Meet Our Team: Kara Beck, Landscape Designer

Kara Beck is a Landscape Designer at Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA). Kara works alongside EEA’s Director of Landscape Architecture and is based in our Chicago office.

Kara joined EEA in 2017 and supports the firm’s Landscape Architecture service offerings. While completing her bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture at Michigan State University, Kara gained horticultural experience working at Frederick Meijer Children’s Garden in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Mt. Cuba Gardens in Barely Mill, Delaware. Since graduating, Kara has worked with clients to oversee the landscape construction process.

What inspired you to choose LA as a career path?
Playing softball initially sparked my interest in landscape architecture. When it was time to start thinking about a potential career path, I wanted to find a way stay connected to the sport I grew up playing for so many years. Luckily, my uncle, a landscape contractor business owner, set up an opportunity for me to job shadow a landscape architect who specialized in designing athletic field complexes. During my first year at Michigan State University, I learned about the other facets of landscape architecture beyond field design, all of which attracted me to the field.

What is your role at EEA?
As a landscape designer, I work closely with EEA’s Director of Landscape Architecture providing clients with everything from conceptual landscape designs, to preparing intricate design details for landscape construction.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When the sod is installed, it’s the first time you get to see the culmination of your landscape design come to life. All of the work creating concepts, sourcing plants, working with vendors, and preparing construction details come together to make something beautiful and functional.

What is your favorite EEA project to date?
The Lake Arlington improvements for the Arlington Heights Park District is my favorite project since joining the team. The project scope includes a new children’s sensory garden, native beach plantings, boardwalk, bike path improvements, and an ADA fishing pier/boat pier extension. Playing a role in the design of the sensory garden allowed me to call on my experience as an intern at the Frederick Meijer Children’s Garden. Selecting the plants, landscape elements, pavements, and other materials to create a sensory experience for the children that will visit the garden is very rewarding.