Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

First Advisor

Vern J. Budge

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the needs of four potential target audiences that would be using the Utah Botanical Center (UBC) for educational purposes. The target audiences included school children, college students, nursery and landscape industry, and the general public. The UBC is relocating to a larger site that has wetlands and ponds. The UBC has taken this opportunity to define its mission and goals. Part of its mission is to broaden its educational programming from horticulture based to programming including natural resource conservation topics. This study provides recommendations regarding what educational topics should be covered at the UBC for the different target audiences, and what facilities might be necessary to advance this educational programming. In addition, this study reviews natural resource topics being covered at other botanical institutions, nature centers, and water conservation groups. The process for determining the needs of the target audiences began with the selection of representatives from the target audiences. Data was gathered through group meetings, personal interviews, and completion of questionnaires in which representatives from the target audiences were asked to fill out matrixes about specific topics and reply to open-ended questions. The matrixes asked for information about education topics and facilities, and the questions asked for information regarding the planning process. Data compiled from these matrixes was then analyzed to determine what topics these target audiences found to be important and what facilities they felt would be useful in the education process. Data was also gathered from horticulture and nature centers and water conservation organizations through phone interviews and requests for brochures from their educational programs. The questions asked through the phone interviews determined the facilities being used at these institutions and also solicited suggestions for planning educational programming. The requested brochures provided information about the education topics being covered at these institutions. This data was placed into matrixes that showed the topics and the audiences being targeted. The analyzed data from the target audiences, horticulture and nature centers, and water conservation organizations was then used to make recommendations for facilities and programming at the UBC. Recommendations were provided for each target audience for both topics and facilities. The topics that were recommended to the UBC included water resource management, water conservation, storm water management, wetland ecology, native plants, urban wildlife habitat, fish and wildlife habitat, composting, integrated pest management, residential landscape design, and landscape legacy. The facilities that were recommended included classrooms, an auditorium, hands-on demonstration areas, outdoor lecture facilities, and interpretive trails. In summary, it was recommended that the UBC focus on school children first for educational programming. It is also advised that they start out with a small high-quality program that is expandable. Good quality programing is important to ensure that target audiences return to visit the UBC.

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