STEAM Garden intro

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Daniel Zongrone of Creative Development, LLC was awarded the 2017 ArtsXcelerator Grant of $10,000 from the Chapman Cultural Center to install a STEAM Garden on the City of Spartanburg’s Southside, which is currently identified as a “food desert.”

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The STEAM Garden will be located on land that belongs to District 7, at the former site of the City of Spartanburg Swim Center.

This location will serve as a bridge between the Downtown and Southside areas of Spartanburg, improving the vitality of both neighborhoods by creating connections between individuals, schools, and organizations. The Downtown scene is booming, and there are opportunities for that growth to reach the Southside, less than a mile from Morgan Square.

Soil testing will be done through the Clemson Cooperative Extension, which will test for soil pH value as well as current levels of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, and boron. Fertilizer and lime recommendations will be made, if needed, for the plants we plan on growing. The existing soil will more than likely not be used for the actual gardening, but the test results will be a good resource to have.

The main feature area will need to be tilled and covered with landscape cloth to prevent weed growth. John Mark will assist in the area prep with the use of his tractor and expertise. Mondo grass will be used in the feature spot areas as an easy and low maintenance alternative to grass, since landscaping will be made difficult by the sculptures in each area.


The gazebo will collect rain water via the inverted roof, diverting the water to a reservoir under the structure via a pipe in the center of the floor. The pipe will be placed inside a large metal spring that will support the weight of the roof.

The structure can be made out of aluminum using recycled cans and other material that will be ground down and poured into a mold. Using aluminum will make the structure light, making transportation easier. The modular form of the gazebo will also improve mobility, since the gazebo will actually be five separate pieces that fit together to form the large structure. The middle of the roof will be supported by a metal spring, supplied by one of Project Hub’s members.The gazebo will include a crawl space to hold a tank which will supply water for the garden irrigation system. The crawl space will raise the height of the gazebo, which will benefit performances that happen on site. There will be a level of steps around the gazebo to ensure people can get onto the stage, including a ramp on one side for those with mobility issues.

The gazebo will be the main feature of the STEAM Garden, surrounded by five areas to install different types of vertical gardens. Vertical gardening techniques use space more efficiently while providing an opportunity for creativity and innovation. There are six different types of vertical gardens that could be installed in the STEAM Garden.

The five areas are surrounded by fifteen spots, roughly 10’ by 10’, that are available as adopt-a-plots for individuals or groups to maintain.

Five pergolas in between main areas and can be used for small bushes, vines, fruit bearing trees, and other small plants. The frames will be made out of drainage PVC which will make the structure lighter and easier to build while also providing an interesting way to plant a variety of annuals and perennials. Concrete boots will hold the structure in place.


Meet the Team



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