#WLAM2016 team member profiles: Dayton Rush and Stephanie Donovan

By: Travis Estvold
8 April 2016

In celebration of World Landscape Architecture Month (#WLAM2016), this week we are profiling team members Dayton Rush and Stephanie Donovan, both hailing from CTA Billings in Montana. Mr. Rush, who began his career with CTA as an intern back in 2007, is a licensed landscape architect, a horticulturist, and a CTA associate. He received his bachelor of science in Horticulture from Montana State University. Ms. Donovan is a landscape architect-in-training who received a BS from Ohio State University and a master’s degree from Ball State University, both in Landscape Architecture.

DESCRIBE YOUR BACKGROUND/EXPERTISE/SPECIALTY:

  • DR: My fist tasks as an intern were selecting trash cans for Dehler Park and detail stone work on the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. My first project was a master plan for Dornix Park in Big Timber, MT. I gravitate toward nontraditional applications of landscape architecture such as green infrastructure, living walls, and green roofs. My favorite projects I’ve been a part of thus far have been Silver Park [Missoula, MT], the South Park splash pad [Billings, MT], and the amphitheater at Sheridan College [Sheridan, WY].
  • SD: I value classic, clean designs that make your heart skip a beat. My passion lies in the design process of translating an exciting big idea to the final plan and details. I’m interested in renewable energy in the landscape, and how it coincides with other disciplines and future development. As a certified playground safety inspector, you might just see me on a climbing net!

WHAT MIGHT PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?

  • DR: I currently serve on the Billings Parks and Rec Board and am an advocate for BILLINGS ARTSPACE PROJECT, a project to build a low-income housing for local artists. I’m an  amateur florist and avid gardener, and I’ve even done wedding flower arrangements for coworkers. Friends often text me to ask, “What kind of tree is this? What will happen if I eat/have eaten this plant? Why is my plant dying?” etc. This service is known as the DAYTONAPP.
  • SD: I love traveling, and sketching places and spaces that inspire me. On my fridge, you’ll find eccentric magnets made from rocks, pine cones, acorns, and anything else that might make my fridge unique. This spring, I’m organizing a soccer team for CTA Billings.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

  • DR: I am currently pulling late-nighters working on a design competition for the BAA in which we are re-imagining the Billings industrial district. I’m also currently working with fellow tree enthusiasts and Parks and Rec to plan the Billings Arbor Day Celebration, which will accept a national award this year.
  • SD: Projects on my desk include St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, Altana Federal Credit Union, and the LEED re-certification for the CTA Billings office building. I love the elliptical walk on St. Thomas, the stone-clad walls at Altana, and working on the new planting design for our own Billings office.

WHY IS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE VITAL?

  • DR: Landscape Architecture is a vital craft where the primary focus is to connect people to nature.
  • SD: Outdoor environments affect our mood, health, safety, navigation, and enjoyment of life on earth. I think we were meant to be captivated by the world around us. We live inside, and we live outside. I would say that living is vital — wouldn’t you?

IF YOU COULD ENJOY ICE CREAM IN ANY OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD IT BE?

  • DR: If I told you, it wouldn’t be special. I can tell you that it is  deep into the wood, way off the grid, surrounded by beauty of the natural world — that’s where you can find me.
  • SD: I would have a coffee ice cream cone on the skyway of the Supertree Grove at the Gardens By the Bay in Singapore, to see the plants and city above the ground plane.

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