youneedlandscape

I Need Landscape


Labor day weekend in 2001 did not only mark the end of summer, it also marked the beginning of the end of innocence. On September 1, 2001, I was physically assaulted six blocks from the home I grew up in. Just ten days later, the 9/11 attacks took the lives of thousands and brought the threat of fear in all Americans. If that was not enough, on November 17, 2001, my 15-year old sister was murdered after trying to defend someone else. She was fatally stabbed by a 17-year old girl and beaten by two others, in front of a group of teenagers chanting “fight, fight, fight!” In the span of a few short months, I experienced fear on every imaginable level. The world was crashing in on me and I was no longer living. I was living in fear.

The great tragedy was that each event was completely preventable. Each event was caused by a human being inflicting violence and fear on another human being. How is that possible? What causes people to act with such hate and disgust? What world did they grow up in, to think such actions were without consequences? What environmental factors contributed to and reinforced this behavior? Finally, what can be done to change it?

These events are what inspired me to create change in this world. These events inspired me to become a landscape architect. As a landscape architect I can shape the garden, the street, the neighborhood and the communities that people live in. At every scale, I have a chance to make a difference in people’s lives. The very definition of a landscape architect is to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public. It is my job to care about how people live. It is my job to care about the immediate and long term sustainability of life on earth. But I can’t do it alone.


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