The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society awards are presented annually to those individuals who have demonstrated professional leadership, contributions having a lasting value to the parks and recreation profession, and a commitment to the advancement of the Society. The winner of the 2021 PRPS Distinguished Member Award in honor of Robert D. Griffith, from Pashek + MTR, Heather Cuyler.
The Distinguished Member Award is named in honor of Robert D. Griffith, the longtime Executive Director of PRPS, and seeks to recognize those professionals who have consistently contributed to the advancement of the Society, affiliated organizations and the parks and recreation profession.
Heather began her career as a part-time Director and quickly became the first ever full-time Director of Parks and Recreation in Marshall Township. Over the next 20 years, her passion for our field has guided her career, both professionally and as a volunteer. Her efforts and significant achievements as an advocate, volunteer and professional have advanced public recreation and parks and have had tremendous impact on the quality of life in her region and across the state. She has been involved with the Moraine Preservation Fund for more than 20 years, is the co-founder of the Recreation Alliance of North Pittsburgh and is now a Recreation Planner for Pashek + MTR. Heather is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, Certified Playground Safety Inspector, & Certified Pool Operator.
Heather is deeply committed to PRPS having served on numerous Annual Conference Committees, and the Membership, Governmental Affairs, and Recognition and Awards Committees, as well as holding leadership positions throughout her very active years in District One. As her nominator stated in her application for this award, “Heather has consistently contributed to the advancement of the Society, affiliated organizations, and our profession in countless ways, and been a champion for parks, trails, greenways, and open space preservation throughout the Commonwealth”. Certainly, appropriate words befitting a Distinguished Member.
We are pleased to welcome Adriana Bowman as a planner at Pashek + MTR. Adriana will join Jenni Easton, Elaine Kramer, and Jim Pashek in advancing the firm’s work in community planning.
Adriana has a passion for policy, urban planning, research, and sustainable economic and community development. These areas of interest have taken her from her own backyard to countries around the world as she has immersed herself in local cultures and languages and assessed and synthesized information to develop programs that can be analyzed and quantified. Adriana brings creativity, technical skills and knowledge of planning processes and policy to all her projects.
Her internships with the City of Pittsburgh and the non-profit Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC) have contributed to her skills in research, analysis, and community development. She has collected and analyzed data for improving housing and zoning policy and interviewed residents and stakeholders to collect crucial perspectives. Adriana’s presentation skills center on crystalizing findings and translating those into policies for helping places become more sustainable, equitable and enjoyable.
Adriana holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of South Carolina and will be receiving her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Urban Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in May of 2021.
We are pleased to welcome our new summer intern Lucy Rummler! Lucy is an MLA student at Penn State University. She enjoys working on design projects that involve ecological restoration, pedestrian and bike infrastructure planning, and planting design.
Lucy is excited to learn about the design process at Pashek + MTR and explore Pittsburgh this summer. Her undergraduate program and past work experiences have centered on plant ecology research, and she loves that landscape architecture allows her to combine this background with a design approach. Her master’s capstone project, which she is also working on this summer, is a flood resiliency project in Conway, South Carolina. She is also a volunteer for ClearWater Conservancy’s watershed cleanup, Centred Outdoors, and stream buffer monitoring programs.
Pashek + MTR is an award-winning landscape architecture and planning firm committed to a holistic, sustainable practice. Our work spans the public and private sectors, including education, healthcare, parks and recreation, botanic gardens, and community planning. We are a highly collaborative group of skilled landscape architects, designers, and planners located in a walkable and bikeable urban neighborhood.
We are seeking a passionate and energetic landscape designer with 1-5 years of experience interested in working on a wide variety of project types and sizes in all design phases from master planning to construction documents and construction administration. The position will entail working collaboratively within our office as well as with clients, project stakeholders, and other consultants. The ideal candidate should share our values and want to learn and grow in responsibility within our tight-knit firm. Learn more about us by visiting www.pashekmtr.com.
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture
- Strong design sensibility
- Great hand and digital graphics
- Excellent communication skills
- Knowledge of grading design, planting design, materials, and technical aspects of Landscape Architecture
- Proficiency in AutoCAD 2018 or newer, Adobe Design Suite, and Microsoft Office is a must
- Proficiency in Arcview and Sketchup is a plus
Pashek + MTR offers a flexible, causal work environment, health benefits, and competitive salary. Please submit your resume, references, portfolio and writing samples in pdf format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are seeking a passionate and energetic planner interested in working on a wide variety of community planning projects, such as comprehensive planning, corridor planning, and recreation and open space planning. The position will entail working collaboratively within our office as well as with clients, project stakeholders, and other consultants. The ideal candidate should share our values and want to learn and grow in responsibility within our tight-knit firm. Learn more about us by visiting www.pashekmtr.com.
- Possess knowledge of community comprehensive planning process. Familiarity with the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code is a plus.
- Possess understanding of Subdivision and Lands Development ordinances and zoning ordinances.
- Possess knowledge of urban design concepts.
- Ability to apply principles of sustainability in all forms of planning
- Have strong research and analytical skills
- Have strong writing and communication skills, and ability to present complex information in clear, understandable ways
- Ability to conduct research
- Ability to facilitate public outreach and meetings
- Make recommendations to governing bodies
- Proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software
- Have demonstrated experience with Adobe Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign)
- Have demonstrated experience ArcGIS or another GIS
Pashek + MTR offers a flexible, casual work environment, health benefits, and competitive salary. Please submit your resume, references, portfolio and writing samples in pdf format to email@example.com.
We are pleased that Eric Brightman has joined the Pashek+MTR team. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Eric honed his design and project management skills through his work for public and private landscapes in the New York City area. His understanding of materials, historic landscapes, playground safety, accessibility, water features, custom detailing, and construction administration for high profile public projects enriches Pashek+MTR’s practice.
Eric’s fifteen years of landscape architecture practice include five years as a project manager for the Planning, Design, & Construction team at the Central Park Conservancy (CPC) as well as ten years with Michael Van Valkenburg Associates (MVVA).
While at CPC, he played a fundamental role in the documentation and management of projects ranging from rehabilitation of historic landscapes to complex multi-million dollar renovations of iconic Central Park playgrounds, totaling nearly $18 million in Park improvements during his tenure.
Eric’s experience at MVVA included the planning, design, and construction of a 350-acre upstate New York residential estate. He also led the construction documentation and construction observation phases for the Novartis Pharmaceuticals campus expansion project in central New Jersey, which required close collaboration with architects, engineers, ecologists, and arborists.
Since relocating to Pittsburgh, Eric enjoys exploring new neighborhoods, parks, playgrounds and looking for the perfect pierogi. He also spends time volunteering at the Tree Pittsburgh Heritage Nursery and is a member of the gardening committee at his daughter’s school where he is helping to connect children with nature through establishing and maintaining gardens on school property.
Entry Level Landscape Designer
Opening for a passionate and energetic entry level landscape designer interested in starting their professional career by working side-by-side with our talented landscape architects and designers.
Gain meaningful and gratifying experience while meeting our clients’ needs and improving the environment. The experience you gain will provide you with the foundation to sit for the LARE and become a registered landscape architect.
We are located in the pedestrian and bicycle friendly East Ohio Street Business District of Pittsburgh’s vibrant East Deutschtown Historic District, http://deutschtown.org. East Ohio Street and the surrounding environs offers a variety of casual lunch opportunities. Meeting downtown, no problem, use one of our office bicycles to make the 10-minute commute to the Golden Triangle.
The ideal candidate will be a proactive self-starter with the following abilities and experience:
- BLA or MLA degree from an accredited College or University with excellent oral and written communication skills, and the ability to manage time and multiple tasks.
- Attention to detail, ability to problem solve, strong organizational skills, and sustainability focused.
- Proficient in AutoCAD 2018 or newer, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Design Suite.
- Experience with grading, planting design, materials and technical aspects of landscape architecture; experience with construction detailing and/or construction administration; ability to working with project teams on projects of various sizes.
- Proficiency in Arcview is a plus.
Typical tasks include project design, attending client & public meetings, preparing renderings, cost estimates, construction documents, permits and municipal approvals, contract administration, and construction observation. Projects range in scope from master planning through construction documentation and administration.
We are an award-winning 15-person landscape architecture and community planning firm committed to improving our environment. Our work spans the public and private sectors, including education, healthcare, parks and recreation, botanic gardens, and community planning. We create exceptional places that connect people with the natural world and each other. Learn more about us by visiting www.pashekmtr.com.
We offer a flexible, causal work environment and competitive salary. Please submit your resume, references, portfolio and technical writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently John was inducted into Freedom Area Hall of Fame Class of 2018 at its 11th Annual Hall of Fame banquet. The Foundation administers the Hall of Fame to recognize the achievements of successful and prominent alumni of the Freedom Area School District. The Foundation also sponsors activities and events throughout the year, and funds both student Scholarships and Teacher Grants.
The following offers some little-known facts about John and what he has done in his community.
A 1985 graduate of Freedom Area High School, John is the son of John and Lorraine Buerkle and grew up on North Gross Street in Conway. Early on, John was inspired by Mr. Guzzo and his drafting class. During high school, John attended the Beaver County Vocational Technical School where he placed second in the Pennsylvania Vocational Industrial Clubs of America drafting and design competition as a senior. Although vo-tech was not a traditional path to college, John was encouraged by his parents and his early mentor and vo-tech teacher Mr. Fred Fiumara to attend a four-year college. After graduation, John was offered a position with Ryan Homes, Inc. However, his mom convinced him that a four-year degree would most likely serve him better. Like any good son, John followed his mom’s advice and he’s thankful he did.
John began his college career at Penn State Beaver. After a successful first year, he transferred to University Park, but not for his first choice of major, architecture, but rather for his second choice: landscape architecture. At the time, John had no idea what the profession entailed. However, because it had ‘architecture’ in its title, he assumed he would be interested. He was more than interested, and it has become a passion. John graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Landscape Architecture from Penn State in four years, a tasked deemed impossible for a transfer student.
Between his junior and senior year at Penn State, John was fortunate to secure a paid internship with Jim Pashek, who had started Pashek Associates. After graduating in 1989, Jim offered John an entry-level position. John accepted, joining Jim and Nancy Lonnett Roman.
In 1993, John married Jean Bonaparte, whom he dated early in high school. The two went
separate ways in college but fell in love when they returned home and together raised three wonderful children: Zach, Hannah, and Steven. In 1994, John became a Registered Landscape Architect. John also holds certificates as a planner from the American Institute of Certified Planners and Urban Power to Prosper/Streetwise MBA program from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Business School.
Over the years, Pashek Associates grew from a staff of three working out of Jim’s home to a 14-person firm with an office on Pittsburgh’s Northside. In 1997, Jim invited John and Nancy Lonnett to join him as partners. Jim, Nancy, and John established the endowed Pashek, Lonnett, Buerkle Scholarship in Landscape Architecture at Penn State to recognize graduate and undergraduate students majoring in Landscape Architecture with an interest in environmental issues and who have a demonstrated financial need.
John is indebted to his friend and mentor Jim Pashek for taking him under his wing and
mentoring him to continue the firm’s legacy and to his friend and colleague Nancy Lonnett
Roman with whom he’s had the pleasure of working with over the years. It isn’t often one can say they’ve worked at the same place with the same people for 30 years.
In 2017, Pashek Associates merged with MTR Landscape Architects, bringing a portfolio of nationwide work that includes cemeteries for the Veterans Association, including the Cemetery of the Alleghenies, and work at prominent public and private gardens. With the merger, John and his partners continue to expand the type and breadth of work completed by the firm.
John’s greatest professional satisfaction is seeing people enjoying the results of the firm’s work as he travels, which includes local work at the Rochester Flag Plaza; Penn State Beaver; Beaver County Community College; Brady’s Run, Old Economy, and Brush Creek Parks; and many local municipal parks. John often assists communities with applying for and securing funding for planned projects, and his work has resulted in over $3.5 million in improvements just in Beaver County’s parks.
John has been equally passionate in serving his alma mater, community, and church, including work with the Freedom Band Boosters, Freedom High School Marching Band pit crew, Freedom Drama Club set building, Freedom Boys Soccer Boosters, Conway Borough Planning Commission, Conway Borough Council, Conway Community League T-Ball Coach, Freedom Area Soccer Assistant Coach, Cub Scout Pack 427 leader, St. Felix Parish Eucharist Minister, St. Felix Parish Holy Name Society Man of the Year, and St. Felix Holy Name Society President.
John notes that he is honored to be inducted into the Freedom Area Education Association’s Hall of Fame and is humbled to join the ranks of those he has admired and looked up to during his time at Freedom. He looks forward to continuing his professional journey, continuing to serve the community he loves, and continuing to watch his children in their life journeys.
The next time you see Heather Cuyler, congratulate her!
Many of you know Heather Cuyler. If you don’t, please read this anyway, as we want to share her good news. Heather joined Pashek+MTR a little over a year ago as our recreation practitioner. In that role Heather is responsible for working with and advising many of our clients on park and recreation matters, from long-term planning to day-to-day operations and management.
With her extensive experience as a municipal director of parks and recreation, Heather decided to validate her abilities this year by garnering credentials. She has acquired new certifications, passing both the National Park and Recreation’s Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and their Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) exams.
What does this mean to you?
- The Certified Park and Recreation Professional certification is the national standard for all parks and recreation professionals who want to be at the forefront of their profession.
- The Certified Playground Safety Inspector certification program provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date training on playground safety issues, including hazard identification, equipment specifications, surfacing requirements and risk management methods.
All of this means Heather is recognized by her peers and in the industry for leadership in the parks and recreation profession, and more importantly, that she is extremely qualified to guide you in your park and recreation endeavors.
Please contact Heather if you would like to:
- Prepare or update your community’s Comprehensive Park, Recreation, and Open Space Plan, Active Transportation, Trail, or Greenway Plan;
- Prepare a master plan for a new or existing park;
- Determine whether your playground meets current safety requirements; or
- Design and build a new play area.
She would love to speak with you!
412-321-6362 Ext. 116