Reimagining the Education System: The Education Connector Trail and the Singing Forest

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Ellen Warfield (designer)
Paula Meijerink (studio professor)
Spring 2019
North and Central America->United States->Ohio->Franklin (county)->Columbus
This was a student project by Ellen Warfield for Paula Meijerink's course LARCH 6920 in Spring 2019.
The primary goal in reimagining the education system is to create an environment that prioritizes exposure to trees and the natural world from a young age. Through this exposure, students will spend time among trees in elementary school, learn to evaluate the needs and benefits associated with the urban tree canopy in middle school, and implement tree planting projects in high school. The Education Connector Trail serves to facilitate this process, connecting individual educational institutions to each other and to the neighborhoods where they reside. Through use of the trail system, students and community members can more easily access existing urban tree canopy and participate in efforts that support the growth of this canopy. The trail system will put focus on the role of education in shaping the treed landscape. The Singing Forest serves as an example of a high school project and an attempt to consider local culture when planning tree canopy projects. Sitting along the Education Connector Trail and near Columbus Downtown High School, the Singing Forest will be easily accessible. Further, the design utilizes the individual tree characteristics and music theory to connect the design to the Stanton’s Sheet Music store on site. In this way, visitors to the site can form a connection with the site’s trees, a Columbus business, and with the students who frequent the neighborhood. Overall, the goal in reimagining the education system is to implement changes to the way individuals interact with trees from a young age, in order to create a culture of caring for the environment, and more specifically, the urban tree canopy. When successful, Downtown Columbus would contain an extensive trail network, connecting a multitude of engaging treed sites.

Project Location: 330 S 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215
Landscape Architecture
LARCH 6920
Academic Class