Dig It! Turning the U.S. Mission in Geneva Green – Podcast

Podcast from Hester MacDonald’s “Dig It” Show on World Radio Switzerland. The U.S. State Department has chosen the U.S. Mission in Geneva as its flagship post for energy and sustainability. A huge amount of work has already been done on effective water usage and solar energy. The Mission has now turned its attentions to the exterior of the building, specifically the gardens. The American Society of Landscape Architects was asked to help bring together a group of landscape architecture students from across the country on a two week assignment working on the project.

Night of the Bat

Green Landscape Journal: The bat had come in through the 3rd floor window, probably attracted by bugs flying toward our lamps and computer screens. Everyone in the house followed the creature up the stairs and closed off the lower level with the intention of shooing it respectfully back out the window, but that proved more difficult that we had anticipated. Our various methods of trying to catch it were waving pillows, holding up blanket barriers across the room and just making a lot of noise in general (which subsequently woke up the professors downstairs).

A Home for the Hedgehogs

Green Landscape Journal: A couple of days ago we, the Greening Geneva interns, had the pleasure of meeting Bertrand Von Arx, the Geneva Regional curator of nature and landscape. He guided us around the grounds of the U.S. Mission and talked about the unique ecology of Geneva. From his presentation we were made aware of the Geneva mascot for biodiversity, the Hedgehog.

Chambesy and the Chateau de Penthes

Green Landscape Journal: Amazing field trips and long design charrettes have left little time for exploring Geneva, but it turns out that Chambesy, the little neighborhood we currently call home, has a wealth of resources. Monday morning’s field trip took us to another Chambesy gem: the Musee des Suisses dans le Monde at the Chateau de Penthes.

Visit to Yvoire and the Garden of the Five Senses

Green Landscape Journal: On Saturday we took a full day trip to Yvoire, France. After working studiously for a whole week (and we did, you better believe it!) we thought we should take a day off. In the morning we boarded the boat on Lac Leman, for a relaxing two hour boat ride to the very quaint town. For being such a small community, we didn’t have trouble finding interesting places and shops to explore. We spent some time on the beach getting our toes wet, and found interesting areas to draw and sketch.

Onion Rings, Palm Trees and Triple Rainbows

Green Landscape Journal: Although we’ve been working hard at a new plan for the US Mission’s grounds, the bits of time in between have been just as fun. With a group of students and teachers from all over the US, there is a very interesting dynamic. I feel so lucky to have a team with such a wide range of talents and experiences.