elevated the underutilized site location to one that exemplifies campus community by creating a “pocket park” to pause and experience sustainable design as a product of new walking paths, seating pods, and a recycling zone.