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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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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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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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, […]

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Skipping

I missed it: skipping. Skipping stones … skipping sisters … skipping heart beats. I showed my kids how to skip. We used to skip often down sidewalks … across lakes … into the ocean. Then we stopped. Because it embarrassed them, and I embarrassed them. These things that once made us smile, they were gone for […]

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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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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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