Irma really through a curve-ball at us over the past week. With us evacuating the city and preparing for the worst, our individual design presentations have been pushed back a week to Wednesday, September 20th. Many of us fled to Clemson, some to Atlanta, and others to Athens, but we all at least had the opportunity to think about our ideas and intentions for Medway Community Garden (whether that was on the bumper to bumper 10 mph journey out of Charleston blaring Beyoncé and eating pitted dates – or visiting Lee III in Clemson as a displaced once-upon-a-lifer student to grind out some work before the big rain storm – I mean hurricane).
Many of us will be focusing on different aspects of the garden’s future and how they can relate to our design of the park’s storage shed/pavilion structure. Some of us are interested in shading techniques, others in water collection, and a few, like me, in the idea that “play” can be integrated into all aspects of the park – not just another typical playground. Through the way we carefully mold our structure and the activities that surround it, we can encourage children as well as the elderly and all stages of cognitive development in-between to visit and have a great time in James Island.
I believe that play should be a predominant factor in the design of Medway, especially in a country where kids don’t get as much “get-the-ants-out-of-your-pants” free time as they used to. Play can be through sports, music, gardening, aquatics, etc., as I believe children can learn just as much – if not more – by actually making what they’re doing fun! Beyond that, play, and the general act of moving your head and body around into as many positions as possible helps young children to develop their internal vestibular system – which basically has to do with our sixth sense: the middle ear, balance, and equilibrium (and you thought their were only five).
We will have desk critiques with Dave Friday about the progress of our individual designs and many of us will join the Parks Conservancy and their meeting with the Medway Gardeners that evening. We hope to gain some valuable insight into what the citizens who utilize the garden might need and help plant something while doing so!