The Benefits of Funding Nurturing, Nature-Full Schools … Instead of Police

Link to high-resolution pdf file: Funding Nurturing Nature-Full Schools Instead of Police

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

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. […]

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Chapter Three

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 […]

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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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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, […]

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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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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 […]

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School for the Angels

I always loved school. Even chronic shyness couldn’t dampen my drive to learn and do my schoolwork and please my teachers. From elementary through college and years later in graduate school, I failed only one class, and that was because I decided I’d rather sleep in than go to my 8:00 a.m. Intro to Economics class. So, despite […]

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Rain and Teenagers in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Deluge Part One You’ve probably heard, or been in, the rain this weekend. After months of no rain, we’ve had a deluge in Los Angeles. In a record low rainfall year – the last I heard was 3″ – we got that much in a 48-hour period. For Southern California, that’s a big […]

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