This is a really difficult post to write. After six amazing years being part of the SPVV team, I’ve decided to follow my heart deeper into the niche of designing children’s play and learning environments and how these places support children experiencing neurodiversity. This month, I’ll be heading off to focus on N is for Nature Play, where I’ll be taking a new spin on my passion work. In addition to design, I’ll be teaching early childhood professionals, educators, parents, and others how to create sensory-rich natural play and learning environments.

Thinking back on my time here, I’m filled with gratitude for this group of people I consider family. In 2017, I was home raising our 18-month-old twins…already a full-time job and then some. I wanted to get back into the profession so I could continue the work I love: designing children’s natural play and learning landscapes. I was well-familiar with SPVV, their talented people, and their history of creative projects. For me, it was the only firm in the Spokane area I felt was a natural fit. So, as I wrangled two toddlers in our front yard, I called up Ken Van Voorhis and asked if they had any room for another team member.

With my hands already full with motherhood, I stepped into an office that values family like no place I’ve ever experienced. Balancing work life and motherhood weighed heavy on me, and to my delight (and relief) SPVV made it easy to find that equilibrium. Not only that, they welcomed my nature play specialty with open arms. I was able to work on projects, nature play and otherwise, that have been the highlight of my career so far, including the custom playscape for the new Joya facility, three indoor playscapes for Lumen High School and GLOW Children in downtown Spokane, the landscape for the Integrated Science and Engineering building for Gonzaga University, and many others.

Over the course of my 23-year career, these past six years have been my favorite. I’ve been part of project teams filled with many talented allied professionals. I’ve worked on projects that speak to my passion, as well as projects that have expanded my skills and appreciation for landscape architecture. I’ve laughed and cried alongside my friends here at the office, and they have supported me in every way possible. For six years I have felt valued as a professional and as a person.

I know this to be rare and special.

Moving on is bittersweet. In the process of following my heart, there will always be a piece of it reserved for Tom, Ken, Anne, Darren, Gina, Katie, and Mattie.

So, a huge “thank you!” to all of you I’ve had the pleasure to work with in my time here, and so much love to my SPVV family. I look forward to seeing where the future takes us all.

Much love,