Real-World ExperiencePosted Jul. 1, 2010
Junior Horticulture student Paul Snyder took his classroom knowledge to the next level when creating a landscape design for the new addition at Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center. Snyder’s plans will be used to install learning gardens around the building. Snyder incorporated the center’s needs into his Horticulture Practicum class after hearing that a student volunteer was wanted.
“The goal of the practicum class was to apply everything I have learned thus far in my college classes into one project,” Snyder explains. “With the project, I strived to create a functional landscape design that beautified the property and provided educational and wildlife viewing opportunities. Since the Center’s goal is to educate the public on wildlife and nature, I decided to include various garden areas with patios that serve as outdoor classrooms. This helps to continue the interior’s educational theme to the outside gardens.”
Snyder’s designs consist of a landscape master plan with support pictures and soil test results, along with fundraising and volunteer opportunities.
“The overall project in itself was very challenging. It was one of the first large design projects that has had a real site, seeing as most of our projects are fictitious in nature,” Snyder explains.
Because many organisms rely on native plants for food and shelter, it was important that Snyder not use non-native plants, which he enjoys incorporating into his work. “It was a challenge to stick with only native plant material,” he says. “As a horticulturalist and a plant nerd, I like to use unusual plants, some of which are not native, but here it was important to use native plants.” The project is set to span three to five years with the first phase hopefully starting this fall.
Currently Snyder is interning for Secrest Arboretum, which is part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster. He will graduate next year.