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College of Environment and Design

Two UGA CED Students Win Top Award From the American Society of Landscape Architects

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Devyn Quick (MLA ’18) and Arianne Wolfe (MLA ’18) have just been given an Honor Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) for their work on District Hill Cemetery in Chickamauga, Ga., in the northwest corner of the state. The two recent graduates of the UGA College of Environment and Design won recognition in the communications category for their work on a master plan of this historic African American cemetery. The competition is part of ASLA’s annual nation-wide competition for both professional and educational works and is highly regarded in the field of landscape design.

The District Hill Cemetery project was part of Associate Professor Doug Pardue’s 2017 graduate level studio. It was funded in part by the Lyndhurst Foundation through a grant that is supporting work in a five county region of northwest Georgia under the direction of Danny Bivins and the Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. (The Georgia Downtown Renaissance Partnership does master plans and helps implement strategic plans throughout the state.)

Arianne WolfeDevyn Quick

Wolfe and Quick and fellow studio students met with Joyce and Tom Harrison who live adjacent to the cemetery. Joyce has relatives in the cemetery, which was established in 1898, and she and Tom serve as key community contacts. The Harrisons are currently leading the cemetery plan’s implementation process. The class also engaged with Matt Whitaker, a professional landscape architect and graduate of the CED (MLA ‘01) who owns a firm in nearby Chattanooga, Tn., and whose expertise lies in the use of native grasses at historic sites.

To honor the lives of the deceased African Americans buried at District Hill, the students devised a planting plan featuring hundreds of white narcissus bulbs that will emerge in spring, invoking the memory of the many people who contributed to life in the community but whose graves remain unmarked. (White is a color often associated with African American cemetery iconography.) The plan marks known grave sites with disk-shaped white granite markers and includes a granite pathway throughout.

Chickamauga is part of the Chattanooga, TN-GA Statistical Area and is widely known as the site of the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Until recently, the lives of people buried in District Hill Cemetery have gone unnoticed but for relatives and historians. The ASLA award statement praised the students’ plan for its role in historic preservation and commemoration through landscape design. According to Devyn Quick, the most challenging part was developing a very minimal, “light touch” design that still respected the natural beauty of the site, honored all those who are buried there, and educated the public about its deep connection to the history of Chickamauga. 

Arianne Wolfe is currently working in Charleston for Erin Stevens (MLA ’08) in her firm Surculus; Devyn Quick is employed by the firm HamiltonAnderson in Detroit.