Rosanna Higgs found a way to combine her passions for art, math, and nature into an inspiring career: becoming a landscape architect.

Rosanna Higgs is a self-described “plant person.” She loves to garden, identify plants while on walks, and constantly learn about nature. She has perfectly meshed her interests with her occupation. Since joining Binnie’s Landscape Architecture, Sports and Recreation Division in 2016, Rosanna has been involved in the conceptual design, master planning, detailed design, and public information meetings for projects that make British Columbia a more livable place. While her focus is on municipal and park design, she lends her expertise to divisions across the entire company as a certified arborist. This involves writing arborist reports and monitoring excavations – ensuring that appropriate measures are taken for trees to survive and thrive on project sites.

Sustainable career development

Rosanna has always been curious about how living things grow and flourish. In her childhood, she wanted to be a veterinarian, but her hunger to be outdoors and work with plants set her on a different path. When it came time to get one of her first jobs, she took a position as a gardener and landscaper so that she could spend her summers outside. She returned to it for seven more seasons. Although she initially attained her bachelor’s degree in psychology at McGill, Rosanna found her way back to nature through her strong interest in environmental sustainability, earning a master’s degree in landscape architecture at UBC. There she learned how to apply her desire to protect and nurture the environment through stormwater management and using plants and trees that benefit wildlife, create habitats, and increase biodiversity.

Naturally inspired

Rosanna spends plenty of time in parks and at playgrounds with her three kids, getting inspired by watching how her young children use outdoor spaces. Designing multifunctional parks for all ages in her neighbourhood is one of the biggest perks of her job. Being able to see how the community uses the new space is rewarding and helps her evolve and grow for the next space she designs. These days, she continues applying the knowledge she gained in child psychology and development into her park and playground designs.

Life outside of the office

Outside of work, Rosanna spends time with her family taking her boys to all their activities, and making sure she has time for herself to exercise and play sports. It also comes as no surprise to learn that at home she grows vegetables and raises three chickens. When there is a chance, she relishes in books about travel, autobiographies, people overcoming adversity, and of course, landscape architecture. She has even pursued her love of painting with courses at Emily Carr where she spent a month in Florence, Italy.

Words of wisdom

As far as life advice goes, Rosanna lives by words of wisdom she heard from a professor: find something you are passionate about and make into it what you want. She’s a living example that this is possible.