2010 Success Stories

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    Ben Yahr

    A lot of the negative and politically charged discussions here lately have been less than captivating, so I thought I’d share some success stories from the last year.


    Clearly times are tough, but please don’t let the self-proclaimed experts tell you that just because they’ve never participated in certain types of projects or experiences, that landscape architecture is stagnant or relegated to the backyards of newly built homes.


    Here is a brief list of successes that landscape architects at the firm I work with experienced in 2010:

    • Internally managed projects, leading teams of engineers and scientists.
    • Managed projects as a prime with engineering, architecture, other landscape architecture, or planning firms as subs.
    • Participated in projects as a sub, with a landscape architecture firm as a prime.
    • Participated in projects as a sub, with ecologists as a prime.
    • Participated in projects and submitted proposals for the siting and design of facilities for wind and wave energy generation.
    • Worked with traditional energy generation plants to reduce impacts on the environment.
    • Participated in projects analyzing watersheds.
    • Participated in projects investigating the effects of nontraditional stormwater management practices on watersheds.
    • Participated in projects designing wetland protection, enhancement, and restoration measures.
    • Designed nontraditional riverbank and shoreline protection and restoration measures.
    • Investigated and planned for the long term effects of climate change.
    • Focused on walkability, transit, and bike accommodations at projects that would traditionally only receive parking lots.
    • Worked for and with municipalities, government agencies, private land owners, charitable trusts, and developers- with no projects involving single family housing.
    • Worked on brownfield and contaminated site remediation projects.
    • Designed projects with the exclusive mandate of habitat creation, restoration, or enhancement.
    • Heard from multiple clients that sustainability was a major factor driving their projects.
    • Completed pro bono work in our local communities.
    • Stayed busy

    There are undoubtedly many more.  Happy New Year!

    Ben Yahr

    Worldwide, though primarily in the Great Lakes region.  And being a small niche firm is key.


    Essentially all of the projects listed above came online in the last two years, ie not backlog from before 2008.


    how many LA’s did you hire this year?

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Flyers? ooops.

    Thomas J. Johnson

    Hi Ben,

    I see that you’re based in Madison. I’m down in Chicago. I love mad-town (grandfather, father, brother all attended U Madison) and I would definitely enjoy living up there. Any chance that Baird is hiring? I see a few positions on your website but they are all for engineers…

    Nice thread by the way. It’s good to hear people talking the talk and shining some light on an otherwise dim situation. And sweet canoe… I’ve got a 1939 trapper canoe hanging in the garage, awaiting restoration… but first I need a job so I can afford the materials 🙂


    Ben Yahr

    I didn’t mean for the thread to sound pretentious or self serving in any way.  It just seems important to remember once and awhile that the world and the profession is not all doom, gloom, and servitude toward developers.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    The better team won. I just happened to catch the end of the game last night and could not resist.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Flyers are an officially documented 2010 success story and belong in this thread!


    This is the kind of thing I would like to hear more about on here.


    Gives me hope.

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