In celebration of World Landscape Architecture Month (#WLAM2016), this week we are profiling team members Wayne Freeman, Deb Rosa, and Wes Baumgartner, all hailing from CTA Bozeman in Montana. All three are licensed landscape architects; Mr. Baumgartner and Ms. Rosa are CTA associates, and Mr. Freeman is an associate principal, principal-in-charge of the firm’s SITE Group, and principal-in-charge of the firm’s work in Canada. Rosa and Freeman hold BLAs from Iowa State University and the University of Illinois, respectively, while Baumgartner holds a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from Utah State University.
DESCRIBE YOUR BACKGROUND/EXPERTISE/SPECIALTY:
- WF: I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with an enormously diverse set of projects in my 30 years of experience as a landscape architect and planner. My expertise has included very large regional planning projects as well as some high-profile projects in the built environment. I would say my specialty is parks and recreation planning and design. I’ve completed over a hundred park projects in my career.
- DR: I take projects from design concept and put them into being. Unlike Wes’s designs, my tasks are not always a pretty thing — kind of down and dirty, requiring quick coordination to get all involved disciplines on board. My specialty is being a “mad grader.” Grading plans — I do those very quickly. My professional background includes surveying for the Army, working for the Department of Transportation, and spending more than 15 years with CTA.
- WB: I worked for four years in Park City, UT, designing mountain resort communities including ski resorts and golf courses. I spent some time in Fort Lauderdale, FL, working for EDSA designing warm climate resorts (got to draw palm trees). And I’ve spent the last 12 years with CTA. No matter where I’ve been, I’ve mostly been involved with conceptual design. Fat marker stuff. Prima donna.
WHAT MIGHT PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
- WF: That I’m actually nice? I come off a little harsh sometimes but I’d like to equate that with a desire to excel and do a good job; or maybe not. My wife and I made a conscious life decision when we turned 40, chucked everything and two very established careers, and landed in Bozeman, MT — mostly because I wanted to live in the mountains and fly-fish, and she accepted that paper covers rock in a two-out-of-three match. I’m also currently working toward getting getting my private pilot’s license. That has only to do with the fact that I drive everywhere and it’s very tough to fly commercially out of Montana.
- DR: Right now, I’m taking equestrian lessons, both general and bareback riding. It forces me to do something when I’m not working. In the summertime, on the weekends, don’t try to find me because I’ll be out camping. I have a cat named Howard that keeps me sane — and he actually goes camping with me! When I was in college, I was in taekwondo; I held a black belt and competed. And a lot of people don’t know that I was in the Army Reserves.
- WB: I have built up a tolerance for marker fumes; those around me have not. Because of this, I have also built up a tolerance for complaining (sort of). I enjoy sports, but I hurt myself a lot seemingly working my way through the semi-official list of most painful sports afflictions. (My family has built up a tolerance to complaining as well.) I guess that is what you get when you play above the rim. My greatest loves are family and outdoors. I love to travel but I chose to be a landscape architect so that isn’t really my reality. I have to live vicariously through my dentist friends (just with the travel part). For some reason about half the people I know well outside of work are dentists. I don’t drink, but listening to them talk teeth has almost made me consider it.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
- WF: I’m currently working on the Prickly Pear Creek Greenway project in Helena, MT, which falls on the heels of a major land planning component of a Montana Environmental Trust Group (METG) project at the old ASARCO site we finished three years ago. We’re basically following a really picturesque yet previously degraded Montana stream and putting a greenway through it — trails and such.
- DR: Unlike Wes, who is an amazing designer, I’m a project manager, so I disseminate work to team members — primarily within CTA’s civil engineering group and landscape architects — and manage consensus-building. The bulk of my focus lately has been working on large projects for Canadian municipalities with Wayne.
- WB: Some of my more recent projects nearing completion include a private residence in Whitefish, and Carroll College Chapel in Helena. I have enjoyed them for the design opportunities, but even more so due to the clients and teams with which I have worked.
WHY IS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE VITAL?
- WF: Landscape architecture is the worst-named profession that ever existed. No one knows what we really do. It is a hybrid profession of civil engineering, architecture, horticulture, and any number of other disciplines, including hydrology, some mechanical and electrical knowledge…. You have to understand so many pieces of what we do at CTA to do our job. But it never gets boring!
- DR: Most people don’t know our profession exists because everyone thinks everything is naturally occurring. We try to balance the jurisdictional, environmental, and sustainable, as well as the human side — what people like about being outdoors. There are so many different project types we can work on. Anytime you walk outside, a landscape architect probably had a hand in what you’re seeing. And if you walk outside and like it, it’s a good design.
- WB: Landscape architecture is vital in creating/protecting environments that promote a higher quality of life — and, it appears, for my wife’s friends to ask her what I do during the winter.
IF YOU COULD ENJOY ICE CREAM IN ANY OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
- WF: Berchtesgaden, near the Austrian border. I got the chance to redesign some of the plazas there in what used to be West Germany. It’s a great place to drink a glass of wine and eat some ice cream. It’s the Bavarian Alps and as gorgeous as you would expect.
- DR: I’ve been doing some traveling. I think sitting out along the Amazon River, like when I was in Peru. It’s hot and sweaty, and eating a melting ice cream cone would be awesome.
- WB: One of my favorite places to indulge upon a confection would be reclined on a cliff patio high above the Atlantic Ocean just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. The entire experience from the scenery to the flora and fauna is hard to beat. The ice cream becomes secondary. That said, being a simple guy, I’ve been known to enjoy a dipped soft serve from the comforts of my own front porch in the summer.