Howard Snyder’s Path to Harriman

Howard Snyder has nearly 20 years of experience as a landscape architect and planner. Prior to its merger with Harriman, Howard worked for The Cecil Group from 2002-2004. In January 2016, he was rehired at Harriman after years of practiced, unpredictable and distinctive career transitions.

The Early Years

On his eighth birthday, Howard’s neighbor gave him a book about forests. That book drew him to the field of landscape architecture. As a kid, one of his favorite activities was exploring the forest nearby his home in rural New Hampshire, but that book showed him the uniqueness of trees and plants he never noticed before.

During his junior year of high school, Howard studied architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was there that he had another revelation while driving through Denmark’s countryside. He was inspired with the 400-year-old buildings that melded seamlessly into their surroundings. Also, he fell in love with the aesthetic of Scandinavian architecture and how its inhabitants structured the environment with their lifestyles.

Howard began his freshman year of college in the liberal arts program at Syracuse University with the intention to study architecture. Instead, he completed a two-year concentration in psychology then transferred from Syracuse University to nearby State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) where he received his bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture.

During his senior year of college, Howard studied ‘psychology of space’ in Heidelberg, Germany. The project was an analysis of distinct environmental topics, from ‘playscapes’ for toddlers, to how people flow-through and are affected by modern outdoor expanses. Howard integrated psychology and landscape architecture and learned how space, texture, and nature trigger emotional responses to outdoor surroundings.

Today, Howard creates environments where you can build fixed elements with a purpose as well as intrigue people’s feelings with plant materials.

Full Circle

While serving as Town Planner in Georgetown MA, Howard received a direct mail card announcing the merger of The Cecil Group and Harriman. He realized he should maintain connections with all of his networks. When he contacted Harriman they said, “We’re really busy what do you think about coming back to work for us?”

At Harriman, Howard cites the collaborate environment as omnipresent of the culture. Here, he has the ability to build up the landscape architecture studio and practice. For Howard, coming back to Harriman was a chance to circle back and reset to his true intentions of being a landscape architect.