Nature Explore | The Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute

Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Instituteimage: Chad Kennedy
Outdoor Classroom Project Leadership Institute
image: Jeff Lindstrom, Associate ASLA, Nature Explore Classroom Designer

Earn PDHs / CEUs while learning design principles for creating effective nature play spaces.

Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City, NE, July 21-24, 2013.

With the heightened awareness of nature deficit disorder and biophobia, it is important for landscape architects and designers to connect children with nature through the design and construction of effective outdoor play spaces. Study our research-based principles for designing environments that encourage whole-child development and positive relationships to nature.

Please join us for this four-day institute, held at Lied Lodge’s world-class facility, surrounded by the natural beauty of Arbor Day Farm. The Institute will be led by experienced designers and educators from Nature Explore and The Outdoor Classroom Project.

Earn 13 Professional Development Hours for the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System. Visit the Nature Explore website to learn more and register.

by Chad Kennedy, Officer for the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN

Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women

The view from Elmshaven's front porch looks out over the garden to the vineyard.image: Chris Pattillo
The view from Elmshaven’s front porch looks out over the garden to the vineyard.
image: Chris Pattillo

At first I was stumped when this year’s Historic American Landscapes (HALS) Survey Challenge to “document historic landscapes that reflect the heritage of women” was announced. The purpose of this year’s challenge is to increase awareness of the role of women in shaping the American landscape. My first thought was to record the Berkeley City Women’s Club, designed by the first woman Architect, Julia Morgan for the women of Berkeley – but our Northern California chapter of HALS had already done that site.  I thought of noteworthy women landscape architects who have practiced in California – Mai Arbegast and Gerri Knight Scott.  Both had done work at the Oakland Museum but that site had already been done as well.  Each had a role in the development of UC Berkeley’s Blake Estate in Kensington, where I’d worked as a student gardener.  Blake felt like too much to tackle and deserves more than a short form HALS.  I wanted a site that was nearby, had integrity, and was not too large for a one-person volunteer to take on.

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Folly in Planting Design – Boxwood Clouding

An example of Boxwood Cloudingimage: Wirtz International Landscape Architects
An example of Boxwood Clouding
image: Wirtz International Landscape Architects

Although nothing beats the architectural simplicity and evergreen staying power of a boxwood hedge in a traditional garden design, the element of folly in topiary and ‘clouded’ boxwood hedging is being embraced thanks to the exquisite work of Belgian landscape architect Jacques Wirtz and his firm, Wirtz International Landscape Architects.

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Cooperative Housing: An American Dream, Revisited

Columbia Ecovillage in Portland, ORimage:
Columbia Ecovillage in Portland, OR

If, like me, you are already biking to work, growing kale in your yard, and composting your carrot peels, then you may be asking, “What more can I do to address our country’s social, economic, and environmental challenges?”  One answer may be cooperative housing (or cohousing) – a people oriented solution to many of the social, economic, and environmental impacts of typical automobile oriented, single-family suburban sprawl (a.k.a. the “American Dream).  Although much of current US policy and practice continue to favor suburban development, “the times, they are a changing”.

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