About Us

Public and residential landscapes in the US are typically driven by aesthetics, often consuming excessive amounts fossil fuels, water and natural resources. We believe there is a different way.  We create urbanism and landscapes that are sustainable, organic, and contribute to natural ecologies. Offshoots is a hybrid practice offering both landscape architecture, planning and productive landscape installation services.  The name of the practice was formerly Kennen Landscape Architecture which Kate Kennen founded in 2004 and transformed to Offshoots in 2012.

Qualifications

  • MassDOT Approved Landscape Architect
  • Managers certified by NOFA (New England Organic Farming Association) as certified Organic Land Care Professionals
  • Project Managers certified as Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professionals by the Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals
  • Kate Kennen, Offshoots Owner, MA Registered Landscape Architect #1255
  • Women Owned Business

What do we mean by ‘productive landscape’?

Instead of using aesthetics and art as a starting point for landscape/or urban design, we instead consider what the landscape can DO, ie: what functions can landscape design best provide in any given context. This is used as the generative force for conceptual design and planning.

We ask ourselves many questions, which vary from site-to site and are generated by the context of a place, to start to consider productive landscape strategies. Some examples:

Can an edible food source for humans be created? For birds? For other wildlife? Can the local economy be supported? Can we reach net Zero CO2 emissions? Can only plants grown locally be used? Could the landscape be low maintenance (use less water, less fertilizer and less fuel)? Could it recharge the local aquifer and cleanse or save water? Could it plant the seed for another offshoot business to grow?

We strive to create landscapes with the following benefits:

  • Low Maintenance, Low Water Use: Low maintenance landscapes are not only less expensive in the future, but less mowing and fuel consumption results in less carbon dioxide generation and greater energy independence.
  • Organic Installation Practices: We work with growers to source organically grown plant materials. We hope to create demand in the horticulture industry to grow organic, sustainably produced plants
  • Reconnect Native Ecologies & Water Systems: We identify important bird, plant, and wildlife habitats, and consider reconnecting fragmented systems.
  • Minimize Energy Inputs: We consider finding alternatives to high maintenance blue grass lawns, and use landscape structure to contribute to ecosystem services such as passive heating and cooling of buildings.
  • Edible Landscapes: We integrate food sources and edible plants into the landscape when appropriate.
  • Utilize Phytotechnologies: If chosen properly, plants have the ability to clean contaminated water and land
  • Locally Sourced Plant Materials: Plant materials are often grown on the west coast and southern US, and shipped thousands to miles to destination plantings. Offshoots is dedicated to sourcing our plants locally (within 300 miles.) This results in installations of strong hardy plants, while supporting our local economy and decreasing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from shipping materials long distances.
  • Aesthetics: Our number one goal is for our clients to perceive our landscapes as beautiful; the sustainability practices may lie silently, but importantly, in the background.

Partnerships

For our horticultural installation projects, we partner with Pleasant View Nurseries in Paxton, MA to provide as much locally grown, sustainably produced nursery stock as possible. Kate Kennen, owner of Offshoots, Inc, grew up at this nursery, owned and operated for over 40 years by her dad, Hank Kennen.

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OFFSHOOTS, INC

547 Rutherford Avenue
Charlestown MA 02129
T: 617.500.6530
F: 617.500.6531

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