The Gardens at SIUE is a 35 acre public botanical garden on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The Gardens includes natural areas, gardens, woodlands, grasslands, sculptures and walking paths. The area is an ever evolving space. Many visitors come to view the breathtaking scenery and volunteers work to enhance aesthetics and manage the area. More parking is needed to accommodate visitors and volunteers.
Oates Associates was asked to prepare a programming and preliminary design study regarding a proposed 100-space parking lot for the Gardens. The study scope included soil testing, developing a preliminary parking lot layout, developing a preliminary grading plan, providing storm water management design, and preparing a preliminary electrical design.
The Gardens wanted to implement sustainable features into the design of the parking area. Many existing trees were protected and incorporated into the parking lot design. Storm water management features include storm sewer, bio swale, and porous pavement design. The lot is designed to hold storm water from common rainfall events on-site via underground storm water recharge beds and bio swale systems until it percolates back into the ground – recharging natural aquifers in lieu of running off into nearby creeks.