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Emerging Professionals Experience Chicago

Friday, July 14, 2017
by Allen Centennial Garden

Professional development and networking are critical experiences for emerging professionals, and they’re a key tenant of the Garden’s Student Director summer experience. Garden staff and students recently journeyed to Chicago for a special behind-the-scenes field trip exploring public gardens, cultural spaces, exceptional landscape design, and urban agriculture.

The day started with a tour of Millennium Park and the Lurie Garden with Scott Stewart, Executive Director of Millennium Park Foundation. Following the tour, the team broke into groups for focused and tailored professional development. One group went to the Chicago Cultural Center while another visited Site, a leading landscape architecture firm involved with local projects in Madison. A long day of travel and networking worked up an appetite, and the team enjoyed an enlightening tour and delicious dinner at Uncommon Ground. Uncommon Ground features the first certified organic rooftop garden, with produce feeding in to the restaurant menu.

Each student experienced something different throughout the day – here’s what they had to say about their experience.

Julia Radomski, Student Director of Branding and Horticulture: I loved walking to the newly installed Chicago Riverwalk. We saw a cutting edge design where stairs and accessibility ramp are molded together. This universal design is a testament inclusive design and effective use of limited space. We met with Bradley McCauley at Site, the principle of Site. It was great getting a tour and insight into daily life working at a design firm.

Saige Henkel, Student Director of Horticulture: I really enjoyed visiting and interacting with some of the major landscape architecture projects I’ve learned about in school, especially the newly opened Chicago Riverwalk designed with Sasaki Associates. I also had a great time visiting Site and learning more about what it's like to work in that kind of environment. As I transition out of the university and into the professional world, this was a valuable experience.

Peter Hauser, Student Director of Horticulture: My favorite part of our Chicago trip was visiting the beehives at the Lurie Garden. Lurie team member Jefferson gave us an in-depth exploration of their two beehives and their maintenance routine. It was great getting advice and ideas about how we can improve the ACG beehives.

Will Olsen, Student Director of Horticulture: I loved seeing the urban rooftop garden in action at Uncommon Ground. It was amazing to see the wide variety of plants growing in such a small space. Urban gardening can be highly successful in a city.

Special experiences like this are possible only through the generous support of private donors. Make a gift to the Garden's Community Fund today in support of our emerging professionals.


The Allen Centennial Garden and its programs are funded entirely through private support - it receives no state or tuition dollars. To help support the Garden and continue to make our projects and programs possible, please consider a donation.

Tags: UW Students

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620 Babcock Drive
Madison WI 53706

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