Thomas Woltz is currently the sole partner of Nelson, Byrd, Woltz, a landscape architecture and ecology firm based out of Charleston, VA with another office in New York. Since the firm’s founding in 1985, by Susan Nelson, Warren Byrd, and Thomas Woltz, NBW has striven to unify disciplines and expand territories with the fundamental belief that “You can’t know who you are until you know where you are.” Thomas feels that as a landscape architect, it is his job to bring both the ‘when’ and ‘where’ to every project he and his team designs.

NBW is 45 people strong over both offices and consists of both landscape architects, conservation biologists, and ecologists that work together on each project to make sure that the design and science are equally sound. This is vital for projects that are effecting and modifying the landscape for decades to come. Conservation Agriculture, or the practice of sustainable food, crop, and often times cultural production, is one of the major principles that guides the firms design work. With many of the projects, the firm focuses on digging deep into the cultural history of a landscape and combining the resultant research to sound ecological remediation techniques in order to lead to the creation of novel design approaches.

Creating novel landscapes does no good if they are not maintained. NBW creates a Landscape Maintenance Manual for every project designed and constructed to empower clients and maintenance crews with the knowledge necessary to properly protect the project as intended. This manual provides a sense of ownership of the big idea and fosters stewardship of the landscape. Maintenance and surveillance after project construction is a practice that many more firms should be engaging in.

Image Credit: Seven Ponds Farm |

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