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9:21 AM Tue, Oct. 16th

Prescott College earns prestigious award in statewide sustainability competition

Prescott College’s sustainable campus village student housing project is located in the middle of the college’s campus just off Miller Valley Road in Prescott. (Courtesy)

Prescott College’s sustainable campus village student housing project is located in the middle of the college’s campus just off Miller Valley Road in Prescott. (Courtesy)

Prescott College’s sustainable campus village student housing project earned a prestigious Crescordia Award at Arizona Forward’s 37th annual Environmental Excellence Awards presented by Salt River Project. It was among 13 other first-place winners spanning a variety of categories and representing communities throughout Arizona.

Prescott College scored the top honors in the Site Development (Private Sector) category. Located on a two-acre site between Butte Creek and the main campus in the Montane Conifer Forest of Arizona, the housing project involved a complex stakeholder engagement process with students and the neighborhood. The landscape and hardscape play a prominent role in enhancing their commitment to the environment and social justice.

The students’ strong desire for outdoor living and convenience translated into an outdoor equipment washing station for rock climbing, as well as a barbecue/outdoor dining area with permanent and movable seating in the common areas. The LEED Platinum, net-zero design features two central gathering spaces: the primary space with an overhead shade/weather structure and a conversation circle with a reclaimed concrete floor. Outdoor living rooms bring students together to share ideas and experiences in the heart of the complex.

Other features include a native edible/medicinal landscape dotted with fruit trees within the courtyards, irrigated solely from the rainwater catchment system. The rich native landscape palette includes large shade trees and low-water-use species that eliminated dependence on a municipally supplied irrigation system after one year. A terraced food forest along the banks of the creek allows students to grow and cultivate their own food adjacent to their front doors. Passive and active water harvesting irrigates the landscape. Allison Colwell and Michele Shelor of Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture were at the gala to receive the award.

Information provided by Arizona Forward