University of Vermont

The Honors College

Daniel Lim - University Gift

Daniel Lim

Daniel Lim, a natural resource major in the Rubinstein School, and 2009 UVM graduate, has presented the University a gift that will never grow musty on some laboratory shelf or ignored in some out of the way corner of the campus. It may occasionally get trampled on as students take short cuts to get to class. But when finished, Daniel Lim's Park Garden design for the Davis Center oval should guide the late dashing students through a horticultural system of gardens and pathways that will expertly direct them on their way. Daniel writes, "Most people have at least once walked across the Davis Center oval green space during their time at UVM to get to class, a meeting, or work, but hardly anyone uses or appreciates it as a comfortable rest and play area. This is not a surprise. The oval lacks interesting horticultural, recreational and aesthetic features that would normally attract one's eyes." For his Senior Honors Thesis, Daniel has set himself the task of re-designing the oval into what he says will be a vibrant community space for everyone to enjoy. The new Park Garden design, he goes on to say, "will be ecologically restorative as well as providing multiple social benefits- beauty through horticulture and artistic structures, comfortable rest and play areas, nature education, and educational sites for classes and visitors. Providing five distinct scenes- a lawn, fern garden, herb garden, grass meadow and forest, the Park Garden design will bring to consciousness in the visitor the cultural views of the landscapes of New England. At the same time, it will offer fresh scenery that demands engagement of the senses and invites every visitor to participate in the experience of a new, holistic UVM campus."

Fiddlehead Garden

Working with Sarah Lovell and Mark Starrett in Plant and Soil Science, and Rose Leland from University Grounds Management, as his mentors and advisors, Daniel has created what he calls a 'stargate' project that incorporates design, horticulture, maintenance, and cost into one multi-perspective plan. When asked how well his project is meeting the multiple objectives he outlined above, to be ecologically restorative and provide social benefits, he hesitated only briefly before saying that he thought he had so far achieved a good balance between the current state of the project and where it will be when completed. He said that the limiting factor at the moment was cost, given that the senior class counsel has so far raised only $40,000 of the projected $170,000 cost of the finished project. So as any wise project manager would do under these circumstances, rather than scrap the project, Daniel has broken in up into two phases. The first will be the horticultural phase, which will be installed when the SGC goal of $45,000 is met. Phase two, which will consist of all the structural components of the project, the gazebo and trellises, will remain for future class counsels to install, Daniel explained.

Davis Oval

Daniel has high hopes that both phases will be completed in the future. For now, he says, he would hope that a donor could be found who would lighten the fund raising toil of the SGC and encourage others to contribute to make his project a reality. "A healthy community needs a healthy land," Daniel says. His project design reflects his vision of a healthy society, where, he says, "People, economics and the land must be in balance to nourish each other." Daniel will be moving on to Platt Institute in the fall where he will study city planning. As for his long term goals, he says that he would like to start his own ecological community design and planning firm in New York City. Before that he tells us, he will do planning in either public or private ventures. "I have to earn a few fees first," he says. We are confident that he will earn those fees and that owning his own firm will follow. We wish him well. For more on Daniel and his project, we provide the following links:

Senior Gift
Senior Plots a New Landscape for Davis

Last modified June 23 2009 02:19 PM