ESF students design ways to bring more green space to Joseph Avenue

Mar 7, 2018

Credit nature.org

Some environmental science undergraduates are working to bring more green space to the Joseph Avenue neighborhood in Rochester.

The landscape architecture program at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has teamed up with The Nature Conservancy and the Joseph Avenue Business Association for the project.

It’s looking at ways to make better use of the large amount of vacant lots in the neighborhood.

Emanuel Carter is a professor at ESF overseeing the project, he says even the smallest green spaces are important to urban areas.

"There’s a term out there called "forest bathing." It sounds like there should be a tub or something."

But the whole idea behind it is if people can get outside, they’ll see not only mental, but physical changes.

"Your blood pressure goes down, your heart rate goes down and the chemistry or tension and anger tends to dissipate."

Credit Kate Frazer / The Nature Conservancy

He says the Nature Conservancy is developing an urban agenda with the intent to bring nature to people rather than having people travel out rural places.

Carter said the project not only focuses on health affects but aesthetics as well.

"No matter what your income level is, living within a beautiful environment is a very desirable situation. So were trying to make neighborhoods desirable places to be."

Students met with community members and city leaders to design their concepts, and shared them tonight Wednesday evening at the Lincoln Library on Joseph Avenue.

Carter says these designs are just the beginning of a larger conversation on greener urban landscapes, and hopes these agencies will move forward on some of the changes that could bring them to life.