The 100 Women Campaign reaches 99!

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Feature Stories

The 100 Women Campaign reaches 99!

The 100 Women Campaign reaches 99!
Apr 23, 2021

The 100 Women Campaign continues to advance ever so close to the finish line, nearing the end of an endowment initiative that began when Cornelia Hahn Oberlander was announced as the namesake of TCLF’s new international prize in landscape architecture. Sandra Kulli and Amie MacPhee (honoris causa) add a love of the California Coast and deep connection to nature to this extraordinary class.

Sandra Kulli was born in LA and grew up in Pasadena, a City Beautiful in both landscape and architecture. To her child's eye, it could have been the Garden of Eden. In Prospect Park she trick-or-treated at homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Wallace Neff, and Green + Green. Caltech, within biking distance, celebrated Bertram Goodhue's eclectic "planted patios and shaded portales, sheltering walls, and Persian pools," which set the foundation for an update that won an ASLA honor award in 2010. Also nearby is the Arroyo Seco, a stream that starts in the San Gabriel Mountains, then makes its way eleven miles into and through Pasadena near the Rose Bowl. She hiked there, explored nature, and advocated for re-wilding the Arroyo Seco.

After attending Wellesley, Sandra taught in elementary schools in underprivileged parts of Boston and cities in California. The bleak educational milieu of asphalt, concrete, dust, wire fences, and more dust can stunt the growth and aspirations of children in important ways and when happy accident of LAUSD overcrowding forced her class into a bungalow in Griffith Park, and teaching took place outside along the LA River, learning, like nature, flourished.

Following teaching, Sandra "repotted" into real estate development, where she has worked for over thirty years as a member of developers' project teams to create new community. Her specialty is advocating for “landscapes of engagement” that enhance planning and architecture, work that involves convincing her team that smart, sustainable communities can also be profitable. Evidence is found in the vibrant Pinehills community of Plymouth, MA, which brings economic benefits to the town while sharing its public realm with everyone, and by creating a new pattern of growth for the Salt Lake Valley on Rio Tinto land by developing Daybreak into an innovative community with a deep connection to nature and each other.

In 2019, Sandra's passion for placing landscapes on equal footing with planning and architecture was recognized through her induction into the California Homebuilders Hall of Fame, a signal honor for a person who is not a developer. Her pro bono work includes mentoring new members of the Urban Land Institute, who bring the power of youthful energy, new thinking, and their own diversity to an important, evolving organization, and working with young Angelenos in parts of greater Los Angeles through CicLAvia to reshape the public realm in LA.

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Sandra Kulli [left] and Aime MacPhee (honoris causa) [right]

Inspired by the California coastal oak woodland landscapes of her childhood, Amie MacPhee, AICP, has made a career designing, advocating, and creating environments where people and nature can thrive. For Amie, landscape architecture is the melding of art, design, nature and stewardship to lay the groundwork for lasting vibrant and healthy communities. She thinks of herself, foremost, as a steward of the natural world, and approaches all design efforts as an integrated system of culture and nature.  After getting her BA from UC Berkeley in Landscape Architecture, she began her career as a planner and landscape architect in a global firm, Hart Howerton, working on community development and landscape architecture projects with an emphasis on integrating conservation and stewardship into all projects. There she worked on the design and implementation of many early innovative conservation communities, including The Santa Lucia Preserve in Monterey, California and Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina.  

In 2011, she founded Cultivate, to pursue her deep commitment in making an impact on changing the “business as usual” approaches to improving, managing, and most importantly, stewarding land. Cultivate is a conservation planning and community design practice that focuses on working with agencies, local communities, municipalities and private developers to craft a shared vision around the creation of a more resilient and equitable future. As a landscape architect, naturalist, urban designer, environmental planner, artist and photographer, Amie uses her combined talents to work with creative teams to imagine a more healthy, equitable and balanced development approach that supports the natural world, and which in turn sustains communities.

Currently, Amie leads many state-wide and regional planning efforts that focus on the importance of preserving our working and natural lands to foster greater climate resilience. This includes her work with Santa Clara County, where she helped to craft the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan, a strategic plan that balances the preservation of working lands and smart growth. This plan won the 2019 Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award.  Amie continues to work with State agencies, non-profits, developers and municipalities to craft interdisciplinary approaches to preserve natural and working lands, while balancing climate-smart growth and the creation of vibrant and healthy communities.

The 100 Women Campaign is just one of many ways to support the Oberlander Prize, the first and only international landscape architecture prize that includes a US$100,000 award, along with two years of public engagement activities. The Oberlander Prize will be awarded every other year, beginning this Fall.