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Six Rivers Charter School pocket orchard

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ENGR215 Project Page in Progress
This page is a project page in progress by students in Engr215. Please refrain from making edits unless you are a member of the project team, but feel free to make comments using the discussion tab. Check back for the finished version on December 20th, 2019.


Four engineering students are commissioned by a local high school to help prepare their outdoor space for an orchard. After assessing the site and meeting with the client,the primarily objective was determined to be the preparation of the garden space for the high school seniors landscaping project the following semester.

On-site Team Meeting


As part of the environmental resource engineering major at Humboldt State University students must take ENGR 215, environmental design. For our semester's design projects our client was Six Rivers Charter High School in Arcata, California. The clients primary focus developing their outdoor space into a garden-based learning area, as well as an aesthetically pleasing space for teacher who would want host their class outside. Our group, the Greengineers (Jessica Sheffield, Austin Payne, Taylor Goodwin, and Justin Hawkins) was tasked with preparing the a large terrace for an orchard.

Problem statement and criteria

The 1600 sq. foot space we were given to prepare had three major design constraints.

  1. The terrain was not level, potential safety hazard for a class of thirty students.
  2. The south east corner was open leading to erosion undermining general slope stability.
  3. The soil health was severely compromised by compaction and the addition of low-quality fill dirt to fill the terrace.

Through client feedback we were able to generate the set of design criteria below

Criterion Constraints Weight
Safety Students must not receive more than a superficial injury from area. 8
Education Must be an educational space for agriculture and landscaping high school classes 8
Maintenance No maintenance required over summer and students must be able to maintain landscape throughout school year. 7
Accessibility Path of egress must sustain up to 40 people including highschool students and adults. Space must be simple to navigate. 7
Durability Must sustain heavy rain, 30-40 people within the space, able to withstand local fauna and student interaction. 6
Cost Must not exceed $400.00. 5
Aesthetics Must maintain or exceed schools aethetic standard. 5

Description of final project

The area has been level and the soil amended. It is now ready for the installation of an Orchard. Stay Tuned, updates will be posted.


Rough Sketch of Orchard to scale.  
Top view of 3-D Prototype with irrigation.  
Side view of 3-D Prototype with irrigation.  


Table 2. Material Costs
Quantity Material Source Cost ($) Total ($)
20 cubic yards. Fill-Dirt Sun Valley Farms 350.00 0.00
10 cubic yards Top Soil Bayside Farm 0.00 0.00
8 ft. Gabion Wall Hilfecker Retainting Walls 326.00 0.00
Total Cost $198.00


Introduce this maintenance section.


  • Gabion Wall should be inspecting for structural integrity
Every 10-20 years
  • Consider replacing gabion wall

Discussion and next steps

Six Rivers Charter High School has ordered trees to be planted bare-root in January after winter break.

Suggestions for future changes

There survival will largely be dependent on additional watering through the dry summer months. The school has the drip irrigation supplies needed to create a watering system that can be supplied by a hose running from the closest spigot.