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Goodell Gardens & Homestead

Edinboro, PA

Goodell Gardens & Homestead is located on approximately 78 acres in Edinboro, a small town that is home to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Self-sufficient, somewhat reclusive, and with a love of plants and gardening, the Goodell sisters created a community legacy when they donated their land to the Erie Community Foundation, with the request that their farm and gardens become a place for the public to connect with nature. Since opening to the public over a decade ago, Goodell Gardens has grown into a valued local attraction, hosting community events and education programs.

Pashek + MTR prepared a long term master plan for developing the property as a public garden, as well as a Phase One plan to guide its initial development. The long term plan is to build a welcome center close to the middle of the site so that visitors can more easily explore all of it. However, for the medium term, much of the property will remain a farm, while the gardens gradually grow and expand from the existing homestead and perennial garden. The Phase One plan recommended improving visitor services and event infrastructure, including an outdoor pavilion, rose garden and event lawn, restrooms and parking.

We also recommended that GG&H move beyond its current labor intensive perennial gardens to develop larger scale “wows” that take advantage of its abundant acreage and naturally rolling topography. Elements such as meadows with spring flowering bulbs, a “country lane” that takes visitors out to a crop circle display, a small fruits garden, and a family nature play garden will help draw new visitors and give them more to see during a day trip. Restored wood barns, set among the fields and gardens, create pastoral landscape views and become destinations to encounter along the way. The guiding principle is to take advantage of the grand scale of the property and give visitors the opportunity to explore the landscape beyond the immediate vicinity of the farm house.