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October 10, 2011
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Design Workshop Tahoe office gives back to community

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Design Workshop, an international landscape architecture, land planning, urban design and strategic services firm, feels unwaveringly compelled to give back to the community that has fostered and supported its business success. The employees of Design Workshop's Lake Tahoe office understand the importance of donating their time and talents, through both team efforts and individual acts, to sustainably improve the quality of life for their neighbors, friends and community members and to provide a quality experience to those that visit the area.

"Whether we're in the office working on client projects or volunteering our time to initiatives spanning from outdoor recreation and alternative transportation improvements to providing quality art and entertainment, we are committed to improving the community for the people who live and visit here," said Steve Noll, principal of the Tahoe office.

Ben Fish serves as board member and trails director of the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association due to his passion for making Tahoe a year-round destination for adventure seekers that want to explore Tahoe's natural environment by bike. This spring, he brought over 40 people together, including land managers and resort operators, for a three-day workshop presented by the International Mountain Bike Association, to focus on trail-building and design techniques that socially and economically benefit communities. Additionally, Fish is helping to design, lay out and gain a permit for the first downhill-specific trail on USFS lands, in addition to organizing monthly trail-building days for the USFS and aiding pro bono design, grant funding and fundraising efforts to build a community bike park in South Lake Tahoe.

Steve Noll focuses on volunteering for projects that advance alternative modes of transportation and make recreational improvements in the community. Noll assisted in the initial design for the field renovations of the South Tahoe track and soccer field and is a charter member of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition, promoting the development and maintenance of bike lanes and paths. Stephanie Grigsby, another principal in the Tahoe office, used her artistic talents to design a birdbath that was installed in the community garden at the Lake Tahoe Community College.

Encouraging its employees to give back to the community through their individual gifts and passions, Design Workshop realizes it has a diverse and talented team that can help through more outlets than planning and landscape architecture. Grigsby has performed in numerous theater productions through Lake Tahoe Community College, St. Theresa's Church and the Boathouse at Valhalla. Additionally, she has assisted for three summers at a weeklong teen girls youth camp, making a difference in the lives of more than 400 girls. The Tahoe Valley Elementary School enjoys a mural hanging in the gym painted by Sommer St. Michel. Micah Langdon, associate, organized volunteers and designed and constructed a kids' garden at Western Nevada College's Child Development Center, using tires that had been discarded on vacant land. His son and schoolmates learn how to help things grow while the greater community enjoys a cleaner landscape.

"I am so proud of the passion that our Tahoe office employees have for their community. They take their interests and talents and put them to use with organizations and activities that need them," said Becky Zimmermann, president of Design Workshop.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Oct 10, 2011 05:28PM Published Oct 10, 2011 05:27PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.