Landscape Architecture Alumna Takes on Leadership Role at Esplanade Association

Elizabeth Knott, MLA ’15, pursues career in cultural landscape preservation

Libby Knott with Lotta Fountain on the Esplande

Libby Knott with Lotta Fountain on the Esplande; Photo courtesy Libby Knott

Years ago, a high school aptitude test told Elizabeth "Libby" Knott, MLA '15, that she was destined for the design field or working outdoors. While she didn't realize it at the time, this test almost perfectly predicted her future path in life.

After over 20 years of working in a diverse set of jobs, from marketing, to social work, to café ownership, Libby decided to explore a completely new direction that provided a creative outlet. She found herself at the Landscape Institute, which eventually brought her to pursue a Master of Landscape at the BAC, and last month Libby found a perfect fit as director of operations at the Esplanade Association.

When asked what attracted her to working at the Esplanade Association, Libby stated that its mission of making life better on the Esplanade said it all for her. While she started at the BAC with the ideal of building a career in designing new and beautiful spaces, the opportunities provided to her through the BAC revealed new possibilities.

"Studying in an urban center provided access to an unparalleled amount of resources: landscapes, thought leaders, culture, educational forums," said Libby. "The concurrent curriculum can be daunting. But for those who persevere it can open doors within the Greater Boston design world like no other program of study can."

Her experience working in local internships and in the BAC's Gateway program opened her eyes to how many existing spaces there are that have been over-burdened and neglected. From this, it was clear that her career trajectory was in cultural landscape preservation.

"In deciding on a career objective, I felt that my previous work experience coupled with my studies in landscape architecture enabled me to be a strong advocate for protecting these important natural spaces. I'm very fortunate that the Esplanade Association saw that in me as well, and I take my stewardship role with the organization to heart," said Libby. "The most important aspect of my job is to make sure that at the end of each day the Esplanade is a more vibrant park than it was the day before."

The Esplanade Association has many projects slated for this year and beyond. This summer, Libby looks forward to working on restoring the Lotta Fountain, a granite fountain from the 1930s. This preservation and restoration project will be a challenging, educational, and fulfilling endeavor to kick off her new job.

We look forward to seeing the impact Libby will have on the Charles River Esplanade. Please join us in congratulating her on this accomplishment.