John Welch, PLA, ASLA
John is Associate Principal and has worked with Turner for over fifteen years in various capacities. He has been involved with project management, intensive historical research, and the production of Cultural Landscape Reports for the firm since its inception. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, John worked with several collaborative teams and with FEMA to create recovery plans and to provide comprehensive feasibility studies for affected communities along the Gulf Coast. He travelled throughout the state, witnessing the destruction that the storms caused, and helping residents envision projects – both large and small – that would most benefit their communities as they came back from the catastrophic events that had occurred.
In the past decade, John spent half a year in Las Vegas, working on planned communities, large residential properties, and community parks, collaborating with varied teams of owners, architects, engineers, and other landscape architects. He led the initial design phases of Coyote Springs north of Las Vegas, working with environmental groups to protect sensitive habitat and ecosystems, and promoting the use of sustainable landscape planning and design to ensure that the ecological footprint of the development was as small as possible in an extremely arid climate, and that water use for landscape purposes was minimal. John also worked with the late landscape architect Ed Blake in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, lead designer of the Crosby Arboretum. While with Ed, John learned the unique combination of variables that the designer used to imbue his projects with the environmental and interpretative magic that he was known for.
As a child, John spent his summers in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, learning small scale family farming and adding to the horticultural knowledge that he brings to all projects. He looks at soil, water, sun, structures, and plant materials in an integrative way to provide the most complete result for the clients of STA. Emphasizing strong fundamentals – like soil, water, and programming – John maximizes the assets of a site and responds to a client’s needs and desires to bring about the best possible solution for any project. Projects that John has worked on have received awards from the Louisiana State Chapter of the ASLA and the Congress for the New Urbanism.
John recently established a small micro-farm in the River Parishes north of New Orleans, where he is growing unusual and rare varieties of vegetables and herbs organically for the New Orleans high end restaurant trade. He has been collaborating with members of the slow food movement to plan and produce the kinds of unique ingredients that elevate the stature of the New Orleans food community and that create the special blend of foodways that define New Orleans. His former garden in Mobile, Alabama was also profiled in the Time Life series of books on horticulture.