About 40BWORKS – Landscape Architecture and Planning Services

40BWORKS is an earthwise art, design, landscape architecture and planning firm. The firm was started in 2014 by Suzanne Jackson who received her B.Arch. from the University of Cape Town and her MLA from Harvard University. Prior to starting 40BWORKS, Suzanne worked at Design Workshop, in Aspen, Colorado, for over 26 years. Suzanne served in an Associate position. She worked as a landscape architect and land planner with a diverse range of communities and landscapes in the Rocky Mountain Region. Her successful project outcomes result from listening to and engaging the clients and communities she works with, and also from the time she spends hiking and illustrating the natural environment. Each project outcome is specific to the needs of the project, people and environment involved. Suzanne’s experience encompasses landscape design for schools and institutions, residential garden design, conservation, transportation and recreation planning and design, and environmentally based tourism. Suzanne’s work has been recognized with ASLA awards and published in books and magazines.

As a project leader, Suzanne has experience in coordinating with multi-disciplinary groups on public and private projects. Her professional experience includes working with town and county regulations, environmental assessments, scenic quality analysis, public speaking, writing and document preparation. Suzanne’s practice includes facilitation and many of her projects are built on collaborative processes. She is well versed in aiding groups reach consensus on a vision for their future and resolving design and planning challenges. 40BWORKS is located in the Roaring Fork valley and volunteers in several capacities, including serving on Basalt’s Parks, Open Space and Trails Board.

Suzanne’s recent experience working as a Landscape Architect on the Tongass National Forest in SE Alaska, provided opportunities to design recreational facilities in a temperate rainforest setting. She has gained valuable experience serving a federal agency, while working remotely as well as on-site. Suzanne produced facility site designs, master plans, interpretive exhibits, a trails manual and landscape construction documentation.

40BWORKS provides landscape architecture and planning services to public, private and non-profit clients. 40BWORKS utilizes a range of computer software for design and documentation and manages projects at all scales. Suzanne Jackson is personally involved in all aspects of the work and is the primary person working on the projects. The firm works collaboratively with a network of other consultants when the scale, technical or timeframe requirements of a project demand.

40BWORKS strives to work in an earthwise and sustainable manner, incorporating concepts of re-use, conserving resources, developing landscape responses harmonious with the natural environment and being thoughtful about interactions among people and nature.


Work Experience Summary
Owner, 40BWORKS, March 2014 to Present
Landscape Architect, Tongass National Forest, December 2014 to Present
Associate at Design Workshop, Aspen, Employed August 1987 to February 2014
Assistant Landscape Architect, U.S.F.S. Thorne Bay Ranger District, Alaska, 1986
Teaching Assistant for Professors Steinitz and Jacobs, Harvard University, 1986
Training Landscape Architect, OVP, Cape Town, South Africa, 1984-1985

Master of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University
Bachelor of Architecture, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Professional Licensure/Affiliations
Registered Landscape Architect Colorado
American Institute of Certified Planners
American Society of Landscape Architects, Member
Construction Specification Institute Certification

Volunteer Board Positions
2011 to Present: Basalt Open Space and Trails (POST) Committee
2008 to 2011: Member Aspen Snowmass Nordic Council
2004-2008: Snowmass Capitol Caucus Board Member

Selected Awards and Honors
2014: CCASLA Merit Award: Bucksbaum Campus, Aspen Colorado
2009: CCASLA Merit Award: Coleman Residence, Aspen, Colorado
1997: Governor’s Smart Growth Award for I-25 Conservation Corridor Plan, Colorado
1991: ASLA Honor Award: Bow Canmore Corridor Visual Impact Assessment, Alberta, Canada
1987/88: Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship, Harvard University

Selected Articles/Publications
2010: “The Secret Garden”, Mountain Homestyle, Summer issue
2009: “Creating a Habitat for Plants, Wildlife and You”, Organic Gardening, Feb/March Issue
2006: “Out the Door: Creating the Landscape of Home on a Narrow Aspen Lot”, My House in the Mountain States magazine, Jan/Feb issue
Appendix A: Visual Simulation Tools in “Tree Conservation Ordinances: Land Use Regulations Go Green.” Planning Advisory Service Report No. 446 with Christopher Duerkson, Chicago: APA, August 1993

Selected Presentations
“What’s Next for Landscape Architecture in Africa”: American Society of Landscape Architects National Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, 2014.
“On the Road: Integrating Aesthetics and Landscape in Transportation Design ”: Western Planners Conference, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, 2014.
“South Africa, Land of Contrasts”: Pitkin County Library Travel Series, Aspen, Colorado, 2013.
“How to Engage Communities for Successful Project Outcomes”: International Federation of Landscape Architects Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 2012.
“Landscape Architecture Rising in Africa”: American Society of Landscape Architects National Conference, San Diego, California, 2011.

Selected Project Experience
Bucksbaum Campus Phase 2 Landscape, Aspen, Colorado (in progress)
Northstar Residence Waterwise Landscape, Aspen, Colorado (in progress)
The Yellow House Landscape, Carbondale, Colorado
Basalt POST Master Plan and Arbaney Park Landscape Design (Volunteer Basis)
Belmonte Garden Enhancement, Basalt, Colorado
Our Town Basalt – Illustrative Visualizations
Graphic Design/Artwork for Alpine Animal Hospital, Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Selected Project Experience (on the Tongass National Forest, SE Alaska)
East Africa Trails Manual
Anan Wildlife Observatory Site Master Plan, Wrangell Ranger District, SE Alaska
Sawmill Creek Campground, Sitka Ranger District, SE Alaska
Prince of Wales Island Interpretive Signs, Thorne Bay Ranger District, SE Alaska

Selected Project Experience (while at Design Workshop)
Aspen City Water Site Master Plan: Aspen, Colorado
Aspen Nordic Trails Master Plan: Aspen, Colorado
Aspen Meadow Campus Master Plan and Landscape Architecture, Aspen, Colorado
Bow Canmore Corridor Visual Impact Assessment: Alberta, Canada
Bucksbaum Campus Master Plan and Landscape Architecture, Aspen Music Festival & School and Aspen Country Day School: Aspen, Colorado
Coleman Residence: Aspen, Colorado
Colorado Department of Transportation Landscape, Aesthetics and Environment Manual: CDOT, Denver, Colorado
EagleVail Community Enhancement Project: Eagle County, Colorado
Glenwood Springs Trails, Signage and Wayfinding: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
I-25 Conservation Corridor: Douglas County, Colorado
Marolt Affordable Housing, Aspen, Colorado
North Star Nature Preserve Resource Management Plan: Pitkin County, Colorado
RFTA Transit Oriented Development Study: Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Pitkin County Library Master Plan and Landscape Architecture: Aspen, Colorado
Shadow Mountain Residence, Aspen, Colorado.
The Preserve at Northstar Master Plan and Landscape Architecture: Aspen, Colorado
Town of Gypsum Signage and Wayfinding: Gypsum, Colorado
Watson Divide Conservation-Development Master Plan: Pitkin County, Colorado

Interests and Activities
Hiking, backpacking, bicycling, x-country skiing and touring, yoga, sketching, pastels, photography, writing, website, overseas travel, volunteer trail work.

Walking Wild in the Wind River Range

“The Winds are calling…” read the text message from Montana mountain man, Dave. Dave has spent many seasons exploring solo in the remote Yellowstone backcountry; he is at one in nature with only a backpack, as I like to be. Two days later we met at the Elkhart Trailhead near Pinedale, Wyoming. With loaded packs, we were ready to begin our backpacking trip along the Sky Pilot Loop in the Wind River Range.

The Winds rise abruptly from the wide Wyoming plains – an exquisite island of warped rock, glacial pools and high craggy peaks. Their skyline evokes a fairy tale world of castles, spires, goblins and dragons in the clouds. Facts about the Wind River Mountains are impressive: Aligned from northwest to southeast, between roads there are 80 linear miles of mountains that encompass the Continental Divide. A 30-mile width across the range is hardly representative of the real distance created by huge changes of elevation to be traversed among the 13,000-foot peaks in the center, nor the two-day long hike to reach their bases.

IMG_3970Still seemingly unfettered by man, few places like this remain in the continental United States.

No ranger cabins, designated campsites or advance booking required. Trails are generally narrow, rocky and of all different grades. And there are thousands of acres of remote terrain with no trails at all. Signs or even cairns are scarce. The signs we saw had faded letters notched in weathered wood, tilting on rough poles, like our Pine Creek trailhead sign.

IMG_3862We began our hike by descending almost 1,500 feet to the magnificent Long Lake, dramatically set between steep glacial rock walls.

We followed Long Creek to the intersection of Pine Creek, almost sharing our bridge crossing with an enormous moose. Next we ascended over 2,000 steep feet through aspen trees gloriously ablaze in vibrant yellow and reds. We reached the ridge top with wide dusk tinged views, and were enticed to camp by Glimpse Lake peeking through the pines.

IMG_3873Glimpse Lake in the early morning.

Our second day’s walk paralleled Pine Creek valley, high on the western ridge. We hiked north, passing many pools of water collected in glacial basins. These included Trapper and Borum Lakes nestled among evergreens and showy boulders. At last we reached the high plateau around Summit Lake, just in time to make camp before gathering dark clouds rumbled, releasing a soaking, cleansing rain.

IMG_3886After the storm, the morning light was fresh and sharp, with vivid fall colors. The calm water held reflections with depths and colors rarely imagined.

We woke up slowly, soaking in the scenery and the warming sun. Our trail continued along the head of Pine Creek valley, crossing the creek near sparkling cascades shooting in diverse directions. We ascended further, well above 10,000 feet. A series of looping switchbacks were taking us deep into the heart of the Winds, past Sky Pilot Peak. As we crested a high rise, we gained our first view of Elbow Lake surrounded by dramatic peaks that extended in all directions. We stopped and looked, amazed..

IMG_3907Squiggly lines of rugged peaks extended to the distance.

Upper Elbow Lake and numerous smaller pools occupied the next high basin, where water formed rocks and rocks defined water. At this elevation, even the last small stunted spruce and pine trees were absent from the landscape of swirled stone, water and reflected light.


Curved hollows in the skyline embraced the fading auburn of the evening sky. The last flare of gold on a high rock face darkened, but night came slowly as a soft alpenglow recharged pink highlights. Deep shades of sky blue dimmed, first stars twinkled, and only then the mountains gave up their light to stand still as black guardians.

IMG_3962The low angled evening light cast long shadows and highlighted needle like edges. Photo by David Knies.

IMG_3925Invigorated, I leapt up at first light to watch the frosty morning shadows recede and light illuminate the details of this intricate tapestry of rock and water, light and reflections, movement and stillness.

On our fourth day out, I felt more closely connected to the intensity of this wild landscape with a power that’s tangible. Energies merge, impressions linger. An angular boulder was a black and white art piece. Streaks of crystalline lines ran across its granite face at crazy tilted angles. I jumped into an icy lake, where ions exploded in sprays. I shook the droplets from my skin, feeling recharged. We wanted to linger in this high-altitude other-world.

IMG_3941We hiked north through Shannon Pass near Stroud Peak, looking into the stunning Peak Lakes basin and beyond.

IMG_3952We entered the Upper Jean Lakes basin, and set up camp amongst clear pools and creeks.

We were further surrounded by scintillating turrets of stone. To get closer to these fantasy forms, we clambered up a ridge east of the lake. It was higher and further than it appeared, but at last we summited the ridge and peeked into the next basin over, that was followed by another, and another. We felt our mere human scale, dots in this mighty landscape formed through major forces over geologic time.

IMG_3978One more cup of morning coffee.. It was hard to leave the high country.

We descended into Fremont Creek valley, awakened to the way water dances with gravity. It bounced over steep angular rocks, flowed in wide willow lined creeks, was at rest and tranquil in large pools. The sub-alpine environment ignited all senses – sounds of water cascading, smells of wet earth and decaying leaves, the feel of rocky ground underfoot.

IMG_3989Our journey out from the heart of the Winds was a wandering through magical places.

After the sparseness of high altitude, the greens of tree needles and reds of shrub foliage were lush and bright. The trail meandered through varied small ecosystems, deer scattered, a creek rushed by, and dividing ridges provided glimpses back to the high places where we’d been.

IMG_3993A sweet lake attracted me with its patterns of color and big mountain views beyond.

Late on day five, our trail connected to the main Island Lake trail, bringing us out of the place where we’d been alone for five days. Continuing to a little below Seneca Lake, we found a circular grove of spruce trees around a fire ring, in a round meadow. We felt centered here, especially with the glow of flames and warmth from our fire.

Again, it was a night of saturating rain. Morning was enveloped in a soft mist that soon also became rain – perhaps a trip-end signal that urged us back on the trail. The forested lower slopes still carried gifts. We passed colorful Hobbs Lake and beautiful Barbara Lake.

IMG_4005Reluctant to leave, we walked a semi-circle via three more lakes gasping at rich colorful foliage, reflections and the mystery of mist floating above water.

On our final stretch on the Pole Creek trail, dripping from a day’s rain, we met new trail friends from all over the country. They were also walking in the rain with broad grins, grateful to be in the Wind River Mountains where a person might feel the solace of immense wild places.

Our hike complete, we camped at Pine Creek trailhead, where we watched orange tinted morning clouds fade, and sunlight slowly cast its luminous glow. Vistas extended north, encompassing peaks now familiar from our loop. Dave soon had camp working – the green tent spread wide on a washing line, a range of wet gear set out to dry. I sat comfortably in a camp chair sketching and reminiscing on our route.

IMG_3960 (2)The Winds spell was still strong, I wanted to nourish the feeling of wild nature inside me.