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The Hike of a Lifetime

By Chris Lalich, PLA
Director of Project Operations

For me, the world is full of new adventures – so many places to see and so many cultures to experience.  I’ve learned that to keep my brain activated, I occasionally have to break free and do something outside of the norm.  The Appalachian Trail has been in the back of my head ever since I came across an instructional book about it in college.  I bought that book, and was fascinated that something like this even existed.  How does one really just drop everything and head off into the woods?  How do you manage all that gear?  Where do you sleep?  How do you eat?  It seemed impossible.  I learned that it’s not.

Last year, I decided it was time.  If not now, when?  I had taken several multi-day backcountry hiking trips, so I had just enough confidence to think that I could do this.  The actual hiking was not my biggest concern, though; it was the challenge of coordinating the trip. What about my job? My house?  I discovered that I’m fortunate enough to work for a firm that sees these types of experiences as a benefit to everyone.  They understood that this experience would benefit me both as a landscape architect and as a human being. With that, I rented my house, set all my bills on autopayment, resigned from my job (temporarily!), and flew off to Atlanta to begin this half-year journey.

Read more about Chris' journey (including photos!)
on the RVi Blog ››


Rancho Sienna Pushes the Envelope on Sustainability

The 550-acre Rancho Sienna community celebrated its grand opening last month, ushering in a new standard in master planned community development for the Austin area.  Though developer Newland Communities has embraced sustainable design as a matter of practice in its communities throughout the United States, Rancho Sienna will be among the first master planned communities in the Austin area to require homebuilders to adhere to strict guidelines for irrigation, landscaping, and architecture.

“At Rancho Sienna, our newest development in Central Texas, our vision was to reduce our overall environmental impact footprint, especially in regards to water use, and to keep the land in its beautiful natural state to the greatest extent possible,” said Rainer Ficken, Senior Project Manager for Newland.

RVi has played a leading role in bringing that vision to fruition through the creation of the community master plan, landscape design guidelines, and landscape architectural design.

Read more and comment via the RVi Blog ››


Inspiring the Next Generation of Landscape Architects

Last week, RVi Project Director Paul Cozzolino visited Old Settlers Elementary School in Flower Mound, Texas for the school's Art and Science Night. Paul talked with the K-5th graders about what it's like to be a landscape architect.  He showed the kids how conceptual designs become construction documents and then eventually completed projects. 

Now that these students know we get to draw and color all day long, we're pretty sure they are headed toward a career in landscape architecture!

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