The Parks, Gardens, and Farms of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects remind us of the power of the designed landscape to tell us where we are and even who we are as a people and as a civilization. Thomas Woltz, Owner and Principal of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW), and his team create sites that foster a dialogue between culture and ecology, elevating narratives that are often lost or invisible. For the lecture for the Society of the Four Arts, Woltz will discuss a selection of the firm’s designed landscapes, primarily located in the Gulf States: Florida, Texas and Mississippi. These projects illustrate design opportunities at the intersection of community, history, ecology, and culture. Memorial Park and the Rothko Chapel Landscape in Houston, Texas, Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, and Circle Bar Ranch in Foxworth, Mississippi.
Over the past two decades of practice, Woltz and his team have developed a unique approach to the designed landscape using ecological and cultural research as the foundation for designing meaningful contemporary landscapes that inspire deep connections between people and the natural world. Public landscapes in the US and abroad form the majority of the firm’s design work. These include parks, botanic gardens, arboreta, and educational and cultural campuses. The balance of the work is related to conservation of biodiversity within large productive and agricultural landscapes.
Woltz was educated at the University of Virginia and holds Masters degrees in Landscape Architecture and Architecture. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York, Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. He was recognized with the Land for People Award by the Trust for Public Land in 2019 and