There is a summer camp in northern Wisconsin that my parents generation went to when they were young. Whenever my family gets together, half the stories told originate from this camp. When I was a kid my mother’s cousin was the Camp Director and we would spend a fantastic weekend in August helping close up the camp for the winter; bringing in the swimming docks, cleaning the main lodge, and painting the older cabins. In recent years I have been building a small cabin across the lake from the main part of the camp where campers can spend overnights and have a secluded space to experience the nature around them. It was here I learned I wanted to be involved with the environment, here that I developed a love for nature, and here that I know I will have many more fond experiences to come. I developed a sense of place here. At the time, I didn’t quite understand what that meant. My education helped me realize that everyone should have a place they can identify with, and that is my goal here at The Mustard Seed.
My education and career has been largely shaped by my family. Various relatives have studied Environmental Engineering, Horticulture and Plant Sciences, and Forestry and Wildlife Management, all of whom helped teach me from a young age the importance of our environment. These mentors and loved ones helped steer my education to the natural world, where I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design. My time at the U of M helped me create an educated understanding for the love of the outdoors I learned as a child.
I started my time at The Mustard Seed working on the installation crew. This helped me understand the physical side of landscape architecture. I learned what works and why it works. After 2 seasons learning on the landscape crew I switched over to the design world. That time spent getting my hands dirty helped me understand the practicality and scope of different landscape projects.
When I learn new things or take on new adventures, I am reminded of a quote from my favorite show Parks and Rec, “Never half ass two things, whole ass one thing.” If something is worth doing, go for it with all your might. This has been my approach to the environmental world. Our green space is important, and no matter how big or small, everyone should have a space they can enjoy.