By Leslieann Hobayan ’95

A new aquarium and science center in downtown Easton might sound like a draw for tourists, but how can they be designed to enhance the lives of local residents, especially those four blocks away in the West Ward?

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Ten students set out to answer that question in Sustainable Solutions, a course taught last spring by Mary Wilford-Hunt, senior associate director of corporate, foundation, and government relations.

Working in pairs, students studied strategies for sustainable site development of the proposed Da Vinci Science City and Aquarium near city hall. Bryan Sherrill ’18 and Judy Milositz ’17 met with residents at Easton Community Center to discuss their needs and interests.

“We listened and talked to people instead of trying to impose what we thought would work,” says Sherrill, who is pursuing a B.S. degree in civil engineering and an A.B. with majors in international affairs and Spanish. “I wanted to interact with the community to see how their engagement with the project could help lead to its success.”

During an end-of-semester presentation before representatives from the city, Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, and others, students proposed turning an abandoned rail bed into a walkway and elevated park like the High Line in Manhattan, converting a fenced parking lot near Easton Area Community Center into a science playground with outdoor movie screen, and reviving Delaware Canal State Park and its fish ladder.