Ellen Southard founded Site Story to be a firm dedicated to supporting community-enriching projects that emphasize storytelling and place making. With a background in history and education she works closely with both public and private sector clients to lead community engagement and education for planning efforts, preservation, public policy and sustainable community development projects. She has created a unique niche of facilitating and engaging the public in planning processes through a comprehensive understanding of the built and un-built environment. Her projects span a wide variety of rural and urban conditions from preserving natural resources and open space to historic structures and preservation. Her work celebrates the modernism gutsy industrial history of the evolving west; embraces the courage and resilience of indigenous cultures and pioneer people; and acknowledges that the most important aspects of her work is to bring about consensus in decision making for the public good.
Ellen was raised on a 40-acre farm in the New Jersey Pinelands, our nation’s first nature preserve formed cooperatively by farmers, private land owners, local, state and federal agencies. Her family was instrumental in the creation of the Pinelands Natural Reserve that protects and enhances the watersheds, natural and cultural resources of the Pinelands.
Ellen is on the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Western Washington where she is playing a critical role in linking sustainable planning for camps with land stewardship and Girl Scout education programs. If she were a cookie she’d be a Samoa.