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In 1977, Cook received a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife management and conservation law from the University of Maine. A certified landscape contractor in Massachusetts, Cook is an active member of the Massachusetts Arborist Association and has served as president of the board of directors of New England Grows and the Association of Landscape Contractors of Massachusetts. Cook owns and operates K & R Tree and Landscape Company, which he and his late wife Kathleen founded in 1982.
Cook's journey with This Old House also began in 1982, when he first appeared on the series. At the time, he was working as the landscape foreman for the Frost and Higgins Company, but that didn't stop him from contributing ideas and expertise to several This Old House projects, including the Bigelow Ranch and the Woburn House. A phone call many years later from landscape architect Tom Wirth changed everything. It was 1988, the project was the Lexington Bed & Breakfast renovation, and Cook was on board full time as the landscape contractor.
He currently serves on the editorial board of This Old House magazine, published by This Old House Ventures, Inc., and most recently contributed to Complete Landscaping, published by This Old House Books in conjunction with Sunset Books in 2004.
In Burlington, Massachusetts, Cook lives with his two children in a suburban Cape home, which he and his family continue to renovate along with their cottage on Cape Cod. Cook enjoys saltwater fishing when he's not working or gardening.