Adrienne Newton

Where did you go to school?

I received my BFA in Photography from Academy of Art University, San Francisco, and received my AA in Landscape Architecture at Merritt College, Oakland. I obtained my landscape architect’s license in November of 2020.

What is your favorite landscape space and why?

My favorite local landscape spaces are the Garden of Enchantment at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and Middle Harbor Shoreline Park in Oakland. The landforms, tree ferns, and stone mulch at the de Young always seem to transport me to a prehistoric age. I love that this built landscape can seem to move me through time. At Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, a portion of the park is adjacent to the cranes at the Port of Oakland. Every visit I marvel at the scale of the container cranes against our own human scale. I’m always grateful for the planning and opportunity creating that experience.

What do you enjoy doing outside the office?

I love roller skating. I’ve been roller skating since a friend had their birthday party at the local rink when I was in elementary school. I even had a brief stint with Bay Area Derby. I love going to Oakland A’s games, and tailgating with friends beforehand. I enjoy testing out plants in my own garden to see what will thrive. I enjoy riding my bike when the weather is pleasant, and hiking and backpacking at parks throughout the Bay Area and beyond.

What’s your favorite recreation spot?

My favorite recreation spot is the Eel River at Richardson Grove State Park. I can easily spend a week there camping, hiking, enjoying the river, and relaxing in a hammock, reading books, and hanging out with my family.

What’s your favorite hiking trail?

Currently, my favorite hiking trail is Shoreline Trail in Antelope Island State Park, UT. During my recent visit, bison were grazing right alongside the trail. The juxtaposition of the bison against the grasses and mountains seemed to encapsulate ideas of the American West, and prompted me to play Aaron Copland on the drive home. The trail also skirts the Great Salt Lake, and if the weather and time of day are just right, walking the trail along the lake is like walking through a watercolor painting.

Are there any landscape spaces you feel deserve more attention?

I think landscapes in historically disenfranchised neighborhoods deserve more attention. How a neighborhood represents the community it serves, retains its character and affordability in the midst of necessary, deserved, and long-overdue improvements to its public spaces is one of the most complex processes landscape architects address.

What was your favorite book you’ve read lately?

One of my favorite books is The Great Gatsby, and I try to re-read it every five years or so. With my most recent reading I was struck again how each reading seems more relevant than the last time, and how so few pages feel like a much longer book. There’s something about the way Fitzgerald structures his thoughts and sentences that is intense, vivid, and wonderful to read each time.