Ensite Ensite Ensite

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

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"The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river." - Ross Perot

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
 People's choice goes to the dogs - Vote McGregor Blvd Veterinary Clinic

 People's choice goes to the dogs - Vote McGregor Blvd Veterinary Clinic

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 People's choice goes to the dogs - Vote McGregor Blvd Veterinary Clinic

We are thrilled to have been nominated for the 2017 Veterinary Economics Hospital Design Competition People's Choice Award. Here's a link to a nice writeup on the McGregor Blvd Veterinarian Clinic, with lots of beautiful photos. Here is the link to vote for your favorite! We hope it's ours. It takes just a couple of seconds to vote. You have until April 8 to vote.

Do you enjoy driving past and admiring how the building fits into the landscape? Are you a fan of green building techniques that protect the environment? Maybe you've had the privilege of putting your furry friend into the care of the great staff at the clinic. Here's a link to a story on the project, with the most appropriate sub-head: Let the sunshine in. All that natural light makes it a pleasure to go to the vet. Would Fido agree?

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5 easy ways to go green at home

5 easy ways to go green at home

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5 easy ways to go green at home

Changing your lifestyle to be more environmentally conscious can feel a bit overwhelming. Here are some simple ways to start going green at home: 1. Go paperless. Consider switching to electronic banking and credit card payments, get off any junk mail lists you're currently on, and sign up for subscriptions to your favorite newspapers and magazines so you can read them on your phone or tablet instead of having them mailed to your home. You can also replace paper towels and napkins with cloth ones. 2. Use less plastic. Make an effort to buy recyclable materials whenever possible. Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store and reuse any old plastic bags as trash can liners. Reuse and recycle your water bottles, or replace them with glass ones...each day, 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away! 3. Conserve water. If possible, install low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets in your home. Try to limit the length of your showers and don't run the water when brushing your teeth. Though these can be tough habits to break, every little bit counts when it comes to water consevration. You can even try collecting rainwater to water your garden and lawn. 4. Use reusable cups. It can be tempting to get your daily caffeine fix from a drive-thru or your favorite coffee chain. However, using just one disposable cup per day still equals an entire tree's worth of paper and over 11 pounds of non-recyclable trash. Try a reusable cup or thermos instead. 5. Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. This includes unplugging cell phone chargers and surge protectors from the wall when you're not using them. If possible, install motion-activated lights that automatically turn off when no one is in the room. Check out these other tips for going green at work and home. Read more >> Source: GreenPackaging365.com
In full circle process, director returns to re-envisioned museum

In full circle process, director returns to re-envisioned museum

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In full circle process, director returns to re-envisioned museum

After earning his history degree at FGCU, Matt Johnson was hired as educator-historian at the Southwest Florida Museum of History in 2001. With his return to that cherished Fort Myers institution, Johnson’s career path now comes full-circle, yet signals an exciting new beginning. After many years of planning, the Museum of History is finally located under the same roof as the Imaginarium Science Center. As executive director of the newly merged museum, Johnson will work with its board to envision a future for history and science that puts them on equal footing to tell the story of Southwest Florida. Attendees at the Night at the Museum gala fundraiser on March 4 will enjoy the big reveal of a refreshed brand, conceptual plans for expansion, and the strategic vision for the combined museum. In the meantime, staff, board members and volunteers are busily ushering in a transformation under the famous blue water tower on Cranford Avenue, which represents a homecoming of its own for Johnson. A year after his former history professor tapped him for the educator-historian position at the Museum of History, she left as its director, leaving Johnson in charge. Later, the Imaginarium had a similar vacancy, which he took on concurrently. He got pulled away to oversee Harborside Event Center as its interim manager in 2013 and was again the go-to to serve as interim assistant city manager in 2015, and interim community development director in 2016, which he did until the end of this January. When it came time to bring science and history together, Johnson was the natural choice to execute on that objective. “There was nothing natural about the separation,” Johnson said. “History and science are lenses through which we view and understand our world. They are trying to tell the same story – about how the world works, where and why cultures are established, and how we can use that understanding to create positive change.” Visit i-sci.org for tickets to A Night at the Museum, 7 – 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 on the grounds of the combined Imaginarium and SWFL Museum of History, celebrating the rightful alignment of science and history. Extinct animals and colorful figures of Florida’s storied past will come to life and “Night Watchman” Ted Fitzgeorge will serve as tour guide. Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, auctions and the excitement of a whole new museum experience for all ages. All proceeds will support the new museum. About the Imaginarium Science Center The Imaginarium Science Center is a family-friendly science center and aquarium offering fun interactive exhibits and a 3-D theatre. The mission is to engage guests in the exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through hands-on exhibit experiences and educational programs that further the understanding of the natural and human-made world, foster an appreciation for Southwest Florida’s unique environment and natural waterways, and nurture intellectual curiosity, discovery and innovation. For more information, visit www.i-sci.org. About the SWFL Museum of History The Southwest Florida Museum of History is dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of history and traditions, with particular emphasis on Fort Myers and Southwest Florida. Exhibits showcase the region’s rich history, from prehistoric to modern day. Two great museums come together! The Imaginarium Science Center and the SWFL Museum of History have been under joint leadership for nearly a decade, but have now combined for a new museum experience. Get a sneak peek as to where that path may lead at the “A Night at the Museum” joint fundraising event. It is sure to make history and blaze new trails into the future!http://www.conricpr.com/in-the-news/in-full-circle-process-director-returns-to-re-envisioned-museum/
Tactical urbanism - progress as a

Tactical urbanism - progress as a "happening"

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Tactical urbanism - progress as a "happening"

In urban planning and design, ideas rarely go from "paper to pavement" in the blink of an eye. There's good reason for that. All stakeholders need opportunity to evaluate the plan. The public needs the opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions. There's often an overlap between private and public interests that need to be addressed. Of course, there's funding.

Here's an interesting idea: "Tactical Urbanism" - it's also the name of a book by Anthony Garcia and Mike Lydon of Street Plans. We learned from a recent interview how the pair and their firm are engaging the public with demonstration and pop-up projects to gauge user acceptance, cost vs. benefits and long-term feasibility. Such projects can last a day or maybe month. A temporary "makeover" of a neglected alley is an example. Or a pop-up parklet, protected bike lane or a parking median converted into a pedestrian plaza with live entertainment.

Certain types of "happenings" to activate streets were once used as a form of protest. Now, in working with public planning agencies, firms are able to audition certain changes intended to increase walkability, pedestrian and bike safety, and connectivity on a temporary basis using funding from small grants or endowments. The public and all stakeholders get a "try before you buy" opportunity, which builds participation and civic engagement.

If you could stage a tactical urbanism demonstration anywhere in your city, where and what would it be? We'll leave you with this quote from Garcia in that interview:

“Where tactical urbanism and New Urbanism meet is in the action that you take on the ground as a way to inform the policy and the zoning and the regulatory side that actually empowers the water colors and the renderings to become real. So if you're taking a large vacant site and you're activating it, then you're showing demand and interest and the viability of concepts. It's a tool that can show property owners, businesses, city leaders this stuff is actually doable and viable."

50 ways your home could save the Earth

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50 ways your home could save the Earth

We believe that being mindful of our energy consumption is the first step in better managing energy usage. Much of the electricity used to power electronics in the average home is consumed while the products are turned off. Find out how a few small lifestyle adjustments can help you save money and the earth, too! Here some tips to get you started: 50 ways For more energy efficient mindfulness practices, check out the full article. Read more >> Source: Yogi Surprise

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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