Job Opportunity: Landscape Architect/Designer

Title: Landscape Architect/Designer

Location: Pittsburgh, PA (South Side)

Years of Experience: 0-5 Years

Education: BLA or BSLA

Compensation: Commensurate based upon experience

Description: Terra Design Studios is a small collaborative studio with a national reach in the planning and design of public gardens, family gardens, university landscapes, and green infrastructure commissions. We are currently seeking a Landscape Architect/Designer who shares a passion for designing landscapes that tell a story and can multi-task and work well in an intimate environment. Office dogs are present.

Candidate must be a proactive self-starter with the following qualifications:

  • BLA or BSLA

  • Professional experience (0-5 years)

  • Proficient in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Microsoft Office

  • Able to clearly convey ideas visually through hand-rendered sketches, plans, sections, elevations, diagrams, etc.

  • Able to efficiently coordinate design/documents with consultants and team members

  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and problem solve in fast-paced environment

Only those applicants meeting the above requirements will be considered. To apply for this position, submit your cover letter and CV along with relative examples of work to (in low resolution PDF format only). Reference Landscape Architect/Designer in subject line.

Master Plan Kick-off at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham, AL

Pictured Left:  Molly, Virgil and Adam lend a hand to check future identification sign location and size at “The Point” at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!   Pictured Right:  Cindy and Rob in a charette session with the team.

Pictured Left: Molly, Virgil and Adam lend a hand to check future identification sign location and size at “The Point” at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!

Pictured Right: Cindy and Rob in a charette session with the team.

Terra’s Cindy and Rob Thompson headed to Birmingham to lead a week-long workshop with stakeholders, city officials and Gardens staff to “Refresh, Engage, and Celebrate” the Gardens’ visitor experience. It was an action packed and productive week that included hours of invigorating discussion and “what if’s”, lots of doodling and noodling, and side trips to the neighboring Birmingham Zoo, Sloss Furnace, and Jones Valley Teaching Farm.

This visit is the third in as many months for Team Terra and the folks from Birmingham. In September Cindy headed south to meet with Tom Underwood, Executive Director of The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Jane Underwood, Operations Manager, and Molly Hendry, Gardens Assessment Project Leader, to brainstorm design ideas for expanding the Gardens’ presence to its edges. During this session, “The Point”, an underutilized triangular tract of land at the southern tip of the Gardens, was identified for its tremendous potential to become a signature branding moment for thousands of daily visitors as they travel past this area. The charette agenda included testing a full-scale mockup of the identification sign’s visibility as well as developing lots of sketches on trace paper!

And more recently, in October Cindy and Rob joined Board members and Friends’ staff from the Birmingham Botanical Garden in a visit to Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. FPC’s Executive Director, Bruce Harkey, and the Gardens' leadership team spent the morning sharing internal and administrative strategies with the group. We then explored the Conservatory and headed outside to the Children’s Garden and Community Garden Campus. The group from Birmingham came way with many inspirational ideas and excitement for the Master Plan Refresh that Terra will lead into 2019.

We look forward to returning in the New Year to help frame projects earmarked for their next capital campaign!

Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden awarded the 2018 Community Arts Partnership Award

Columbus, OH

The Greater Columbus Arts Council’s annual Community Arts Partnership Awards honor Columbus individuals for their exemplary support and leadership in the arts and Columbus employers for their active support of central Ohio’s arts organizations. Awards are also presented to two arts organizations that have demonstrated innovation, risk and artistic excellence in a performance, exhibition or program.

We’re excited to share that Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden received the award in the Large Organization (budget of $1 million and over) category!

We took great pride in involving 13 individual artists who contributed integral elements to the design of the Garden. From the moment you step foot into the Garden, you are surrounded by nature art, sculpture, glass-working, hand-carved stone work, and so much more! It has been an absolute pleasure to see how visitors of all ages react to these pieces.

Campus-wide tree planting and more at Lewis and Clark Community College

Godfrey, IL

A section from the Campus Master Plan for the new allee planting.

A section from the Campus Master Plan for the new allee planting.

Terra’s Rob Thompson and Anna Werle visited the Monticello Sculpture Gardens at Lewis and Clark Community College to kick-off the planning for the 2019 Themed Garden Show. Next year will be Lewis and Clark’s – and Terra’s – 9th annual show! We’ll be spending the winter refining the garden designs, so stay tuned.

Rob and Anna also presented streetscape renovation plans for Elm Street, the north entrance to campus, including new LED lighting and a stunning, double-rowed allee featuring a row of ornamental trees backed by a row of canopy trees on either side of the street. The allee will be the first piece of Lewis and Clark's larger campus-wide tree planting and reforestation plan that was recommended in the recently completed Campus Tree Management Plan by the Davey Resource Group (funded by a grant from the US Forest Service). In addition to the Management Plan, Lewis and Clark’s urban forest data is now publicly accessible on Davey Resource Group’s Tree Keeper website! You can check it out here:

Allee tree planting is scheduled to begin in November 2019.

Flamingos at a Field to Table Fundraiser!

Columbus, OH

Pictured Right:  A surprise reunion with friends Mary Maloney, Executive Director of the Chadwick Arboretum, and Bob Brackman, Executive Director of San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

Pictured Right: A surprise reunion with friends Mary Maloney, Executive Director of the Chadwick Arboretum, and Bob Brackman, Executive Director of San Antonio Botanical Gardens.

No other than the Women’s Board of the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens could plan such a magical evening as their 10th Annual Field to Table fundraiser. Though the flamingos arrived months earlier – more than 70 life-sized topiary birds landed in the Grand Mallway in May – they inspired the theme of this year’s event.

The evening featured signature cocktails, savory hors d'oeuvres, and several courses of a locally-produced and -prepared meal. Cindy Tyler of Terra and her guest, Mary Malone, Director of Chadwick Arboretum happily attended the event. Bob Brackman, Executive Director of San Antonio Botanical Gardens, made a surprise appearance and almost won the “furthest traveler” award!

More than 700 guests gathered to support the event, resulting in $300,000 for the benefit of the Gardens’ community gardening initiatives. To learn more – and see a photo gallery from the evening, visit

Terra visits the Iowa Great Lakes

Okoboji, IA

Pictured Left:  Core Committee Members Chuck Larson, Lance Evans, Tracy Evans, Tim Kinnetz, and Joren Kinnetz, along with Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson   Pictured Right:  Rob and Cindy enjoying the grandeur of West Okoboji Lake

Pictured Left: Core Committee Members Chuck Larson, Lance Evans, Tracy Evans, Tim Kinnetz, and Joren Kinnetz, along with Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson

Pictured Right: Rob and Cindy enjoying the grandeur of West Okoboji Lake

In late July, Terra led a week-long kickoff workshop with founder Tim Kinnetz and key advisors for the brand new Okoboji Botanical Gardens in northwestern Iowa. Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson of Terra, newcomers to the Great Lakes region, fell in love with its beauty and charm – visiting the Okoboji Lakes is akin to taking a step back in time and a deep, cleansing breath.

Beyond the region’s beauty and potential, the depth and horsepower of the Gardens’ leadership team is extremely impressive. They are driven to create a cultural legacy for their community, and their vision is to transform 120 acres of agricultural land into a destination botanical garden. Terra is honored to be part of this endeavor!

Okoboji sits on the 43rd parallel, and outcomes of the workshop revealed a direction that will explore the garden styles of similar latitudes around the world.

A Meeting of the Minds at the 2018 NCYGS

Ithaca, NY

Terra’s Cindy Tyler attended the 2018 AHS National Children & Youth Garden Symposium, an annual gathering-of-the-minds where garden designers, teachers, community leaders, and program coordinators convene around the central mission of connecting kids to their natural world.

Cindy participated in the panel discussion Equitable Access to the Garden, along with Duron Chavis from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Rebecca Lemos-Otero from the City Blossoms program. She also assisted our friends from Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Mark Miller and Jenny Pope, as they led a workshop on community engagement while planning a garden - a key component to our design of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden!

Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children's Garden Celebrates Opening Week

Columbus, OH

Pictured left to right: Cindy Tyler, Board President Su Lok, and Executive Director Bruce Harkey

Pictured left to right: Cindy Tyler, Board President Su Lok, and Executive Director Bruce Harkey

Terra Design Studios is excited to announce the opening of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens! The opening week celebrated the dedicated staff and their families that contributed to this amazing garden, followed by a public grand opening.

The week's events included staff days for both Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a Donor Recognition Cocktail Party, and a Member Preview Day. Terra's Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson spent the week alongside Executive Director Bruce Harkey, Vice President of Planning Garry Clarke, and the board and staff as everyone celebrated over two years' hard work leading up to the opening.  

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden was designed to showcase exquisite horticulture, evocative art, and pure magic to capture the imagination of the child in all of us. The Garden contains thirteen distinct garden galleries:  Sneak Peak Forecourt, Rainbow Welcome Terrace, Sunrise Lawn, Mulberry Perch Canopy Walk, Nature Play Zone, Inspiration Pocket Gardens, Playhouse Garden, My Ohio Woods, the Learning Pavilion, Let's Garden!. Nature Art Studio, Wetland Explore, and the Whisper Gardens.  To date, attendance and membership sales are exceeding expectations!

Pittsburgh Mayor Proclaims May 11 'Pittsburgh Garden Trail Day'

Pittsburgh, PA

On Friday, May 11, Pittsburgh will recognize Pittsburgh Garden Trail Day, as proclaimed by Mayor William Peduto. Activities will be held at the seven founding gardens: Carrie Furnaces (a Rivers of Steel site), Chatham University Arboretum, The Frick Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, and Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden on this honorary day of celebration.

The Pittsburgh Garden Trail a collection of gardens in the Pittsburgh region that are open to the public, providing opportunities for visitors to interact with nature in a variety of beautiful and peaceful settings. Each garden is distinct, including outdoor and indoor areas for a variety of displays, exhibits and special events that garden lovers will enjoy throughout the year.

Terra Design Studios is a founding partner of the organization, and continues to support outreach efforts and development.

'Bicentennial Blooms' Summer Garden Show opens at Monticello Sculpture Gardens

Godfrey, IL

It’s not every year that a state turns 200! Terra’s sixth annual Summer Garden Show, Bicentennial Blooms transforms the Monticello Sculpture Gardens into a season-long celebration of all things Illinois. Along with state-wide events to commemorate the anniversary of when the Prairie State joined the Union, the Gardens - located at Lewis and Clark Community College - will join the festivities through a celebration of flowers and foliage across campus. 

Each designated garden area also features interpretive panels that highlight fun facts and historical trivia of the state and region - an outdoor alternative to sitting in front of Wikipedia for an afternoon! 

Kingwood Center Gardens Kicks Off Garden Gateway Project

Mansfield, OH


In September 2014, Kingwood Center Gardens selected Terra and their team members, Seckel Group, The Acorn Group and EMD Consulting Group, from a national pool of candidates to design a Master Plan for the Gardens that respects the history of the Center while providing opportunity for increased revenue. Terra’s team prepared an interpretive prospectus, strategic vision, architectural evaluation, and a site plan that ties those components together.

This spring, Terra officially began work on the next phase of the Master Plan – The Garden Gateway Project. The Plan includes an Entrance Terrace, Bosque Event Terrace, and Fountain Terrace, as well as a Grand Perennial Garden and Pavilion, Central Mall, Cypress Garden (pictured above), and Woodland Edge Auto Garden.

San Antonio Botanical Garden's Family Adventure Garden Celebrates Grand Opening

San Antonio, TX


Congratulations to the San Antonio Botanical Garden and Executive Director Bob Brackman on the official opening of their Family Adventure Garden! After a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches, the gates opened to an eager public who were ready to explore the Garden’s fifteen adventure-provoking themed areas carefully designed to encourage nature play and discovery.

“The Family Adventure Garden will allow kids to really frolic and play, but at the same time they’ll be learning the story of water and the South Texas landscape. With our expansion and an explosion of diverse programming, there has never been a better time to get outside and enjoy everything the Garden has to offer,” says Bob Brackman.

Terra Design Studios collaborated with Texas-based Ten Eyck Landscape Architects and the Natural Learning Initiative to design for both education and fun. We are thrilled to see this project come to life – and are especially happy to hear that the Garden is already attracting a record-breaking number of visitors.

Read more here!

Terra presents final Environmental Learning Center Master Plan

Vero Beach, FL


A little over eleven months after kicking off the project, Terra’s Cindy Tyler and Rob Thompson returned to Vero Beach, FL to present the final master plan to Environmental Learning Center staff and board members. After meeting extensively with the Master Planning Committee, Terra and team members PNF Architecture & Design, David Cox Consulting, Knight, McGuire and Associates, Inc., and EMD Consulting Group presented two master plan options before refining them into a final plan with phasing opportunities.

The resulting Master Plan represents the blended vision of key stakeholders and the expertise of the Planning Team, and has earned the approval of both the full ELC Board of Directors and the full ELC Foundation Board. Key highlights include the Native Plant Gallery garden and event space, and the Butterflies and More! pollinator garden and House of Butterflies, rendered for us by our friends at Depiction Illustration.

Cindy Tyler presents 'Fundamentals of Master Planning for Small Gardens' at 2018 APGA Small Garden Symposium

Tucson, AZ

Along with colleagues Keith Kaiser, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, and Michelle Conklin, Executive Director of Tucson Botanical Gardens, Terra’s Cindy Tyler discussed the fundamentals any small garden needs to know when it comes to planning for and participating in a master planning process. The discussion included an overview of the master planning process, particular challenges and subsequent successes unique to small gardens, and the power that a master plan provides to both new and established gardens. A special focus was paid to how small gardens can work to implement elements from a master plan with limited funding and staff.

Terra Design Studios has worked alongside Keith for master planning work at Fellow Riverside Gardens in Youngstown, OH and on several projects linked to the master plan at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden. Terra is also currently master planning the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Terra Kicks Off Tucson Botanical Gardens' Master Plan!

Tucson, AZ


We are excited to announce we have been awarded the Master Plan project at the Tucson Botanical Gardens! This 5-acre urban oasis offers visitors a chance to experience the flora of the Tucson Basin along with other plant species that thrive in the desert climate and were particularly favored by the sites’ founders, the Porter family.

Terra’s Cindy Tyler and Ellen Biegert headed to Tucson to kick off the project, which will focus on improved visitor sequencing, honoring the site’s legacy, increasing earned income opportunities, and much more. We are joined by architect Grant Getz Design, and are looking forward to getting to know TBG’s staff, volunteers, Board, and more as we delve into their master plan. Stay tuned for project updates!