September 2017  

President's Report

September 2017 - President's Report

2017-2018 PGASLA Executive Committee Officer Elections. The results are in!
I would like to give a big thank you to all of the nominees that ran for cabinet positions. Here is our 2017-2018 Executive Committee:

President: Chris Cline

President-Elect: Tim Herndon

Immediate Past-President: David Stokes

Trustee: David Contag

Treasurer: Misty Riley

Secretary: Chris Sanders

Vice President of Advocacy: Brian Roth

Vice President of Public Awareness: Michael Killeen

Wichita Member-at-Large: Nick Staib

Manhattan Member-at-Large: Dede Brokesh

This cabinet will be formally introduced during the PGASLA Annual Meeting on September 25th at Topgolf. Registration is open now! 

Registration is now open for the PGASLA Annual Meeting on September 25th, being held at Topgolf in Overland Park. Come on out and bring the family! Registrants will enjoy good food, conversation, and open play/tournament style golfing fun. We will also have a short meeting to introduce our new Executive Committee, give thanks to our chapter sponsors, talk about progress we’ve made this year, and exciting chapter endeavors coming up in 2018

Call for Volunteers! The PARKing Day/Landscapades event is scheduled for next Friday, September 15th at Kansas State University. There will be a parklet installed by KSU’s SCASLA, starting at 7:00 am in Aggieville. There is also a Walter Hood lecture starting at 11:30 am in Regnier Hall, and tours of Regnier Hall starting at 1:45 pm. PARKing Day will conclude at about 7:00 pm in Aggieville. This is a celebration of Landscape Architecture - so please go out and show your support.

There will be a PARKing Day relatedevent scheduled Saturday, September 9th in North Kansas City. A parklet will be installed on Swift Street in North Kansas City as part of the Pint Path/Swift Mile Street Festival. If you are interested in volunteering to help setup parklet(s), getting involved, or just stopping by to say hello, please contact Joe Gauer at or Spencer Sneller at for more information.

Call for Volunteers! The next Explore Design half-day charrette is coming up on Friday, September 29th from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm at Wyandotte High School. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Michael Killeen at for more information.

Advocacy! On behalf of the Prairie Gateway Chapter, Brian Roth - our VP of Advocacy, is attending the National Advocacy Summit in Milwaukee from September 8th-10th. He will report back and provide updates on his findings and discussions.

As always, please keep your eyes peeled for upcoming PGASLA LINKS event invites via email.

David Stokes, PLA, ASLA
President, Prairie Gateway Chapter


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Trustee Report


Submitted by David Contag
July 24, 2017

This year’s Annual Meeting in Los Angeles looks to break record attendance.  This year’s meeting will focus on finding “Common Ground” for sustainable design and consensus building. I hope you are planning on attending.  Meeting for Chapter Presidents and Trustees are scheduled for October 19th-20th just before the annual meeting. Please contact me at if you have any concerns or issues that need to be raised at national ASLA.

Executive Offices

  • President Vaughn Rinner, FASLA, was the keynote speaker at the Florida Chapter in Boca Raton last Friday. In addition to speaking on ASLA national programs and priorities, she also presented the chapter awards.
  • The 2017 Summer Executive Committee Meeting just occurred out in Seattle, WA, last weekend of the 22nd of July.  By the looks of the photos found on Facebook, it appeared that a lot of fun occurred along with the work of the national Executive Committee.
  • EVP Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, and Corporate Secretary Curt Millay, ASLA, continue to work on the WELL submission for the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture with staff from Gensler and the rest of the design and construction team.
  • The ASLA Center recently hosted 30 landscape architects from China led by Yishuang She, editor of Landscape Architecture Frontiers magazine. Corporate Secretary Millay, Honors and Awards Specialist Carolyn Mitchell, and Jack Sullivan, FASLA, University of Maryland, provided presentations to the group.  Following the presentations, Millay led them on a tour of the building and the green roof.
  • Contributions to the Campaign for the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture now total $1,254,897, which is 84 percent of goal. ASLA will solicit all members and friends of ASLA who have yet to pledge to the campaign by mail and email between September and December to close the gap. 

Landscape Architecture Magazine

  • The August issue of LAM is wrapping up this week. The features include a look at Randall’s Island in New York City and its success as a sports and recreation magnet by MPFP and others; a report on floodplain management upon a brownfield in Wilmington, Delaware, by Oasis Design Group; and the work of Quinn Evans landscape architect Brenda Williams, ASLA, at Blood Run, a Native American settlement on the South Dakota-Iowa border. Departments include a piece on how Meghen Quinn, ASLA, embraced Building Information Modeling, or BIM, in her practice; an Office column on how firms manage late payments by clients; and a story on the author of a new book about the landscape architect James Rose.

Government Affairs

  • ASLA hosted the second quarter Advocacy Websummit on June 28. The web summit featured Oregon Chapter’s recent use of the ASLA Chapter Checklist for State and Federal Issues and the Florida Chapter’s relationship building efforts with the Florida Department of Transportation. Government Affairs Manager Mark Cason also discussed the importance of hosting in-district site tours. ASLA encourages chapters and members to view the recording to learn important tips to advance your state advocacy programs.
  • Legislation was introduced in Ohio that would affect all state boards by requiring a permanent sunset review every five years, a review of any board action that might be deemed anti-trust related, and a performance assessment of the board. Director of State Government Affairs Elizabeth Hebron has reached out and is working on an advocacy response strategy with the Ohio Chapter.
  • On April 26, President Trump signedExecutive Order 13792 instructing the Department of the Interior to review national monuments designated since 1996 under the Antiquities Act and that are larger than 100,000 acres, or where Interior Secretary Zinke determines the designation was made without adequate public outreach or support. In conjunction, the Department of the Interior also announced the first ever, formal public comment period on monument designations under the Antiquities Act, and on a list of monumentsunder review under the president’s Executive Order. ASLA encouraged members and chapters to submit individual comments by July 10 through the iAdvocate Network. ASLA submitted comments to the executive order yesterday.  For additional information or questions, contact Manager Mark Cason.

  • Additionally, ASLA has joined with allied organizations in signing onto the Outdoor Alliance for Kids’ official comment letter to the Department of Interior in response to their review of certain National Monuments. The letter urges Secretary Zinke to protect America’s national monuments for children and families by expanding, rather than eliminating, national monuments to increase and improve opportunities to get outdoors.
  • Government Affairs staff met with the offices of Senators Tom Udall (NM) and Dick Durbin (IL) to discuss the reintroduction of the Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure Act. ASLA, in conjunction with coalition partners, is working with both senators to finalize the bill’s language. The legislation is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate later this month.
  • ASLA has joined with other active transportation organizations in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao, requesting a meeting to discuss transportation recommendations with the Trump administration. The letter specifically requests that the administration and coalition partners discuss traffic and pedestrian safety, Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), multi-modal and active transportation alternatives, and working together on urban vs. rural needs.
  • On June 29, Manager Cason and Coordinator Casey Ellingson attended Summer Camp on Capitol Hill, a yearly event hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association to highlight the importance of federal funding in fostering healthier youth through out-of-school time at local parks. During the event, both met with coalition partners and federal policy makers and staff at Garfield Park in Washington, D.C., while helping to promote the event through social media.

Finance, Meetings, and Business Operations

  • Since the close of the early-bird deadline, registration and revenues for the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPOhave outpaced the past nine annual meetings with more than 2,662 registered and 63 percent of the registration and ticket revenue goal. Tickets to field sessions and special events are selling well and six of the 10 official meeting hotels are already sold out.  There is still time to save on registration. Book your hotel room when you register, and save up to $75 more. Advance rate pricing expires on September 15.
  • To date, 12 schools have signed up for the 2017 ASLA Alumni Tailgate during the annual meeting. Scheduled for Saturday, October 21, from 4:30 -6:00 pm, this year’s event will again provide an opportunity for three schools to win complimentary student registrations to the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia. The top prize for the best designed and decorated space wins 15 complimentary registrations, second place wins 10, and third place wins 5. Participating schools to date include:Arizona State University, Auburn University, California State Polytechnic University, Cornell University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, University of Arizona, University of California, Davis, University of Kentucky, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, and Utah State University. Where is Iowa State??? To sign up your alma mater, contact Meetings and Special Programs Manager Kelli Bland.
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; and the University of Southern California are all recruiting students to volunteer during the Los Angeles meeting. The ASLA Student Volunteer Program started in 2008 and is open to schools with landscape architecture programs and/or ASLA Student Chapters in or around the annual meeting host city.
  • The 2017 EXPO booth sales total 92 percent of the budget.   
  • The 2017 LAM advertising contracts totaled 88 percent of the budget.   

Member and Chapter Services

  • On July 11, the Emerging Professionals Committee held an Ask Me Anything event, featuring Mia Lehrer, FASLA.  It was streamed live on the ASLA Facebook page and remains available for viewing.  So far, it has been viewed over 1,800 times.
  • Student and Associate Advisory Committee Nominations closed on July 7, with 24 nominations received (15 students, 9 associates). The purpose of these committees is to increase the ability of ASLA to gain insight on the priorities of emerging professionals and learn how best to provide membership value to student and associate members.  Selections will be made in August by President-Elect Greg Miller, FASLA. 
  • Membership continues to show a slight drop overall from 2016, yet the full membership category, which accounts for two-thirds of all members, is growing at a rate of more than two percent since 2016. While associate membership has dropped since last year, student membership is on the rise, up over eight percent since 2015. 

Member Type



Change %

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Public Relations and Communications

  • Members of the Public Awareness Coalition (chapter representatives who participate in the annual summit) and the Public Relations and Communications Advisory Committee met jointly via conference call to begin planning for PARK(ing) Day, September 15. The joint call was the beginning of the process of sunsetting the committee and formalizing the coalition. The webinar was recorded and shared with attendees, and Coordinator J.R.Taylor presented a rallying cry to staff as ASLA national plans for its own installation.
  • The Honors and Awards Advisory Committee met by conference call to review honors and awards choices this year and to begin the professional and student awards jury choices for 2018. They will add names to the jury pool, then construct individual ideal lists to be debated in a subsequent call. Also discussed were strategies for increasing the number of Honors nominations.
  • The Rebranding Task Force met by conference with the Herter Design Group to review the latest recommendations for graphic treatments. Three options for graphics and applications were presented and will be reviewed at the summer ExCom meeting. 
  • July 7 was the RFP deadline for expressing interest in working with ASLA on the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience, scheduled in September.  Three firms among the 14 approached responded positively and participated in a Q&A call yesterday. Deadline is Friday, July 21. Separately, ASLA is looking to engage a firm to support development and testing of messaging as part of the rebrand.
  • The Business Quarterly survey for the second quarter was sent to main firm contacts. The deadline is July 20. The survey also revisits questions from the second quarter 2016 survey concerning firms’ experiences with recruiting and hiring entry-level landscape architects.
  • has a new search engine powered by Bing, which along with text also features new image and video search results.
  • ASLA job site, JobLink, was hacked and is no longer operational. A cross-department team is putting together a modest placeholder while the new JobLink, which was already in development, continues towards a relaunch this fall. The streamlined site is now available and staff is in the process of contacting the firms with current job listings to restore the information that was lost.
  • Planetizenand ArchNewsNow picked up The Dirt story on New Ruralism, and ArchNewsNow also featured a review of Local Code, a post on NYC’s community parks initiative, a tour of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and coverage of the Modernist Landscapes lecture at the National Building Museum.

Education and LAAB

  • The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™) has 241 active providers offering ­­1,052 courses. There are five new provider applications pending review.
  • Accreditation and Education Programs Manager Kristopher Pritchard and Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) Intern Nathania Martinez, Student ASLA, represented LAAB at the D.C. Area Accreditor’s meeting on June 28. The issue of interest was designing and implementing accreditation materials. LAAB was the “featured agency” at this meeting where information was provided about it and the programs it accredits.
  • On Monday, Urban Land Institute hosted the 2017 Shaw Forum that brought together staff from signatory organizations of the Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities. Claire Bedat, ASLA, and Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, represented ASLA as local members to begin defining parameters for partnership at both the organization and individual member level. Career Discovery and Diversity Manager, Shawn Balon, ASLA, assisted in facilitating the event.

Professional Practice

  • Last week, Manager Linette Straus, ASLA, presented a SITES® overview and SITES AP presentation to members of the Biophilic D.C. work group at the D.C. Department of Environment and Energy (DOEE).  The DOEE staff group requested a follow-up presentation for the District’s Department of General Services to expand the discussion of adopting SITES for Washington, D.C. Several in the audience expressed interest in becoming certified as SITES APs.
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