Competition challenges students to design garden space

Sept. 8, 2015 | by Maija Inveiss

Allen Centennial Gardens, a popular botanical centerpiece on campus, is offering students a fun way to learn about garden design.

A new Garden Design Competition is open to UW–Madison students across all disciplines, from landscape architecture to engineering to communications. Teams of two to four students will compete for a $500 scholarship and the opportunity to execute their winning design in the garden during the spring.

As a way to start the competition, the Allen Centennial Gardens is hosting a kick-off meeting September 9, 6-7:30 p.m. Ben Futa, the director of the gardens, says that the meeting can help interested students find potential teammates.

“This is specifically for one individual who has heard about it and would like to do it, but doesn’t have a team to be with, sort of a networking opportunity,” Futa says.

Through the competition, Futa says he hopes to engage more students with the garden and provide hands-on learning experiences.

“Our landscape architecture and horticulture students in particular really don’t get this sort of real-world experience through their programming,” Futa says. “In this case, the winning team will have to design something in a budget, have to source the materials locally, help put the final pieces together and actually install the final design.”

Student teams can sign up now for the competition. Individuals are encouraged to attend the kick-off meeting for information and networking.