In September 2014, the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail welcomes BriAnna Weldon to its San Francisco administrative staff as Outdoor Recreation Planner. BriAnna will work to support the Anza Trail's partners in building, protecting, and maintaining the trail, particularly its segments of recreation trail.
Q: Welcome BriAnna! Tell us about yourself.
A: I grew up in Paramount, near Long Beach, and I went to UC Berkeley. I graduated in 2010 with a degree in Landscape Architecture and got my Master's in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona in 2012.
Q: What got you interested in landscape architecture?
A: When I went to Cal I really liked art and I liked geometry. Architecture was a good intersection. One of my first classes was taught by a landscape architect. His interest was in how culture and the landscape intersect. To me that’s the crux of landscape architecture. I immediately changed my major and never looked back. It’s something really rewarding to design a space where people can play and make memories attached to nature. I really like that.
Q: How did you begin working with the National Park Service?
A: I was an AmeriCorps fellow with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program (RTCA) in Los Angeles. My projects there included equestrian trail planning, urban trails, and work along the LA River.
Q: The LA River is important to the Anza Trail. Was the trail part of your work with RTCA?
A: Yes, the Anza Trail is one of the recreational opportunities along the river. I worked on a recreation guide for the Glendale Narrows that featured the Anza Trail.
Q: Where did your interest in trails originate?
A: I grew up riding horses through the Chino Hills. Trail riding. I actually don’t like hiking (laughs) because I’m really clumsy. But when you’re trail riding, the horse does the hard part and I can just enjoy nature. When I was 13 or 14 I went on a ride from Corona to Ventura. It was a 4 day ride and camp. I went with my grandma and her friends. It was the first time I went camping and to be out of the city for four days straight was impressionable.
Q: Are there places along the Anza Trail you are especially excited to experience?
A: Yes! I’ve ridden horses in all the northern Arizona deserts, but never southern, so I’m excited to go there and see it.
Q: Anything else you’re looking forward to?
A: I always had this pet interest in the settlement of the missions. So having that historical interest, combining it with the Anza Trail, and then figuring out how to tell that story is an interesting opportunity for me. I think all design should tell a story. Figuring out how to do that is what’s fun for me!
BriAnna Weldon, New Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Anza Trail
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