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02-18-21 | Department

A Lifetime of Stewardship

Landscape Architect Honored for Charitable Work
by BGB Design Group

In the 1970's, Bob Borthwick, founding principal of BGB Design Group, volunteered on the Aliso Creek Study Team. This group of professionals and community members met weekly for six months to develop plans to save Orange County, California's 19-mile-long Aliso Creek from channelization and to create a regional recreational trails network. Along with other members of the Study Team, Borthwick presented the plans to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. They accepted and approved the creek preservation concept and appointed Borthwick to serve on the Aliso Creek Corridor Planning Task Group, which directed the preparation of the specific plan to "Save the Creek."
In 2015, Borthwick prepared the Laguna Canyon Creek Restoration Plan, which identified portions of the creek that could be restored and naturalized. This document led to the State of California providing a $500,000 grant for trails and creek restoration which was completed last year.
Robert "Bob" Borthwick, ASLA, was the founder of BGB Design Group in 1979. He currently serves as the firm's senior principal.

Bob Borthwick, ASLA, is the founding principal of BGB Design Group, a Landscape Architecture firm based in Costa Mesa, California. He was presented with the American Society of Landscape Architects "Public Stewardship Award" in 2016. This was the first time that this award was given to and recognized a career of pro-bono professional services which BGB continues to this day.

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Borthwick began working on volunteer environmental causes immediately following his graduation from Cal Poly Pomona in 1969 and found such projects to be a welcome complement to his professional practice. "I have found that we always meet wonderful people doing volunteer work, because there is no profit component. . . only the joy of being of service," says Borthwick. "We all realize that we are receiving more than we are giving. Our firm continues this philosophy."

Over the years, BGB has donated many hours of time to worthwhile causes, including designing a playground and picnic area for children with developmental disabilities at Fairview State Hospital, designing the landscape for a Habitat-for-Humanity residence in Riverside, and various landscape beautification projects for local schools. The playground and site development design for the Orange Coast College Children's Center in Costa Mesa was also donated by the firm.

An award-winning residential project, "Hope Family Housing", was designed by BGB in 2006. This project, located in Buena Park, included 17 townhomes for abused women and their families. This pro-bono effort received recognition from the Orange County Board of Supervisors. It was a collaboration with Bassenian Lagoni Architects, Home Aid Orange County, O.C. Rescue Mission, and John Laing Homes.

As seen in LASN magazine, January 2020.

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