Max Hammer

Max Hammer is joining the Urban Forest Initiative as an intern for the 2017-18 school year. The Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment will fund his internship being worked through UK Sustainability. He is a junior from Nashville seeking a B.S. in Landscape Architecture. He’ll use his experience in the major to help Frederick Douglass High School students design a planting plan for their campus.

Below is a short interview with UFI intern - Max Hammer 


How do the goals and objectives of Urban Forest Initiative align with your interests?

Landscape architecture is a professional way to design outdoor spaces. Ideally, every project would have the best materials and methods to make a sustainable site, but that goal is often the first to go when the budget gets tight.  UFI advocates for environmental health through planting, and we both want to help people understand the plethora of benefits that tree life brings to cities. If I could one day teach clients in an interesting and engaging way, like UFI, then sustainability would become an obvious, necessary project objective.


What excites you about working with UFI as part of this internship?

Working with UFI has broadened my experiences and values. I get to meet people who care about the environment and have the passion to do something for it. Everyone here is a spokesperson for trees, but the broader view shows we care about people. Learning all sorts of interesting facts about trees showed me that trees are planted for their benefits to people. This is the first job I’ve worked that does not sell a product for profit; we sell our ideas for the wellbeing of Lexington, the Earth, and its inhabitants.


How do you feel about trees?

I feel that trees should be a featured part of everyday. Growing up, I never knew why I liked some neighborhoods, parks, and streets better than others. After learning about aesthetic, psychological, and economic benefits of just seeing trees, I’m able to make the connection between trees and happy places. I believe more trees can soften the edges of the urban landscape and its users.