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what we do

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." -Theodore Roosevelt

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sustainable

We seek innovative design solutions which provide a balance of environmental sensitivity, social equity, and economic viability. We are committed to creating sustainable places that meet today’s needs, while being conscious of how we will live tomorrow . We don’t give lip service to sustainability – we live this in our office, in our homes, and in our practice.

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creative

We believe everyone has something to offer. Our firm is based on a flat organizational structure, providing opportunity for all of our staff to be involved in decision-making processes. We find this enhances the design process and results in a superior final product.

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design

EnSite, Inc. is a leading Florida based design firm. Our services include Planning, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, Urban Design, Sustainability, and Graphic Design. Our team is committed to the long-term success of the communities in which we live, work, learn, and play.

our portfolio

#enrichment

"Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress, that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future." - Barack Obama

12 years in, sustainability remains the focus

12 years in, sustainability remains the focus

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12 years in, sustainability remains the focus

We've been so busy we hardly noticed our business just reached the 12-year mark. The principles that made us different in the urban design/planning/engineering/landscape architecture space are still what we hold near and dear today. Aside from the technical expertise and customer service excellence you should expect of our type of firm, EnSite is defined by our horizontal leadership structure, focus on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. We thought it would be fun to share this old video that was produced on the occasion of being rewarded the first-ever Chrysalis sustainability award from the Horizon Council back in 2012. A lot has happened since then (anyone remember Jon's buzz cut?), but we still like to share this as a reminder that sustainability has three components: -environmental -economic -social equity When all three come together, the future is in very good hands. The hairstyles, though - those are just going to keep changing.
Discover the world outside your bubble

Discover the world outside your bubble

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Discover the world outside your bubble

As urban designers and planners, we seek solutions to help folks get what they need within a small swath of geography. A focus on mixed use development and walkable solutions means more folks will be able to get around on foot or bike from home, to work, to public green spaces for recreation, to retailers to do their shopping and to service providers' offices. We work to combat the short-sighted, vehicle-centric planning practices of the second half of the 20th century that result in sprawl. We tout placemaking as a way to increase community engagement with a community's assets. These strategies proceed bit by bit, and they take time. If successful, these communities develop a distinctive neighborhood character, and its residents, businesses and other stakeholders become more connected with one another. An unintended consequence is that once a community member's needs are met within this mixed-use framework, he or she starts to exist in a bubble. The NPR podcast Invisibilia recently profiled a successful millennial named Max Hawkins who recognized that his own daily routine had created a bubble around himself. It was, as the show points out, a beautiful bubble, with lots of inviting sights, friendly people, good food and many more pleasing things to enjoy. Nonetheless, his commute, work environment and home neighborhood exerted a limited effect on his experience. So he created an app to help him discover experiences he never would have happened upon from within the shiny sphere that insulated him. We will let you listen to the story yourself. Perhaps you'll recognize the ways in which you've built your own bubble around yourself. Is it a beautiful bubble like Max's? Even if it is, are there ways you could expand your experience by "randomizing" it just a bit? Maybe for an hour a week? Half a day? Or several times a month? Walkable cities and placemaking will always be worthy endeavors for us. But we're also driven to provide connectivity, both within and between the urban centers where lots of life takes place. There's nothing wrong with a bubble, but isn't it nice to occasionally squeak past its protective membrane and travel through the bubbles of those around us? Travel doesn't have to be overseas. Sometimes the next bubble over is worth the bounce.
When it comes to health and happiness, big cities win

When it comes to health and happiness, big cities win

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When it comes to health and happiness, big cities win

It's the first Wednesday in June, which means it's National Running Day. As over two million people from different countries around the world prepare to go out for a run, we'd like to take the time to appreciate how important active living environments are to our communities. Sidewalks, roads, parks and green space not only provide us with a place to exercise, they also make for healthier Americans. Before you go out for your morning jog, take a look at how smart urban planning has an impact on our overall health and wellbeing.

Research shows Americans in big cities are healthier, happier

When it comes to overall health and happiness, why do big city residents win out over those from smaller communities? In the article Here’s Why Big Cities Are Healthier, Maggie Fox explains why city folk end up on top largely because of sidewalks, parks and good public transport. According to a report by Gallup and Healthways, community investment in active living environments such as bike paths, parks and walkways had positive effects on the overall health and wellbeing of residents. Furthermore, research shows that access to green spaces encourages exercise and healthier eating, leading to lower stress levels and rates of disease. The top five cities that scored the highest on health and wellbeing were Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York. Residents in these cities showed significantly lower rates of smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression. Sources: NBCnews.com, RunnersWorld.com
Step it up for World Environment Day 2017!

Step it up for World Environment Day 2017!

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Step it up for World Environment Day 2017!

Despite our differences, the billions of individuals who live on Earth have one thing in common: their home planet. And maybe like you, we didn't realize today was World Environmental Day until we clicked on the Google Doodle. That search engine behemoth is directing clicks from that pretty green treatment of its iconic moniker to materials like its environmental commitment report, an article about how its Google map vehicles are being outfitted with air pollution meters, and many cool maps imaging tools tracking illegal fishing and forest loss. Your journey to greater environmental awareness starts with a single step.

World Environment Day is the United Nations' 43-year-old vehicle for promoting environmental awareness. However old you are, you can also serve as such a vehicle - and with just your own two legs. The theme for 2017 is connecting people with nature, which caught our attention, because it's a big part of what we try to do! So how will you celebrate? Plan a trip to visit a national park. Plant a tree. Or just go outside and splash in the first big puddles of Southwest Florida's rainy season.

And consider the following - yes, the environment is a global health issue. We mean this in the nicest way possible - go take a hike!

 The noisy poetics of community building

 The noisy poetics of community building

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 The noisy poetics of community building

Toot toot hey beep beep - it's catchy as a little song hook for Donna Summer's classic "Bad Girls." Anyone who's ever resided in a place like New York City, though, knows car horns are a little less appealing when you're trying to catch a few zzzzs. What can you do? Get mad, obviously.

That's what Aaron Naparstek did before he decided to get a little more creative with his automotive angst. He wrote a little verse in a 5- 7- 5-syllable format and took some liberties with the classic Japanese form we know as haiku. He printed out 50 copies. He went around his neighborhood hanging them on lamp posts. It was a walking meditation of sorts that felt, at worst, less destructive than that time he egged a guy's car in a fit of rage. He kept it up, night after sleepless night.

Before long, and to his great surprise, "honku" poems by other anonymous authors began to appear on those signposts. So he made a website and posted the URL on his new editions and created a digital space called "The Lampost" that went on to become an online forum for him and his neighbors. Before long, they decided to (finally!) meet in real life. And, before long again, they showed up at a government meeting where a city councilman named Bill de Blasio addressed the crowd wielding a piece of paper bearing the Honku organization's letterhead. The now-mayor took on the neighbors' cause at that time, and enacted a police patrol intervention that worked! For a while.

The city being what it is, the honking returned. But in the meantime, one person wrote three lines that got neighbors to finally introduce themselves and work on an issue they all had a stake in. You can hear Mr. Naparstek expertly tell his story on The Moth podcast. You're sure to be inspired to seek out creative solutions to shared problems and to appreciate the many organic ways a community can define its character and strengthen itself from within. To us, that's poetry in motion:

Honku #1 You from New Jersey honking in front of my house in your SUV - Aaron Naparstek
Turn your trash into eco-friendly DIY treasure!

Turn your trash into eco-friendly DIY treasure!

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Turn your trash into eco-friendly DIY treasure!

One man's trash is another man's eco-friendly produce bag! Take your recycling one step further with these creative DIY projects:

1. Use old t-shirts to create produce bags.

2.Repurpose an old filing cabinet into a stylish planter.

3. Reuse wood pallets to create a rustic "living wall" indoor planter.

4. A wine rack made out of old coffee cans? Genius!

5. Transform used plastic bottles into stringed party lights.

Check out the full article for more eco-friendly DIY projects. Read more >>

Source: Brito.co
  Catch the eco-optimism spirit

  Catch the eco-optimism spirit

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  Catch the eco-optimism spirit

Isn't it time for some good news? The American Society of Landscape Architects recently ran a two-part feature in their blog, The Dirt, called "Reasons to be Optimistic About the Future of the Environment." Heck yeah, it got us to click! They were careful to avoid sugar-coating the realities we face, but along with a sense of urgency, a dose of optimism can help the work we must do feel a little more achievable. We'll summarize the main points below, but encourage you to read these excellent posts in their entirety.

Part one provides these reasons to take heart:

- China Is Valuing Its Ecosystem Services (and so are many cities and countries!)

- In the U.S, Renewable Energy Is Where the Growth Is

- Food Waste Is Now on Our Radar

- Communities Are Organizing to Save Coastal Ecosystems

- Cities Are Rebuilding Connections to Nature

- Some Species Have Even Found Opportunities in Suburbs and Cities

Part two continues with more good news:

- Nature Is Being Preemptively Preserved (check out the Nat Geo trailer below, which ASLA also includes in their post)

- People Are Making Room for Nature to Travel (migration corridors, anyone?)

- Forests Are Being Designed for Productivity

- The Best Communicators Are Creating “Conservation Pride”

- And We’ve Learned Everyone Can Make an Important Contribution

Isn't it easier to get to work knowing your efforts mean something? What is one thing, big or small, that can you do today to help us achieve a better tomorrow for our planet?

STEM@Work catapults students' prospects

STEM@Work catapults students' prospects

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STEM@Work catapults students' prospects

Learning doesn't happen in a vacuum, and without an integration between the public schools and the business community (i.e., potential employers), the critical thinking gap that exists in today's workforce would become the rule, rather than the exception. We owe more to the younger generation, and when their skills are developed in anticipation of future employment opportunities, everybody wins. That's why we love that the highlight of the recent STEM@Work wrap-up event was a catapult competition. By working together to solve problems, we can achieve greater, more meaningful results that shape the future farther than we can see.

EnSite is proud to have been an early supporter of the STEM@Work program. Without a team effort, STEM is just a bunch of letters. Read more about the STEM-focused initiatives by Lee County Public Schools in partnership with the business community in this excellent article by the News-Press.

The benefits of biking

The benefits of biking

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The benefits of biking

It's #NationalBikeToSchoolDay! Less than 7% of urban trips are taken by bicycle. Did you know that shifting towards more sustainable forms of transportation has the potential to lower emissions and save cities trillions of dollars? Check out the benefits of riding bicycles more often in the infographic below.   bike day Source: Itpd.org       Sour
 Collaboratory kick-off launches Midtown redevelopment

 Collaboratory kick-off launches Midtown redevelopment

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 Collaboratory kick-off launches Midtown redevelopment

Combine the words "collaboration" with "laboratory" and you get "collaboratory." Portmonteau run the gamut from the iconic (spork, jackalope, rockumentary, broasted) to the inadvisable to the utterly groan-inducing. But we like "collaboratory." It's got enough Willy Wonka to make it scrumdiddlyumptious while steering clear of vermicious knids.

In the capable hands of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, we are excited to put a capital C on Collaboratory. The former railroad depot that, until recently, housed the Southwest Florida Museum of History, has begun a transformation that will invoke the pioneering spirit of discovery that shaped Fort Myers history. In turn, the Collaboratory will become the cornerstone of the Midtown redevelopment project and will shape Fort Myers' future.

If you weren't able to make it to the recent construction kickoff, you can still share in the excitement (Dunbar HS Drum Line - wow!). It's all about sharing - bringing the community together and creating connections as the railroad once did. Say hello to the "new rail." Here we go!

IMAG has better summer camps than we went to

IMAG has better summer camps than we went to

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IMAG has better summer camps than we went to

So, the Imaginarium and The Southwest Florida Museum of History merged and are setting into motion an endless variety of ways to immerse children and adults alike in a love of learning and a perspective of our region that can only be attained through the storytelling twins of science and history. That synergy is really quite apparent in IMAG's new lineup of one-week summer camps that are now open for summer - 8 in all. Check out these descriptions. They'll make you wish you could travel back in time (week 8!) and be a kid again. Did somebody say rockets? (Week 3!) And whoa, wait, CSI? Yup, week 6! Sign up here!

Survivor-Calusa Style! June 5th-9th

Could you survive a day in Southwest Florida, before we had cars, air conditioning, and supermarkets? That’s what the Calusa Indians had to do, and now you can too (with the air conditioning)! Learn all about our area’s first culture, from their arts and crafts to how they fished and what they ate. You’ll have to learn to survive firsthand through challenges that will have you thinking like a Calusa. Learn about the archaeology of the Calusas in our new “Natives of Southwest Florida” exhibit. There’s a good chance the campers will be the first people to experience it. Meet guest speaker Rachel Kangas of the Florida Public Archaeology Network will discuss Pytrotechnology, including a hands-on experiment. Get assigned to a Calusa village, which will be your team you work with for our survival challenges over the course of the week. Visit the Randell Research Center in Pine Island is home to some of our area’s best examples of Calusa mounds. You’ll get to see Southwest Florida through the eyes of the Calusas at the site of one of the most powerful Calusa villages.

Go With the Flow! June 12th-16th

Dive in to explore a sunken ship and offshore reef with a virtual experience that requires no certification. Explore marine and freshwater ecosystems and life forms with a trip to the beach as you wade in the mudflats to discover what's above and below the surface. Cast your net and observe your catch, take water samples, follow the flow, and dig into the engineering behind our beloved river. Look to history to examine its roots and uncover the stories that prompted the civil engineering overhaul that unknowingly created the challenges in the news today. As water warriors, you'll team up to learn more about what we can do and propose your own solutions.

Space Race! June 19th-23rd

Physics has never looked so cool! Experiment with energy, forces, and interactions as you take flight in a paper airplane contest, play a little Bernoulli ball, and experiment with jet propulsion. Explore the scientific principles of flight and rocketry as you use creative techniques to construct custom kites and build and launch model rockets! Look to our past to follow the evolution of space exploration, then prepare to take LAUNCH for this camp is out of this world!

Tech Talk! June 26th-30th

Technology is EVERYWHERE! It is your smartphone, your house, a pencil--almost anything made by humans that solves a problem! Explore past and recent advances in technology through coding, programming, circuitry, and electronics. Work with our tech team to enhance IMAG history education by using 3-D modeling, augmented reality, and virtual reality to explore the world of our ancestors and the life forms that came before. Leave a tech wizard as you think creatively to program an interactive story, design a video game, and complete a circuit to light up some LEDs! Innovate away as we look to the future for inspiration and new problems to solve.

Grossology-The Science of Strange! July 10th-14th

Get ready to get gross at camp as we discuss the disgusting! Are snakes slimy? Touch one and find out! What is in owl puke? Dig in and dissect it to see for yourself! How does your nose make so much snot? You’ll find the answers to those questions and gain much more revolting knowledge because this week is all about uncovering all that is unpleasant. Be prepared to get weird as you learn all about the science of the bizarre!

Crime Time! July 17th-21st

Do you think you have what it takes to be a CSI agent? Pick up your magnifying glass and join the IMAG detectives to collect clues and use your scientific savvy for some super science sleuthing and solve some of history's most baffling mysteries. With a little help from forensic science, IMAG investigators can trace clues and follow the facts to crack some cryptic cases. This camp includes a special presentation by Forensic Scientists.

Robo-Engineering! July 24th-28th

Join the IMAG in exploring the exciting worlds of engineering and robotics! Experiment with architecture, fabrication, and the engineering design process while creating super structures and inventions. Explore electricity, but don't short circuit as you explore the science that powers robotics on all scales, from nano to jumbo, and build your own radical robot! You will need to be in high-performance mode to meet our robotics challenge, as you tinker with technology to build your own mechanical masterpiece to take home!

Time Travelers! July 31st-August 4th

Zoom through history to explore our world from prehistoric times to modern-day, then predict the future. What revolutionary changes will we see? Try out technologies, fashions, fads, and even foods from eras past. Churn butter, play with pioneer toys, learn Morse Code, and even type a letter the old fashioned way!

Florida's solar report card

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Florida's solar report card

Renewable forms of energy such as solar power have been gaining momentum in Florida, but is the Sunshine State still a dark place when it comes to solar energy policy? Solar panels produce a lot of electricity and can be a good investment, which is why some Floridians are pushing to allow for third-party solar ownership (which is currently being challenged by utility companies). See below to find out how Florida scored on its "solar report card."   FL-Report-Card     Source: Solarpowerrocks.com
Not your father's green design - hedonistic sustainability wins hearts and minds

Not your father's green design - hedonistic sustainability wins hearts and minds

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Not your father's green design - hedonistic sustainability wins hearts and minds

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Organizer of the first such occasion in 1970, Denis Hayes, refers to it as "the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year." A resounding success, then, in raising awareness of our ecological responsibilities, then, right? Depends who you ask.

Its origins were found in the political fallout of the nuclear arms race and the alarm call raised by Rachel Carlson's Silent Spring. Not until recently, though, did "environmentalist" begin to lose its sting as a pejorative label in many leadership circles, and the planned March for Science this weekend suggests a disconnect between those charged with making sense of data and those who are supposed to set policy based on it.

Following the exuberance of the 60s, the gas crisis of 1973 cast a pall over a generation. Environmentalism came to represent austerity and defiance of the conspicuous consumption culture that developed as a reaction to the rigors of the Great Depression. Case in point: the cliche of the bearded hippie on a hillside preaching the gospel of composting toilets.

Today, the merits of eco-centric consciousness and green design have become somewhat ingrained into the culture in ways we're often not aware of. Architecture leads the charge, and in subtle, sneaky, even subversive ways. Form follows function, and the large southern-exposure windows of a mountain resort gain admirers for their integration into the setting and the beautiful light they admit into a cozy space. That they facilitate passive solar heating might not get as much notice.

Now there are architects like Bjarke Ingels promoting his concept of hedonistic sustainability, where users of design don't have to give up luxury, enjoyment or fun to reap benefits on behalf of the planet. The "eco" instead becomes so much whimsical extravagance. In a time when science discovers it now has to reallocate resources from its core subject matter to focus on winning the hearts and minds of everyday people, a ski slope is built on top of a clean power plant as a gift to the city. In Ingel's design, sustainability invites community participation, and it doesn't have to be a drag. Not even a little bit. Check out his TED talk and find out how it can be an act of play. And if you have access to Netflix, watch the episode about Ingels in the very excellent documentary series Abstract - The Art of Design. Happy Earth Day! Have fun.

 All aboard for Midtown

 All aboard for Midtown

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 All aboard for Midtown

There's a very bright light at the end of the train tunnel, bringing the promise of renewed character plus improved density, housing, walkability and innovation to Midtown. The River District is certainly the jewel of downtown Fort Myers. Its success provides the opportunity to modernize the surrounding areas and establish a vision for a vibrant, diverse community that provides the opportunity to live, work, learn and play all in one place.

Journalist Janine Zeitlin provided an excellent overview of the project for Gulfshore Business, including comments from our Jon Romine.

EnSite has been assisting the City of Fort Myers develop the plans over the last few years, and the timing of the article is great as we look forward to get the concept off the drawing board and on to the implementation stage. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation's exciting remodel of the former train depot to become a hub for innovation makes the future manifest. Time to get all aboard!

A not-so-humble brag

A not-so-humble brag

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A not-so-humble brag

In internet-speak, a humblebrag is when someone tries to be coy while also being ostentaciously self-aggrandizing. We're not going to hold back when we brag about our own Matt Horton, but he himself is humble and is probably going to hate this. Ha! Oh well. It's the way this particular cookie crumbles.

Matt is our director of urban design. Around here, we call him the boundary pusher, and he has certainly gotten to push the boundaries of what it means to be a landscape architect with his design, planning (and most everything else) involved with the beautiful build of the McGregor Boulevard Veterinary Clinic. And for his efforts he gets a fruitful partnership with his wife, owner of the clinic, Lura Jones, DVM. He also gets national recognition as the winner of the General Practice Hospital of the Year Design Award from Veterinary Economics.

Check out this link for a story in the dvm360 magazine about the amazing site and building, with its emphasis on designing for well being and environmental sustainability.

Have you had the privilege of taking a furry friend to the clinic? Stop on by. Part of the design is a public park. We hope you enjoyed this not-so-humble brag about one heck of a humble guy. Sorry, Matt (not really).

Disposable cup waste

Disposable cup waste

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Disposable cup waste

Many people wake up looking forward to their morning cup of coffee. For those of us on the go, it can be easy to fall into the routine of going through a drive-thru or visiting our favorite coffee chain. Unfortunately, using just one disposable cup per day still equals an entire tree's worth of paper and over 11 pounds of non-recyclable trash. Yikes! Find out more about the waste caused by single-use coffee cups and possible solutions. Read more >>   Source: Recycling Advocates cup waste
 Plant a seed for nature-based education

 Plant a seed for nature-based education

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 Plant a seed for nature-based education

Spring has sprung, which means more for our northern friends, perhaps. But as the days grow longer, it's a great time to make things grow. Whether a seasoned gardener or complete novice, everyone can enjoy the unique satisfaction of watching a seed become a flower or yummy vegetable. It will make you curious about nature's processes and even spark a desire to share the wonder with a young person.

We saw a blog post from a local organization that focuses on early childhood development, which reminded us how simple it can be to grow some learning. At EnSite, part of our business is to enhance the community through landscape architecture principles that honor the natural environment and promote sustainability by using the right plants. Plants and outdoor experiences help people make a connection with their environment.

Here's a link to the blog post we mentioned:

Is there a child in your life that you'd like to connect with? Try planting a seed!

 An hour to change a life - evolution through mentoring

 An hour to change a life - evolution through mentoring

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 An hour to change a life - evolution through mentoring

Yes, okay, okay, we're doing it again - proclaiming our devotion to the concept of mentoring. We're preaching to a big choir, undoubtedly. Just in case the magic of taking a young person under your wing hasn't been a part of your evolution as a business person, community leader, or generally upstanding citizen, we don't want you to miss out. Evolution is the right word, for as much as you will have improved the prospects of a beginning citizen, your life will be changed. Here's a secret: you can change your life in one hour a month. That's it! That's, like, the amount of time many of us spend opening junk mail in a month, which should never, ever be described as evolution. *Shudder*

What's not a secret is there's a great big need out there. Check out this post from this past week.

Jon and FrankieNow check out this News-Press article about how mentoring became a part of the EnSite culture. The BEST day at the office is when Frankie or one of our other mentees (is that a real word?) shows up. Doesn't he have the greatest smile? And what about Jon's broad grin? That's what evolution looks like. Totally worth it.

How to make a zero waste kit

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How to make a zero waste kit

In a world full of plastic and styrofoam, resisting the temptation to use disposables can be challenging. That's why we're so inspired by this blogger's "Zero Waste Kit!" Follow this tutorial to find out how to make your own kit of reusable alternatives. zero waste Source: Zero Waste Nerd

5 easy ways to go green at the office

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5 easy ways to go green at the office

We've already talked about going green at home, so here are some tips on how to go green at the office: 1. Save paper. Reduce your paper usage by reusing every scrap that you might otherwise throw away. Try cutting used paper into fourths to use for notes, messages, and reminders. When you print multi-page documents, make sure to print double-sided. Better yet, go completely paperless with file-sharing websites like DropBox or Google Docs instead of using paper files. If you're stuck using paper, try repurposing old file folders rather than throwing them away. 2. Recycle everything. Take empty ink and toner cartridges to office supply companies like Staples and Office Depot to be recycled, and use recycled paper and toner cartridges when printing. Add another bin next to the trash to recycle glass, plastic, aluminum. Try to bring your lunch to work in reusable containers instead of plastic, paper bags, or aluminum foil. 3. Go Natural. Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity used in office buildings, so opt for natural light when you can. If possible, utilize ceiling fans and natural ventilation as opposed to air conditioning. You can also switch to non-toxic cleaning products. 4. Save energy. Turn off all electronics and electrical appliances at the end of the day, including your computer. Switch off the lights in the building if you are the last one out the door. Every little bit counts when it comes to conserving energy. 5. Bring the OUTdoors INdoors. Purchase or grow office plants (they offset VOCs and CO2 emissions). You can even recycle old coffee grounds by "feeding" them to your indoor plants, as they add nutrients to the soil. Check out the full article for more ways to go green at work. Read more >> Source: FlexJobs.com

what inspires us

shellie johnson

shellie johnson

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shellie johnson

The Mother Hen The quality of life that a community has to offer is only as good as what its residents are willing to work for. The people at EnSite make Shellie Johnson excited to come to work everyday. “I work with a fantastic, energetic and creative group that is respectful of one another and most important, likes to have fun,” she said. Working with and taking care of the needs of a small firm is a natural extension of small-town home life for the LaBelle resident. Loose ends are a foreign concept to Shellie, as her focus on details runs deeper than even her credentials from the American Institute of Certified Planners can testify. Shellie is one of EnSite’s owners and in her role as Planning Director, she assists private clients in gaining development entitlements to property. She also assists government jurisdictions with daily planning tasks such as development reviews and regulatory amendments, and with long-range planning projects. When she’s not at work, Shellie volunteers as President of the LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corp. The group’s efforts have not only made good on its name, but it has also caused a resurgence in residents’ pride in their community and instilled a sense of ownership in the beautiful historic downtown. She enjoys being part of a small town and contributing her time and energy in preserving its sense of community while creating opportunity to encourage younger generations to stay there and prosper. Shellie is a recent widow who enjoys being close to her three stepchildren. Her three dogs run her life. She likes spending time in the outdoors, hiking, and kayaking. She loves to eat great food.
brent gibson

brent gibson

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brent gibson

The Solutions Guy Work smarter, not harder. Brent Gibson enjoys the laid-back, open culture and family-like atmosphere of the EnSite office, which he thinks promotes creativity. “Also, everybody has a voice in what happens with the company. Whether you’re the newest employee or one of the owners, your ideas will be heard and considered.” That flat organizational structure also has a way of encouraging folks to reach beyond their job descriptions to do whatever it is that has to be done. As Lead Designer, Brent does most of the civil engineering design. He also oversees production management, and is responsible for scheduling and getting the designs and plans out the door to clients and municipalities. He also serves as the in-house IT guy. The McGregor Veterinarian Clinic is one of many projects that served as a proving ground for Brent’s creative problem-solving skills. While employing low-impact development techniques, the EnSite team met the challenges presented by Lee County’s newly drafted Compact Communities Planned Development zoning code. This code emphasizes mixed-use and compact development, rather than separate uses with the large setbacks often seen in sprawl development. Brent has been married to his wife Emily for 16 years, and the couple has three boys and a girl between eight and 15 years old. He enjoys playing golf and basketball, and coaches youth basketball at the local YMCA. He’s also on the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a mentor in the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools STAMP program. Twitter: @BGib4
brian smith

brian smith

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brian smith

The Design Doctor Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. The Golden Rule was frequently evoked by the single mom who raised Brian Smith and his older sister. Another favorite quote was “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Brian said, “Watching her struggle through life taught me the values of hard work and determination to make a better life for the family. She is certainly my early inspiration and drive to do better and to work hard and value what I have and to cherish family always.” Fortunately, coming to work at EnSite means much more than a paycheck to him. An EnSite owner, Brian values his co-workers, the atmosphere, and the variety of projects the team gets to work on. As Director of Land Design for the company, Brian is responsible for site planning and project management. It’s thrilling to prepare a plan that exceeds the client’s expectations, whether it is a 4,000-acre new community or a .75-acre commercial project requiring innovative design solutions. “Problems” is a word he banishes from his vocabulary. There exist, rather, solvable issues, and the team works with surgical precision to work out solutions to those issues. Few people are aware that Brian’s alternative career path would have led him to being an emergency room doctor. He maintains that laughter is the best medicine, and employs plenty of humor in his work and family life. He and his wife of 15 years, Christy, have two boys, aged 13 and 11. In keeping with his mom’s example, he says, “They are everything to me.” His family enjoys spending time outdoors.
jonathan romine

jonathan romine

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jonathan romine

The Big Picture Thinker There is no limit to what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit. - John Wooden EnSite owner Jonathan Romine is obsessed with metrics. Aside from hard numbers, he has a major soft spot for people. Every day represents a new opportunity to help someone succeed or empower a whole community of “someones” to make a better future. Of course he pays close attention to the many details of running the business, from finance and investment to R&D and marketing strategy, but it’s the big picture that really matters. By maintaining everything in ship-shape condition, EnSite’s team can consistently deliver optimal results for its clients. His biggest consideration is the company’s culture, which is at the heart of everything EnSite does. On the practice side, Jonathan’s official title is Director of Landscape Architecture, but he describes himself as a “mentorholic.” All staff members are given room to grow their creative talents, develop their leadership skills, and pursue their dreams. Moreover, the organizational structure is horizontal, meaning no one holds a monopoly on good ideas. Jonathan’s passion is making a positive impact on the community in which he lives, works, learns, and plays. Therefore, he’s especially proud of EnSite’s public sector and non-profit projects, such as parks, community planning, redevelopment/infill plans, and arts and cultural institutions. Jonathan has a daughter, Ava, with wife Megan. He loves sports and travel, and supporting these community organizations: The Imaginarium Science Center (current President of the Board), The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools (Board Member and Mentor), Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce (Board Member), Rotary Club of Fort Myers South. Twitter: @rominejl
matt horton

matt horton

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matt horton

The Boundary Pusher It’s in the doing that the idea comes. Like every team member at EnSite, Matt Horton enjoys the horizontal structure, which affords him the opportunity to work in the trenches, where the best ideas come from. Top-down organizations often suffer some delusion when they think innovation can come from the ivory tower. As Director of Urban Design, Matt has been able to push boundaries and enjoy the freedom to develop innovative solutions. Every EnSite project is special, but a particularly gratifying one is Gardner’s Park in downtown Fort Myers. “This was probably the most fun of my career, because the owners and residents were very enthusiastic and helpful throughout the project,” he said. Starting out as a guava farm in the 1800s, Gardner’s Park is a lively district featuring community events, galleries, boutiques, cafés, theater, and attractions such as The Burroughs Home & Gardens, The Butterfly Estates, and the Langford-Kingston Historic Home. When he’s not leading EnSite’s urban design activities, Matt is doing the important work of being a dad to his two sons, ages eight and nine. Beyond those two jobs, he finds there are even more boundaries to push: having completed the St. Anthony’s Triathlon in Sarasota after losing a bet, he was hooked and has been training and competing ever since. He’s done three Ironmans, but not the big one in Hawaii…yet.

what makes us awesome

"There is no limit to what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit." - John Wooden

2012 Horizon Council General Business Award

2012 Horizon Council General Business Award

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2012 Gulfshore Business 40 under 40 Award - Jonathan Romine

2012 Gulfshore Business 40 under 40 Award - Jonathan Romine

2012 Florida Commissioner of Education Business Recognition Award

2012 Florida Commissioner of Education Business Recognition Award

2012 Chrysalis Award for Sustainability

2012 Chrysalis Award for Sustainability

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2012 Lee County School District Business Partner of the Year

2012 Lee County School District Business Partner of the Year

2010 Blue Chip Finalist

2010 Blue Chip Finalist

2010 Creating Better Places Design Competition - First Place Overall

2010 Creating Better Places Design Competition - First Place Overall

why ensite

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." - Theodore Roosevelt

EnSite, Inc. has been passionate about improving the Southwest Florida community since it was founded in 2005. The firm is focused on sustainable design that engages and inspires. It achieves its award-winning results through a fanatical commitment to communication plus its unique combination of creativity, technical expertise, project management efficiency, and intelligent teamwork. We believe that any company’s ability to deliver results that exceed expectations is a necessary function of its organizational culture. EnSite’s culture, which is at the heart of everything we do, strongly emphasizes empowerment and accountability, collaboration, innovation, and a meaningful investment in the communities where we live, work, learn, and play. It’s a privilege to offer our services, which enhance the quality of life of the place we call home, including land planning, landscape architecture, civil engineering, and urban design. Every client receives focused personal attention by working directly with a principal of the firm, while EnSite’s collaborative team structure increases design efficiency and promotes creative problem-solving and creativity, leading to well managed projects and, most importantly, customer satisfaction. EnSite’s unique business model enables our clients to enjoy the talent, assets and results of a large firm, but with competitive fees and top-notch personalized service. Our principals possess great communication skills and are intimately involved in every project from start to finish—they personally plan, design, permit, inspect, and certify every single one. Our community engagement doesn’t end with our many projects. EnSite’s team members are engaged in many service organizations and projects outside of work. And as a team, we reach out to local schools, universities, municipalities, and organizations through our EnRichment program to educate students of all ages and establish relationships and civic engagement to further enhance the experience of living in Southwest Florida.

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EnSite, Inc.

2401 First Street
Suite 201
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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  • Join us for the results of the AEP5 at the Arts Impact Unveiling! June 27 at 5:30 pm at Alliance for the Arts: https://t.co/gaRjDyJAgE |

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