Brooke Gwendolyn Safford

Owner/Chief Creative Officer

Growing up in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, Brooke has always had a love and kinship for the natural world. This admiration has shaped her life in many positive ways and was what ultimately led her to pursue a career in landscape architecture.

Although she always knew that she wanted to devote her life to caring for the natural world, it wasn’t until she lived in São Paulo, Brazil in the early 2000s that she realized the urgency and need to commit to this path. Every day en route to work, Brooke would pass by the Rio Tietê (Tiete River), – a major tributary that, over time, had been damned, channelized and polluted to the extent that it no longer harbored life or natural vegetation along its banks. Every day, Brooke would imagine restoring that river back to its natural state and converting it into a linear park for São Paulo residents to enjoy and through that enjoyment cultivate a love and appreciation for this ribbon of life meandering through their city.

She was so inspired by these visions, that by 2002 she enrolled into a 4-year Master’s program at the University of New Mexico. In 2006 she graduated with distinction with a Masters in Landscape Architecture and a Graduate Minor in Natural Resource Planning.

As Brooke was finishing up her thesis on Green Roofs, she was granted the opportunity to work for the National Park Service (NPS) in Santa Fe, New Mexico and eventually Great Basin National Park in Baker, Nevada. She worked for the NPS as a Landscape Architect and Outdoor Recreation Planner for 12 years. She also freelanced as a landscape designer on the side creating beautiful landscapes for residents.

She now resides in Durango and works full-time as a landscape designer in the Four Corners Region. When Brooke is not creating beautiful landscapes, you can typically find her enjoying the plethora of outdoor activities that Durango has to offer.

Brooke Safford

Degrees & Certifications

Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) – 2006
Graduate Minor in Natural Resource Planning

Permaculture Design Certification – 2019

Kiss the Ground Soil Advocate Training – 2021

Colorado Master Gardener

Awards

National Park Service Star Award
Sites Southwest Environmental Design Award
New Mexico Planning Association Award

Lucy Brown

Landscape Crew Member

Lucy is a recent Durango transplant, by way of the Pacific Northwest. For the last five years, she has worked on farms, gardens, and food forests. Lucy discovered a love of ecological landscaping as an undergrad in the Hudson Valley. In the height of the pandemic, Lucy found this work particularly gratifying and uplifting, and ultimately submitted a proposal calling for the integration of more regenerative land practices on campus, which has since been adopted. Lucy cares deeply about pollinator habitats and water-wise gardens, especially here in the Southwest. Through her work at Blooming, Lucy is eager to help heal and protect the earth that supports us, as well as strengthen our relationship with it.

 Lucy Brown

Gavin Smith

Landscape Designer

Gavin is a passionate learner about environmentally and socially sustainable landscapes. He was raised in Centerville, Ohio, where he developed a deep love for greenery and the native landscapes. Currently he is studying landscape architecture at Utah State University in Logan, UT. Spending time so close to the mountains has helped him connect to the natural surroundings and environment. Gavin enjoys mountain biking, playing video games, and exploring with his family. Blooming Design’s purpose and work has helped him learn more about the natural world and help people reconnect with the environment around them.

Gavin Smith

Sierra Murray

Landscape Designer

Sierra Murray, born in Ruch, Oregon, has always had a deep love for the outdoors. Growing up surrounded by the stunning natural landscapes of Oregon, Sierra developed a genuine appreciation for the transformative power of nature. Her upbringing sparked a passion for landscape architecture, driven by a desire to create meaningful outdoor spaces that enhance their surroundings. Currently a junior at Utah State University, Sierra remains committed to expanding her knowledge and honing her skills in the field. The invaluable guidance and support provided by Blooming Landscape & Design serves as a driving force in her pursuit of excellence.

Sierra Murray

Taylor Snell

Crew Leader/Colorado Master Gardener

Originally from Ventura, California, Taylor moved to Colorado seven years ago to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in environmental art. After graduating Taylor roamed the southwest working seasonally, until making the move to Durango two years ago.
One of Taylor’s foremost connections to the environment is through the process of making paint out of soil and botanical matter. Her practice focuses on often-overlooked elements of nature, authentic connection to Earth and sustainability, all of which correlate strongly with Blooming’s mission.
Growing up with a wildlife biologist as a mother, Taylor’s passion and curiosity toward outdoor recreation, native flora and fauna and sustainable living was highly encouraged. Taylor is a certified Master Gardener and is working toward earning her certificate in clinical herbalism. In her free time Taylor enjoys camping, skiing, wildcrafting, painting and spending as much quality time with her dog and friends as she can.

Taylor Snell

Skyler Young

Landscape Crew Member/Colorado Master Gardener

Skyler Young is a beacon of passion for everything that grows, flows, and thrives outdoors. Alongside his wife Jessi, and their son Xander, Skyler has woven the love for the natural world into the very fabric of their lives. Whether it’s the tranquility of kayaking through serene waters, the challenge of a rugged hiking trail, or the delicate care of nurturing plants, Skyler embraces each aspect with enthusiasm and dedication.
His love for botany isn’t just a hobby; it’s a profound connection to the earth that has recently culminated in him becoming a proud graduate of the Colorado Master Gardeners program. This achievement isn’t just a personal milestone for Skyler; it’s a stepping stone towards enriching his community, sharing his knowledge, and inspiring others to cultivate their own love for gardening.
Skyler’s life story is a testament to the belief that our passions can not only shape our lives but also contribute to the world around us. With Jessi, Xander, and a garden full of life by his side, Skyler Young is truly sowing seeds of joy and sustainability for the future.

Skyler Young

Meekah Sage

Administrative Assistant

Meekah grew up in New Mexico visiting Durango often as a kid to ski and camp. Although she loved Colorado from an early age, her adventurous spirit inspired her to explore the American West for over 20 years. Having called Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Oregon home, her experiences cultivated a passion for living deeply connected to wild landscapes. This love for the natural world inspired pursuits in gardening, herbalism, and primitive handcraft and lead to a lifestyle that promotes regenerative sustainable practices whenever possible. Professionally Meekah is a photographer, writer, graphic designer and logistical coordinator who finds fulfillment in applying her skills in a variety of ways to support small businesses with similar values. Meekah returned to Durango 2 years ago where she now enjoys her tiny home with her dog, Freya, exploring the vastness of the Western Slope with loved ones and embracing every opportunity to sit quietly in the wilderness in connection with the web of life.

Meekah Sage

Pippa

Blooming Mascot/Stick and Rock Retriever/Morale Booster

Pippa