Meet Landscape Architect and Project Manager Dan Greenberg
July is Park and Recreation Month, and WithersRavenel is celebrating! Each week, we’re profiling one of our team members whose work includes parks and recreation projects. Today, meet Landscape Architect and Project Manager Dan Greenberg, PLA. Dan has been working at WithersRavenel for two years and has more than two decades of professional experience that includes parks, streetscapes, greenways, and master plan guidelines. Dan has an MLA (Master of Landscape Architecture) from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill.
WithersRavenel: What sparked your interest in Parks and Recreation and Landscape Architecture?
Dan Greenberg: I was actually introduced to Landscape Architecture after I graduated from college, through a career counselling program. Landscape Architecture seemed like the perfect combination of art, science, technical drawing, and the outdoors. I grew up playing in the woods, playing sports and being outside as much as possible, so it was a natural fit. The University of Colorado MLA program furthered this by offering a great education and close proximity to the Rocky Mountains! Parks are a powerful tool to bring green open spaces to urban areas where residents might not otherwise have opportunities to get into Nature or to escape their routines.
WR: You’ve studied abroad in Finland. What was that experience like, and what did you learn there that you still carry with you as you work at WithersRavenel?
DG: Finland stole my heart. My first international travel experience was a summer study program in Helsinki with my favorite LA Studio professor. As fate would have it, the student housing was under construction, so we all got apartments across the city. My apartment came with my best friend and a Finnish roommate. My professor took us around Finland to see the beautiful architecture and countryside, and my roommate showed me the Helsinki underground. I got to see the country as a tourist and as a local! I had such a great time that I returned the following autumn to enroll in the Helsinki University of Technology. While there I studied and visited amazing urban spaces – Stroget in Copenhagen, Ramblas in Barcelona, Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Siena, Prague, and Amsterdam. These urban spaces exhibit centuries of experience and refinement, and I carry those lessons still. Combined with those experiences are those of the Scandinavian countryside, lush birch forests dotted with lakes, saunas and small villages. I learned an incredible amount in those 18 months, and it shaped how I design and think of public spaces.
WR: I understand that you are also a fine art nature photographer. What do you enjoy most about nature photography and the outdoors?
DG: Nature is a place that we are hard-wired to respond to. It calms us down, removes our stress, makes us think more clearly and inspires us in many ways – especially if we pay attention. I make time every year to visit the forest alone, where I can shed the weight of modern life, slow down, and recharge my brain. Nature photography is a way for me to capture these powerful connections, these inspiring moments, and bring them home. I can experience them again and share them.
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