About Nancy

Nancy Striniste, founder and principal designer at Earlyspace, is a landscape designer and former teacher.

Nancy’s passion is for creating spaces that nurture and heal—both the earth and the people on it--spaces that draw people outside, connect them to nature and nourish their souls.

As a child, Nancy and her mom moved often, and through that, she had many opportunities to experience the joy that creating and arranging beautiful, well-organized spaces could bring.  She learned to see potential in every place and a talent for transforming raw space into home was born.

She began her career as an early childhood teacher in the 80’s. Her creativity and innovations in her own classrooms led to presentations for other teachers, which led to her first design projects. She has been creating spaces for children and teaching teachers about the physical environment ever since.

Ms. Striniste received her Master’s Degree in Landscape Design from George Washington University and BS in Education from Wheelock College. She has studied design and children’s spaces at the College of Design at North Carolina State University, Tufts University and Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Nancy is a co-founder of Arlington CANN (Children and Nature Network), a founding board member of NoVA Outside and a member of the Community Built Association. She serves on the Natural Playspace Workgroup of the Maryland Governor’s Commission for Children and Nature.

In the 90’s she and her family were founding residents of Arcadia, a sustainably designed, child-friendly cohousing community in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and a really awesome place. She now lives under the first residential green roof in Arlington, Virginia with her family and two very large cats.

As a mom, she has volunteered at her children’s schools from preschool to high school to create natural playspaces and school gardens.  She has been a preschool co-op parent, a PTA member, a Girl Scout leader and a band parent.