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what we do

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

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sustainable

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

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creative

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

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design

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

our portfolio

#enrichment

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

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

Five ways to reduce your carbon FOODprint

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Five ways to reduce your carbon FOODprint

Did you know that one third of the world’s carbon footprint comes from food production? You may be surprised how often environmental sustainability and nutrition go hand in hand. Half of our carbon footprint (or "FOOD-print") is from the food we eat. Here are five ways to reduce your carbon foodprint: foodprint For more tips on staying healthy and being kind to the world, check out the full article. Read more >> Source: Ethical Nutrition

Everything you ever wanted to know about LEED

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Everything you ever wanted to know about LEED

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification program focusing on building practices that support human and environmental health. Check out this awesome infographic to find out how green buildings save money, have a positive influence on health, and promote clean, renewable energy:
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For more details, check out this article. Read more >> Source: Inhabitat

Building a sustainable home

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Building a sustainable home

Whether you’re renovating your house or building from scratch, using green building materials is a great way to create a more eco-friendly home. Check out these tips for eco-friendly options for building materials are available for almost every element of your home. Read more >>

Nine easy ways to use less plastic

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Nine easy ways to use less plastic

Plastic is one of the most prominent pollutants of our earth and oceans. We think you'd agree that it just makes sense to find easy ways to use less. Here are some tips on how to reduce your plastic usage: use less plastic

Green Building Trends

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Green Building Trends

2016 was a big year in construction. Here's a look a some of the green building trends from last year and ones we can look forward to seeing in 2017: Green Building Trends in 2016 and Beyond #InfographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan
 Intern Chris Perrigan enriches the EnSite team

 Intern Chris Perrigan enriches the EnSite team

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 Intern Chris Perrigan enriches the EnSite team

The theme of our blog is EnRichment. It also describes our mission to improve the long-term success of the community where we live, work, learn and play. Much of that success depends on the outcomes we foster for our young people. Recently our company has been enriched by the presence of our intern, Chris Perrigan. Chris is currently studying to receive a Master’s in Public Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University with a focus in Environmental Planning and Policy. Right up our alley, right?

He’s an ambitious 23-year-old. The Tallahassee native graduated from the prestigious Maclay School in 2012 before earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from FGCU. Chris has aspirations to go to law school and focus on environmental and land use law. He says he has had an interest in government and policy for as long as he can remember. He told us, “I have always asked the ‘why’ question to things that take place in our society and enjoy investigating issues. I also find fulfillment in being able to directly help someone with an issue.”

True to his word, he’s a great guy to go to for thinking through any kind of problem. He’s forward thinking, appreciates a good joke, and for all his ambition, is laid back and goofy. It’s an interesting mix and the very definition of “well rounded.” His hobbies include fishing, golfing, hiking and craft beer drinking. He’s also a “wannabee economics nerd.”

Chris is the oldest of three boys. His brothers William and James are his best friends. He’s learned a lot from them about competition, especially arguing about who’s the smartest. Tennis has also been a great teacher. He started at age 10, and continued right through college as he played for the FGCU men’s team. He said, “Playing tennis individually and as part of a team throughout my life has taught me about the values of teamwork, perseverance and personal responsibility. This is especially true as I am beginning to transition into the adult world and away from the college life.”

Stop in and say hi to Chris. You will find yourself enriched.

EnSite intern Chris Perrigan

 Experience a Night at the Museum Gala 2017

 Experience a Night at the Museum Gala 2017

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 Experience a Night at the Museum Gala 2017

It's almost time for one of our favorite yearly events, and this year there's even more to celebrate at the fundraising party for the Imaginarium and SWFL Museum of History. They have officially merged to create an enhanced experience for all ages, and the campus enrichment plan we created is soon to be unveiled. Our Jon Romine has been on the board for years, and the Night at the Museum Gala represents the launch of an exciting new era for the combined museum. Join us!

Here are the details:

Take a step back in time at the Night at the Museum Gala 2017 on Saturday, March 4, and you might discover you’re standing next to giant pre-historic ground sloth. A Night at the Museum is the theme of the gala from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Imaginarium Science Center and Southwest Florida Museum of History – under the same roof at last – at 2000 Cranford Avenue in Fort Myers.

Enjoy endless hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, historic re-enactments and amazing auction items. Along the way, discover extinct animals and figures of Florida history come to life. It’s not a figment of your imagination, just a night of wonder to raise funds as the new combined museum rolls out a comprehensive plan to bring new exhibits, expanded programming and much more excitement to benefit the Southwest Florida community and visitors of all ages.

At Night at the Museum Gala 2017, you can personally ask Ponce de Leon about his fountain of youth, but he might scoff at the notion and instead dwell on details of the Calusa incursion that drove him from Southwest Florida. Jacob Summerlin, the King of the Crackers, will regale you with tales of how he became one of the wealthiest Floridians by the age of 40 raising cattle in the Peace and Kissimmee River valleys.

Along with all the mystery, magic and mischief that has made the Imagine Gala an annual social calendar “must do,” lucky attendees will find themselves planning for luxury vacations, chef’s table dinners and other opulent auction prizes, which in past years have included a Steamboat Springs cabin getaway, fabulous Caribbean vacations and even an opportunity to dive on the U.S.S. Mohawk with the stars of the Animal Planet series “Tanked.”

Many levels of sponsorship are available, offering exciting promotional opportunities, gala tickets, family memberships and fun packs and more. All money raised at the event benefits The Imaginarium Group, a 501(C)(3) organization that supports the Imaginarium and the SWFL Museum of History in raising exhibit and education program funds.

Two great museums come together!

The Imaginarium Science Center and the SWFL Museum of History have now become one incredible museum experience. The Group’s mission is to stimulate understanding of the world through exploration of the sciences, arts and humanities. Dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of history and traditions, with particular emphasis on Fort Myers and Southwest Florida.

 Cape Coral High - modeling the district's future

 Cape Coral High - modeling the district's future

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 Cape Coral High - modeling the district's future

EnSite expresses its commitment to our public schools in various ways - our involvement as mentors in the Take Stock and STAMP programs, Jon's position on the board of the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, our team for the Take Strides 5k (next weekend!!) and our participation in STEM@Work, for starters. As a business, our particular area of expertise means we have a lot to offer when it comes to enriching the physical plant of our public schools, too.

Since 2009, we have helped integrate greater connectivity, engagement, safety and wellness at multiple schools across Lee County, including Mariner High, Mariner Middle, Gulf Elementary, Tanglewood, Heights Elementary and more. We're currently excited to be helping Cape High conceptualize a campus enrichment plan to benefit students, staff and the community at large far into the future. Highlights include:

  • Reworking the pedestrian circulation to provide a more direct and safer access for students and visitors alike who walk or ride their bikes
  • An Art Garden/Plaza at the entrance of the school for display of student and local work
  • Recreated wetlands/rain gardens for education, engagement with native ecosystems and the treatment of stormwater runoff
  • Some community garden plots to develop a community partnership
  • Removal of approximately 50% of the perimeter chain link fence that makes the school uninviting
  • Repainting the exterior of the building
  • A partnership with Keep Lee County Beautiful to provide some street trees around the perimeter

A more refined plan is in the works as we speak, but we're too excited to keep this under wraps. The goal is to create a model for the district that addresses a variety of issues and wish list items, including reduced maintenance costs, better community connectivity and collaboration, and increased educational opportunities. We wish our schools were like that when we were kids! But isn't it our job to provide for the next generation better than what we had for ourselves? Here's to the future!

Cape Coral HS conceptual plan

 Stopping the buck on green building

 Stopping the buck on green building

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 Stopping the buck on green building

Ask architects and policy folks about the biggest developments in green building over the past 10 years, and one answer you're sure to here is the increase in awareness. "Going green" has become a pretty standard wish list item for a lot of clients, public sector campuses and governments. And on that wish list it has often remained, due to concerns about costs and lack of incentives. So, we were pleased that Gulfshore Business magazine was producing a bit spread about the topic, and even more pleased when we saw the title last week, Smarter Eco-nomics.

Judging from the chorus of voices that was included - representing the construction sector, developers and architects, plus a voice representing public-private sustainability interests (in our friend Tessa LeSage of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation) and our own Jon Romine just doing what he does - a huge mindset hurdle is finally being surmounted. That is, policy and industry folks alike are recognizing that though "going green" may cost more up front, it will bring in more green in the long run. It's no longer a valid excuse to say, "well, I'd love to do things in a more eco-friendly manner, but it's just too expensive."

We're talking big, big returns on investment, in terms of the environment, the economy and even social equity concerns like housing. Read on!

 Join the Million Mile Movement for a healthy Lee County

 Join the Million Mile Movement for a healthy Lee County

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 Join the Million Mile Movement for a healthy Lee County

The journey of a million miles begins with a single step. Well, that's not the actual quote, but you get the gist. Maybe resolutions don't seem meant to stick, but with thousands of people to keep you accountable, how could you fail? If you're thinking no one has that kind of support system, just join the Million Mile Movement!

EnSite is proud to sponsor this fun community-wide challenge to get us all up, moving and healthy for the long run. Register at this link and you can then log in at anytime to log your miles accumulated running, walking or biking. If those activities just aren't up your alley, don't sweat it - there are a dozen types of movement that count toward your goal. And your progress inspires others.

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To kick things off personally, our Jon Romine recently completed the Disney World Marathon. He's on the steering committee for Healthy Lee. Weather you're working up to 26 miles or a half a mile, every bit of progress helps and is worth celebrating! Jon has his own personal cheerleaders in his wife and daughter. When you join the Million Mile Movement, you'll get an amazing amount of support and the vitality you cultivate will make you want to set farther and farther goals. It all starts with the first step. Go!

 Old buildings and the creative pressures of constraint

 Old buildings and the creative pressures of constraint

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 Old buildings and the creative pressures of constraint

Sometimes, a famous quote says something so sensible, so obvious, that it becomes absorbed into common consciousness to the point that the original speaker gets lost in the mix. "The Greenest Building is...One That Is Already Built" was the title of architect Carl Elefante's article for the summer 2007 issue of the journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was a "Well, duh" moment for those of us engaged in sustainability-minded design and architecture, and it became an often repeated phrase within those circles.

Although it represented the most common of common sense, humans are still very human, and the results of our endeavors haven't always matched our aspirations. Elefante has certainly seen a greater emphasis on historic preservation, which increases community character and pride, while offering opportunities to model future development after the personality of existing buildings and build sustainability into the resulting cityscape. Yet, thought leaders like him continue to observe a discouraging reticence to tackle the most vexing sustainability challenges in a forward-thinking manner.

Let's reaffirm Elefant's "Greenest Building" assertion and apply it in terms of economy. It's naive to think money isn't the way to policymakers' hearts. It's a beautiful economy that comes with preserving historic buildings. The building's already built - that's number one (duh). Then there is the tourism and community pride that comes with it.

Then there's the economy that comes with constraint, which is one of our greatest tools as designers. Isn't it interesting how having less to work with generates the biggest ideas? Take a look at this article to see how one company is making the most of old buildings that still have good bones. The constraints of an old building generate creative pressures for adapting the inside of that building. More for our purposes, old buildings in an urban environment exert constraints that encourage economy-building applications of multi-use and infill development. That's the kind of green that can bring in a lot of green.

 Resolve to live artfully in 2017

 Resolve to live artfully in 2017

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 Resolve to live artfully in 2017

It's time to hang a new calendar on the wall and stand before the promise of a brand new year. We're a little tired of the same ol' resolutions and got to thinking about the kinds of changes that can really "stick." There's so much going on around Lee County in terms of the arts that we considered what it would mean to live more artfully in 2017.

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The city of Fort Myers requested another extension on the public art display consisting of the whimsical, large-format sculptures placed throughout downtown. The Gardner's Park arts district plan has been approved by the city. And the Alliance for the Arts campus enrichment project is getting closer to realization. It just seems like the stage is pretty well set to enjoy more art this coming year. That's a good thing!

What's even better is when you can find ways to nurture your own inner artist. Do you have an old guitar collecting dust? Have you ever wanted to learn how to sing or dance? Was there a time in your life when you were able to dedicate some energy to painting or drawing? Do you have a half-finished novel or book of poems in a drawer somewhere?

Our friends at the Alliance offer classes for kids and adults in dozens of art forms, and will happily direct you to other area arts centers to help you find your spark. What stands in the way between you and your easel, pottery wheel, camera, pen, typewriter, accordion or dancing shoes? Just some limiting beliefs that, along with your 2016 calendar, can now be discarded?

We at EnSite wish you a very happy, healthy, prosperous new year. And we believe that once you make space for a little art in your life, that resolution will pretty much keep itself.

 Eating the future - FGCU's food forest

 Eating the future - FGCU's food forest

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 Eating the future - FGCU's food forest

Money doesn't grow on trees, the saying goes - at least not directly. But when sustainability, food security and good environmental stewardship does, the economic benefits can't be far behind. While the kids are out of school, it's a great time to plan a visit to Florida Gulf Coast University's Food Forest. It's a good chance to show them that produce doesn't grow on the shelves of your grocery store, and they may even be inspired to pursue an education in environmental science or agriculture and join up with the FGCU Food Foresters.

A food forest is a self-sustaining large-scale edible garden designed using the principles of permaculture. In the 1970s, permaculture movement pioneers Bill Mollison and David Holmgren described an “integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man.” That's pretty abstract. A visit to the FGCU Food Forest will demonstrate a productive ethic that mimics the patterns and cycles found in nature to provide for the needs of people for years to come.

The students working on the food forest now are leaving a living legacy. Future generations of students will continually reap the rewards of working with a mature food forest. Returning alumni will experience a whole little world seeded by their design and labor, and can tell the story of where it all began. The future is tasty, and can teach us all a lot about the wisdom of nature and how to improve our lives in harmony with it. Then, there's the whole gratification of seeing young people take control of the future. Dig in!

 Gardner's Park gets an early Christmas present

 Gardner's Park gets an early Christmas present

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 Gardner's Park gets an early Christmas present

"Good things come to those who wait" goes the saying, and the business owners and residents of Gardner's Park are soon to be rewarded for their patience. 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. Now, the city has given the go-ahead, as the Fort Myers News Press recently announced.

EnSite looks forward to continuing to work with the community to honor the historic character of Gardner's Park while instituting greater connectivity, walkability and smart development. This neighborhood is bound to become a destination for arts and events, fostering a livelier, safer, more prosperous future.

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

 Saving darkness like an endangered species

 Saving darkness like an endangered species

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 Saving darkness like an endangered species

How far do you have to go to see just a few stars? If you can step onto your front porch and see the same constellations that the Greeks and Babylonians named, you're in a minority of modern humans. Have you ever seen the contour of the Milky Way with your naked eye? It's an awe-inspiring experience that, sadly, fewer and fewer of us get to enjoy.

The good news is that the problem of light pollution is now getting publicity. The better news is we're not helpless to stop its worsening or reverse it by many degrees. Recently, the south Florida treasure that is Big Cypress has just become the first National Preserve in the U.S. to earn its official Dark Sky Park accreditation. The International Dark-Sky Association is the outfit in charge of handing out that designation. Big Cypress is now the:

"...first of the 19 National Preserves to achieve Dark Sky Park status. It is the first National Park Service (NPS) unit east of Colorado to earn this designation and only the sixteenth NPS unit in the country to do so. The national preserve joins Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park in central Florida, which was designated earlier in 2016 as the first International Dark Sky Place in Florida."

It's a big deal! The park had pretty dark night skies already, compared to neighboring regions. (Just check out this light pollution map and search for Florida to see us lit up like a Christmas tree on fire.) The preserve has had to work to get into compliance with guidelines governing outdoor light fixtures, for instance. Now it is a premiere place to view the heavens either on your own on a backpacking trek or at one of the upcoming public astronomy events.

If you haven't been beyond the reach of light pollution in a while, plan a trip into the dark. It just might inspire you to ask, why can't my city do better at reducing light pollution? Good question! And good night.

 When music becomes place

 When music becomes place

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 When music becomes place

"My music is going inexorably from being about place to becoming place,” John Luther Adams told The New Yorker back in 2008. He's not suffering delusions of grandeur. This contemporary American composer is widely regarded as a master of textural sonic sculptures whose genesis can be found in the birdsong, cracking glaciers, prairie thunder and crashing ocean waves of Earth's various landscapes.

We can easily identify the naturalistic elements that wend themselves through Stravinsky's "Rites of Spring." Copland's treatment of an Appalachian experience of that same season is beloved for its joyful celebration of the mountain, and more especially the people of the mountain, but it attain a vibrant degree of "mountainness," it doesn't threaten to "become" the mountain.

Put on some good headphones and listen to Adams' "Earth and the Great Weather," and you'd be hard pressed not to appreciate an actual sonic landscape - a place - that you inhabit from the ears inward, and back out to your skin. Those goosebumps would arise if were you transported to the composer's beloved Alaska. And who's to say you aren't in fact transported?

A good place to start is the below episode of the excellent WQXR podcast series "Meet the Composer." Adams brings us along on his journey to modern composers like Frank Zappa, a rock and roller named Dennis, California, an avant garde mentor named James Tenney, and eventually, Alaska.

Adams' friend, author Barry Lopez, has said, "Landscape is the culture that contains all human cultures." Adams is perhaps not as well known as other sonic pioneers like John Cage, Philip Glass or Steve Reich. Conductors, musicians and academics have singled out Adams as a master of landscape - music that edges toward "becoming place." Have a listen, and see if the outer landscape gives way to a more expansive, inner landscape, if the room around you doesn't shrink from consciousness, if the world "out there" doesn't become more real yet inscrutable, unforgiving and beautiful.

Enjoy the experience of entering a "natural geographical cathedral in sound," as composer JoAnn Felletta has called it. It just might forever alter your idea of landscape and place.

 A road to gratitude

 A road to gratitude

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 A road to gratitude

With Thanksgiving coming up, we at EnSite have turned our thoughts to gratitude. It gets a lot of lip service during this time of year; the trick is to cultivate it in daily life. It's worth it - we all know that when we concentrate on that which gives us joy, we navigate the world in a more mindful, grounded manner. But just because it's simple doesn't make it easy.

We came upon an excellent blog post today by an urban planner named Kristen Jeffers, who calls herself The Black Urbanist. We used the word "navigate" just a moment ago, and the thing she gives thanks for is her special means of navigating between different parts of identity and domestic life - a country road. We'll let you read her post on the subject of that road, which is much more than a means of getting from point a to point b.

Ever sing "Over the River and Through the Woods" on a holiday visit to grandmother's house? A road is cause for reflection on the connections between our relatives, the stories that hold those connections together and our place within a story greater than ourselves. As Ms. Jeffers reminds us, it's also a chance to give thanks for the diversity of our American terrain and our experience of the urban transect.

Which roads will you travel during the upcoming holidays?

 Strides for Education 5k 2017

 Strides for Education 5k 2017

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 Strides for Education 5k 2017

header-2kwWhat are you looking forward to in the Florida "winter" months ahead? For us, it's the 6th Annual Strides for Education. It's always a great event, a chance to compete, run for fun or stroll and enjoy some fresh air and good neighbors. Even better, all the proceeds benefit the Take Stock in Children program through Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. That mentorship and scholarship program is a particular EnSite passion.

We hope you'll take our lead, and consider sponsoring this important fundraising event. We'll also have a team and multiple runners from EnSite. This year it takes place on the beautiful Fort Myers campus of Florida Southwestern University starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. The Kids Dash is one of the highlights. It's all about our young people, after all. But there are so many great features at this race that make it a "must" for SWFL  race enthusiasts.

Click here for more info and to register!

Here's Jon from a previous race, pictured with the Foundation Director Marshall Bower and another serious runner. Just don't tell him we used his photo. He is so shy.

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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

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." – Henry Ford

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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