Extramural Projects

Landscape Architecture l Regional and Community Planning faculty are engaged in research and creative activities exploring our three departmental foci: environmental stewardship, critical inquiry and creative thinking, and community design and engagement. Current faculty projects include The Meadow, green roofs, bio-retention rain gardens and a study of political fragmentation and water resource management.

The Meadow

The Meadow project began construction on May 2013. Led by Principal Investigator Assistant Professor Kingery-Page, the project was organized around a $250K proposal to the National Science Foundation Advancing Informal STEM Learning program in collaboration with Architectural Engineering, Horticulture, Art and the Beach Art Museum. Associate Professor Lee Skabelund and the Biology and Mathematics departments are also contributors along with Landscape Architect Dea Brokesh. The proposal, Pathways: Sparking Wonder in STEM Learning through Experiences of Landscape and Art, supports development of a meadow near the museum complemented by an interactive digital exhibit. Although not selected for FY2014 NSF funding, the Meadow has been constructed and future proposals supporting ongoing development are in the works.

More information about The Meadow can be found at the following site:

The Meadow Blog

K-State Collegian Article, Published Oct. 4, 2013
Meadow Connects Science, Math, Engineering and Art

K-State Collegian Article, Published June 18, 2013
Multi-departmental Meadow project brings together art, science

Green Roofs

Lee Skabelund, along with faculty, students and staff, has been researching and evaluating the benefits of green roofs. Through this process, Seaton Hall has become home to two green roofs. One, the Upper Seaton Hall Green Roof, is located on the upper reaches of the southwest corner of Seaton; the second, Lower Seaton Hall Green Roof, is located by Seaton Hall’s West Wing first‐floor breezeway. The sites allow the first testing of green roof design and materials in our region. Monitoring is conducted by faculty and students from multiple disciplines, supporting a variety of research projects.

Created in Spring 2009, the primary goal for the Upper Seaton Hall Green Roof project is to test the viability and growth of native grasses and forbs (wildflowers) on a small integrated green roof with a soil profile four to seven inches deep, thus providing valuable information for facilities operations and management. Stormwater runoff, rooftop temperatures, soil temperatures and moisture, and a number of climatic variables have been regularly monitored.

Created in Spring 2012, the Lower Seaton Hall Green Roof demonstrates the use of both LiveRoofTM sedum trays and a five-inch deep integrated area of native plants in a mostly shaded condition. This green roof is visible from two high-use corridors (17th Street and an interior hallway). It is best viewed from Seaton Hall’s West Wing first-floor breezeway.

Skabelund and LA l RCP staff member Dea Brokesh, have written several reports, which walk readers through the green roof planning/design phase, green roof implementation and management. These reports will be made readily available for viewing in the near future.

The reports that will be available on K-REx in the near future include:

A Designer’s Guide to Small‐Scale Retro‐fit Green Roof Planning, Design, and Implementation

KDHE Clean Water Neighbor Program.  Kansas State University, Seaton Hall Green Roof Demonstration Project

Prairie-Based Green Roofs: Literature, Templates, and Analogs

Sunset Zoo Bio-Retention Rain Gardens

Professor Skabelund also has designed and constructed rain gardens across the region as service-learning and research projects. The Sunset Zoo Bio-Retention Rain Garden project began in 2011.  The goal was to reduce impervious surfaces and increase infiltration of stormwater runoff at the zoo.

Skabelund, along with LA l RCP staff member Dea Brokesh, wrote several reports, which walk readers through the bio retention rain garden planning/design phase, implementation and management.

One report is currently available on K-REx to view:

Design-build demonstration project: Encouraging improvements in campus and community planning, design, and operations, KSU raingarden

Additional reports that will be available on K-REx in the near future include:

A Designer’s Guide to Bio‐Retention Area Planning, Design, and Implementation

Final Report for KDHE – KSU Rain Garden Demo Project

KDHE Clean Water Neighbor Program.  Sunset Zoo Bio-Retention Area Gardens (K-State Demonstration Project)

Political Fragmentation and Water Resources

Research in Political Fragmentation and Water Resources began in 2011 with support from the National Science Foundation under its Coupled Natural and Human Systems category. Initiated by Project Director and past RCP professor Dr. Jae Hong Kim, now at the University of California, the project brought together investigators from across campus to study the impact of political fragmentation on water resource management. Dr. Tim Keane, landscape architecture faculty member has been a principle investigator on the project along with , Dr. Phil Barnes, an associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering.

The research findings were presented at workshops in Manhattan on Aug. 29 and at the Urban Water Institute in Olathe on Aug. 30. Kim, Barnes and Keane sat on panels addressing their findings, along with topics such as water resource data, political fragmentation measurement, population density and issues cities have with maintaining water quality.

An article produced from research findings currently is under review by the Journal of Environmental Management and may develop into further workshops.

More information about the Political Fragmentation in Local Governance and Water Resource Management can be found at the following sites:

K-State Today Article, Published July 30, 2013
Urban Water Institute at K-State Olathe hosts water management workshop

APDesign Newsletter Article, Published August 18, 2013
Free workshop looks at future of water use and to develop research, collaborations


1. The Meadow, Photos by Kathrine Schlageck and Richard Dean Prudenti
2. Green Roofs, Photos by Emily Vietti, Lee R. Skabelund and Carol Blocksome
3. Rain Gardens, Photos by Lee R. Skabelund
4. Political Fragmentation and Water Resource Management