Planting a Garden Party: 10/5 lecture

Come on by free public presentation by landscape architect Elise Cormier on gardening at home and in your community with “Inviting Nature to Your Garden Party”. We’ll talk attractive native plants and attracting wildlife. See you there!
Thursday 10/5 @ 6:30pm
Location: St. Julian’s Episcopal Church, 5400 Stewart Mill Road, Douglasville GA 30135
Sponsored by: Douglas County Master Gardeners

Learn more about natives for your garden>> 
Find resources for a Children’s Exploration Garden with native plants >>
Follow on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our work with communities and native plants >>

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Peachtree Park Nature Trail: an ecological master plan

We’re pleased to join the Friends of Peachtree Park in presenting the Master Plan for Peachtree Park Nature Trail, an urban linear greenspace designed to promote natural beauty, public participation, and environmental education in Atlanta, Georgia.

This project is led by Friends of Peachtree Park with improvements sponsored in partnership with City of Atlanta, Livable Buckhead, Park Pride, and Trees Atlanta.

Visit Peachtree Park Nature Trail & Community Garden >>

Services provided by Smart Landscapes: grant writing, master planning, permitting, contractor coordination, bid solicitation, phasing recommendations with budget, fundraising materials (Display Board, Project Booklet), interpretive signage recommendations, native planting plan.

Project Booklet providing project overview, phased implementation, native plantings guidelines, and park amenities recommendations.

Our display board provides an overview of the master plan layout and proposed park improvements. Visit the Kiosk at Peachtree Park Nature Trail to see this display board in person.

Posted in Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coming up: interactive learning sessions

Stay tuned for an interactive presentation near you.  

Elise Cormier presents on a range of topics, including landscape design basics, native plants, children’s learning gardens, neighborhood parks, greenways, and hometown mainstreets.

Follow us on Facebook to find Elise’s next lecture >>
Interested in Elise speaking at your conference or event? Let us know  >>

About Elise Cormier, PLA, CPSI
A frequent lecturer with the National Garden Club’s Landscape Design School, Élise Cormier loves teaching about design, native plants, and playful gardens.  Élise is principal of Smart Landscapes, an Atlanta-based landscape architecture firm focused on connecting people with nature through sustainable design.  She has over a decade of experience creating parks, playgrounds, and healthy neighborhoods.  Élise is a certified playground safety inspector.  She holds a bachelor’s in Geology from Smith College and master’s in Landscape Architecture and Natural Resources from North Carolina State University.  Élise serves as adjunct faculty at Auburn University’s School of Architecture.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Smart Landscapes!

It’s our Birthday! (and cheers to our birthday twin, the National Park Service)

Thank you for joining Smart Landscapes in being curious and dreaming big with designs to enhance our communities, support our ecosystems, and connect us to one another.

The adventure began in 2009 with a church volunteer project, a friend’s yard design, a 100ft measuring tape, a bartered website, and a newly-minted landscape architecture license.  Since then, the joy of collaborating — with families, teachers, kids, parents, community leaders, volunteers, faith communities, business partners, interns, fellow designers, and strangers-turned-friends — continues to make this work meaningful and purposeful.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Telling the Story at Orchard Hill

Exploring the senses from the Bridge Overlook

Orchard Hill is a special place at Bulloch Hall in Roswell, Georgia.  Designed as an exploration garden for families and school groups, Orchard Hill is an idyllic setting for a small wedding, concert, or other outdoor event.  (See Smart Landscapes’ master plan for Orchard Hill here.)  Smart Landscapes developed a collection of interpretive signs to highlight the heirloom orchard, endemic ecology, and scenic history of this fascinating property.  Interested in signage for a park, natural area, historic site, or garden?  Let us know how we can help tell the story of a place important to you >>

Bigleaf Magnolia

Growing Grapes

Heirloom Orchard

Paw Paw

Peter’s Fig

The woodland neighbors at Orchard Hill and pond

An old barn once stood here

Posted in Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resources for parents: outdoor classrooms, natural play yards, healthy school environments

Come catch a free, public lecture in Avondale Estates, Georgia.  Great info session for parents interested in outdoor classrooms, nature-based play, and healthy school environments. See our nature-based play and outdoor classroom projects >>
Thursday, September 15th at 7:00 pm
Avondale Community Club  59 Lakeshore Drive  30002
Sponsored by The Avondale Estates Garden Club

CCI11112014_0002 (2)

Design by student at Mary Lin Elementary School, providing input for the Smart Landscapes design team working on playground renovations.

 “Natural Play:  Playgrounds as Learning Centers”
Incorporate a learning environment into your neighborhood, home, or school playground. Élise Cormier, noted landscape architect and expert on creative playscapes, shows us how she incorporates play to grow new gardeners and nature lovers. A children’s garden provides a perfect place for introducing a variety of environments, plants, critters, textures, smells, sounds, and natural curiosity. Besides your own backyard, children’s exploration gardens fit perfectly into historic sites, nature centers, schools, community centers, libraries, churches, and parks.

Explore Further: download a handy one-pager about nature-based learning environments >>
Contact Elise today about speaking to your group >>

About Élise Cormier  PLA, CPSI — A frequent lecturer with the National Garden Club’s Landscape Design School, Élise Cormier loves teaching about design, native plants, and playful gardens.  Élise is principal of Smart Landscapes, an Atlanta-based landscape architecture firm focused on connecting people with nature through sustainable design.  She has over 10 years of experience creating parks, playgrounds, and healthy neighborhoods.  Élise is a certified playground safety inspector.  She holds a bachelor’s in Geology from Smith College and master’s in Landscape Architecture and Natural Resources from North Carolina State University.  Élise serves as adjunct faculty at Auburn University’s School of Architecture.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thank you, Summer Interns!

11924558_10205610065863590_5871006202279876344_nBon Voyage to our Summer 2016 Interns.

Ashley Shorter and Jo Tolentino contributed their wonderful energy, ideas, and talent to the Smart Landscapes team, working on public park master plan, nature-based play yard, community charrette, and natural area design.

They also learned about small business operations, marketing strategies, professional communications, technology troubleshooting, and project management.

Where are they now?
Jo begins her final year at University of Florida’s Landscape Architecture program.
Ashley landed a position at IMG_2869 copyGoodwyn, Mills and Cawood in Montgomery, Alabama.

Many thanks and well wishes to both our interns.

Interested in an internship with Smart Landscapes? We’ll be hiring in 2017.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning Garden at Mercer University

SmartLandscapes_MercerLearningGarden_PhotoRendering 2016-06-06

We recently teamed with Mercer University to create a Learning Garden, designed for use as an education venue for Education Students (future teachers) studying at the Tift College of Education.  The design is a longtime dream for dr. deb rosenstein, who anticipates collaborations with other colleges including Geosciences, Physician’s Assistant program, and English Second Language courses. The garden will be accessible to the public, and the site is easily accessible for those with limited mobility, including planting beds designed specifically for wheelchair users. The design invites visitors to explore the varied experiences of the Learning Garden, from an imaginative Fairy Woods to Sunny Pollinator Terraces. A stormwater wetland is fed by an ephemeral dry stream bed, managing erosion at the site while augmenting ecological habitat for learning observation.  A workshed complete with cistern and chalkboard give a shaded spot for group discussions.  An experiment station and herb garden supplement the varied experiences provided in this compact, manageable space.

See all the graphics for the Master Plan:

Posted in News, Projects | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome, Jo Tolentino

Summer Internship in Landscape Architecture

IMG_2869 copyApproaching my final year at the University of Florida (UF) as a Landscape Architecture major, I have been fortunate enough to travel around the US and a few places abroad. I can see how the culture affects the landscape and, vice versa, how the landscape affects people. Every place I’ve visited, even a short distance from where I grew up, has given me insight in how people live and interact with the landscape. Landscape Architecture shows me over and over again how vital good design is for everyone, from daily interactions with the world, to shaping large portions of one’s life.

My introduction to Design was at a Hands 4 Building tech camp where I, as a youth counselor, helped kids build a variety of toys from wood, screws and glue. I loved watching them get excited about creating 3D objects with their own hands. During high school, I developed an interest in Environmental Science, and, as my friends and I like to say, Landscape Architecture (LA) eventually found me. I didn’t know anything about LA before I decided to major in it, and unfortunately neither do most people outside of the field. I am interested in showing people, especially K-12 aged children, why I am drawn to this profession. I would like to focus on Professional Advocacy for my capstone project, a year-long research and design exploration. My initial ideas involve developing a “kit” for volunteer-oriented high schoolers to introduce students to design principles. Through templates, students will learn how to think about, design, and manage beautification projects in their communities.

On a more personal note, I have an interest in art, and love to draw and paint. I enjoy biking, hiking and traveling. I grew up in the Philippines and moved to Florida when I was 9 years old. I yearn to experience different cultures. I had the opportunity to work on a research project in Pangkalpinang, Indonesia. The UF team was able to work alongside local students and we focused on historically and culturally sensitive design. I also just returned from a vacation in Colombia, where I was amazed by how well place making was done in the cities I visited. I experienced ways of living that were much different from the two that I come from, but not any less rich and exciting. It was humbling to see, especially in terms of Landscape Architecture, what people prioritize, what they find meaningful, and how they make spaces based on how they live, think and what they value.

At Smart Landscapes, I am excited to work with Elise Cormier and my fellow intern, Ashley Shorter, this summer. It’s an honor to be able to work with caring people on environmentally sensitive and sustainable projects. I am looking forward to learning more about Smart Landscapes’ design process and growing as an emerging professional. I believe that a design is at first a creative idea, which ultimately shapes the spaces in which we live. As part of the team at Smart Landscapes, I want to help improve quality of all life. Let’s create wonderful spaces for everyone, for the children to the elderly, and for wildlife, guided by sustainability, and historical and ecological sensitivity.

 

See Jo Tolentino’s portfolio

Connect via LinkedIn

 

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lecture: Playgrounds as Learning Centers

EtzChaimPanorama

Dedication and Grand Opening, Etz Chaim Preschool (Marietta GA)


Smart Landscapes principal, Elise Cormier, shares Nature-Based Play: How playgrounds become learning centers with the DeKalb County Federation of Garden Clubs on Thursday, May 26, 2016.  Discover how to incorporate a learning environment into your neighborhood or school playground. Èlise Cormier, noted landscape architect and expert on creative playscapes, shows us how she incorporates play to grow new gardeners and nature lovers.

“A children’s garden provides a perfect place for introducing a variety of environments, plants, critters, textures, smells, sounds, and natural curiosity. Historic sites, nature centers, schools, community centers, libraries, churches, and parks are all wonderful places for a children’s exploration garden.” – Elise Cormier, PLA, CPSI

Smart Landscapes offers dynamic workshops and speaking events for many organizations, including PTAs, community groups, garden clubs, and conferences.  Let us know about your event>>  hello@smartlandscapes.net

 

Posted in News, Resources | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

News & Blog

Planting a Garden Party: 10/5 lecture
Planting a Garden Party: 10/5 lecture Come on by free public presentation by landscape architect Elise Cormier on gardening at home and in your community w… Read more
Peachtree Park Nature Trail: an ecological master plan
Peachtree Park Nature Trail: an ecological master plan We’re pleased to join the Friends of Peachtree Park in presenting the Master Plan for Peachtree Park Nature Trai… Read more
Coming up: interactive learning sessions
Coming up: interactive learning sessions Stay tuned for an interactive presentation near you.   Elise Cormier presents on a range of topics, including land… Read more