Phase I of Landscaping Initiative Begins on 422 Corridor

Oct 06, 2016
On Wednesday and Thursday, students of the Landscape Management Program at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center assisted in the continued transformation of the US 422 Corridor as they installed landscaped beds of pollinator plants, shrubs and small trees through a vision created by the Kent State University Graduate Landscape Architecture Program and Youngstown State University Regional Economic Development Initiative.
On Wednesday and Thursday, students of the Landscape Management Program at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center assisted in the continued transformation of the US 422 Corridor as they installed landscaped beds of pollinator plants, shrubs and small trees through a vision created by the Kent State University Graduate Landscape Architecture Program and Youngstown State University Regional Economic Development Initiative.  

The installation at the intersection of Superior Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Youngstown is the first of several phases and is in line with the goals set forth in the US 422 Corridor Redevelopment Plan. This phase consists of native pollinator plants, shrubs and small trees, and later phases will include evergreen trees to provide a natural barrier between the neighborhood and the traffic of the industrial corridor, as well as aid in stormwater management.  
Charles Frederick, interim director of the program at KSU, said, "The student experience for the Graduate Landscape Architecture studios at Kent State University includes real sites, real issues and real people so that projects reflect an authentic response to the needs of a community. This requires a student to address stakeholder concerns and the realities of the site. 
If an idea from a student can influence the direction of a real project, it is considered a successful partnership, and we are proud that Erin Laffay, a second-year graduate student, was able to be directly involved. The Graduate Landscape Architecture Program is always excited to conduct community-service projects and looks forward to future collaborations."
Additional design input and project management for this phase were provided by the Regional Chamber and City of Youngstown, while the Ruth Beecher Charitable Trust helped to fund specific construction design and implementation. Landscape Architect Jodi McCue of McCue Design Group, LLC, who facilitated the construction plan, also donated several trees to the effort.  Lunch for the students on the planting dates was sponsored by Vallourec Star.
The project complements other improvements along the corridor in Youngstown and Girard and is led by the Chamber’s Lauren Johnson, who said, “We’re so pleased to work with local students from Kent and the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center, as we helped to give them experience in their field, while they helped us implement part of our plans for the corridor. This project will have an immediate, tangible impact in the Brier Hill neighborhood, and we look forward to continued partnerships in coming months.” 
The US 422 Corridor Redevelopment Plan was created in 2014 to improve the heart of the Valley through a unique partnership led by the Regional Chamber, Youngstown Neighborhood Corp. and Trumbull County Commissioners. 
For more information or to be involved in future project phases, please contact Lauren Johnson at lauren@regionalchamber.com or (330) 744-2131, ext. 1216.