Breedlove Land Planning is excited to see the lower courtyard improvements at the Georgia Tech North Avenue Apartments under construction. Originally built as athlete housing for the 1996 Olympics, the open space between these four student housing buildings needed re-programming and refreshment. Breedlove Land Planning developed a design to reactivate this space by creating new, sinuous pedestrian walkways that frame a new synthetic turf oval. Flanking the outside edges of the oval are a series of benches, grilling areas and outdoor seating. A new grove of hammocks was designed, nestled in shade, with electrical hookups to allow students to use devices for learning or relaxation. We look forward to seeing the finished installation in mid-September.
UGA College of Environment + Design Student Event
Breedlove Land Planning invited UGA College of Environment + Design students participating in their first-year studio classes to our Bishop office to see first hand what it’s like to practice landscape architecture. BLP employees led the students on a tour of the office and shared experiences of what a typical day might look like. The students were also given the opportunity to ask questions related to the profession, fielded by recent UGA CED graduates Laurel Fox, Jon Qualls, Ming Guan, Diamond Owens and Kaitlin Bryant. The Breedlove team also shared examples of recent projects which aligned with their current studio curriculum – conceptual master planning. The students gained insight from BLP’s experienced team on things to look for, design approach and lessons learned. As a bonus, BLP chef’s (Bobby Molleur and Joe Moon) treated everyone to a BBQ cookout. With 13 UGA Alumni currently on staff, BLP is excited to serve as a nearby resource for UGA students. We look forward to offering continued support to the University of Georgia – College of Environment + Design into the future!
Christian Bourguillon and Kaitlin Bryant Join Breedlove Land Planning’s Atlanta Office
BLP is excited to introduce two new team members to the Atlanta office, Christian Bourguillon and Kaitlin Bryant. Christian graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Georgia specializing in land development, site design, and stormwater design. Christian is originally from Haiti, and enjoys PC gaming and building, deer and turkey hunting, as well as playing team sports.
Kaitlin Bryant recently graduated from UGA’s College of Environment and Design with a degree in Landscape Architecture, and a minor in Environmental Economics and Management. She developed a strength in planting design while working for a landscaping company and a plant nursery before joining BLP. Kaitlin enjoys playing soccer around Atlanta, biking, and visiting local breweries with her fiancé.
Georgia Tech Project Tour
Yesterday BLP took a walk through Georgia Tech’s campus to visit some of our past projects and enjoy the fall weather. BLP has provided task order services at Georgia Tech for landscape architecture, civil engineering and surveying since 2011. Projects have included everything from athletic fields, streetscapes, and parking renovations to plazas and monuments. It’s amazing to see how the campus has changed over the years!
Set to retire, Mike Breedlove leaves lasting legacy with Breedlove Land Planning
For 36 years, Mike Breedlove has been the face and name of Breedlove Land Planning, one of the premier landscape architecture and civil engineering firms in Georgia. Over that time, he and his team have designed thousands of site plans, built an expansive client roll and fostered a supportive, collaborative culture that continues to grow and evolve.
Mike, 65, will retire from his post this month, but he knows the company he is leaving behind is built to last.
“As we’ve grown, we have continued to be relationship-focused, and that started with Mike,” said Kyle Webb, one of the principals and owners of the firm. “We have organically developed a lot of mentor-mentee relationships that create a lot of well-rounded professionals in our field. To carry on Mike’s legacy is to continue to teach and develop others.”
Mike’s legacy is immense in the landscape architecture field and in the communities he has served.
He never dreamed when he was starting his company and working out of his basement that Breedlove Land Planning’s projects would someday include the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Emory University, Callaway Gardens, Zoo Atlanta, Oklahoma City Zoo, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and National Park Service.
Mike has helped develop 232 schools in 17 school districts, as well as over a dozen private school campuses. He’s helped design 17 community centers in 13 different areas across Georgia, and he’s overseen development and construction at over 40 Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites.
Answering a Calling
A Georgia native, Mike was first introduced to landscape architecture in high school through a work-study program. The work was with a development firm, but the job was landscaping — a hard job, especially during Georgia’s hot summers.
“I was working out there and it was 90 degrees, just out there raking and shoveling and just dying,” Breedlove remembered. “And this guy drove up in a nice car, got out and gave us all instructions, and then he got back in his car and drove away.”
“And I said, ‘By God, that’s who I want to be.’ It was a landscape architect.”
Mike quickly dove into learning more about landscape architecture, reading books in high school and setting his sights on the renowned landscape architecture program at the University of Georgia. He arrived at UGA in the fall of 1977 and walked onto the football team. As he talks about his short football career now, he says he walked on and limped off of the team.
“I found out really quickly I was either going to be a landscape architect or a football player, and I knew I was there for my education,” Mike said. “There was no deviation. That’s what I was going to be.”
Mike graduated from UGA in 1980 and started his career at Evan Marbut & Associates in Decatur, working on site design for several schools in Dekalb County. Just five years later, he started his own firm with one client, Gwinnett Industries. He was just 29 years old.
“I was scared to death to start my own business,” Mike said. “I got married, had two kids, and we were building a house and running a business — it was a big load on all of us.”
Taking a Holistic Approach
Starting out, Breedlove Land Planning was made up entirely of landscape architects practicing site design. Engineers were contracted as needed for projects initially, but that would end soon enough as the team rapidly evolved into a landscape architecture-engineering firm.
“We learned quickly that our clients liked our holistic approach,” Mike said. “They liked that we had all these services blended under one roof. It makes our projects more seamless for our clients.”
Under Mike’s watch, Breedlove Land Planning has grown out of his basement in Conyers into a pair of offices in Atlanta and Bishop with more than 20 associates.
Many of the first wave of associates are leaders in the company today, including Hugh “Chip” Brown, Jr. and Scott Talbot. While they left the firm early in their careers to pursue other opportunities, they all came back to Breedlove. Today, the two men, as well as Webb and Matt Tanner, are the principals of the firm.
“Chip and Scott returning was a real testament to our culture,” Mike said. “The culture is the magnet here.”
What does that culture look like? It goes beyond the old beach volleyball tournaments at Mike’s house or fishing trips. It’s grounded in a camaraderie and support system that has only strengthened as the firm has grown.
“When it comes to our employee-employer relationship, we expect our associates to say what they mean and mean what they say,” Mike said. “They get ownership of these projects, and they have to see them through.
“You learn a lot that way.”
A Lasting Legacy in the Industry
For nearly 20 years, Mike has served his profession of landscape architecture through his active involvement on the Georgia State Board of Landscape Architects, including stints as Chairman for most of those years. He also served as Regional Director for the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards (CLARB) and Georgia Chapter President for the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), which inducted him as a Fellow in 2000.
Just this year, he was recognized by the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission as the Level II Designer of the Year.
Mike has passed on the importance of serving their industry and communities through volunteer efforts to his staff.
“We’ve carried through a lot of volunteer efforts — whether with Habitat for Humanity, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the U.S. Green Building Council and more,” Talbot said. “There are so many volunteer roles here.”
For more than three decades, Breedlove Land Planning has designed the sites for schools and government complexes, commercial developments and parks, and dozens of projects at UGA and Georgia Tech. The Rockdale Veterans War Memorial in Conyers was designed by Mike and his team, and it has been updated many times over the years to honor those who served the U.S. in various wars and conflicts.
For Big Creek Elementary in Forsyth County, Mike worked with professors and researchers to plan and develop the site, while also crafting methodologies and modeling for erosion control.
“A lot of the Georgia Erosion Control Manual has Mike’s fingerprints on it through his experience,” Brown said. “He’s worked with professors and experts at universities across the Southeast to expand research and education.”
Breedlove Land Planning’s holistic approach will not change with the firm’s current ownership, which has been in place the last five years. Brown, Talbot, Tanner and Webb intend to carry on Mike’s legacy of holistic design and culture of camaraderie.
“I think that Mike has clearly created a culture and principles our clients see as assets, which is a big part of why we keep getting to work with them on great projects,” said Tanner, who serves as vice president of engineering for the firm. “Everyone here embraces Mike’s approach — to be well rounded and learn everything they can about our industry.”
As he looks ahead to the next chapter of his journey, Mike encourages his industry to take on projects with a holistic, sustainable point of view. There is a balance that must be maintained, a balance that Breedlove has practiced his entire career.
“My legacy is that I was a design professional who cared, a design professional who viewed projects as much more than the project,” he said. “It was the community, the environment, the people around them over the years. It’s been a blessing to be here and a blessing to build the relationships with our clients and communities we serve.”
Tech Tower Lawn
Construction is wrapping up for the current phase of Georgia Tech’s renovation of the Tech Tower lawn. The project area is located below the iconic Tech Tower and serves as a prominent gateway into campus off of North Avenue. The current phase will improve a parking lot adjacent to the lawn, including hardscape and drainage improvements. A future phase will focus on improving the lawn area itself and will aim to return the geometry and circulation patterns to historical precedents. Breedlove Land Planning is providing landscape architecture and civil engineering services for this project. We are honored to help revamp such a significant part of campus!
Zoo Atlanta gets a new rhinoceros
Mumbles, a southern white rhinoceros, is the newest resident of Zoo Atlanta’s African Savanna. Breedlove Land Planning provided site design for the African Savanna, which includes a ‘best in class’ elephant barn, elephant, giraffe, rhino and hoofstock habitats, an impressive water feature, pavilions, boardwalks and interpretive signage.
Click here to learn more.
Evans County Public Fishing Area
Recently the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division proudly unveiled a new event center and campground at the Evans County Public Fishing Area. Breedlove Land Planning provided landscape architecture and civil engineering services for both facilities to take full advantage of the adjacent Bidd Sands Lake. The ribbon cutting ceremony for these new amenities included a formal dedication of Bidd Sands Lake, named after local hero Captain William Daniel ‘Bidd’ Sands, who was killed in action during the Vietnam War.
The event center, designed by Lyman Davidson Dooley Architects, is situated on a small peninsula and offers wonderful views of the lake. The building contains a full kitchen and restrooms, and is accompanied by a new parking lot, walkways and landscaping. It will certainly be an enjoyable venue to host any event from weddings to family reunions to small conferences.
The campground contains 14 campsites accommodating RVs, 8 tent-only sites, and a restroom and shower facility. It will be an attractive amenity for both fishing and camping enthusiasts, as it also offers views and access to Bidd Sands Lake. Anglers can easily stay overnight or campers can easily fish!
Breedlove Land Planning is delighted to have a part in both of these projects that will undoubtedly be wonderful assets for Evans County and the surrounding community.
Top Georgia Private Schools
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported on a recent ranking of the best Private K-12 schools in Georgia and Breedlove Land Planning is proud to count three of them as our clients. At Pace Academy, we are currently working on their lower school renovation and a campus wide hydrology study. Across Atlanta at The Paideia School, we are working on the site design for a new Junior High School building that has already received approval from the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. At Woodward Academy in Southwest Atlanta, we are currently in the design development stage for the renovation of Brewster Hall to become the new administration hub for the campus. We appreciate the opportunity to work with these great institutions and you can learn more about our experience on our portfolio page.
Click here to read the article.
Oklahoma City Zoo’s Galapagos Tortoise Exhibit
The new Galapagos tortoise exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo is under construction! Breedlove Land Planning is providing site design services for this new habitat located within the Children’s Zoo area. As OKC Zoo states, “The new Galapagos tortoise habitat consists of one indoor and two outdoor spaces. The climate-controlled 900 sq. ft. indoor habitat consists of a nesting area, an indoor pool, natural substrate floors, a vestibule for animal caretakers with a sink and utility space. It also features an open-air viewing area for Zoo guests. The outdoor spaces total 8,000 sq. ft. to roam with natural boulders, a log wall and native landscaping.” We look forward to sharing photos of the finished exhibit later this year.