AMES, Iowa — Mariah C. Bakke, the founder of Viva Landscapes in Fort Myers, Florida, is a recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Young Professional Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.

Established in 2020, the award recognizes College of Design alumni who received their most recent degree from Iowa State within the past 10 years and have excelled in their professions early in their careers.

Bakke, originally from Carroll, Iowa, and now of Fort Myers, received a bachelor of landscape architecture from Iowa State in 2015. She will be honored during Homecoming at the ISU Alumni Association’s 90th Honors and Awards Ceremony at 1:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, in Benton Auditorium, Scheman Building, Iowa State Center, and streamed live online. A dessert reception will follow. Both the ceremony and reception are free and open to the public.

Bakke, PLA, ASLA, is the lead landscape architect and owner of Viva Landscapes, which provides landscape design services for projects at all scales, from residential renovations to retail landscapes to new construction. Her clientele spans from southwest Florida to San Francisco, where she completed the landscape design for a multimillion-dollar pool project.

Prior to founding her own firm in July 2020, Bakke was a landscape architect with R.S. Walsh Landscaping in Fort Myers for five years. After earning her professional license in 2017, she began specializing in waterfront properties and continues to do high-end estate landscape planning on Sanibel and Captiva islands as a contractor with R.S. Walsh. Through Viva Landscapes, Bakke also seeks to amplify communal spaces as development expands in the area, providing public access to more parks and green spaces.

A registered landscape architect in Florida, Bakke is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and was the Florida ASLA’s Southwest Florida Section Chair in 2017. She serves on the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association board of directors and is chairwoman of the Fort Myers Planning Board. She was named one of Gulfshore Life’s 2020 Men and Women of the Year.


Mariah Bakke, Viva Landscapes, mariah@vivalandscapes.com
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, 515-294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu