1700 Harvard Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
phone: (412) 243-7214
fax: (412) 242-5232
 

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MARK McKENZIE
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    Landscape design involves seeing and enhancing relationships between interdependent elements in a landscape. Philanthropy is a similar practice — in essence it involves seeing and enhancing relationships between interdependent elements in the community.

  I believe it is important to acknowledge the benefits of being part of a community — both personally and for my firm — and to give back to that community. So, while LAS must watch revenues and expenses like any business, I also actively seek out philanthropic projects where we can donate our services and the resources. One of the most successful of these projects was the Magic Penny Memory Garden at the Carnegie Library in Homestead, which you can learn more about on our A Space for Grieving page.

  I must admit, however, that I also have a more self-interested motive for doing philanthropic work through LAS. I’ve found that “giving it away,” so to speak, frees me from the usual challenges of being both a good artist and a good businessman. Choosing projects and partners I genuinely believe in and providing services free of charge allows me to focus entirely on the creative and collaborative aspects of landscape design. I treasure these situations where aesthetic issues and the value of the project itself clearly outweigh financial concerns. Indeed, many of our best for-pay projects have felt exactly the same way!