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Cultivating human possibilities, the Tony Bradwell way

Urban team members share stories of peer’s influence.

Chris LaRouche speaks about Tony Bradwell during a presentation in Kamloops honouring his contributions. -
Chris LaRouche speaks about Tony Bradwell during a presentation in Kamloops honouring his contributions.

A number of Tony Bradwell’s colleagues say they’ve been inspired by him over the years to do things they might not otherwise.

Whether it’s Chris LaRouche signing up to coach boys’ soccer or Shannon Gadsby volunteering with a local community garden project, “(Tony) has a way of nudging people in a direction that that they might not see as an opportunity in their own eyes,” says Chris, a senior landscape technologist.

This past weekend Tony was officially inducted into the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) College of Fellows in the category of Built Works and Service to the Community or the Public. Induction to the College of Fellows is the highest honour the CSLA bestows on its members. The induction took place during the CSLA 2014 Congress in Ottawa.

While Tony’s ardent support of landscape architecture throughout his career was the core impetus for the honour, his contributions to community and mentoring of colleagues are also being recognized. He was nominated for the award by his Urban Systems peers.

For Shannon, who worked with Tony during her past career with Urban Systems, it was his introduction of her to the Kamloops Communities in Bloom project that’s left a lasting mark on her life. Tony asked if she would volunteer to create maps and brochures for the annual Communities in Bloom judges’ tour.

Because of that opportunity, Shannon joined Communities in Bloom after she left Urban Systems, which then supported her in launching Kamloops’ largest community garden.

She is now a volunteer site leader and co-ordinator for the Henry Devries Community Garden. It is in that capacity, she says, that she feels she has learned what true community means.

Chris recalls Tony’s invitation to coach soccer for a group of eight-year-old boys in an underprivileged area of town just months after he’d joined the Urban Systems team – now about 20 years ago. Though he’d never played soccer in his life, Chris accepted and went on to learn much from Tony, who had been coaching his daughter’s team for years.

Chris subsequently coached for years as well, eventually moving on to a U16 boys’ team.

Tony, who is now officially retired from Urban Systems, has contributed to numerous community efforts on a volunteer basis, including the Urban Systems Foundation.

“Throughout his career Tony has been a passionate and ardent supporter of not only landscape architecture but of human nature and possibilities,” Chris says.

“He’s humble and understated in both the way he lives his life and the work he has done. He values the interests of the community at large, and brings out the best in those around him to support him in his endeavours.

“As a mentor, he walks the talk and leads by example. Big shoes to fill indeed.”

Read part one of this story here >>

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