First Designing Schools for Mental Health Workshop

“It’s time to begin a movement.” Those words, included in my final fellowship presentation for the Landscape Architecture Foundation last May, came true last week. Our first Designing Schools for Mental Health Workshop brought together mental health, education, design, and environmental justice professionals for a morning sharing session and afternoon policy workshop to start a […]

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Love and Fear in LA

Image by Margaret Gerhart Sometimes things happen that make you question everything. Two weeks ago, I walked along 103rd Street toward the corner of Grape in Watts with several community advocates and a selection committee from the California Natural Resources Agency. Viviana Franco and Maria De Leon from From Lot to Spot, the non-profit who […]

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Politics is Personal

Politics is personal. My grandfather Henry was born the day after Independence Day. We drove from Columbus, Ohio, to North Carolina each summer to celebrate his birthday and the Fourth of July on the Outer Banks. One summer, Henry gave us money to buy beach towels. We ran down the road to the Trading Post in […]

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I’m Coming Out

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I’ve been getting this question a lot, since our circles have begun overlapping. Accompanied by bewilderment or curiosity, the asker often conveys a sense of betrayal, as if they were somehow misled. So, I’ve decided it’s time to come out in the open: I’m a twin. As in identical twin. No, […]

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Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

I remember darkness. I found darkness in the Appalachians … and the Outer Banks … and Tucson … and camping in the Sierras. Two winters ago I drove my son to Mammoth so he could snowboard. I left Los Angeles after work and Levi fell asleep halfway up there. Past Bishop the sky darkened until […]

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For the Birds…

My grandma was a birder. I caught her enthusiasm for spotting and identifying our flying feathered friends on a trip to Sanibel Island in 1980. She introduced me to Great Blue Herons and Snowy Egrets, Ibis and Roseate Spoonbills. We saw Cormorants and Little Green Herons and Cattle Egrets. These most magnificent wading birds stood poised for us in […]

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Biophilia/Biophobia

We humans have a complex relationship with nature. Those of us who work to conserve, restore or design with nature often take for granted humanity’s dependence on and innate love for nature. “Biophilia” was E.O. Wilson’s suggestion that we as humans have an instinctive bond with other living systems. I feel this when I’m in urban […]

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Travels (by Train) with Jane

“You always meet such nice people on the train,” said the man sitting next to me at lunch. The dining car followed the railroad tradition of community seating. The dining room attendant sat each person or party in order from the front of the car to the back, filling each table. So Mom and I […]

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