The landscape at Helyar House, which is located on George H. Cook Campus in the woods off College Farm Road, has been neglected for years but several Rutgers Landscape Architecture students want to fix that. Helyar House, built in 1968 and named for former Prof. Frank Helyar who was then the Director of Resident Instructor, is a cooperative living dormitory that offers affordable and community campus living for Rutgers students.
Paige Buzard, Landscape Architecture major who lives at Helyar House, took the initiative and gathered a group of residents to talk about improvements they would like to see around the property. Originally established as a residence for male students only, the Helyar House became co-ed in 2002. Buzard and fellow classmates in a Landscape Architecture studio collaborated with Larry Porter, senior landscape architect with Rutgers Facilities, and a former Helyar House resident himself, to produce nine different studio designs for the property.
Completed designs were posted for Helyar House residents to review and comment. Those that attended the student design presentations had rave reviews. The residents later invited the Landscape Architecture class that had produced the designs to visit the house and explain their concept drawings at a Helyar House Board of Directors meeting on April 10.
“It was a great professional experience for the class,” said Holly Nelson, instructor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and a practicing landscape architect, whose studio class created the designs for the Helyar House landscape project. “Based upon feedback from the meeting with the Board of Directors of the house, the students plan to create a hybrid landscape design that incorporates the best ideas from the concept drawings.”
Next step, according to Nelson, is to come up with a plan to raise funds to do the actual improvements as envisioned by the students for the property.