Stack Rock Group : Landscape Architecture

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By: Will Howard, PLA, ASLA

Life. We started Stack Rock Group, Inc. in the spare bedroom of my house. We started it because we wanted to create life. We worked for different people and companies that helped shape who we are.

We wanted to make a change for not only us, but for future life.

Every day I think about the lives that we have an impact on:

Commercial Clients – We can help change the mood. We can be the change needed if some is having a down day. We can help take people out of the 9 to 5. We provide an impact that can last for an eternity. We don’t take this lightly. Every design decision we make, no matter how trivial can be the bright spot in someone’s day. Research has proven that direct access to landscaping benefits stress recovery. Our chosen profession is one that improves the lives of those around us. We can change lives. Whether it is working on a hospital campus, business park, or a one-off commercial space we make life better.

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Residential Clients – We are often presented the opportunity to work with homeowners. Though the impact may only be one family, or one space, it is a direct impact on life. There is not many more rewarding things than seeing a client moved to tears because the dreams they have had over the years are becoming a reality. They present us with design restraints and we present them with solutions. These solutions can be anything from a garden bed up to a resort style backyard. We do get some clients that want design for resale, but often we are creating a space or spaces for life. We are entrusted with outdoor living areas, food production, and relaxing.

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Public Clients – This is where they all come together. We are fortunate enough to design public spaces. It is our responsibility and our honor to be able to provide everyone the same experience. There is no segregation in our spaces. We are doing the best we can to make public spaces available to all. We have the potential to make life better for every single human (or animal). Whether they visit the space or merely see a picture of the space, we can help make their second, minute, hour, or day better. We get to use the psychology of green to make life better.

Our Own Lives – Last but maybe the most important is our life. We are making a better life not only for me, but also for our entire office. Every decision, every dollar, every day I think about how our choices can impact all the lives within our office. We have created something that is larger than any individual. We get to come to work and be with our friends. We are not working for someone that only believes in us when it is convenient. I was once told “employees are like tools, use them until they break, then get a new one.” This is one of many experiences that shaped everything I believe in when it comes to office culture. Not all negative situations have to be negative forever. We were able to take the sometimes-toxic environment that we were subjected to and turn it into something great. We were given the opportunity to help change our life for the better.

When we started Stack Rock Group we did it because we knew there was something better out there. We knew that there is a better way. What we did not know (or what I did not know, my other much smarter partners probably knew) was that we can have the ability to create and make life better. We have the power with the internets to reach a much broader circle than just our immediate life.

With that being said I would like to welcome the newest life into the Stack Rock Group family. Please welcome Anneli Clover Hiner. She is the most precious new addition. Congratulations Krisjan and Erika!

I will make you the same promise I make to all the other Stack Rock Group kids. I will do everything I can to make sure we make your life better. We work so hard so that you can grow up into the powerful human you are destined to be. One day you wild bunch of kids might run this place. At that point feel free to fire me, but if you do, be sure it is to make things better for future life.

-Will Howard