World Garden Commons Design Process

During the neighborhood engagement phase of The Fargo Project, the local artist team set out to ask individuals within the community, and especially from the neighborhoods surrounding Rabanus Park, what they would like to experience in the new landscape. From activities and discussions, the project team condensed this information into four different aspects which seemed to stand out as important to the community. Ideas emphasized are: more plants, spaces for celebration, spaces to exercise, and an emphasis on the elements.

Plants – A recurring theme among community members is the desire for more vegetation in Fargo. Many different ideas such include community gardens, wildflower patches, native plantings, orchards, and wetlands. Ethno botanist Linda Different Cloud visited in late March 2012 to help members of The Fargo Project understand the different ways plantings can be integrated effectively and meaningfully into a storm water basin.

Celebration – Locally, there is a strong interest in creating more spaces which celebrate culture and an awareness of our diverse community including space for festivals, amphitheater, musical performances, and pathways for relaxation and contemplation.

Exercise – Part of the design challenge is to create a welcoming environment for summer and winter outdoor activities and favored forms of exercise.  For example, safe and inviting pathways for walking and running, designated areas for gardening, sledding and skating. Part of the design challenge is to create spaces used for outdoor activity all year round.

The Elements – Certain features are always present on an outdoor site, thus learning to adjust and embrace those elements help enhance the quality of the site. For example, a shelterbelt helps protect from the wind and a temporary shelter offer protection from the sun. Natural playgrounds and sculpted terracing emphasize the earth. Finally, water is the major catalyst within this project, and design features such as creeks, fountains, and ponds emphasize this element.

World Garden Commons where Art, Community and Ecology converge as Prairie for the People