I have been interning at Kudela & Weinheimer for five months now. Since I began, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, from Master Planning Communities to Multi-Family Developments, creating plans that enhance the sense of community and ownership of the land. I set out to see how I could integrate into the Kudela & Weinheimer family while using my focus in graduate school to help the company and myself stand out against the rest.
My focus in graduate school involves local food initiatives, native pollinators, and master planning for food security. Having never lived in the south before, I needed to first understand what the native plants are, what pollinators they attract, and how to integrate them into plans to increase foraging areas for native pollinators. If pollinators cannot see or smell the flowers they retrieve pollen and nectar from, they cannot survive. Placing more small pockets of these native plants within larger residential developments increases the chance of a local urban agriculture plot being prolific.
I also showed interest in taking on projects that include urban agriculture components. I have completed plans for a new senior living community that contains vegetable and herb plots, as well as fruiting trees. I also was given the opportunity to work with a local organization called Recipe for Success. I created an interactive slide show and brought samples of organic fruits and vegetables for the 4th and 5th graders at Briscoe Elementary School. It presented the foods they normally eat for lunch and how they effect their school and recreation performance, what benefits fresh foods have over things like chicken nuggets, and how to spot edible foods and local pollinators in their area. I hope to continue to be involved in projects like these at K&W and to start to create another marketable area for future K&W projects.
Danielle Bilot is an intern with Kudela & Weinheimer. Ms. Bilot has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from University of Wisconsin and is currently working on a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Oregon.