SOUTHWEST FLORIDA’S DEFENDERS OF THE GULF
02 May 2023 | Lisa Hall
Seven locals, from Everglades City to Fort Myers Beach, work to keep our home beautiful.
Civil Engineer, Babcock Ranch
Amy Wicks had just graduated with a civil engineering degree from Indiana’s Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and made the trek to the Sunshine State when her new boss at Johnson Engineering dropped an assignment on her desk. “Don’t mess it up,” he said.
It was 2006, and the assignment was retired NFL player Syd Kitson’s Babcock Ranch. Amy was in over her head; she was tasked with mapping out a sustainable, storm-safe water system for the 27-square-mile, solar-powered community. While working full-time, she enrolled at University of Florida for her master’s degree, tailoring her studies to help her create something truly innovative. She spent 12 years on the project before Babcock welcomed its first resident in 2018. “My whole career has been an adaptation to this new concept—I don’t know anything other than constantly changing, constantly evolving and looking for new ideas for how to do things,” Amy says.