Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Landscape Architecture Student Creates City Composting Program

Marilyn Reish

UT’s College of Architecture and Design recently highlighted the work of Marilyn Reish, a third-year graduate student in the School of Landscape Architecture, for her studio project that is now part of the city of Knoxville’s new composting program.

Reish and her partner, Chad Hellwinckel, research associate professor in the UT Institute of Agriculture, own a small farm in South Knoxville called City Possum Farm, where their fresh vegetables and flowers benefit from active composting. In Virginia and here in Tennessee, Reish has operated community-supported agriculture farms delivering vegetables for 12 weeks each year to area members.

In 2019, Reish began studying landscape architecture, and soon after, all of the pieces for the city’s composting program came together.

In her spring 2021 studio, taught by Adjunct Assistant Professor Scottie McDaniel, Reish was inspired by the theme, Normalizing the Working Landscape. A working landscape provides a connection among economics, sustainability, ecology and people in a responsible way. True to her passions for sustainable farming, for her studio project, Reish designed a working landscape around food waste collection and urban composting that could be implemented in Knoxville.

“I believe that the future must include working landscapes, especially those that create stability in the food system, seek to use our own urban metabolism (in this case rotting food) and address urban planning voids that do not serve the greater good,” Reish said. “Re-thinking our landscapes in this way can help us do the work needed in order to contribute to our collective survival.”

Read more about Reish’s studio project and partnership with a local non-profit farm that resulted in the city of Knoxville’s new composting program on the College of Architecture and Design’s website.