Director of Maintenance Josh Altidor Addresses New Hampshire Landscape Association
January 28, 2020
Josh’s remarks covered effective leadership, retaining and influencing employees, as well as the importance of attractive, sustainable design and how it relates to climate change, touching on green infrastructure, biodiversity, and climate resiliency. The conference was co-presented by the New Hampshire Landscape Association, the New Hampshire Plant Growers Association, and UNH Cooperative Extension.
“Our purpose in designing open space is to create a sense of inclusion and connectivity,” Josh explained. “My designs are a reflection of myself and my lived experiences.”
Josh was born and raised in Haiti where he absorbed the art of design from his father, a passionate farmer who never learned to read. He graduated from the American University of the Caribbean with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agroforestry and Environmental Sciences. After moving to the U.S. to further his education, Josh completed a certificate program at the Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Programs and went on earn a master’s in Sustainable Urban Environment from Northeastern University. Josh also holds a certificate in Leadership Management from the Extension School at Harvard University.
Josh started with parks in 2013 in the horticulture division where he had the opportunity to design and install plantings the Boston Public Garden. Josh was promoted to Director of Maintenance in 2019, where he oversees the care of Boston’s parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields.
Josh’s takeaways on creating sustainable, attractive urban spaces:
Strive for a unified look that balances the elements of good design: line, mass, form, texture, and color. Never hold back when it comes to plant selection; go for the WOW factor. Don’t be afraid to express yourself through your designs.
Realize that “green infrastructure” can be surprisingly low-tech: systems of greenways to enable wildlife to move through human settlements; connected park systems and urban forests; adequate tree canopy; and constructed wetlands are all tried-and-true strategies to increase resilience and promote biodiversity.
When considering climate resiliency, understand that communities of color and families experiencing poverty are often disproportionately affected by stressors such as heat islands, sea-level rise, extreme weather events due to climate change, and pollution.
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