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Darla Davidson Aldred

Darla Davidson Aldred

Darla Davidson Aldred is a senior Landscape Architect at Arkos Design in Mishawaka, Indiana. Connecting people and nature through design is her passion. Besides being a registered Landscape Architect, Darla also received a Certificate of Merit for Healthcare Garden Design in 2014.

Good article outlining where there are gaps in the general public's views of connection to nature.  

Link:  We Must Better Communicate the Health Benefits of Nature

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It is always rewarding to see a project transition from the "before" to the "after" that was envisioned. Therefore, I am embarking on the goal to show more of them- starting with the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame.

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Interesting article that summarizes the findings of recent scientific research that correlates wellbeing and street trees:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/07/09/scientists-have-discovered-that-living-near-trees-is-good-for-your-health/

 

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The study noted in this article, and published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, is yet another confirmation of how important visual connections to a natural green environment is for us.  Even 40 seconds of visual contact can make a difference!  Oops, i just gave away the answer... but it's too important to hide! 

http://www2.buildinggreen.com/image-of-the-week/how-long-did-it-take-image-right-produce-cognitive-benefit?woo_campaign=iow&woo_medium=hp&woo_content=learnanswer

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I have been in the Landscape Architecture profession for over 20 years now (yikes!), but I still find myself tripping up on some industry words and second-guessing what I am saying-or what others are saying.  This just surfaced again for me while looking at a retaining wall condition on a project today.  I am thinking I am not the only one, but if I am, please don’t share this posting!   So, does it really matter? Is a project going to go wrong if I say one word over the other at a job meeting? Probably not because we all know what we are talking about. But being technically-correct matters, so I just had to put this to rest in my own head once and for all!

Below are the (much abbreviated) definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary  Yes, I know the dictionary’s focus isn't technical applications.  But if its definition DOES include what I’m after, that is good enough for me for this exercise.   

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I am fortunate to have found a profession that connects people and nature.  Landscape+Architecture…simple, right?  But that doesn't mean that I actually get to spend a lot of time directly connecting with nature in my daily work.  Instead, as with most working professionals, I spend the majority of my day in an office, either at my desk, in a conference room or in front of a computer.   Seniors spend more time indoors because access to outdoors becomes more challenging as they age.  Children have electronic entertainment keeping them indoors, and many haven’t really learned how to play and enjoy the outdoors.  People who grow up in highly urban areas may be afraid of nature. Yet, we inherently know that nature is good for us, we feel it in our bones.  It’s been proven with extensive research. We are a part of nature and it’s good for us to interact with it in whatever ways we can, even if it’s a view out a window (more on that later!).

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 enriching lives through purposeful and innovative design