steve sutherland

Steve Sutherland


Steve's unique path of work experience has provided him with a foundation of knowledge that is far more diverse than most Landscape Architects. Steve has come a long way since managing a wholesale nursery back in 1973. After studying horticulture in college and acquiring his Landscape Contractor license, he met Karen who encouraged him to return to school to follow his passions. Steve pursued a certificate in Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley before founding SSA in 1989. He has been a licensed Landscape Architect since 1986. Growing up in a family-run retail chain, Steve was instilled with the belief that client service is paramount. That is the foundation upon which SSA was built.

Steve's biggest inspiration for pursuing a career in landscape architecture was, of course, the great John Muir, as well as the environmental movement of the 60s and 70s. Steve has a simple desire to improve the world we live in, starting with his own office. He strives every day to promote a family-feel and fun environment at SSA. Steve is known for his impeccable ability to misplace things, for instance, his glasses and keys. This happens on such a regular basis that some team members have taken to hiding his belongings in unusual places to toy with him. While he encourages fun and games in the office, Steve also accepts nothing less than the highest quality design work and client service. The SSA team was strategically assembled to help Steve achieve his own personal vision for SSA's success. SSA has become a premier design firm, led by Steve's mission to innovate and give back and help make the world a more beautiful place.




Awards & Announcements

SSA is an award-winning landscape architecture firm. We have been published in notable magazines and have garnered numerous awards for our exceptional designs.  You can find out more here. 

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If you are looking for an opportunity to advance your career, whether it is to become a licensed landscape architect or a leader in the profession, this could be the place for you. SSA Landscape Architects is seeking to invite exceptional, creative, talented, skillful, and professional landscape architects and designers with four to six years of experience. You must have at least two years minimum experience working in a landscape architecture office in California. Our office in Santa Cruz is in a great open studio space where our team collaborates on innovative and creative solutions for our clients with a high level of quality service. Our office space is designed in such a way that Social Distancing and safety related to the COVID19 Pandemic are easily achieved. We utilize platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and GoToMeeting to further enhance the safety of our team and our clients during this challenging time.

Our projects are located throughout California and have won national, statewide, and regional awards since SSA was founded 33 years ago. Our projects include parks and recreation, open space and trails, sports facilities, K-12 education, college campuses, corporate campuses, healthcare, public works and high-end residential.

Currently, we are recruiting for landscape designers and architects with four to six years of experience. Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, LandFX, SketchUp, Adobe Creative Suite experience and a bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture are the minimum requirements for the current positions. Applicants must have at least two years of experience working in the many microclimates of Northern and Central California.

If you have the qualities and experience stated above with the required minimum experience and you want to work in a dynamic, exciting work environment on great projects, please send your portfolio and resume to:

Applicants must have valid permanent, unrestricted authorization to work in the United States*.  Competitive salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include healthcare, life insurance, long term disability insurance, 401K, profit sharing, paid holidays, vacation, and personal leave.

 *Green Card or US Citizenship

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A Few of Our Past Clients