Kim Klavoon

Amiable. Adventuresome. Enthusiastic.

My story with JKLA is quite unique. While I am the greenest member of the design team, I have been with JKLA the longest, having started as an office assistant in 2008. I had just graduated with a degree in Environmental Design but was unsure of my next steps. When someone suggested I look into Landscape Architecture I was hesitant because I had never heard of it. By chance, a mutual friend introduced me to Joy and her crazy world of Landscape Architecture and I’ve been hooked ever since. Joy’s passion and love for this profession but also the comeback of the City of Buffalo helped me to finally visualize my career path. Upon graduating with a Master’s degree from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, I officially joined the team as a junior landscape designer in 2014. Since then I have had the opportunity to work on a handful of great projects, honing my skills and learning so much along the way. This experience has been invaluable to me, and my knowledge and passion for this field has only continued to grow.

I believe in a future that values recess and free play just as much as it does science and math. In my ideal world, children are encouraged to get dirty and discover what risk is on their own. Their play spaces of my ideal would no longer be cookie cutter, but are each unique spaces for children to play, discover, socialize, and learn. I am fortunate in that the work that I am a part of on a daily basis at JKLA and my participation in the Pop-Up Parks, and it is because of this good work that I have hope for our future. I truly believe that if we give kids tools to play with, they’ll build their own future.

Don’t let my calm and pleasant demeanor fool you, I’m a competitor through and through. I’m passionate about the game of KanJam (which is how I met my husband), fanatic about cheering on the Buffalo Bills from the sidelines or the sofa, and relentless in finding novel and exciting ways to incorporate the color yellow into my house… and my life in general.

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American Society of Landscape Architects

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry- Syracuse
2014, Masters of Landscape Architecture

Niagara County Community College – Sanborn, NY
2011, Associates of Science with Horticulture Certificate

SUNY University at Buffalo
2008, Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Design, Architecture Minor

My most memorable project to date would have to be Buffalo State Science Building. It is a project that JKLA has been involved with through its many phases since 2008! I worked (and am continuing to work) on the third phase of this project and in just a short amount of time I have been able to learn a great deal about the many processes involved in getting a project through to completion. While this phase is only a small portion of the overall project, it was still necessary to look at all aspects of the plan from site demolition to material layout to planting to grading and drainage.

I enjoyed the challenge this project presented to me. Very quickly I was thrust into the role of project manager even though I am still very green as a landscape designer. After several meetings, many hours, and A LOT of comments I learned quite a bit about that project, about our own process at JKLA and also the process and steps necessary to complete a public project. There are numerous players and so many moving parts creating the machine that is a design project. In the end I can say that I am more confident tackling the next big project that lands on my desk and am eagerly looking forward to developing in my role of landscape designer and project manager.