Principal / Landscape Architect
Leed AP, Certified Green Building Professional
Vera grew up close to the land, on a farm in Northern Vermont. There she learned the essential qualities of the natural landscape and the symbiotic relationship of natural systems. She also learned how to draw and paint and ride horses – passions she continues to pursue to this day.
Now living and working in the urban environs of San Francisco, Vera brings an agrarian sensibility and an artistic vision to her design work. She believes in crafting gardens In The Spirit of Place. Her design vision is innovative and dramatic, with layers of purpose and meaning. Vera comes from a long line of storytellers, and believes that design is a manifestation of the telling of our stories.
Vera teaches Environmental Design and Landscape Graphics at U.C. Berkeley Extension in San Francisco. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Green Building Professional. She specializes in the elegant design of complex, sustainable sites, the integration of the built and natural environments and the creation of human habitat.
After receiving a B.S. in Environmental Design from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Vera worked as a water features engineer and landscape designer on international resort projects. She opened her first practice in 1993, later partnering with Kate Stickley to found Arterra in 2003. Living a repurposed life, Vera spends her free time painting, golfing and following the S.F. Giants. Her son Oscar is attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he is studying Architecture. Mom is very proud!
Katherine B. Stickley
Principal / Landscape Architect
ASLA, Certified Green Building Professional
The beauty of simple lines and patterns found in the natural landscape initially drew Kate to the field of landscape architecture. Adapting these forms and images into the built landscape has become her life-long passion.
From riding horses and trail building in the Brandywine River Valley, her childhood home, to scuba diving in the Florida reefs, Kate has been a keen observer of the natural environment. Walking the land, studying its meaning and connecting it to the people who will use it are central to Kate’s design philosophy.
After graduating from Michigan State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Kate practiced large-scale resort design in Florida and the Caribbean. From there, she lived and worked for four years in the South of France where she developed her love of Mediterranean plants and water-wise planting. Designing and collaborating with local artisans in the Old World laid the foundation for her comprehensive knowledge of how things are built. She continues to draw from this foundation today, as innovative detailing and design are hallmarks of Arterra Landscape Architects.
Kate is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Build It Green and the National Association for Women Business Owners. She is a Certified Green Building Professional. Her community involvement includes the redesign of the grounds at Coit Tower and educational gardens for schoolyards in San Francisco.
In addition to time with her family, Kate spends free moments running and hiking the wildlands of California and someday, hopes to complete the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.