For the Love of Teenagers

The following is the talk I gave at last week’s Landscape Architecture Foundation Symposium in Washington, D.C. You can view the recorded talk here. During fifteen years working and living in Los Angeles I’ve visited, studied, and helped to design landscapes for at least two dozen LA Unified School District public schools. For twelve years, […]

Read more

Tense Teens: Why High Schools Should Provide Restoration

Even if you don’t yet or won’t ever have a teenager, you were one once. This one is for all of you. Teendom is a time of exploration and change and stress and too often, trauma. This year I’m using my Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership with the Landscape Architecture Foundation to look for ways high school […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

Restorative Landscapes for Restorative Justice

During over a decade of personal and professional experience with Los Angeles public schools, I’ve struggled to understand the impacts that school landscapes have on our children’s hearts, minds, and bodies. So, I was thrilled to be selected as one of four Fellows for the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s first Fellowship in Leadership and Innovation to advocate for changing school […]

Read more

Bimini

The constant gargle, whether crashing or calm, gloriously filling your ears against small or faraway sounds. At the ocean, it is just you and it. The broken sunlight forever chasing its changing surface, cloistering its depths from we outsiders. The bobbing lightness of standing shoulder-deep just beyond the break, rising on tiptoe in each swell, […]

Read more

Community … continued

Last Christmas I wrote about the community I found by accident … because of an accident. This season has me thinking a lot about the community we make on purpose. Our lives are wound up in our communities, whether we ask for it or not. Our communities make us feel welcomed or ostracized, safe or afraid, […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

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 […]

Read more

Love the Where You Are

Love the where you are. There will always be things we don’t love about the places we live. Maybe it’s the traffic, or the trash, or the loneliness, or the violence. Maybe the graffiti gets you down (not everyone sees it as art). Or the broken sidewalks. Or the vacant businesses. Or the thriving businesses. […]

Read more

Nowhere … but Somewhere

AMTRAK DAY EIGHT November 28, 2014 I fall instantly in love with places. These eight days on the train I have given my heart to the mesquite-laden hills around Austin … the sun-drenched center of Forth Worth … Saint Louis’ sorrowful elegance the night after the non-indictment … a distant Illinois farm house friended on […]

Read more