Scroll Top



Your name:  Ann Stokes
Your position: Principal, CLA, ASLA
Company name: Ann P. Stokes Landscape Architects
Phone Number: 757.423.6550
Business address: 4400 Colley Ave, Norfolk, VA 23508
Industry: Landscape Arcitecture

Describe what the company you work for does and what your position entails:

We are a small design firm with projects ranging from institutional projects (college campuses such as ODU, Virginia Wesleyan, William & Mary, UVA; to cultural institutions such as the Visual Arts School at the Hermitage Museum, Chrysler Art Museum, Norfolk Botanical Garden) to commercial projects to residential projects. I opened my firm in 1998 after spending five years in New York City working for Robert A.M. Stern Architects where I got to work on amazing projects in amazing places like Tokyo, Montecito, California, and Aspen, Colorado. Every project I worked on reinforced my belief that good design makes it possible to connect the cultural and ecological threads of a community to reveal an authentic essence of “place”. Moving home to Norfolk to open a new design firm brought the opportunity to test that theory within the community and place in which I grew up. It’s been an amazing journey ever since!

What is your personal connection to the Elizabeth River Trail?

I live and work near the trail and love walking it and biking it. I grew up sailing on the Elizabeth River, so anything that highlights/enhances the River is important to me. I was honored to work on the Fitness Course near Plum Point Park where we reintroduced Long Leaf Pines through a program with the Virginia Foresters Association. Once the dominant pine species in Eastern Virginia, there are very few left – harvested almost to extinction. While the landscape will take time to truly mature, it’s rewarding to see people come together to make it happen.

Why did you/your company decide to provide sponsorship to the trail?

See above! ERT is a fantastic connector within the city – I love the ways it seeks to bring together different neighborhoods, and different constituencies, all with the purpose of helping our community to thrive and grow.

Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what benefits do you feel the trail has for the business community?

I’ve had more than one employee stay in Norfolk in part because the trail is there. It is an essential component to making Hampton Roads appealing to young professionals and new businesses. During the pandemic, I took my firm on a retreat – to the trail. We rode the trail, stopped at Benchtop for a beer and some lunch, and rode more, taking time to sit at the labyrinth at Plum Point Park to watch the River flow by. Opportunities like that are what make Norfolk a great place to live and work.

What’s your favorite trail moment?

It varies from season to season, but right now, the Glow Line in Jeff Robertson Park.

Favorite Trailgrazing spot? (i.e. best local food spot steps from the trail)

It alternates between Benchtop Brewing Company and Smartmouth.

Best view of the Elizabeth River from the trail?

Too many to count! Larchmont Library, Hampton Blvd Bridge, Plum Point Park, and, strangely, from beneath the Berkley Bridge/264 on Water Street.

Related Posts