Schools

Why Not Now? The Incredible Urgency to Bring Nature into Schools

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I’ve been obsessed with the Eagle Rock High School horticulture garden for years now, for many reasons. Partly because it is a beautiful example of designing with nature. Its walkways and little walls were made with reclaimed materials. It is softly sculpted to direct rainwater from paved areas into planting, from high places to low. […]

Schools

Chapter Three

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Sometimes life unfolds, unforeseen, like a desert mirage becoming a great lake right before your eyes. The past two years have felt like this for me. The Landscape Architecture Foundation fellowship that gave me the time and resources to explore design strategies to support mental health led to connections, ideas, and opportunities. After a decade […]

Notes

First Designing Schools for Mental Health Workshop

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“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 […]

Schools

For the Love of Teenagers

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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, […]

Notes

Love and Fear in LA

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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 […]

Schools

Restorative Landscapes for Restorative Justice

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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 […]