This special live virtual program explored the power of public green spaces, featuring Thomas L. Woltz of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Sarah Newbery, Director of Parks and Greenspace of the Kinder Foundation. Their discussion was followed by live Q&A.
The conversation explored particularly Woltz's inspiration and process behind his team's work in designing Rothko Chapel’s expanded grounds and greenspaces, along with future garden plans as part of Rothko Chapel’s transformative Opening Spaces Master Plan. Newbery, who worked with Woltz in creating the master plan for Houston's Memorial Park, shared her insights on the project and her deep understanding of transformational projects and how they impact Houston.
Christopher Rothko, Chair of the Opening Spaces Campaign, introduced the panelists and moderated the Q&A.
Thomas Woltz is the owner of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. He was named the Design Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal Magazine in 2013. In 2011, he was invested into the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows, among the highest honors achieved in the profession. During the past 20 years of practice, Woltz has forged a body of work that integrates the beauty and function of built form and craftsmanship with an understanding of complex biological systems and restoration ecology that has yielded thousands of acres of reforested land, reconstructed wetlands, native meadows, and flourishing wildlife habitat. His design work infuses places where people live, work, and play with narratives of the land that inspire stewardship. Current work includes projects at Hudson Yards (NYC), Memorial Park (Houston), Aga Khan Garden (Alberta, Canada), and Cornwall Park (Auckland, New Zealand). Woltz serves on the Board of Directors of TCLF (The Cultural Landscape Foundation).
At the Kinder Foundation, Sarah Newbery coordinates partnerships and leads initiatives related to the foundation’s park projects. Prior to joining the foundation, she served as Project Director for Memorial Park at Uptown Houston where she managed the planning process for the Memorial Park Master Plan alongside Memorial Park Conservancy and Houston Parks and Recreation Department. She currently serves on the board of Trees for Houston, the Steering Committee for Houston Botanic Garden, and the advisory boards of Hermann Park Consand the John Fairey Garden Conservation Foundation.