Briggs Avenue Demonstration Gardens
           Michelle Wallace, Extension Agent, Consumer Horticulture – Durham
                     North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

Table of Contents                                   Advisory Committee Members
Briggs Avenue Demonstration Gardens                          Treasurer:
                                                                 Kat Causey
Durham, NC – The Property             1               Durham County Master Gardener
Community and Volunteer Support       2-3
                                                                Beth Timson
The Program                           3                     Assistant Director
                                                        Durham Parks and Recreation
The Vision                            3-4

The Gardens                           4-6                     Dorothy Brokaw
                                                            Community Affairs
Why a Park and Garden                 6                   Office of the President
                                                     Durham Technical Community College
Project Build                         6

The Giving Tree                       7                         Clay Hudson
                                                           Horticulture Supervisor
What an Opportunity                   8              City of Durham County Government

                                                                Pat Murray
                                                           The Durham Skywriter

                                                                Carolyn Pugh
                                                             Assistant Principle
                                                            RN Harris Elementary

                                                                  Liz Dean
                                                     Peak Swirles & Cavallito Properties

                                                                  Kimi Dew
                                                         Nature Center Coordinator
                                                        Goodwill Industries of Eastern
                                                                North Carolina

                                                               Judy Clayton
                                                   East Coast Realty Investment Associates

                                                                Emily McCoy
                                                      Durham County Master Gardener

                                                              Jennifer Brooks
                                                          Watershed Conservationist
                                                    Soil and Water Conservation –Durham

                                                               Doug Sprouse
                                                         Prescribed Fire Coordinator
                                                               NC State Parks

                                                                Jim Coughlin
                                                         Master Gardener Volunteer

                                                           The proceeds from the sale will go toward an endow-
     Resource Development Committee                        ment fund established for the maintenance of this
     Emily McCoy                                           The property is on a west to northwest facing slope.
     Resource Development Consultant (Retired)/            98% of the property is wooded with mixed hardwood
     Master Gardener Volunteer
                                                           and pines. The Rocky Branch Creek is located on the
                                                           northern border of the property adjacent to Durham
     Judy Clayton
     Extension Volunteer                                   Technical Community College. The 100 year flood-
                                                           plain is also located along the creek and the City of
     Karin Douglas                                         Durham has a 30’ Sanitary Sewer Easement along the
     Resource Development Consultant /                     west side of the property.
     Master Gardener Volunteer

     William Hodder
     Resource Development Consultant
     Extension Volunteer

     Ken Coble
     Extension Volunteer

                                                                Community and Volunteer Support
                    The Property
                                                           In order to develop a program that meets the needs
The Briggs Avenue Demonstration Gardens will be
                                                           of the community as well as the requirements of the
located on Briggs Avenue south of Durham Technical         property’s conservation easement, an advisory com-
Community College. The east side of the property is
                                                           mittee was established. The members of the advi-
adjacent to a suburban office park (light industry)        sory committee represent city, county, private, pub-
that houses some of the following organizations and        lic, and non-profit organizations. These individuals
companies: East Coast Metal Distributors, Crocodile
                                                           not only represent their organizations but are mem-
Creek, Child Resource Center, and the Durham Em-
                                                           bers of the Durham and surrounding communities and
ployment Security Commission. West of the proper-          have a vested interest in the success of this project.
ty is a middle income housing development and RN
Harris Elementary School. The area directly south
                                                           The advisory committee participated in a workshop
of the property is undeveloped. The American To-           to establish a Mission Statement for the site and
bacco Trail entrance is located further down Briggs        was given a survey to determine the program “Wish
Avenue.                                                    List”. The Mission Statement reads:
In 2003, a developer donated 57acres of land to
                                                           The creation of an outdoor learning space where
North Carolina State University through the Land-
                                                           all people learn and interact with nature and take
scapes of Opportunities Program. The property is           that experience to create and enhance personal
owned by NC State University and will be managed by        and community well being.
the NC Cooperative Extension Service. The property
has a conservation easement owned by NC State in           In addition to the advisory committee, students
perpetuity. The property must be used for environ-         from NC State University and UNC-Chapel Hill
mental education and managed as open space. Two            helped further along the vision for the property.
(2) acre parcels have been divided out from the orig-
inal gift with the developer’s consent and will be sold.

NC State University Landscape Design Students par-      urban growth, natural resource conservation, bridg-
ticipated in two studio projects to develop a concep-   ing population diversity through a shared experiential
tual Master Plan for the Briggs Avenue Demonstra-       community garden, hands on outdoor learning lab
tion Landscape. In addition they developed concep-      (gardens) for both consumers and professionals to
tuals for several of the demonstration and communi-     improve learning impacts through user empowerment,
ty gardens. UNC-Chapel Hill Public Policy students      and an outdoor learning center (pavilions, amphithea-
conducted a study to determine:                         ter) which can be used by other organizations within
1) The potential impact this space will have on the     the community for public benefit. This park will
community and the region.                               serve as a model for community driven planning and
2) Whether the program will meet the needs of the       design and natural resource conservation education in
community.                                              growing urban communities.
3) Other possible uses of this place.
                                                                                 The Vision
More than 360 individuals participated in the survey
and over 90% felt that this place will benefit and be
utilized by the community.

                   The Program

The Briggs Avenue Demonstration Gardens will pro-
vide a location where individuals can experience
hands on training in the best management practices
related to:
Natural Resource Management
Forestry Stewardship
Soil Science
Integrated Pest Management
Storm Water Management
                                                        Conceptual Master Plan           *See Appendix A
The program layout of this site will include:
Universal Trail                                         The Conceptual Master Plan generated by the NC
Wildlife Ecology Exploratory Trails                     State Landscape Design students under the direction
Local Art in the Garden trail                           of Assistant Professor Pat Lindsey, MLA, PhD, illu-
Health and Fitness trail                                strates that the majority of the site will remain ma-
Outdoor Amphitheater                                    naged woodlands with an extensive trail system. The
Community Gardens                                       gardens and amphitheater are concentrated so that
Demonstration Gardens:                                  the majority of the site is undisturbed. There is a
        Rain Garden and Parking Lot                     hierarchy of trails including a universal trail that en-
        Heritage Garden                                 circles the site allowing individuals of differing abili-
        Home Demonstration Garden                       ties to engage in the proposed activities. Off of the
        Children’s Garden                               universal trail is a trail through the garden which
        Plant Professional Garden                       exhibits local art, a health and fitness trail, descrip-
        International Garden                            tive nature trail, and several off road trails for indi-
        Wetland and Wildlife Garden                     viduals wanting a more rigorous hiking experience.
                                                        Finally, three environmental parking lots have been
The goal of this project is to establish a multi-use    located with a trail connection to Durham Technical
park that addresses the needs of the ever growing       Community College that will allow for use of their
community which include: loss of natural public space   parking facility for special events and provide the
due to urban growth, storm water issues - a result of

college and nearby elementary school easy access to
the park.

                    The Gardens

The gardens will provide a place for hands on learn-
ing, demonstration, and engagement, as well as pro-
vide another destination for the community and re-
gion for open space recreation. Gardening is one of
the primary pastimes in America. It is a multi-billion
                                                         Main Entry and Secondary Entries
dollar industry in North Carolina alone. These gar-
dens will provide a space where consumers can learn
                                                         The Main Entry and Secondary Entries serve to:
hands on best management practices that may be
                                                          1) Welcome individuals to the space.
applied in urban areas. The application of the best
                                                         2) Orient users directionally and make them aware of
management practices when put into use can have a
                                                         their options.
large impact on water quality and the environment.
                                                         3) Educate users of the mission and goals of the
                                                         4) Inform them of upcoming events.
                                                         These spaces are defined for pedestrian users utiliz-
                                                         ing illustrative signage. Benches are provided in this
                                                         area to accommodate users that may be meeting
                                                         other individuals.

                                                         From the main entry users may enter the Heritage

The Rain Garden and Park Lot

The entry to the gardens and park begins with the
Rain Garden and Park Lot. The goals of the Rain
Garden / Park Lot are:
1) Create a space that feels more like a park and less
like a lot.
                                                         Heritage Garden
2) Demonstrate how Rain Gardens manage storm wa-
ter and provide signage that explains and illustrates    The intent of this garden is to address the cultural
the function of rain gardens and their role in remov-    heritage that farming has had on this county and this
ing pollutants from storm water.                         region. While much of Durham County is now urban,
3) Demonstrate a visually pleasing Rain Garden.          the economy of Durham and much of North Carolina
4) Provide defined space for both pedestrians and        today is a result of the farming done here. An old
vehicles.                                                tobacco barn is used to transition users from “what
5) Establish the first entry gateway that identifies     was to what is”. From the Heritage Garden the user
the park / garden.                                       will be faced with directional choices of either mov-
                                                         ing to the Community Gardens and Home Demonstra-

tion Gardens, the Outdoor Amphitheater, or the           The Home Demonstration Garden will provide a
Children’s Garden and International Garden. The          place for learning about sustainable gardening prac-
Plant Professional Garden will act as a transitional     tices that can be introduced to the home landscape
Garden that will tie many of these spaces together.      and garden. The site will host a composting demon-
                                                         stration, a solar energy demonstration, a grey water
                                                         irrigation system, as well as an environmentally
                                                         friendly restroom facility. There will also be an area
                                                         for a small outdoor classroom, and an ephemeral gar-
                                                         den display section where professional landscapers
                                                         and civic organizations may sponsor and install a gar-
                                                         den to provide seasonal interest.

                                                         The International Garden (no illustration) ad-
                                                         dresses both the variety of gardening styles availa-
                                                         ble and our changing population. While many plants
                                                         come from around the world, they are used very dif-
                                                         ferently in the landscape.

Community Garden

The Community Garden will provide the Durham cit-
izens with rentable plots for a nominal fee. Commu-      The Children’s Garden
nity gardens help build communities and have the po-
tential to break down generational, ethnic, and racial   The Children’s Garden is designed around the theme
barriers. While it is up to the individual renters in    “The Earth Is Our Treasure.” The goal is to stimu-
the garden to maintain their plots, the layout of this   late a child’s interest in gardening, the outdoors, and
garden will allow it to remain visually interesting by   the environment at an early age. This stimulation will
the rest of the community. An open air structure is      plant the next generation of “seeds” and create fu-
proposed for community events and 2 community sto-       ture gardeners and stewards of the environment.
rage sheds will be provided for housing tools.           The garden is entered through an entrance gateway
                                                         made to look like a Pirate’s Ship with a “treasure
                                                         map” of the garden and a lookout mast. Individual
                                                         users have the choice of entering the garden
                                                         through the ship or by climbing a rope ladder and
                                                         sliding down a slide into the garden. The garden has
                                                         a series of activity rooms including an endangered
                                                         species room, a maze that leads to a reduce, recycle,
                                                         reuse “cave” and 3 secret rooms, an orchard with
                                                         picnic tables, community garden plots, and a treasure
                                                         chest activity area. Continue
Home Demonstration Garden

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