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Designing Gardens Accessible To All

Designing Gardens Accessible to All

by Rachel Lindsay

In my work, I find the act of caring for the land and caring for the people who are engaging with the land intricately woven together. My first jobs were working in special education and at organic vegetable farms. When I needed guidance in which direction to take a career, I spent a year working at a Camphill Community. Camphill is a worldwide social initiative of communities designed to include people with and without intellectual disabilities. Every village is centered around a working biodynamic farm. Taking care of the houses, farm, landscape, and people provides meaningful work for everyone, inclusive of all ranges of physical or cognitive ability. As a landscape designer over a decade after these formative experiences, my most meaningful projects are the ones that work at the intersection of human and ecological health.

When we are designing landscapes intended for people to engage with them, both the design process and the physical elements included will affect who will benefit, and how. The following material was developed mainly through the design of a master plan and five-acre therapeutic vegetable farm for Pony Power Therapies, a non-profit therapeutic riding center, however many of the design considerations and tools would be just as applicable to other kinds of gardens.

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