The studio resulted from a grant from the USDA's Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Capacity Building program.
The Greenscape Design Studio in Texas Tech University's Department of Landscape Architecture and Department of Plant and Soil Science allows students to create landscape designs for homeowners in the Lubbock area. Landscape architecture students intern for the studio to create landscape designs for area homeowners that emphasize water-conserving elements.
The Greenscape Design Studio was made possible through the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture Capacity Building Grant. Students design landscapes using xeriscaping principles, which utilizes water-conserving plants and is designed for areas where a drought-tolerant landscape is needed or wanted. The Greenscape Design Studio aims to help homeowners incorporate water-conserving elements and non-xeric elements into a landscape design that satisfies their needs and wants.
"It can be difficult for the average homeowner to incorporate xeriscaping along with all the other things they want to do with their yard, such as a patio, swing set or fire pit," said Charles Klein, professor of landscape architecture and the director of the Greenscape Design Studio. "Our interns are skilled in this type of design and can blend both elements together."
So far, the project has allowed eight Texas Tech students to work as paid interns for local homeowners. Klein and the student interns meet with the homeowners to assess their needs and put together a design.
"After meeting the client, we come back and create the design as a team, and it is reviewed by faculty," Klein said.
Greenscape Design Studio does not charge a set fee for each project. However, it charges clients by the hour and does its best to estimate the amount of time a project will require after their initial meeting with the client.
This is an educational program, and there is a learning curve," said Klein. "We don't
want to charge the client too much for our learning process, and we are still working
on making things more efficient."
Klein and his students encourage homeowners to appreciate the beauty of the water-conserving landscape that xeriscaping provides.
"There is a common misconception that xeriscaping is " zero' scaping," Klein said. "Instead, xeriscaping is all about water conservation through native and drought-tolerant plants, limited turf and mulch. With our students' designs and proper maintenance, the landscape can be beautiful and still conserve water."
The USDA grant ends in December 2018. However, Klein and his team will continue with their current clients while working toward making Greenscape Design Studio self-sufficient.
To schedule design work, contact Greenscape Design Studio at (806) 834-8409.
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