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The Wentworth Blog

Awards of Excellence 2021 - “Indigenous Outdoor Learning Space”

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This project is named “Indigenous Outdoor Learning Space” and is located at Loyalist College in Belleville, ON.

The purpose of this design was to create a space that deeply reflects fundamental elements of First Nations heritage, while serving as a dynamic learning resource for college students, faculty, and local community members.

Details and Design

To accomplish this, design elements are rich in symbolism, including the circular structure and boulder seating, the colours and symbols of the fire pit (used for smudging ceremonies), the plant material used for medicinal purposes (sage, sweet grass, tobacco), and the oversized flagstone turtle design.

The turtle detail plays a large role in the overall design of this project because the head of the turtle and entrance to the structure is situated to the east, representing the beginning of our journey, and with the rising of the sun, the beginning of each day. There are 28 stones on the outer ring of the shell that represent the number of days in the lunar month, as well as 12 pieces of flagstone and 1 piece for the fire pit, equalling the 13 lunar months in a lunar calendar year.