Making a Difference: Members Who Educate
It is important to step back once in a while and take notice of all the fantastic things our colleagues are doing in our local communities. Specifically, I would like to honor all APLD members who have taken time away from their design practice to educate others.
In the Bay Area alone, I can think of five current and past members who have taught classes at Merritt College Landscape Horticulture Department, an institution that has had a huge impact on the practice of landscape design in the Bay Area. I know from personal experience (because I am one of those five) that most of us are not doing it for financial gain, but rather for the joy of sharing knowledge and passion of horticulture with others in the hopes of making a positive impact on our community and environment.
So please take a moment to read below and see how a few of your APLD colleagues are educating and making a difference all over California.
Arleen Ferrara is a registered horticultural therapist and has been teaching at a school for disabilities called Vista Del Mar. Most of the students have intellectual or developmental disabilities, with a large portion of them on the Autism Spectrum. There’s a huge variety of issues and abilities in the student population. These students have begun working with Arleen doing a little CSA (community supported agriculture) whereby they take orders around campus and fulfill them. She also meets up with many classes during the week to cook, learn, work, harvest, plant, everything!
Click HERE to watch Arleen work with students.
Pamela Berslter has spent the last decade spreading the word about a holistic Watershed Approach to landscaping, starting with her founding and directing G3, the Green Garden Group, and now as Executive Director of Pacific Horticulture Society. In 2008, when the seven “Founding Mothers” of G3 won their first contract with West Basin Municipal Water District for conducting “Attainable Sustainable” landscaping classes, the G3 of today was just a dream. But now, years later, G3 is an innovative, adaptable, flat organization, spreading, like the mycorrhizal fungi in soil, throughout California and beyond.
Other APLD members working with G3:
Cheryl Buckwalter is dedicated to helping usher California into a new age of sustainable, regenerative landscapes and landscape practices. During her 15-year career, Cheryl has been a consultant, educator, residential landscape designer, and Principal of Landscape Liaisons. Credentials include a degree in Environmental Horticulture, Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (CLIA), Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL), and Qualified River-Friendly Landscaping (RFL) Green Gardener, as well as an instructor and curriculum developer for the Program. To help bring about a balance between urban landscapes and the environment, Cheryl has been a principal developer and project manager for numerous public sector programs, and for resources and tools for landscape professionals and residents.
Marilee Kuhlman has committed herself to improving the landscape of Los Angeles. She sees potential, applies alternative, responsible, sustainable principles and develops projects that consider land stewardship, potential local impact, water conservation, soil health, and the overall environment. She has participated in award-winning rainwater harvesting projects, LEED projects, water conservation demonstration gardens for public agencies and gardens funded by Santa Monica Sustainable Landscape Grants.
Marilee also currently serves as a member of the Los Angeles Community Forest Advisory Committee, as a landscape consultant for the City of Santa Monica, as a board member of the Southern California Horticultural Society, and speaks to groups all over southern California about water conservation and the importance of watershed awareness.
Tom Rau is a licensed landscape architect dedicated to designing drought resilient landscapes in residential, commercial and public settings. Additionally, Tom is an instructor for the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program and has taught design and installation workshops for the Surfrider Ocean Friendly Gardens Program, G3 Green Gardens Group, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and West Basin Municipal Water District. He has contributed articles to The Journal of Green Building, Sunset magazine, and Pacific Horticulture Magazine.
He currently teaches Plant Identification: Shrubs at UCLA Extension.
Shawn Maestretti is the creator of the talk series, ‘Climate Reality: Regeneration of the Landscape’. He speaks about the current endangered state of our landscapes, and solution-oriented techniques for real-world garden designs that draw upon natural processes. Shawn focuses on how nurturing living soil, capturing rainwater, sequestering carbon in created landforms, and planting climate-appropriate plants for biodiversity are prudent design practices that every garden-lover will want to know about.
A few of his upcoming speaking engagements:
January 17: The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino
January 19: The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
January 24: The CNPS, San Gabriel Chapter at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center in Pasadena
February 2: For the APLD San Diego District at their Landscape Literacy Event at the Silver Gate Yacht Club
February 16: Modernism Week at the CAMP Theater in Palm Springs
March 1: For APLD Bay Area District at the Veterans’ Memorial Building in Lafayette
March 2: For APLD Sacramento District (more info to come)
Julie Molinaire was asked to teach at California State University Northridge as instructor of the Introduction to Landscape Design Class in 2007. This allowed her to give back to an industry that has been good to her. Connecting with others that want to learn from her expertise has brought her joy.
She regularly speaks about water-wise plants and sustainability at Green Thumb Nursery in Newhall, CA.
She has also lectured for The Santa Clarita Garden Club, The Sunshine Garden Club, and The Santa Clarita Rose Society, the High Desert Garden Club, and the California Garden Club's Tri-Refresher.
Angela Benson is a Teaching Assistant at Cuyamaca Community College for their Ornamental Horticulture Landscape Design Program. She finished the Landscape Design Program at Cuyamaca in December 2014. She started as the T.A. for the Intro to Landscape Design in 2013 and has continued in this role, as she enjoys interacting with the students and giving back to Cuyamaca’s OH department. In addition to assisting with the OH-172, Intro to Landscape Design classes, she is helping out in two other classes: OH-171, Landscape Drafting; and OH-173, Intermediate Landscape Design. She supports the instructor by working one-on-one with the students to help them master drafting techniques, learn the design process, and apply the design principles to their assignments & projects.
Patricia St. John has taught several classes at the Merritt College Landscape Horticulture Department in Oakland. She continues to teach an Edible Landscaping class (LH76) on Fridays to explore the use of food-producing plants in the landscape for homeowners, renters, school gardens, community gardens, senior centers, and micro-farms.
Linda McKendry is a founder of the APLD Greater Los Angeles District and served on its board for seven years. Linda is now a board member for Pacific Horticulture Society and regularly leads tours around the world for them.
Linda’s next horticultural tour:
Australia: Public and Private Gardens, Rainforests, Cloudforests, Ancient Culture, and the Great Barrier Reef
November 5-19, 2019
Click HERE for more info about the tour.