Skip to content



Service-Learning Projects

The Department of Landscape Architecture educates students throughout the world. We have the opportunity to work with students on a variety of challenging projects. Our students work on both hypothetical and real projects in studio courses. Some of our studio projects involve working with communities to improve our environments. We have the opportunity to work with partners such as the National Park Service, local park districts, cities and other neighborhood groups. The Community Service Projects have inspired our Community Design Center.  Please review some of our recent projects.

Thank you,

— Matthew Kirkwood, Inaugural and Former Chair of Landscape Architecture

Grandmother Earth’s Gift of Life Garden

Bird’s Eye/Isometric Caption – “We collectively acknowledge that we gather at NDSU, a land grant institution, on the traditional lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Lakota, Nakoda) and Anishinaabe Peoples in addition to many diverse Indigenous Peoples still connected to these lands. We honor with gratitude Mother Earth and the Indigenous Peoples who have walked with her throughout generations. We will continue to learn how to live in unity with Mother Earth and build strong, mutually beneficial, trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples of our region.”

Amphitheatre Caption – The west of the site features amphitheater-style seating that comfortably houses 176 people for outdoor performances and lectures. The Healer’s Hand abstractly revealed drives importance to the ground plane and serves as central nodes for speakers and performers. This hand is known as the symbol of eternity or the path of existence on Earth. Symbolically, the Healer’s Hand holds therapeutic energy.

Sheyenne River Water Trail

The project goal was to develop existing sections of the water trail along the Sheyenne River near Valley City and Fort Ransom, ND into a cohesive trail to eventually achieve National Water Trail System designation. NDSU LA and National Park Service partnered to assist with the development of various mappings to guide community groups in further development of several paddle sites along the trail. A series of site plans were created and rendered as the Sheyenne River Water Trail Committee prepare to acquire funding necessary to see through to project implementation.

Bjornson Golf Course Landing in Valley City, ND is a location with plenty of existing amenities that create a great launch opportunity. The municipal golf course and Woodland Steakhouse create several points of interest on site. This location has two launch locations (north/primary and south/secondary) that allow pedestrian access down to the river. A kayak rental station will be placed east of the large, existing gravel lot, convenient prior to heading down to the water’s north edge or crossing the seasonal bridge for southern access.

Hammer Landing is approximately 1.5 acres of developed private property for the implementation of a public launch site and various amenities – parking, trailer back-in, restroom facility, picnic tables, informational kiosk, etc. The property owner has cattle on site, therefore, the need to create a mutually beneficial water access point for both animal and human is strong. The spring-loaded pedestrian gate swing allows users to enter the launch pad while keeping the cattle contained.

Lisbon Connectivity

This project’s goal is to make social and programmatic improvements that will promote community accessibility and create a strong sense of place for the city of Lisbon, ND. NDSU LA and National Park Service assisted in the inventory, analysis and mapping of existing community resources such as sidewalks, points of interest and road/traffic usage to generate a masterplan that will increase connectivity. In addition to the disconnected sidewalks and trails, the wide collector and arterial roads create unsafe pedestrian crossing conditions. The proposal of narrowing road widths and enhancing intersection conditions produce viable solutions to safe connections.

Main Street & 5th Avenue

This rendering showcases 1 of 3 concepts proposed to the city. Concept 1 revealed Main Street on-street parking to be relocated to the east-west avenue to support bike lane traffic and circulation. A raised intersection to reduce vehicular speeds is also presented in this idea. Concept 2 retrofits Main Street with two parallel parking zones while still implementing a singular 2-way bike lane on the west side of Main. The two-way bike lane is also represented on the east-west avenue. Concept 3 (pictured) proposes a new concept of southbound reverse parking along Main Street. Reverse parking promotes pedestrian safety because there are vegetated islands that separate the sidewalk from the road. Backing in typically requires less of a driver’s attention and prevents them from having to back out blindly into traffic. The two-way bike lane is on the east side of Main Street. Parallel parking is available on the east-west avenue as well.

Main Street and Jackson

Jackson Avenue is a higher speed, diagonally oriented intersection at the south end of town. The goals of this intersection were to introduce sidewalks to guide pedestrian traffic on the north side. Providing a refuge island will shorten the crossing distance. Installing crosswalk lights will draw vehicular attention to users crossing the wide intersection, decreasing speeds as a result.