I was recently provided with an opportunity to intern for a week with Dart’s landscape architecture department. As I was new to the idea of landscape architecture as a career path, this internship gave me insight into what it involves and how it impacts people’s daily lives.
Landscape architecture offers the chance to create sustainable and visually pleasing environments to help connect people with their surroundings in this modern age of development and technology.
During the first few days, I worked closely with Jessica Barefoot, who taught me about horticulture and showed me the different ways it is displayed in landscaping. We visited several locations, including the KAABOO site, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and I saw how different plants are integrated with the infrastructure.
Jessica and I spent time at the West Indian Club garden, where I saw a wide variety of plants and trees. I was given insight into the immense planning and designs that go into making the garden so beautiful.
I learned about the computer software programmes that are currently being used to develop project plans and was given the chance to tinker with them. I also learned that communication is a fundamental part of landscape architecture and I attended various meetings at which exciting future developments were discussed. I was also given tours of several of Dart’s ongoing development projects, including the Cayman International School expansion, the Seven Mile Public Beach project and the new Foster’s Food Fair supermarket. I was surprised to see the amount of planning, creative design, detail and thought that goes into projects of this scale.
This internship made me aware of the dedication and strong work ethic that it takes to work in a landscape architecture career. The people I met during the week were some of the most hardworking, knowledgeable and creative people I have ever met and it was amazing to see how good their communication and collaborative skills were.
I was able to see the great amount of detail and thought that goes into landscaping elements such as pathways, seating areas, plant and tree arrangements and parking areas. After seeing this, I will never look at public spaces in the same way again knowing that someone has placed each object and design there for a specific reason.
Lola Squire is a high school student at Cayman International School.