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K-State Today

July 15, 2019

Katie Kingery-Page honored with professional award for K-State's Meadow

Submitted by Thom Jackson


Katie Kingery-Page, associate professor of landscape architecture and incoming associate dean for the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, or APDesign, was awarded the prestigious Professional Merit Award from the Central States Region of the American Society of Landscape Architects for her design and stewardship of the Meadow project.

The Meadow, a three-quarter-acre mini-park near the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art on K-State's Manhattan campus, is the subject of the award for built work and community stewardship. The Central States region of the American Society of Landscape Architects encompasses North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The community stewardship award honors achievements made within a Central States community that are relevant to landscape architecture and have made an impact socially, economically, or environmentally.

As project director, Kingery-Page led the design and construction, as well as on-going maintenance and interpretation of the Meadow. Additionally, she co-led a grant funding initiative to support the project. The Meadow showcases nearly 40 native plant species of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie ecoregion; demonstrates sustainable, low-water, chemical-free landscape that fosters pollinator insects; a natural laboratory for a variety of both graduate and undergraduate research projects; serves as an experiential component for museum tours, and an extension of the work of museum educators to make meaningful connections among art, science and enjoyment of the natural world. The Meadow's broadest goal is to raise awareness of the plight of grasslands worldwide: 45% have been destroyed, and only 4% are protected.

The Meadow is a community-built project: all site-furnishings and planting on the site have been created by APDesign and Beach Museum of Art faculty, staff, students and community volunteers. Ecologically, the Meadow team was most concerned with increasing bio-diversity on site, using as little herbicide and potable water as possible, and creating habitat and forage for insect pollinators. Because the Meadow is positioned to receive runoff from large areas of concrete, it also helps manage stormwater by slowing water, allowing more infiltration, and increasing evapotranspiration.

Although the award focuses on the role of the landscape architect in a successful project, "The Community Stewardship award for the Meadow would not be possible without a broad network of campus and community members," Kingery-Page said. 

Kingery-Page acknowledges the many partners and contributors, including K-State's Division of Facilities, Konza Prairie Biological Station, College of Arts and Sciences, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering and College of Agriculture.

Since its establishment, faculty members in many colleges have used the Meadow as a living lab. Community partners have included a broad network of volunteers from Boy Scouts of America, Riley County Master Gardeners, Friends of the Beach Museum, Manhattan Area Arts and Humanities Coalition, Change the World, Friends of the Konza Prairie, and the Kansas Native Plant Society.

Beach Museum director Linda Duke, along with museum staff members Lindsay Smith and Kathrine Schlageck, played key roles in bringing the Meadow from vision to reality. Former faculty member of horticulture Rhonda Janke advised the project and contributed greenhouse space to grow some of the Meadow's plants. Recently retired members of K-State facilities staff, Mark Taussig, Dede Brokesh and Joseph Myers, also were integral in planning and installing the Meadow.

Troy Britt, 2014 graduate in art; Zak Ratajczak, 2015 graduate in biology; Caleb Melchior, 2014 landscape architecture and regional & community planning graduate; and Riccardo Prudenti, 2018 landscape architecture and regional & community planning, all took student leadership roles in establishing the Meadow. Funding for the Meadow project comes from the Hummel family in memory of Professor William C. Hummel and Sara T. Hummel; the John and John T. Henley Meadow Maintenance Fund, established by Fred and Judith Henley; the K-State Green Action Fund; and an EPA Green Infrastructure Demonstration Grant.