Rutgers Universal Access Garden Pilot


This pilot garden advances AIR Collaborative’s aim to create a series of Universally Accessible Gardens on Rutgers land to foster spatial justice for people with disabilities. A Rutgers Research Council Social and Racial Justice Grant and the passionate involvement of students, staff, and faculty realized the construction of a small pilot garden on the site of 178 Jones Avenue in New Brunswick, where the new garden joins existing community gardens and the weekly Community Farmers Market.

This pilot was designed and built by landscape architecture students and will be programmed for and undertaken by people with disabilities. Interns from the Douglass Discovery Program accompanied the project from the concept to the opening and documented the process on social media.

See our pamphlet to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of gardening and the main principles of universal design.

Download the Rutgers Universal Access Garden Pamphlet (PDF)


Lecture and Garden Visit

  • October 4, 4:00pm – 5:10pm
    Lecture and panel discussion at IFNH Room 101
    New Jersey Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, 61 Dudley Road, New Brunswick
  • October 4, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
    Garden visit and party at 178 Jones Avenue (10-minute walk from Cook Campus)
    Hot cider and cookies are served.

Learn about universal design, spatial justice, and the therapeutic benefits of gardening!


Javier Robles, Rose Greenblatt (Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences) • Vincent Javet and Han Yan with students of the Spring 2023 Construction II Course at the Department of Landscape Architecture; Meredith Taylor (Rutgers School of Biological and Environmental Sciences) • Douglass Discovery Program Interns — all with the AIR Collaborative (Anette Freytag, Jackie Thaw, Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan and Julia M. Ritter for the Research Council Grant)


Impact: The findings of this project shall inform best practices for increasing accessibility of Rutgers’ natural resources for people with disabilities and fostering a sense of belonging and autonomy for participants. By creating this pilot of an accessible garden at 178 Jones Avenue in New Brunswick, we will assess the benefits of universal design and how reasonable modifications transform gardening into an activity for everyone regardless of age and ability.

Image Credits:
All photos by students and instructors except © Robert Acklen
Renderings by Vincent Javet
Video by Han Yan

© Robert Acklen
© Robert Acklen
From left to right: faculty Meredith Taylor, Han Yan, Anette Freytag, Rose Greenblatt, Vincent Javet, and students.
Perspective rendering
Ground plan