Designing Our Future

Jul 16, 2020

Laura McShane

See the trees and the grasses in this photo? This is not a natural landscape. It was designed by a landscape architect to help save 60+ year old English Oaks in a city park that underwent a massive reconstruction project in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a very political and stressful situation for residents.

Saving these trees was a personal victory for me. I trained as a landscape architect, but never formally practiced, after trying - but giving up in frustration. I even worked for the City of Cleveland in the department that designed and managed park properties. If I had stayed on - I might have helped design these tree wells, constructed to adjust the grade that was elevated 2' around the trunks of the oak trees.

Today I was reminded of my earlier career ambitions and I had a good little cry when I read this free picture book--Green Trees and Sam by Shannon Gapp:The book is part of wonderful mentorship program that encourages high school students to dream big and leave a legacy in their world. Please SEE:

I learned about the program when a student, who studied at Cleveland Public Library and lives in my neighborhood won a $40K scholarship to study design and construction management at Kent State University. I know Diego. He is a bright light!

I don't know the landscape architect who SAVED our park trees, but it makes me happy to know this person helped our neighborhood. The grasses are beautiful and keep the operators of heavy grass cutting machinery from damaging the trees (and sinking in the gravel).

Life doesn't always turn out the way you planned, but it still goes on! Don't give up! LISTEN to Diego!

Advice for incoming ninth graders: “Don’t try to fit in. Your time will come where people come to you for help.”

Quote: “I want to start my own business, leave a mark and give back to the community. We are only here for a short time. If you are not hustling to leave a mark on the world, what’s the point?”


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