SCAD Back40 - CODAworx

SCAD Back40

Submitted by Nichole Tate

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Client: Savannah College of Art and Design

Location: Hardeeville, SC, United States

Completion date: 2019

Project Team

President

Paula Wallace

Savannah College of Art and Design

Chief Operating Officer

Glenn Wallace

Savannah College of Art and Design

Overview

Sustainable urban farm growing produce and enriching communities. Honoring 40 creative years, SCAD Back40 is a one-acre sustainable urban farm near Savannah, GA established to educate students, engage regional communities, and grow produce for distribution to underserved Savannah communities and regional residents facing food insecurity.

Since 2019, SCAD Back40 has grown and distributed more than six tons of produce — including almost a half-ton of winter vegetables in a single season — and distributed thousands of meal portions to food-insecure Savannah and regional residents

Back40 features an apiary that is a haven for bees and pollinators, fresh produce, and community education. The bees produce more than 30 gallons of honey annually. Further, the pollinators that nurture the bees boast beautiful blooms.

The 3-D printed Butterfly Gate sculpture at the farm’s entrance is designed by SCAD foundation studies professor Sam Norgard in collaboration with fellow SCAD foundation studies professor Dawn Peterson. Calling forth the butterfly’s exquisite beauty and metamorphosis, the gateway provides hope and invites visitors to interact with the sculpture’s symbols of transformation.

Goals

In the coastal Savannah region, more than 175,000 people face food insecurity. Urban farms offer one of the most significant opportunities to connect service learning and underserved communities for the betterment of all.

Process

In 2019, SCAD identified a surface-level parking lot that was ideal for transformation into an urban farm. With the opportunity both to enhance the natural environment and create service learning opportunities, SCAD redeveloped the plot, planted crops, established an apiary, and worked to identify and grow native plantings for regional pollinators.