It was a perfect rainy day to talk some stormwater shop with the three University of Oregon graduate students who joined us as part of the School of Landscape Architecture’s 2019 Shadow Mentor day. We packed it full of meetings with GreenWorks principals, introductions from senior staff on the major types of work we do, a project manager meeting, a company-wide discussion of large-scale systemic problems we’re trying to learn about as a firm, a site visit to Couch Park, a GreenWorks history lesson Mike Faha whose been at this work since 1987, and finally a happy hour to close it all out.
The site visit to Couch Park illustrated much of what we do here at GreenWorks, and gave the students a sense of how design translates into reality. Rainwater flowed into bioswales as we stood under the protection of the huge maple trees that frame the inclusive playground; a group of kids—some of whom probably helped to design these spaces—watched us curiously from their temporary schoolyard.
We’re always interested in what surprises people about GreenWorks, so we asked the students what stood out to them.
“We found all the hand-drawn sketches around the office refreshing, we love how it’s applicable in the real world. It shows there’s a lot of collaboration and creativity.”
“I just love being around other stormwater nerds.”
“You’re in CAD for hours and hours and hours and then suddenly there’s this thing on the ground.”
Kelly Stoecklein, who planned the day and guided the students through each activity confirmed, “You really will be making real places!”