A bill pending in the New Hampshire Legislature would remove the licensing requirement for landscape architects in New Hampshire. The health, safety, and well-being of the public – as well as the revitalization of local economies – hang in the balance.
I’ve been a New Englander my entire life. Twenty-two years ago I moved to the Seacoast of New Hampshire and started Ironwood Design Group. Since starting the firm I’ve worked very hard and have been very fortunate. I’m proud that I’ve worked in partnership with more than 65 municipalities from Colebrook to Seabrook. The goal of those projects has been to achieve balance between nature and the built environment to create economically and socially vibrant communities.
Longtime New Hampshire residents may remember how State Street in Portsmouth was a wide road with fast-moving traffic heading to Maine. State Street also connects Portsmouth’s historic downtown Market Square to both iconic Prescott Park, which hosts numerous large events, and historic Strawbery Banke. There was a huge economic opportunity with a new vision for State Street, and I am proud that my firm was part of the team to bring this vision to life.
A “before” photo of the Portsmouth State Street project, taken in 2009. (Courtesy of Ironwood Design Group)
In addition to managing traffic flow and revitalizing their downtown, the city of Portsmouth wanted to address multiple infrastructure issues, including separating the sewer system from stormwater runoff. That matters to public safety because if stormwater overflows the sewer system, everything becomes contaminated with sewer water. I have a particular interest in natural filtration systems for stormwater. In fact, my firm worked with the University of New Hampshire to take their vision for a stormwater and water-quality research facility and drew up the design plan for construction.
Part of the challenge we have as landscape architects is that when we do our jobs well, it’s nearly invisible to most people. My firm focuses almost entirely on projects in service to public spaces. I like creating places where communities come together.
My firm sketched the new vision for what historic State …
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