Purpose and Design of the Garden | St. Lawrence University Religious Studies

Purpose and Design of the Garden

The North Country Garden, which was opened in the fall of 2008, was created through collaboration between Professor Mark MacWilliams and Professor Catherine Shrady. Combining an Asian Studies Initiative grant and a grant from the Dolan Family for building an outdoor geology lab, the idea of a traditional Japanese Zen garden with an Adirondack twist was born. Working with a group of St. Lawrence University students, Professor MacWilliams and Professor Shrady designed and built the garden following a trip to Japan. The garden was to be a place for quiet reflection as well as a living classroom for the arts, humanities and the sciences, specifically biology and geology.

The garden is located in the courtyard of Sykes Residence Hall. This conveniently allows the garden to connect the two sides of campus – the southern side is sciences and the northern is the home of the humanities and arts. The garden is enclosed within Sykes dormitory walls which shut out the busy world, creating a peaceful refuge for students, staff, faculty, and community members.  All are welcome to visit the garden and enjoy its beauty, spirituality, and history.

Photo depicts - Furyû; The flowing elegance of gardens