"Growing up in farmlands along the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, I spent many weekends running through cornfields and getting lost in the marsh on my bike. Every weekend my family set out on the Chesapeake Bay, and a new adventure began for my brother, my sister, and me. I didn’t realize all those hours catching enormous catfish with the perfect bait (hotdogs), trekking along the shores seeking treasures of expired bay creatures, and crabbing with raw chicken would provide a foundation later in life for an appreciation of the relationships between natural systems, humans, and the built environment.
After almost ten years in the world of advertising, public relations, and marketing, I was looking for an opportunity where I could give back and make a positive impact on people and the environment. Earning a master degree in landscape architecture provided a new lens for viewing people and the environment. I now possess a heightened understanding of stormwater management, ecology, and human behavior, and I hope to help communities understand the importance of enabling healthy choices through design improvements in the built environment."
Melissa’s passion is working with communities to create healthier places through context sensitive planning and design strategies. As the leader of Alta’s Mid-Atlantic Region, she has worked with large and small communities in rural, coastal, and urban settings. Melissa thrives on crafting unique and fun public involvement strategies and enjoys leading teams in intensive multi-day field analysis to maximize efficiency and immerse her team in a study area. Her work executing charrettes for redevelopment master plans, Complete Streets,and greenways have provided communities across the east coast with inspiration, vision, and robust public feedback that drives successful grant applications and facility implementation.
Melissa also leads Alta’s Wayfinding Service Area and has completed community branding, sign design, and placement strategies for vehicular, bicycle, pedestrian, and trail sign packages. She incorporates equity, health and wellness, and conservation into each facet of process and product. Her experience with parks, recreation, and open space system-wide plans, greenway networks, and park master plans fuels her ability to incorporate active living strategies into every project.