Connections to the Land

Part of landscape architecture is showing a love for the land by shaping it to serve the needs of both the land and the community of which that land is a part. At Design Concepts we all have different ties to the land which influence how we work with cities and people as land use changes.

Linda Anderson-Biella’s family has lived in Boulder County since 1915 where for generations they grew crops and vegetable gardens, had milk cows, grazed livestock, and made a living solely from the farm’s production. Over the course of the near century during which the Anderson family has maintained the land near Arapahoe Road a lot has changed. As development in the area increased demands on water became greater and greater, the traffic increased substantially, and the City of Boulder Open Space has acquired some of the land. Under a lease agreement, Linda’s family has been able to continue to farm the land so that it can maintain its historical status by producing crops and providing pasture for livestock. 

While Boulder County wants to maintain agriculture in the areas that have a heritage of being used in this way, development has not stopped and agricultural space is shrinking. In the past it was possible for people to live purely off the farm, as Linda’s parents did while she was growing up, but this way of life has become more or less a thing of the past. “Farming is not a living, it’s a way of life” says Linda, “but nonetheless it continues to be a deep-rooted value that defines who we are.” Linda and her husband run about 35 head of cattle on the land that has long been home to her family.

The entire staff at Design Concepts have a deep respect for the land, based on so many factors. For Linda, her heritage and connection to the land has created the foundation for the respect she feels for the county’s oldest resource.