The Rutgers Gardens Farmers’ Market has added a new shaded picnic area in the woods adjacent to the marketplace at Rutgers Gardens, thanks to the efforts of the sophomore landscape architecture studio at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.
Under the direction of Holly Nelson, instructor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and a practicing landscape architect, students enrolled in the sophomore studio created a joint design concept to connect the lawn at the Gardens, where the market is set up every Friday, to the Bamboo Trail, complete with a picnic area overlooking the stream. Now, shoppers at the Friday market and residents who visit the Rutgers Gardens can buy or bring lunch and eat it comfortably in the shade.
Nineteen students cleared the site and harvested invasive Ailanthus trees from the Rutgers Gardens to build an entry arbor and clear the new trail.
“It’s amazing how collaboratively they worked to make the 25-foot long structure,” said Nelson.
The students will return in early fall to remove invasive Honeysuckle from the woods along this trail and gathering area in order to plant native trees and shrubs, including Witch Hazel and Bottlebrush Buckeye. Plans are for the eating area to feature native hazelnuts and paw paws.