The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
on the northwest end of campus has a lovely and mostly well-known landscape.
However, the layout of the ten interconnected structures that comprise the
performing arts village create several intimate outdoor spaces that are tucked
away and therefore less discovered. Dance Courtyard is one of these spaces. This
cozy garden was created specifically for the dance program at UMD. There is a
center turf area planted with sports turf seed to accommodate students who wish
to practice outdoors. The turf area is bordered by a planting bed with shrubs
(including heavenly bamboo or Nandina domestica), small trees
(including crape myrtle or Lagerstroemia spp.), and
flowering perennials (including Japanese anemone or Anemone x hybrid). The
greatest challenge to the horticulturists who maintain the garden is keeping the
sense of intimacy without allowing the trees to overshadow the space. A sidewalk
with benches next to the building lets students, faculty, and staff take a
comfortable outdoor break, or watch an impromptu dance performance. Does this
space make you feel like dancing?