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 […]

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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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Re-Nesting

Love grows best in little houses, so the song says. After seven years in a little house, I think it true. With three children and a one-time partner and his child in and out of my tiny two-bedroom house, my home has seen myriad living arrangements. With only me and one of my kids still at home, […]

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On Weed(s) and Teens

  We pulled them out. The unwanted weeds. Brought by wind and in free city mulch. From who knows were. They took up residence in the pavement cracks and the bare dirt, and the gravel. We deemed them undesirable. Despite their wild beauty. Despite their many (medicinal and edible and material) uses. Germinated by winter […]

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Who Wants to Do a Green-Off?

AMTRAK DAY THREE November 24, 2014 “In Fort Worth, you have to see the Kimball Museum,” Jinny said at lunch. “It’s been a couple years, but what I remember most is the brisket and the Kimball.” Jinny’s husband Jim had grown up on the same corner, 110th and Amsterdam Avenue, where my mom lived when […]

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A Garden for Drought

I am not one of those Midwest transports to Los Angeles that basks in the endless sun of summer (and fall and winter) and complains when the thermometer falls below 60. Though I remember the dire sadness of the 109th gray day in a row before spring, I need one every now and then. I […]

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A Search for A Place

Twenty-two years ago, I had just married, was graduating college, and on a search for a place to live. I imagined myself settling into family life and raising children in one place, wherever that place might be. Instead, I moved through six communities as I raised three children, went back to school, divorced and began […]

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Setting Roots

In honor of the five year anniversary of buying my house … Excerpt from Making Home: from the Sticks to LaLa-Land Once the wake of my divorce began smoothing out around me, I felt the need to anchor myself. I wanted to settle down. I wanted a home of my own. It had been five years […]

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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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The Nature of a School Landscape

Think back to your childhood school … what is the first image that pops into your head? I have two distinct memories of elementary school.​ One is of me swinging next to Katie Coffee on the big metal swing set the day after Jimmy Carter was elected President.​ The other is of a big maple […]

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