Photographs by Nancy Nolan
Justin Tucker of Square Blue Construction, David Anderson of GüsDesignCoop and UALR design students created the canopy and cistern. The roof structure provides shade and collects rainwater, which is funneled into a 50 gallon cistern. This collected water provides a sustainable source used to water the plants throughout the garden. The canopy is wired for electricity to provide lights and fans for events. LED lighting provides low-impact illumination for the garden, using only 1/10 the energy of traditional lighting and lasting 30 times longer.
All materials for the construction of the garden are recycled or reclaimed wood and metal from the local area. The cistern is faced with reclaimed wood from slave buildings once located on the Alexander Plantation just outside of Little Rock in Scott. These slave buildings were often painted colors chosen to define the plantation owner. Owner Bitsy Davis donated the wood.
The design of the canopy is inspired by the raven illustration of The Bernice Garden logo. The logo also inspired the hand-crafted sign made by David Clemons, the metal and jewelry artist in residence at the University of Arkansas.