| 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!