One of the first steps Each Green Corner takes to create thriving garden project sites is design. Behind all of EGC’s designs is our innovative and sustainability-minded landscape design team. Through these landscape designer spotlights we hope to show more of the process behind EGC’s projects and celebrate the stunning work our landscape designers create by showcasing their designs.
Brianna is one of Each Green Corner’s landscape designers. She has done amazing work on multiple EGC project sites. Working extensively with both the Living Campus program and the Private Partnership program, Brianna has designed everything from an outdoor garden classroom space to a blacktop bioswale to satisfy the needs of our program site partners and incorporate Each Green Corner’s vision into these projects.
Brianna is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Environmental Design.
Her love for sustainability and landscape design stems from her grandfather who inspired her to think critically and inventively about the function and design of the spaces we spend most of our time in. This critical thought process sparked her desire to create spaces that are equally functional and beautiful. Brianna developed her passion for incorporating sustainable design concepts within her architectural and construction designs while pursuing her Associate of Science degree in Architecture. She continued to cultivate her passion for incorporating sustainability into design and landscape architecture while pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Environmental Design.
Brianna continues to incorporate sustainability principles into her landscape designs at Each Green Corner. She’s been exploring her interest in native horticulture and landscape design with EGC and has come up with fantastic designs to fit the needs of each EGC project.
Each Green Corner’s Living Campus program partners with schools and seeks to design garden-centered outdoor educational settings that fit within each school’s educational goals. EGC then assists with the installation, maintenance, and harvest of produce grown within the gardens for donation to EGC’s food distribution partners.
The Mariposa Breezeway at the Mariposa Upper Elementary School Living Campus site Brianna designed is a prime example of this program at work. The site administrator was looking to add a functional, educational element to fill the outer edges of the breezeway. Brianna took this criteria to create two planters for the breezeway that encourage outdoor education. These planters allow kids to learn about plant life cycles through gardening firsthand with the added reward of being able to eat the fruits of their labor at the end! These two planters have bush beans, carrots, beets, arugula, lettuce, and herbs like thyme, sage, and parsley. These edible plants were chosen because they work well with the full-sun exposure on the site and grow relatively quickly. That way the kids can constantly interact with the garden and always have something to tend to, watch grow, or harvest.
Industrial Arts and Business Association Parklets
Another one of EGC’s core programs is private-partnership gardens. This program aims to turn underutilized land into productive food gardens to increase the availability of fresh produce. EGC partnered with the Industrial Arts and Business Association (IABA) to put green garden spaces in two of their parklets. Brianna worked closely with the clients at the IABA to turn the two parklets into spaces designed to act as both a garden space and as a seating area for patrons and employees to enjoy.
In the first parklet, the client requested an outdoor area with seating and edible planting for workers and patrons to enjoy. Brianna’s design incorporated these requests to create an area with edible trees which shade the planter boxes and bench seating underneath. In the project site plan that Brianna created, you can see the benches that sit beneath the fruit trees offer both shade and fresh produce next to the bordering planter boxes containing various edible plants such as oregano, Florence fennel, and chives. These edible plants were chosen for the site since many of them are drought-tolerant and allow for people to freely interact with the space since they’re relatively small.
The second parklet Brianna designed offers options for the client to choose between two variations of the design depending on whether the client wanted more or less seating and whether the client preferred smaller edible plants or larger trees. It features a mix of small edible plants such as sage and thyme and native plants like the California poppy. These plants were chosen to take advantage of their drought-tolerant properties.
As you can see from the site plans, all of Brianna’s designs fulfill the needs of our program site partners’ and incorporate EGC’s mission in thoughtful and innovative ways. She makes sure that all of the spaces she designs are both comfortable and sustainable with the incorporation of drought-tolerant and native plants alongside trees that provide natural placemaking elements. The time and care put into designing each of these project sites ensures that EGC programs are both beautiful and functional resources for the community.
Written by Nicole Shimizu, Communications and Outreach Coordinator in collaboration with Brianna Banks-McLean, Landscape Designer