Special/Signature Issues » 2013 Top 40 Under 40

Andrea Almond, 36

Landscape Architect, 3north. Chair, Richmond Urban Forestry Commission

  • Scott Elmquist

Take a poll of Richmond residents, and you’ll nearly always find their favorite city amenity is the river. And a hot contender? Trees.

But urban trees don’t plant themselves or last forever.

That’s where Andrea Almond comes in. The chairwoman of the Richmond Urban Forestry Commission was instrumental in a regional urban forestry summit this fall which examined ways to coordinate and streamline the efforts of various area organizations dedicated to the planting, care and advocacy of trees.

Almond applauds an official city tree survey underway. It’ll be major step toward a comprehensive urban forestry master plan for Richmond.

Almond’s career is built around the outdoors. She’s a landscape architect with 3north, a design firm based in Manchester. When she joined the practice two years ago she brought a decade of professional experience developing award-winning master plans for other parts of the Southeast.

“Landscape architecture has an important role to play in communities,” the native of rural Appomattox County says, “but a lot of people don’t even know what it is.” Since her college days at Virginia Tech, Almond has worked tirelessly and effectively to build understanding, beginning with the field itself.

Two years ago she was a leader in getting a professional licensure act for landscape architects through the General Assembly (Virginia didn’t have one). And in addition to her urban forestry post, she volunteers on the Richmond Urban Design Commission.

How does her own garden grow? “I don’t have one, it takes time,” she says. But maybe someday: “I do have grand plans.”