Live oak, College Station, TX. Photo by Naomi Sachs
I knew it had been a long time since the last TLN Blog post, but I didn’t realize until yesterday that it’s been almost a month. I think we are also overdue for our monthly TLN e-Newsletter (if you’d like to receive the free newsletter, sign up here).
The big news is that I have been accepted into the PhD program in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. I will be focusing on – you guessed it – therapeutic landscapes, in the Center for Health Systems & Design. The faculty there is unbelievable, the students are top-notch, and the scholarship that comes out of the Center is excellent. The big draw for me is that several Architecture professors focus on access to nature (see, for example, Susan Rodiek’s Access to Nature DVD series). So it’s a great fit, and I’m excited about pursuing the missing piece of my puzzle: Research on how nature – wild and designed – affects people’s health and well-being. Learning how to conduct original research, write about it, and teach others will, I hope, make a contribution to the growing field of evidence-based design (stay tuned for the next post which focuses on EBD) to not just advocate for therapeutic landscapes but to answer specific questions about how we can best design spaces that benefit even the most vulnerable populations.
The TLN website and community will remain active, but will probably undergo changes as I transition from full-time TLN Director and part-time landscape designer to full-time doctoral student. I am in conversation with our Advisory Board about how to make this happen. Support from TLN members who can donate funds and/or time will be essential (if you would like to donate now, please visit our Support page; no amount is too small…or too big). The conversations we’ve been having on Linked In and Facebook have become so dynamic, fulfilling the “connecting people with people” part of our mission and vision.
I will also be moving from my home of almost 7 years in the verdant Hudson Valley to College Station, in Central Texas. This will be quite the change of scenery. I was fortunate last week to see the Texas Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush in full bloom together, a breathtaking sight. Above is an image of a noble Live Oak in one of College Station’s parks.
Thanks to all of you for putting the “N” in the TLN. Like a good, well-tended tree, this is truly a strong Network, getting stronger and more vibrant all the time. I look forward to continuing our work, in whatever way takes shape, in the years to come. In the meantime, stay tuned for more blog posts as I pack boxes and prepare to move!
– Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC
Founding Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network