Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

David Anderson (Committee Chair)


David Anderson


Jake Powell


Matthew Sanders


This project focuses on understanding an alternative resource that can be intentionally improved upon to help address the mental health crisis on university campuses. With ample research showing how nature and being outside can help improve, or be restorative for, the mental state of individuals, this project developed an analytical method for understanding the restorative potential within the campus landscape as a whole and within districts. The analysis uses nine separate elements that make up the campus landscape: (1) trees, (2) landscape plantings (grass, planters, etc.), (3) art pieces, (4) benches, (5) water features, (6) sidewalks, (7) roads, (8) parking lots, and (9) the element of enclosure. Each element was given a "restorative potential score," after which all elements were combined to create a final map showing the location of general areas that are most likely to provide a space where an individual can have a mentally restorative experience.

These results are then discussed, showing images of key areas. Findings show that Old Main Hill is the largest area that provides high potential for engaging in a restorative experience. However, Old Main Hill makes up the majority of the 11% of campus that falls under high restorative potential. It was found that 41% of campus fell into the category of medium restorative potential and 48% of campus was found to be of low restorative potential. Suggestions for developing a network of restorative spaces are provided along with suggestions for improvement in specific areas.