Sustainability-Minded Lombard Resident Joins WRD Environmental
Lombard resident Andi Cooper has joined WRD Environmental, a Chicago firm, as director of business development. WRD develops green infrastructure, stormwater management and environmental education through sustainable design and civil engineering.
Andi is a registered landscape architect, who previously held several positions at Conservation Design Forum, in Elmhurst. Most recently, she was the firm’s director of marketing and communications. At WRD, she is responsible for client cultivation, support and outreach.
Andi’s design experience includes developing sustainability-driven open space master plans, corporate site plans and stormwater riverfront master plans. She is LEED-accredited (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the US Green Building Council.
A Rare Blend
“Andi offers a rare blend of design expertise and communications abilities,” said Geoff Deigan, president and founder of WRD. “She has in-depth understanding of the design process – from concept to implementation. And she has worked on communications efforts that range everywhere from developing award submissions for clients to publicizing their sustainable projects.”
Andi applies her expertise as a planning commissioner for the Village of Lombard. She and fellow commissioners are in the final stages of working with village staff on a new comprehensive plan, which aims to strengthen Lombard’s commitment to sustainability and economic development.
Sustainability and Schools
She is also involved with Lombard Elementary School District 44, helping to develop a campus plan for Hammerschmidt Elementary School that includes environmental gardens, outdoor classrooms, recycled playground materials and sustainable rainwater management.
“My passion is fostering learning environments that connect children with nature and cultivate their imaginations,” she says. “My goal is to cultivate more outdoor spaces that ‘leave no child inside.’”
Her focus on schools aligns closely with WRD’s project work. The firm is planning, designing and implementing a multiyear green campus initiative for all seven schools of Woodridge School District 68. WRD has instituted best management practices that have reduced the district’s annual maintenance costs for parking lots by 80 percent; eliminated stormwater, flooding and sidewalk frost-heave problems; and obtained grants totaling $84,000 for the district’s green projects.
At the same time, WRD has given school presentations and hosted other events related to the district’s green campuses, using them as learning tools for students.
Since 1997, WRD Environmental (www.wrdenvironmental.com) has produced sustainable results for clients ranging from major municipalities to Fortune 1000 corporations to nonprofit organizations. Along the way, it has improved the quality of life in over 150 communities in a mix of urban and rural settings – including some of the most visible developments in the Chicago region.