This past month, RVi Designer Adam Atkins had the pleasure of meeting the students of the Austin Youth River Watch program to share his insight about the profession of Landscape Architecture and how it relates to improving water quality within the Austin area. The Austin Youth River Watch is an after-school program for high school students which combines environmental education with peer mentorship. Students participating in the program collect, analyze, and publish water-quality data from Austin-area streams and rivers that is then reported to local and statewide agencies. Guided by a volunteer board of community leaders, the mission of Austin Youth River Watch is to advance personal and academic achievement through environmental monitoring, education, and adventure.  The group’s success rate speaks for itself: the graduation rate of high school seniors in the River Watch program is nearly 100%!

Adam met the group at Lady Bird Lake, on the site of one of their current service projects.   He spoke about his rewarding career as a Landscape Architect and how this profession makes a tangible difference in transforming communities throughout the city. Landscape Architecture is a career path that is typically not well known among high school graduates and is commonly mistaken as “landscaping.” Adam explained the artistic skill behind his work and shared his story of how he chose this profession. The students walked along the river banks asking questions and brainstorming ideas for improvements to the Lady Bird Lake park and trail system. Adam ended his visit by sharing planting techniques with the students and helping to lay new grass within the park.

For more information about Austin Youth River Watch please visit