Ensite Ensite Ensite

what we do

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

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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

A return to the city center – new possibilities

A return to the city center – new possibilities

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A return to the city center – new possibilities

While a suddenly volatile U.S. stock market continues its wild gyrations, Americans are discovering something they can really bank on: a return to the city center. According to a recent report by the investment rating company Fitch, our love affair with suburban sprawl is cooling off. The trend coincides with home prices finally attaining sustainable levels of valuations since the housing bubble led to economic chaos a few years ago.

This centralization of focus from the regional to the urban level brings with it new opportunities for cities and urban neighborhoods to redefine their character, establish their long-term vision and approach the challenges of growth with purpose and strategy.

For city dwellers, urban living at its best represents centrality, where work, school, recreation and services are all within an easily negotiable radius. Planners, urban designers and municipalities have been talking for a long time about walkability and connectivity, and a return to the city center means the time has come to act on those conversations. It’s time for them to work with residents to identify the character they wish to maintain in their neighborhoods, and what defining characteristics would help shape their sense of community.

How will increased density affect ecological concerns, and how can those effects be mitigated in advance using principles to promote sustainable communities for decades to come? How can multi-use and infill development techniques accommodate additional residents and businesses while retaining historically significant landmarks and aesthetics? How can we integrally incorporate green spaces and public land in the urban cityscape?

At EnSite we know these questions must be answered in cooperation with all stakeholders, and we’re excited by the possibilities this renewed focus on urban planning and design will bring.

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A gift to the city – Cape Christian Fellowship Park

A gift to the city – Cape Christian Fellowship Park

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A gift to the city – Cape Christian Fellowship Park

Churches occupy a place in history as the center of a community. Consider the colonial meeting houses of early New England, which served as a place to conduct religious worship, discuss issues facing the town and make decisions about government business. Eventually separation of church and state became codified in our founding documents, populations became decentralized, and society became more inclusive of diverse systems of belief. Today churches have to work harder to maintain the role of community anchor.

Cape Christian Church has done an excellent job of attracting parishioners. The nondenominational church has grown rapidly since its founding in 1987, and will need to continue to expand its facilities in coming years. EnSite was proud to provide planning and civil design for a campus enrichment plan that leaves room for future growth while serving as a hub for community engagement.

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Cape Christian took our suggestions and hit the ground running. An integral part of the plan was to create a park and meeting place that is free and open for the general public to enjoy. Fellowship Park is a five-acre park the church considers its gift to the city. Every detail was accounted for. The church went on to complete construction on so many amenities. An outdoor fountain and courtyard with seating for more than 200 people is the centerpiece, but there are opportunities for recreation, sports, picnicking and just getting together with friends and family.

With its focus on connectedness to the Cape Coral community, this amazing project achieves the “Living Peacefully” tenant of the church’s Lifestyle Statement, which includes this verse: “Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.” Romans 16:19

From trash to treasure – Admiral Lehigh Trailhead Park

From trash to treasure – Admiral Lehigh Trailhead Park

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From trash to treasure – Admiral Lehigh Trailhead Park

Blogger David Bulit has made his name by presenting forgotten places as compelling photographic subjects at his online project called Abandoned Florida. Once-vibrant homes, schools, theaters and open lots are displayed strewn with trash, covered in graffiti and grown-over with weeds as if the earth is attempting to reclaim its due. While such images are fascinating to look at online or in a coffee table art book, they’re not what you want to see on your way to work or in your own backyard.

Admiral Lehigh Golf Resort might have been a fitting subject for Mr. Bulit’s site, but Lee County and the citizens of Lehigh Acres had a better idea: transform this dilapidated golf course into a beautiful park that would become a community treasure for many decades to come. EnSite provided the civil engineering and landscape architecture for the project, and assisted with the design and permitting.

Today the paved trail at Admiral Lehigh Trailhead Park provides a great place to walk, jog or wheel around the three-acre wildflower prairie, where butterflies and birds are in abundance. Picnic pavilions provide shelter to escape the heat and take in the sights and sounds of nature. Photographers, families, bird watchers and dog walkers enjoy this park. Native plants abound, exotic species have been eliminated, and most of the existing trees were preserved. Many sustainable principles help support a beautiful, natural space that will allow future generations to enjoy our accessible, functional interpretation of what nature has intended.

Success STEMS from community partnerships

Success STEMS from community partnerships

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Success STEMS from community partnerships

At EnSite we talk a lot about improving the communities where we live, work, learn and play. We want to make the most out of our quality of life and leave things in better shape than when we got here to provide a sustainable, vibrant and connected place for the next generation. We also want to make sure that next generation has the tools and resources in place to continue the work of building a better Southwest Florida. Preparing young people for the challenges that lie ahead is a basic tenet of sustainability.

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools and the Imaginarium Science Center are two community organizations that are constantly engaged in securing successful futures for kids. In a new partnership to provide scholarships to students focused on a career in STEM-related (science, technology, engineering or math) careers, the Imaginarium has donated $10,000 to the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. Scholarship funds are raised each year at the Imaginarium Science Center’s signature fundraiser, the Imagine Gala.

EnSite’s own Jonathan Romine serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, and is President of the Imaginarium’s board. He was honored to join Imaginarium Executive Director Matt Johnson (far right in photo) to present the big check to Marshall T. Bower, Esq., President & CEO of the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools (center). Bower said, “Working with awesome partners such as The Imaginarium, we will help to ensure that our future workforce is well-prepared for STEM-based careers.”

Time will tell whether any of the scholarship recipients might someday put their personal stamp on EnSite’s projects, but we know they’ll be well equipped to make good decisions that affect the communities where they live, work, learn and play.

Sustainability – communities that are built to last

Sustainability – communities that are built to last

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Sustainability – communities that are built to last

There was a time in recent history when “environmentalist” was used as a dirty word. Although public policy often still lags behind environmental science, mainstream thinking about sustainability has come a long way. Part of our role as a company is to help advance that progress. One way we can do that is to promote the idea that sustainability is more than one thing. In fact, it’s three things.

In some quarters, “environmentalist” was a term once bandied about to mean someone who is focused on the environment at the expense of business interests. However, the two cannot be mutually exclusive. That would be the opposite of sustainable. Modern planners, engineers and designers in fact understand sustainability as a three-legged stool.

In 2012, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau named EnSite its Chrysalis Award winner for sustainability. Yes, we are experts in “green” design. However, “going green” must be balanced with promoting the economic wellbeing and values of a community. As members of the community we serve, we have a vested interest in seeing it become the most vibrant, beautiful and connected place it can be. That’s something worth sustaining, and it all begins with planning.

   
Building social equity into our cities

Building social equity into our cities

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Building social equity into our cities

When you think of urban planning and design, what comes to mind? You might think of transportation considerations, public parks, mixed-use strategies to prevent sprawl and appropriate zoning. Largely absent from mainstream conversations about how we plan and build our cities, however, is the concept of social equity.

What happens when neighborhoods lack effective representation in city council and financial resources? What about areas that have been segregated for several decades, and their residents are disenfranchised? Those places don’t enjoy the status that would place them next in line for utility improvements. They often lack safe and connected sidewalks or transportation options. A market selling healthy, fresh food might not be accessible to residents. There might not be managed green spaces for exercise and recreation.

Happily, a shift is taking place. Planning firms and public officials are placing greater emphasis on the built environment and its role in promoting and safeguarding the basic rights of a city’s residents. At EnSite, we consider social equity as one of the three pillars of sustainability, along with environmental stewardship and economic development. And we believe all people deserve a safe, connected, healthy place to live, work, learn and play.

It’s EnSite’s birthday! Designing the next 10 years

It’s EnSite’s birthday! Designing the next 10 years

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It’s EnSite’s birthday! Designing the next 10 years

Wow, has it been ten years?! Time flies when you’re having fun. We really are having fun serving the community where we live, work, learn and play. And now we have the privilege of designing the next 10 years. What will Southwest Florida look like in 2025? We’re expecting it will look amazing, because its residents, community organizations, businesses and leaders are so engaged in creating a more beautiful, functional, connected, sustainable future.

It wasn’t always roses and daisies during these ten years. The company started with a simple idea: why work for someone when you can do it on your own? Change up the typical corporate pyramid structure, bring everyone together on the same level playing field and put the client first. Make every client feel like the most important client, because it’s true. Clients who appreciate hard work and honesty become your best marketing team.

Being in the industry for over 17 years, we learned from the top land development / multi-use firms in the area, and that prepared us and allowed us to open the business in June 2005. We understood what it took, and we knew we could do it better. We experienced immediate success and growth, as the market conditions were perfect for our firm, as well as all the other firms in the area. This exuberance lasted only for a short period of time. In 2007-2008 the market crashed.

So we did something about it – we rebranded. The logo and the name embody how we approach our projects. We look at each project comprehensively and how it fits within the natural and built environment. How can we add that special touch to make it better for not only the client, but the community? It was time to branch out and open the door to new opportunities and a new beginning. In 2009 we re-launched the company with new faces and a new outlook, but knew that rededicating ourselves to our core values was the only way forward.

Every day we strive to make our community better today than it was yesterday, with the community as our most important collaborator. There are a lot of yesterdays behind us now, and we can’t wait to see how much better the tomorrows will be in the years to come.

Takin’ it to the Streets – “the human scale of the individual”

Takin’ it to the Streets – “the human scale of the individual”

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Takin’ it to the Streets – “the human scale of the individual”

“Takin’ It to the Streets” is the title of a classic Doobie Brothers song. It’s also a groovy little reminder to get back to basics and appreciate the immense role streets play in defining a community’s character, supporting the activities of its residents and visitors, and providing for sustainable, smart growth.

In presenting its Sustainable Street Network Principles, the Congress for the New Urbanism writes:

We assert that current transportation engineering addresses only limited individual components of the region’s street network. This results in a fragmented and inefficient system that fails to adequately engage the social, environmental, and economic aspirations of communities.  

We advocate a return to the historic understanding of the street network as a fundamental framework for safe, livable communities, where the human scale of the individual and the act of walking represent the basic unit of design.

The organization then goes on to delineate principles for achieving this “return to historic understanding of the street network”—principles you can see at work in many of our projects. Gardner’s Park is a good recent example, where walkable, beautiful tree-lined street networks and pocket gardens provide the perfect backdrop for events, meeting with friends, taking in great local art, and enjoying an inspiring stroll. In projects like this, the streets become an integral feature in the design, rather than a utilitarian afterthought.

The Doobie Brothers song has a message about opening our eyes to what isn’t working, and then rolling up our sleeves to make things better. Urban planning and design in recent decades has often lost sight of the importance of street networks beyond serving as a way for motorized transportation to get from Point A to Point B. Ensite is committed to re-instituting the “human scale of the individual” as the driving principle behind how we design our urban spaces.

Gardner’s Park – from Guava orchard to arts district

Gardner’s Park – from Guava orchard to arts district

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Gardner’s Park – from Guava orchard to arts district

“If you build it, they will come” worked well in Field of Dreams, but it’s a dream come true when we get to envision a new, vibrant future for a quiet, 1920’s-era neighborhood district. We’re fortunate to have such an opportunity with Gardner’s Park, which is poised to become a destination for art, shopping, dining and recreation—and a place for artists to work, live and support their livelihoods.

Located just east of the Downtown River District of Fort Myers, Gardner’s Park is bordered by Fowler Street to the west, Evans Street to the east, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the south and the Caloosahatchee River to the north. When the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency initiated a planning effort to redevelop this older, established neighborhood in the fall of 2014, Ensite took its lead from the community. Residents and business owners participated enthusiastically in the preparation of a conceptual plan that honors the area’s history and quiet charm while cultivating excitement for its unrealized potential.

Gardner’s Park possesses many existing assets that contribute to its welcoming ambience, including older homes and big trees. A mixed-use approach plus an emphasis on creating a high-quality public realm have already ushered in plenty of excitement, and several interesting new businesses have appeared in the neighborhood. Walkable blocks with sidewalks, street trees, on-street parking and numerous pocket parks and community gardens would encourage connectivity and access for residents and visitors. Capitalizing on green spaces and landscaped areas is also a fitting way to acknowledge the area’s past as a guava orchard. This history is preserved in the beautiful Gardner’s Park logo, which would grace the arching gateway features that define the district, according to our plan.

Teaming up with the residents of Gardner’s Park has been a fulfilling process to help protect the unique character of a historic neighborhood that is anchored by the arts and special events while providing enhanced economic opportunity.

EnSite is helping Gardner’s Park become a destination for art, shopping, dining and recreation

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

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What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Over the past few decades, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has meant different things to different businesses. The lack of agreement on the term leaves us free to determine what it means to us, and at EnSite, it means quite a lot. BusinessDictionary.com defines CSR as: "A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates.” That leaves a lot of room for interpretation. At EnSite, our sense of responsibility to the community means that in terms of our business philosophy and core services—including planning, landscape architecture, urban design and engineering—we hold these values and activities near and dear:
  • Collaboration – every single member of our team has a say in everything we do
  • Engagement – the community we serve is our number-one collaborator
  • Involvement – team members are encouraged to support community service organizations
  • Relationship building – by serving as connectors between people, we enhance the character of the community and help its members achieve their goals
  • Stewardship – considerations for the built environment must serve to preserve and enhance the natural environment
  • Sustainability – we provide solutions so that the activities of the community continue to advance its stewardship goals well into the future
  • Education – community members make better decisions when they have the facts
  • Empowerment – team members are given authority to make decisions, and accountability for those decisions. Likewise, the larger community is given a voice in decisions that affect it
  • Impact awareness – everything we do, as a company and as individuals, affects those around us
  • Negative impact reduction – we abide by sustainability and stewardship best practices both in the rendering of our services and in our daily business operations
  • Integrity – CSR only works when its principles are integral to every operation in the business and are honored for their intrinsic values
  • Organizational modeling – by adhering to our self-defined CSR principles, we hope to set an example for other organizations, thereby improving the communities where we live, work, learn, and live.
As part of the fabric of our organizational culture, EnSite’s focus on Corporate Social Responsibility is one of many aspects that make it a pleasure for us to come to work every day. Stay tuned for more details on what we’ve done, and the positive impact on our business!
Alliance for the Arts – Footprint for the Future

Alliance for the Arts – Footprint for the Future

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Alliance for the Arts – Footprint for the Future

To celebrate its 40th birthday, the Alliance for the Arts worked with EnSite to help design the next 40 years. EnSite came up with many innovative concepts and a couple of versions of a plan to help the officially designated arts organization for Lee County enhance the vibrancy of its campus, accommodate its continuous growth and meet several specific objectives. Alliance for the Arts Executive Director Lydia Black said, “We are looking to build a community cultural center that serves as a gathering place and cultural destination linking the gateway of Fort Myers to the rest of downtown.” As the Alliance works to home in on the priorities for improving its 10-acre campus, certain features are “must-haves.”
  • The Alliance already serves as a hub for some of its many arts and cultural partners who don’t have their own physical address, but it wants more of those great community assets to call its campus home.
  • To serve as an artist incubator and accelerator for creative exploration and collaboration, the Alliance wants to be able to bring together artists’ studios in a thoughtful way, accommodate artists-in-residence and encourage multidisciplinary interaction.
  • The music and arts education schedule at the Alliance for the Arts is at capacity, and so are its current facilities. The Footprint for the Future includes a new four-story building with increased classroom space, gallery space and gathering spaces.
  • The existing Foulds Theater and gallery are slated for expansion to accommodate the growing needs of the organization
  • A new state-of-the-art amphitheater is proposed to accommodate a full symphony and resolve current acoustic challenges of the existing facility.
Aside from the creative concepts EnSite has come up with to help the Alliance become an even more dynamic cultural treasure to residents and tourists alike, the firm has brought its usual passion for sustainable planning and design. Lydia Black said, “It has been a pleasure working with EnSite. They understand the nature of place-making and community building and are committed to making sure we create a sustainable site that serves residents and tourists alike”.
You are…where you live? Designing health and wellbeing into your community

You are…where you live? Designing health and wellbeing into your community

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You are…where you live? Designing health and wellbeing into your community

We all know “you are what you eat.” But have you ever also thought about the fact that “you are where you live?”

Heart disease, obesity, diabetes—few would argue these health threats are on the rise in the U.S. Physicians and other healthcare workers agree that to combat these modern “lifestyle diseases,” Americans must watch what they eat, exercise, and quit smoking. This advice, while seemingly simple, can prove difficult to implement as individuals attempt to change their long-standing habits. Perhaps it’s time to start looking at where we live as much as how we live. As urban planners, we’re keenly aware that when it comes to healthy living, design matters.

Is your neighborhood within walking distance to a grocery store that offers a good variety of fresh produce? Can you and your children safely bike and walk to work and school? Are the apartments and houses on your street situated to encourage socialization and interaction with neighbors? (A less recognized threat to health and wellbeing is loneliness, and the problem is increasingly prevalent in our cities). Was your community planned around green spaces that encourage recreation, exercise, and appreciation of the area’s natural characteristics?

Our Cape Coral Hospital project provides an exciting opportunity for EnSite to employ healthy design principles in creating an Optimal Healing Environment both inside and out. Included are a connected pathway system, exercise stations, and a variety of inviting gardens, all open to the public. EnSite has provided a special focus on connectivity, both internally and externally. When completed, the campus will become a privately owned public park.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that more than 30% of Americans are obese, representing a $147-billion cost in healthcare dollars annually. That’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of a clear and present public health crisis. EnSite’s team of urban planners and designers enjoy access to an extensive toolbox of resources such as the CDC’s Health Impact Assessment. Such tools help us work with municipalities, organizations, and universities to develop or improve their communities to enhance the wellbeing of residents or shareholders, and save taxpayer dollars. Those communities then get to serve as a benchmark of intelligent planning and the outcomes that can be realized when we know that as much as you are what you eat, you are where you live.

EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

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EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” – Henry David Thoreau

Corporate self-regulation is a practice that many large corporations try to embody in their business practices: doing the right thing for customers, employees, and the environment is part of a strategic business model. Now more than ever Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is getting the attention it deserves because it makes good business sense. Larger corporate entities have power due to their size, financial statements, and representation in government to model CSR principles on a huge platform, and the influence to affect real change in how business is done.

But if that’s the whole story about CSR, then we’ve missed the entire potential of it.

Corporate Social Responsibility directly correlates to urban development, growth, and economic stability. Smaller companies and startups are seeing the economic potential and sustainable business growth that comes from adopting CSR principles.

For example, when a small business treats its employees well, there is less turnover and less expense in training new employees who simply “process” through the company and leave. When small businesses focus on creating an excellent product or providing an excellent service, clients tend to come back more and more. When startups focus on leaving a better environment and community for future generations, families tend to have a higher quality of life. The cumulative result is better life. But better life results in better business and stronger net profits.

EnSite was birthed on a foundation of sustainable business development practices. We wanted to create a company that could impact real change in local, regional and statewide business and development in urban land planning, landscape architecture, graphic design, and engineering. As one of the leading creative design and engineering firms in Southwest Florida, our passion has been to create the best livable spaces for a sustainable future utilizing the best business practices. Sustainable design is at the core of every project or innovation we develop. We believe that it is part of our own Corporate Social Responsibility to hold ourselves accountable for the impact we have in the community and the environment.

One of the most recent, widespread examples of a poor culture of Corporate Social Responsibility that specifically had a major impact on our local community was the housing market crash and foreclosure crisis. The government bailed out some of the biggest names in banking in order to help alleviate the crisis. Financial institutions’ execution of good business practices was flawed. Simply stated, the reason millions of people lost their homes can be attributed in part to a lack of Corporate Social Responsibility. Money trumped sustainability.

As corporations grow, the complexity of their business models can be a moving target. Having so many different levels of management and red tape can often distract from a company’s overall view of their corporate social responsibility. Many large businesses don’t spend a lot of time implementing their business guidelines. Part of the reason for this is that it can be difficult to track the financial benefits. Some experts say that “ethical” products are a niche market: virtually all goods and services continue to be purchased on the basis of price, convenience and quality.”*

There’s nothing more organic and grassroots than that kind of thinking. EnSite believes that our responsibility to any project is to ensure it is sustainably designed from the ground up with environmental, social and economic principles in mind. We’ve been beating the drum for years, and now clients are starting to understand and value its importance.

“Ethical” products may still be considered a niche market, but more and more consumers are willing to pay more to buy local and sustainable. Communities are coming together to support their local economies. And through the promotion of more compact, mixed-use forms of development, access to local goods and services has become more attainable to more consumers. Sustainable practices are the way of the future. We’ve been saying this for years, and finally people are changing the way they think about it. Our large and small business models must be re-defined in a way where corporate social responsibility takes precedence. Sustainable urban development and small business growth is the future of our society.

We’re proud to be leading the way. Come join us for the ride.

* http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/16/csr-doesnt-pay-lead-corprespons08-cx_dv_1016vogel.html
The Caloosahatchee River Connects Us

The Caloosahatchee River Connects Us

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The Caloosahatchee River Connects Us

Living in the United States provides so many opportunities for us. We have access to the best of the best. Sometimes our normal everyday liberties can be easily taken for granted. Clean water and an overabundance of food are never something most of us think twice about. We are truly blessed to live in a community where our needs are taken care of. Even though most of us may never know what it’s like to search for food or shelter, we are still thankful every day for the resources we have. Knowing the value in where we live, invokes a need to preserve what we have. There is no doubt the Caloosahatchee River connects us. The health of the Caloosahatchee River has been a focal point of conversation for decades. The changing environment and industrialization along the coastline has drastically affected the estuaries in Southwest Florida. From stormwater runoff from agricultural land development to Lake Okeechobee water releases, these natural influxes of freshwater into the river can have many damaging effects on the environment. Vocal residents of Southwest Florida have been trying to create awareness and develop conservation plans. In the past few years this issue has gained national attention. “…the South Florida Water Management District is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal, state and local partners on a variety of strategies to improve the health of the Caloosahatchee Estuary.” The potential impact land development will have on the river is now a focal point for many land planners, civil engineers, and landscape architects. In the late 19th century the Caloosahatchee River was deepened and widened to become a main waterway. This change also affected the hydrology of the water. The health of the Caloosahatchee River is directly tied to the water quality of Lake Okeechobee. During the rainy summer months the water levels naturally rise and require an outlet for the overflow. The water is then released to both the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers to protect the public from flooding. Management of the water levels is strictly watched with the goal of balancing flood control, public safety, and ecological health (to name a few). “The South Florida Water Management District is undertaking a public initiative to engage key stakeholders in developing and advancing a list of priority projects that will benefit the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary.” The local, state, and federal partners are all working together on strategies to improve the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. Short and long term solutions are being developed and implemented for future urban sustainability. The freshwater discharges into the river contain high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that contribute to the many algae blooms each year. The high sediment levels that are also deposited into the river are detrimental to the sea grass beds, blocking them from the sunlight needed for growth. It is important to remember that our economy, society and natural environment is impacted by others throughout the region, state, and globe and nowhere is this interdependency more conjoined than our waterways. Maintaining the correct salt to fresh water ratio in the river is imperative in Southwest Florida. We believe that sustainable agricultural and urban planning practices, combined with regular monitoring of the Caloosahatchee ecosystem will help to reduce the effect of water releases and runoff. Protecting our water system is just one step in developing a fully sustainable community. *www.sfwmd.gov
The Importance of Water Quality in Southwest Florida

The Importance of Water Quality in Southwest Florida

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The Importance of Water Quality in Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as a complicated ecosystem that supports a vast amount of plants and wildlife. As a top tourist destination spot, Southwest Florida understands the value that is placed on our natural resources. Ecotourism attracts a great number of visitors each year, encouraging guests to experience Florida via kayak, hiking trails, chartered boats, the beaches, and more. With a natural resource as precious and valuable as Southwest Florida’s beaches, one would think that every care would be taken to preserve it. This however, is not always the case. As Southwest Florida’s resident population and visitor percentages increase, communities must also grow to accommodate these numbers. As the recession slowly fades away and the housing market inches its way back to normal, developers and contractors begin to build again. New development – the creation and improvement of roads, building of new residential communities, and the enticement for large corporations to relocate to Southwest Florida – all contribute to more jobs and more resources to sustain the ever-growing community. Though if not careful, it can also lead to dangerous water contamination, the destruction of delicate ecosystems, and a negative perception that will lead visitors elsewhere for their vacations. In 2013 South Florida made national headlines when the decision was made to release billions of gallons of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee into the fragile estuaries of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. This massive water release had profound and devastating consequences for the fish and wildlife that dwelled in the estuaries. Algae blooms from pollutants contaminated local beaches, causing closures in some areas based on high bacteria content. Not only were our natural resources harmed, but so were the individuals who relied on wildlife and tourism. The effects of this event exacted a high cost from both the ecosystem and the economy. Govenor Rick Scott proposed spending $130 million dollars to repair the damage done by the water release and included a project to ease the burden on Lake Okeechobee by allowing more water to follow its natural course and flow south into the Everglades and a second project to help clean the polluted water filtering into the St. Lucie River basin, with plans to include the Caloosahatchee later. Another factor to consider when making decisions concerning Florida beaches is the affect that decision will have on visitor perception. Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida tourism industry was hit hard. The largest industry in the state, tourism generates over $60billion in spending and sustains more than 80 million visitors each year. Tourism percentages dropped sharply as the oil residue reached the Gulf Coast. Despite being directly unaffected by the oil spill, Southwest Florida suffered too. The perception that the beaches were covered in small balls of tar convinced many potential visitors to forgo their journey to Southwest Florida, even though the beaches were clean. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions keenly felt the drop in visitor patronage that season. A sustainability plan that takes into account and balances the natural environment with social and economic needs will create a livable and successful community for current and future generations of Southwest Floridians. Through conservation and preservation, Florida’s natural resources can be maintained and support the thriving tourism industry that makes us famous. Sustainable development and business practices will lead to healthier environment, which in turn will continue to attract visitors from across the world, encouraging them to delight in all the Southwest Florida has to offer.
Front Yard Landscape Designs

Front Yard Landscape Designs

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Front Yard Landscape Designs

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Living in Southwest Florida we are surrounded by undeniable natural beauty. Palm trees and other tropical plants are a staple in most of our front yard landscape designs. Our community is designed with sustainable urban development in mind. While we continue to grow and develop urban areas, it’s important to preserve the natural resources and beautiful landscapes surrounding us. Here in Florida our soil is unique. It is comprised mostly of sand, technically called “Myakka”.  Most tropical plants thrive in our soil, however some other vegetation typical of northern climates cannot get the nutrients they need to survive. Landscape architects need to take this and many other factors into consideration when starting any landscape design plans. The pH levels in our soil are also different from other areas of the US. “Soil chemistry is very important. If the pH is wrong, plants may not be able to take up the nutrients even if plant food is abundant in the soil.”*1 Mowing leaves or leaving lawn clippings on your lawn can often help increase the organic content in your soil. Organic matter helps to increase nutrient levels and water availability, while also helping to balance the pH levels. “On most of our sandy soils, organic content is generally less than 1 %.”  Increasing the levels of organic matter in our soil will help to provide our plants the nutrients they need to thrive. Sustainable landscape garden design depends on this organic content. Mulching regularly will help increase the organic content of your garden soil. Fallen leaves, grass clippings, compost, and wood chips are some great natural materials to use in your garden. Creating a base of mulch helps hold water and naturally fertilizes our sandy “Myakka” soil. “Soil ecology is important part of successful gardening: diversity gives health, strength, and resilience to all your plants.”*1 Urban development has created many environmental effects. The change from rural to urban development has also affected our soil. “While healthy soils are key to agricultural and forest productivity in rural areas, most urbanites (say the occasional backyard gardener, watershed manager, or soil scientist) are unaware of the many ecosystem functions provided by soils in urban watersheds and landscapes.”*2  Soil sustainability will help to keep the negative effects of urban development to a minimum. Using organic gardening techniques (composting, mulching, etc.) keeps our soil fertile. “The physical, chemical and biological properties of an urban soil are what determine its suitability for a given use. The most important key to the sustainable management of urban soils, therefore, is an improved understanding of how these soil properties vary across an urban and urbanizing landscape.” *2 Sustainable urban planning is the cornerstone of future development. Southwest Florida is arguably the most beautiful place to live (yes, we may be a little bias). Conserving our natural resources and keeping our plants healthy are top priorities. Our soil provides the nutrients needed for our gardens to grow. The natural tropical beauty in our own community is something we will never take for granted. * 1  http://hendry.ifas.ufl.edu/HCHortNews_Soils.htm * 2  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr333
The Arts Mean Business…Literally!

The Arts Mean Business…Literally!

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The Arts Mean Business…Literally!

The Arts Mean Business in Southwest Florida! “Season” in Southwest Florida can mean many things – typically an increase in visitors, business, and traffic. Lee County serves as a gateway in Southwest Florida, connecting residents and visitors from the Tampa Bay area to Naples and the Everglades. Ecotourism, pristine beaches and waterways, arts and culture – all can be found within Lee County and the surrounding areas. With an influx of seasonal residents local business owners enjoy increased patronage and success. A unique factor in Southwest Florida is the large number of nonprofit organizations and philanthropic individuals. Many of our seasonal visitors were successful in their careers and seek to give back to their community in their retirement. They generously give of their time as volunteers and of their treasures as patrons and donors. One particular industry that is heavily dependent on seasonal tourism is the arts. But do you know the role the arts play in tourism and the local economy? In 2010, the Americans for the Arts partnered with the Lee County Alliance for the Arts to publish the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study. According to this national economic impact study, Lee County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $68.3 million in annual economic activity. This supported 2,038 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $9.4 million in local and state government revenues. These numbers prove that the arts mean business! Lee County nonprofit arts organizations can help maximize tourism dollars and create a strong cultural landscape for residents and visitors alike. There are many benefits to being associated with a nonprofit, especially an arts organization. Volunteers make up a large core of workers that are responsible for helping the nonprofit function and fulfill their mission. Patrons who support these organizations ensure that their work continues in the present while donors ensure the legacy of the organization (in addition to various tax benefits that come from charitable giving). One of the leading arts organizations in the area is the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. Located on McGregor Boulevard, the Alliance is the state designated arts agency for Lee County, designed to foster the growth of local art. A nonprofit organization, their membership includes over 50 arts and cultural organizations and houses an art gallery, theatre, studios and classrooms. Children and adults can participate in a variety of classes and workshops. The Alliance also acts as an advocate for all the arts in Lee County. Under the direction of Executive Director Lydia Black, the Alliance consistently serves as a leader and representative to local and state government agencies. It promotes the support and advancement of art in Lee County and recognizes that when citizens, especially children, are exposed to the arts they gain fundamental life skills. Another leading nonprofit in Fort Myers is the Florida Repertory Theatre. Located in the historic River District, Florida Rep was a cornerstone in the revitalization of Downtown Fort Myers. Now entering its Seventeenth Season, Florida Rep attracts approximately 70,000 patrons each year. Working closely with its downtown neighbors, the theatre stimulates local business. Florida Rep relies heavily on its seasonal patrons, many of whom travel from Chicago, Milwaukee, and New England. These patrons are active members of their home theatres and are happy to support similar organizations in Lee County. Through their patronage, Florida Rep is able to produce a high quality theatre experience as well as arts education for youth in the community. The Arts for ACT gallery, also located in downtown Fort Myers, is an example of how a nonprofit arts organization uses its talents to represent a broader mission. Established to support ACT (Abuse Counseling & Treatment) the Arts for ACT gallery is part gallery and part boutique. Art lovers flock to this unique downtown gallery to view some of the finest exhibits available. A portion of proceeds and all donations go directly to support ACT’s mission of providing shelter and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It shows the kind of symbiotic relationship the arts can create locally. Owned and operated by ACT, local and national artists are given the opportunity to display their work and connect with the public, which ultimately serves an even greater good for those in need. Residents and visitors are encouraged to seek out local nonprofit organizations. Arts and cultural institutions are especially attractive to visitors, providing a variety of services. Patrons will not only be entertained and exposed to powerful expressions of the human spirit but will also be confident in the knowledge that they are using their tourism dollars to support great work– in the theatres, in the galleries, and in the community.
Welcome to Downtown LaBelle!

Welcome to Downtown LaBelle!

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Welcome to Downtown LaBelle!

Welcome to Downtown LaBelle! Growing old is a part of life. Often it’s a part of life that we try to ignore, postpone, or deny. Ad executives have made a fortune on “Look 10 years younger” or “Look as young as you feel” or “Guaranteed to reduce the signs of aging in two easy steps”. As a society youth is something we all aspire to after we begin to lose it. Aches and pains become a common part of the day and bouncing back takes just a little bit longer. With age comes wisdom and character. Each wrinkle or gray hair has a unique history behind it. Our community is much the same. The depth of our culture continues to develop each day. What once was fresh and new is now historic and developed. This is one of the cornerstones behind the formation of the LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corporation.  “The LABELLE DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION CORPORATION (LDRC) is a group of volunteers who have an interest in improving the appearance and economic stability of historic Downtown LaBelle.”* The LDRC believes that the history and future of LaBelle is connected deeply with the people of the community. The Downtown Revitalization Project is rooted in the belief that LaBelle is one of the best towns in Southwest Florida, bar none. While it may be considered off the beaten path to some, LaBelle is rich in culture and opportunity. One of the goals of this project is to make the downtown area a showroom for the vitality of LaBellians. “Our downtown must be reflective of the kind of people we are and how we want others to see our community.” Investing in the revitalization of Downtown LaBelle is a necessity for the town. This project will create job opportunities, save tax dollars, and build a positive image for the community while preserving the historic resources.  “In an economically healthy downtown, property owners can afford to maintain the historic commercial buildings and preserve an important part of the community’s heritage.” Instead of people looking for jobs in areas with better economic standing, the citizens of LaBelle are committed to making their town grow and prosper. Urban sustainable development is paramount to creating a sustainable downtown. The LABELLE DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION CORPORATION (LDRC) is made up of strictly volunteers. Each person is passionate about creating the LaBelle they know it can be. Land planning and urban development are top priorities for this project. Generations have grown up in LaBelle, created small businesses and provided for their families. Working together is a way of life and walking down the street is full of familiar faces where “everybody knows your name”. The LDRC is hosting their 2nd annual Wharf Walk on November 8th, 2014 held at the City Wharf on the Caloosahatchee River in Downtown LaBelle. The Wharf Walk will help to raise funds needed for the Downtown Revitalization Project. Filled with food, music, shopping, and fun for the whole family, the Wharf Walk highlights the best of LaBelle. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community while having a blast! While aging is an undeniable fact of life, this is not a bad thing. The culture and history that blossom after years of experiences are priceless. Downtown LaBelle is just one example of a community who wants to put their best face forward. They are willing to invest time, money, and resources to making their town better. * http://www.downtownlabelle.com/labelle-downtown-revitalization-corporation/ *http://www.downtownlabelle.com/about/
The History of Fort Myers is Exceptional!

The History of Fort Myers is Exceptional!

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The History of Fort Myers is Exceptional!

History is one of the most fascinating topics. It’s the only thing that never changes, but constantly intrigues. The core of who we are as a society has been molded by historical figures, events, and challenges. We learn from the past. We grow from the past. We better ourselves every day from looking back and moving forward. The History Channel has made an empire from portraying history in a dramatic and entertaining way. In looking at our own unique experience, the history of Fort Myers, Florida is no exception. Our local history is rich, complex, and something we should all be proud of. Fort Myers was one of the original forts built on the Caloosahatchee River back in the 1800’s. Not only did it serve as a base for the Seminole Indian Wars, but also was the sight of the southernmost battle of the civil war. As the city has developed into the mecca it is today, numerous discoveries have been made about its past. One example can be seen in the renovation project on the Caloosahatchee riverfront back in 2012. When the initial land development started many different artifacts were uncovered. “During the Seminole and Civil Wars, it (Fort Myers) was the site of a U.S. military fort that changed names, shapes and purposes. Much more than an attack-resistant building, in its heyday, Fort Myers could be more accurately described as a military base — a sophisticated 50-acre complex that housed hundreds of people.”* It wasn't until the building of the Tamiami Trail bridge in 1924, connecting what is now North Fort Myers to the historic downtown, that Fort Myers really started to boom. Up until this time there was no easy way to cross the Caloosahatchee in the downtown area. The urban planning and sustainable design that went into the city planning of Downtown Fort Myers was paramount to growth and development. Housing communities started to flourish as the population grew and Fort Myers was then becoming known as a destination location for Southwest Florida. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are perhaps two of the most famous inhabitants of our fine city. “In 1885, Fort Myers was the second largest town on Florida's Gulf Coast.” Thomas Edison visited what was then a small village sustained by farming and logging, and decided to develop his estate on the banks of the river. Henry Ford who was a good friend of Edison used to travel back and forth from New York to visit his old friend’s new home. It didn’t take long for him to see the undeniable appeal of our beautiful weather, beaches, coastlines, and opportunities. Today the Ford and Edison estates showcase some of the most beautiful landscape garden designs in Southwest Florida. Naturally flourishing year round due to our climate, the gardens are green and full of color any time of the year. More so, each winter the landscape designs are lit up by Christmas lights and our local history is on full display. The City of Palms comes to life during the holidays! There are so many other little known facts about Fort Myers that have contributed to the community we have today. History is all around us. We can’t get away from our culture if we wanted to. So many great men and women have helped to build what we have today, our hope is that we continue to build upon the history and sustainability they have given us. *http://www.news-press.com/article/20120605/NEWS0110/306050003/Exclusive-History-uncovered-along-Fort-Myers-riverfront http://www.fortmyers.net/history.html
The Naples Botanical Garden is Sustainable Landscape Design

The Naples Botanical Garden is Sustainable Landscape Design

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The Naples Botanical Garden is Sustainable Landscape Design

A “staycation” is when a person or family takes time off to enjoy local day trips. Living in Southwest Florida every weekend could be considered a “staycation” of sorts. There is so much to do in our community that is just a short car ride away. The beaches, parks, museums, water parks, and theatres are just a few of the reasons Lee and Collier Counties are huge “staycation” destinations. The Naples Botanical Garden knows a little bit about the “staycation”. They are often a destination for locals and visitors alike looking to have a unique time away from the stress of day to day life. The Naples Botanical Garden is filled with sustainable landscape design, exotic plants and wildlife. The natural ecosystem they have developed is absolutely breathtaking. Founded by a group of eight Naples residents in 1993, the Gardens have become an extraordinary 170 acre site of natural beauty. The Naples Botanical Garden is not only naturally beautiful, but is sustainably designed as well. A sustainable ecosystem supports itself. Each different part works together to provide the necessities for a natural habitat.  The landscape garden design was created to mimic nature as much as possible. “In the next twenty years, 2.6 million acres of Florida land are likely to be converted to urban use, making Southwest Florida’s remaining green spaces all the more precious to future generations. Naples Botanical Garden’s 170 acres of land have been saved from urban development forever, thanks to hundreds of visionary individuals who overcame countless obstacles to secure the site and dream of the possibilities for our community.” Utilizing sustainable green engineering practices throughout the garden helps to minimize human impact on the environment. When developing the plans for the new gardens and facilities, the Board of Directors focused on creating a more ecologically responsible and sustainable design. The new buildings were designed to meet the criteria for LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification. “For a building to achieve LEED Certification, they must meet the standards for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.” The Garden’s future Visitor Center has been designed with the best sustainable materials and techniques. This includes rainwater collection tanks for irrigation, building placement to provide the most useful shade for the garden, and using recycled materials/wood throughout the construction process. Creating a sustainable water system for the Naples Botanical Garden is of the utmost importance. All life starts with water. The gardens need water and sunlight to prosper, along with the nutrients from the soil. The Naples Botanical Gardens utilize stormwater treatment and smart watering techniques. Stormwater treatment is integrated into every aspect of the gardens. “The multi-award winning system incorporates bio-swales, raingardens, ponds, and the Smith River of Grass, a tribute to the Everglades”. Smart watering is the gardens sustainable irrigation system. A smart watering system tracks data from rainfall and calculates when plants need more or less irrigation to keep the plants healthy. Creating a sustainable community is not easy. There are many different parts to each specific ecosystem that must provide what we need. The Naples Botanical Gardens is not only a must see destination for “staycationers” and visitors alike, it’s a great example of what creating a sustainable ecosystem can do to keep our environment green and healthy. *Naples Botanical Garden

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

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

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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Suite 201
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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