Confident. Conscientious. Adventuresome.
It took me a while to find landscape architecture, but once I did, I knew that it was my calling. I am very passionate about what I do, and that same passion fueled my decision to start a new type of design firm. Since 2003 I have had the pleasure of designing unique spaces that have shaped my region, area neighborhoods, and the lives of those whom these spaces touch. For me, the enthusiasm, creativity, and ingenuity of (and for) design come from engaging directly with the very people for which our projects are designed. Over time I have learned that I am merely their conduit. I’ve learned that every landscape has a story, and every community has a voice. It’s my job to understand how these voices can be leveraged to create an enduring and impactful place and meaningful human experience.
Sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm for nature and the power of design is something that I never think twice about, whether it is for elementary students studying the water cycle or adults hearing me speak about native plants and stormwater. As a parent I have a particular interest in guiding the future caretakers of the public realm. Providing a space for interns to grow and mature as they experience our profession is of great importance to me and to date I’ve had the pleasure of shepherding more than 20 students into full grown landscape architects. These experiences in the landscape are indeed my passion.
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American Society of Landscape Architects
Registered Landscape Architect
2002, NYS Department of Education
New York State Certified Woman Business Enterprise
Erie County Certified Woman Business Enterprise
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
Certified Woman/ Disadvantaged Business Enterprise March 2005
1997, Landscape Architecture
Villa Maria College of Buffalo
1994, Interior Design
American Society of Landscape Architects NY Upstate Chapter
Chapter President 2013- 2015
Pop Up Park Buffalo
ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – Buffalo
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s Largest Turnout Ever…with the help of AmeriCorps
Sustainable Sites Initiative Pilot Project
– Buffalo Public School 81
My most fulfilling project is the design of a playground for a daycare center for the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Center, a local community resource in an area of Buffalo, NY which struggles with poverty and access to quality healthcare and human services. To lighten the hearts of the children of the area, a playground was proposed for construction during the annual United Way Day of Caring. After some hard work, the Center had secured a grant for construction services, but had no funds to pay for the playground’s design.
Shortly before this grant was secured, JKLA had begun its commitment to providing one (1) pro-bono project per year, and upon hearing about this playground project, and saw that it would be the perfect inaugural service project for our firm. At the heart of our shared vision was the desire to create a dynamic natural play experience in the heart of one of Buffalo’s poorest and most diverse neighborhoods. Over the course of several months we worked tirelessly to create a design which mitigated the unique and challenging site conditions while accommodating the need to keep costs as low as possible.
On the “Big Day” the JKLA team, hand in hand with more than 150 strong bodied and able employees from Wegmans, created a shade-filled , rainbow colored, digging pit and veggie garden surrounded playground. A gift for not only the users of the daycare facility, but also the children of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Apart from the monumentality of the created space and the incredible people involved to bring it to life, what ranks this as my most fulfilling project comes “after hours”. In this densely populated, graffiti-filled urban desert overflowing with vandalism, gangs, and drugs… there is an oasis… a sanctuary free from all these dangers. A playground that has made such an impact to this neighborhood that the kids have made themselves a ladder (which they hide next door) and use it to climb back in at night to play.
Never to vandalize…
just to play.