Desiring to redefine their image as a commuter school, the University of Alabama in Huntsville took the first step by removing a residential street in the center of campus. Students had used the road more for parking than for housing, so the university transformed it into a pedestrian space.
Large shade trees outlined the area to define the space and provide a sense of place, creating a central spine throughout the campus. Bostick Landscape Architects selected Clonal Oak trees to cast shade throughout.
A varied plant palette accompanies the oaks to allow for maximum interest when the area is most in use. Mixed perennials and traditional plantings of boxwoods and azaleas pique the student interest between classes and during downtime. The Central Greenway is generally used for convocation each year and a host of other student and school-led activities central to campus life.
Situated in the greenway is a memorial garden dedicated to the victims of a tragic shooting on campus in 2010. The memorial garden tells the story of the professors through a language of flowers broken into three quadrants. The fourth quadrant is planted consistently with blue flowers to reiterate the motto that came out of this tragedy “CHARGE ON.”