strategy. storytelling. sustainability.

In 2016, I reimagined L Studio as a nimble consultancy to focus on strategy and storytelling for organizations, initiatives and businesses that align with the long-time mission of my career: to promote the sustainable use of land and other natural resources.

In my new capacity as a communications strategist, I have also discovered the power of collaboration. I now work with diverse teams of colleagues and clients to help them uncover the wisdom that can be found in the collective and translate that into strategic and creative communications.

I am grateful to have the chance to work with leaders in this collaborative space who are pioneering new strategies for preserving and stewarding both private and public lands at a landscape level.

Here is a quick look at some of my recent work: 

The Climate and Agriculture Protection Program (CAPP) is a regional effort, led by Santa Clara County and the Open Space Authority, to protect the last of Santa Clara Valley’s remaining farm and ranch lands as a strategy to mitigate climate change. In the past 20 years, Santa Clara County has lost 45% of its most productive lands to development pressures driven by growth in Silicon Valley. Working with Amie MacPhee of Cultivate and Michael Meehan of Acre Policy, we are developing a Branding and Farmer Support Campaign as part of the CAPP project. The campaign aims to increase public awareness about regional agriculture, establish an identity of place that represents a diversity of products and people, provide support for farmers and ranchers to create a vibrant agricultural economy, and help preserve the working lands in Santa Clara Valley -- which are not only an important food source but provide a range of ecosystems services.

One Tam is the initiative of the Tamalpais Lands Collaborative, a partnership of the four public agencies that manage Mt Tamalpais in Marin County — the National Park Service, California State Parks, Marin County Parks, and Marin Municipal Water District — with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy leading the collaborative. They are bringing together data, applying science, and pioneering new strategies to steward the public lands of Mt Tam. Through these efforts, they are also redefining what land stewardship means today. L Studio developed the brand, print and digital media for One Tam to help launch the initiative in 2014. Currently, working as an advisor to the Parks Conservancy, I provide strategic and creative direction to continue to build awareness and support for the work of One Tam.

Redwoods Rising is a new initiative of Save the Redwoods League, the National Park Service and California State Parks, whose mission is to protect the remaining and future old-growth forests of Redwood National and State Parks and ensure the long-term health of these forests through coordinated land management. Together, they are actively connecting and restoring redwood forest ecosystems and educating the public about their significance. Working with my long-time and talented colleague, Alexandra Hammond, we facilitated the naming process and developed a new identity for Redwoods Rising for the launch of this new collaborative.

The Santa Lucia Preserve is a 20,000 acre Community Preserve in the hills above Carmel, California. Hart Howerton's master plan for this community 20 years ago was premised on the belief that the property’s intrinsic value lies in the site’s natural beauty, vastness and richness of its landscape. The community buildings and homes for 350 families have been carefully sited and designed to be subordinate to the landscape and a Conservancy was put in place to fund the preservation of 18,000 acres of open space and wild lands at the Preserve in perpetuity. Our recent work with Hart Howerton includes publications to help today's homeowners and governing boards steward these lands based on the founding principles and philosophy behind the original vision and planning of The Preserve.

I am proud of the portfolio of work produced at L Studio over the past 20 years and I am now applying this experience to ask new questions, have new conversations and tell new stories. Strategic branding and communications is key to outreach and education that inspires action.

I welcome the chance to collaborate with others to build up our communities, steward our lands and natural resources, and work together toward a prosperous future for all.

Marianna Leuschel