Ben Baker

Name

Ben Baker

Company/Organization

Wightman & Associates

What Does Your Company/Organization Do?

Engineering, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Survey, Environmental, Interior Design, GIS. We solve problems.

Age

37

Accomplishments

Marriage and 2 kids, Michigan ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) Honor award for my graduating class, Licensure in my field, Elected Michigan ASLA President two times, Added a Community Vegetable Garden and Rain Garden at Wightman. Happy to have worked on many award winning projects, including the Dowagiac Commercial Street Streetscape which won the first ever Better Streets, Better Michigan Award

What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?

Continue to grow the Landscape Architecture department at Wightman and increase knowledge about my profession.

Education

Dowagiac Union High School. I spent one year at Southwestern Michigan College before transferring to Michigan State University for a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture.

Residence

Shoreham, MI

Where were you born?

Huntington, IN (but grew up in Dowagiac, MI)

What was your first job?

Mowing lawns in the neighborhood, then working on a farm

Best advice you ever got?

Do what you Love

Who inspires you most?

My kids and the next generation inspire me to work to make our community and the world the best place that we can. Either through my own actions or through the domino effect of something I’ve been involved with.

That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.

I play over 10 instruments and am always wanting to add more.

What do you love to do in your downtime?

Work on projects, from building the only chicken coop in the county with a green roof, to tinkering and creating things. Also like kayaking, hiking and being outdoors with the family.

What book are you reading now?

The Naturalist. Theodore Roosevelt, A lifetime of Exploration, and the Triumph of American Natural History by Darrin Lunde

Volunteer activity you love the most.

Anytime I can use my talents and passions to help a cause that I care about. Such as playing music at Water Street Glassworks. But I especially like working with kids and getting them involved.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

I was taught to be involved with the things you care about. Everyone is so busy in this day and age, we all need to step in and help out. If your kid is playing soccer, coach. If they’re in 4H, be involved. If you enjoy the Arts Scene, volunteer. It seems there are never enough people to help out, and volunteering puts you in the front row so you know what’s happening.

What Superpower would you most love to have?

The power to be able to do more. There are so many great causes, and not enough time to do more.

What does this honor most mean to you?

I’m just honored to be recognized with this honor. I’m not doing it looking for recognition, I’m doing the things I do because I see a need and do what I can to help. Whether that’s at work, in the community or for my profession.