November 2017  

President's Report

November 2017

PGASLA Newsletter

Our Chapter is poised for some amazing things in 2018 – and I’m excited by the opportunity to serve as President this year.  We’ve got lots of exciting initiatives already underway, but before sharing them I want to deliver a special thank you to our outgoing members of the Executive Committee for their help and hard work in getting us where we are today as a Chapter.    

Our new PGASLA Officers were announced at our annual meeting at Top Golf in September, and include:

President-Elect: Tim Herndon
Immediate Past President: David Stokes
Treasurer: Misty Riley
Secretary: Chris Sanders
Trustee: David Contag
Manhattan Member at Large: Dede Brokesh
Wichita Member at Large: Nick Staib 

Welcome to everyone in the group, which includes some new and familiar faces.  We are eager to roll up our sleeves and get to work as a team.  One of our goals will be to expand our programming next year with some fun new events that provide value for our members. 

Through providing increased support from our Chapter, our hope is to identify the next wave of emerging Landscape Architecture leaders and to get everyone more engaged and involved in PGASLA activities. If you’ve got any new ideas for programs – please send them my way at

ASLA Central States Conference 2018 will be hosted by our Chapter in Kansas City at the Downtown Marriott Hotel.  Please mark your calendars for April 11th – 13th for this 13th Annual Conference serving 8 states and 6 chapters.  We anticipate over 250 attendees next Spring, and we’ll be steps away from the Downtown Streetcar – which will factor into some fun event programming.  Our committee members are already working hard to organize and execute our plan to make this conference a success – and their assistance is deeply appreciated!

Our 1st Annual “Spare Time” Challenge will be held on Thursday, December 7th.  This will be limited only to those firms that are official members of PGASLA.  Each firm that is currently a member or becomes a new PGASLA member firm by November 30th will be invited to bring a team of 5 bowlers to compete in a friendly competition (see firm application). 

Bowlers should wear their favorite Ugly Holiday Sweater to be considered for a special prize, and creative team names are strongly encouraged.  Special thanks go out to Ryan Wilkey and ANOVA for offering to sponsor this fun event, which will include bowling, food and beverages. Don’t miss it – as a trophy and bragging rights are on the line! 

I’m looking forward to an eventful year – and hope to see you all on the lanes next month!


Wm. Christopher Cline, PLA, ASLA
President, Prairie Gateway Chapter

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Central States ASLA Conference

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Trustee Report

Submitted by David Contag
November 4, 2017

We had a great Annual Meeting in Los Angeles despite the weather that unseasonably warmed up to 104 degrees on the last day of the conference.  The Trustee meetings on Thursday and Friday went well.  We approved the updated operating plan and budget for 2018.  We also had an update on the ASLA re-branding and logo development.  The re-branding effort under the guidance of Terrence Poltrack at ASLA, took a different direction from this past summer where the logo was completely different from our current logo.  This new look did not seem to reflect ASLA and was not very refined.  The consultant for our re-branding was asked by the Executive Committee of ASLA to take a fresh look at updating our current logo.  The refreshed logo was presented to the Trustees and Chapter Presidents at the annual meeting.  The Trustees seemed to like to latest look, format, and color of the refreshed logo. 

Trustees also had breakout sessions on how the logo can be used by its members and firms. We also had a break out session on ASLA’s position on climate change and how Landscape Architects can effect change through design.

ASLA is at about 85% of their goal to complete the Center for Landscape Architecture and for the green street project in front of our office on Eye Street. It would be great if our chapter could take a second look and make another contribution to ASLA to help close the funding gap.  Other chapters are considering a second-round contribution as well.

Please contact me at if you have any questions. The following is an update from ASLA:

Executive Offices 

  • More than 6,500 registered for the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles last month, making the meeting the second largest attended meeting in ASLA history. Revenues reached 106 percent of the registration and ticket revenue goal.

  • Gregory A. Miller, FASLA, was installed as ASLA President at the President’s Dinner on Monday evening at the annual meeting.  Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA, will serve as President-Elect. Also installed were incoming Vice Presidents Eugenia Martin, FASLA (Government Affairs), Haley Blakeman, ASLA (Communications), and Lake Douglas, FASLA (Education).  Wendy Miller, FASLA (Professional Practice), Tom Mroz, ASLA (Finance), Vanessa Warren, ASLA (Membership), and Vaughn Rinner, FASLA (Immediate Past President) will continue their service for another year.
  • During the Los Angeles meeting, the Board of Trustees reviewed and approved the FY 2018 Annual Operating Plan and FY 2018-19 Operating and Capital Expense Budgets; participated in breakout groups to discuss the use of the ASLA name and logo; approved a new International Student Member category (see Member and Chapter Services); convened the ASLA Fund; approved revisions to the agriculture and coastal zones public policies; and adopted revisions to the strategic objectives, to include the addition of a new strategic objective: “Grow the ASLA membership and foster volunteer leadership to increase organizational capacity and amplify the voice and influence of the profession.”

  • On October 27, President Miller was the keynote speaker at the New Mexico Chapter’s conference.  His presentation focused on “Incorporating Pollinators into Public Landscapes” and highlighted the challenges and opportunities for pollinator solutions in parks, streetscapes, and other public landscapes.

  • The Council of Fellows inducted 23 members at in investiture ceremony on Sunday night in Los Angeles and held the annual business meeting the following morning.  Over $40,000 was raised at the two events for the COF Scholarship Fund.

  • EVP Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, met with the landscape architecture CEO Roundtable in Los Angeles to provide an update on ASLA programs and priorities, including advocacy, career discovery and diversity, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience, and honors and awards. 

  • Donations to the Campaign for the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture now total 84.7 percent of the campaign goal. ASLA is reaching out to all its members and friends to ask them to help the Society complete the campaign. Please click on ASLA Center Honor Roll to see who has already given. Please contact Director Ron Sears with any questions.

  • Donations to the 2017 ASLA Fund currently total $37,156, an increase of 144 percent over the same period last year.

Finance, Meetings, and Business Operations

  • CFO Mike O’Brien, Hon. ASLA, is closing out October 2017 while the accounting staff perform internal audit procedures of the September 30, 2017, balances.

  • The 2017 LAM advertising contracts totaled 96 percent of the budget.
  • The 2018 EXPO booth sales reached 67 percent of the floor space being either sold (42 percent) or reserved (25 percent).

  • At least 550 students registered for the annual meeting, and an additional 200 students from California schools participated as part of the student volunteer program.  

  • The Alumni Tailgate drew crowds to the ASLA EXPO on Saturday afternoon as 38 schools set out to win complimentary student registrations to the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. TheBest School Spirit awards went to 1) Utah State University, 2) University of Oregon, 3) Texas A&M; and the Best Designed Space awards went to 1) Arizona State University, 2) University of New Mexico, and 3) University of California, Davis.  Sixty complimentary student registrations were awarded at the event. Sign up now to participate in the 2018 Alumni Tailgate by contacting Meetings Manager Kelli Bland.

  • Attendees gathered in ASLA Central during the Sunday’s EXPO Reception to await the announcement of the SCANTrivia™ prizewinners. This is the new gaming app used to encourage increased engagement between attendees and exhibitors on the show floor. Prizewinners included Benjamin Baker, ASLA; Willet C. Howard, ASLA; Toshihiko Karato, ASLA; and the grand prize SCANTrivia™ winner, Lara M. Remitz, Associate ASLA.

  • Planning for the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO with the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter is underway. President Miller will chair a host chapter reception and planning meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on November 30. Chapter members are encouraged to attend. ASLA Meetings, Education, and Marketing departments will participate and conduct venue-planning meetings while in Philadelphia.

Government Affairs

  • Tell the National Park Service: Don’t Increase Park Fees! Recently, the Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed massive fee increases in 17 national parks—increases that could force entrance fees to skyrocket from $25 to $70. These proposed fee increases will prevent many families from enjoying some of our most-visited parks and could create equity barriers for many communities. The National Park Service is providing the public a short 30-day period to comment on the proposed park fees. Your voice is needed to tell the administration to keep our national parks affordable for everyone.

  • ASLA has joined with allied organizations in signing a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations (THUD) Subcommittee urging them not to include the Woodall Amendment in the final appropriations bill for transportation. The Woodall Amendment, which recently passed in the House of Representatives, would likely result in fewer dollars available for local transportation priorities and planning, including active transportation and critical safety programs.
  • Government Affairs staff attended several education sessions on climate change, advocacy, and resilience at the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO.  Staff were able to address the audiences about current ASLA activities, including the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience, the iAdvocate Network, national monuments issues, and others.

  • Also during the meeting, Director of Federal Government Affairs Roxanne Blackwell participated in the Transportation PPN meeting, where she provided a legislative update on transportation issues moving through Congress, including TIGER, Vision Zero, and autonomous vehicles legislation. Additionally, Director of State Government Affairs Elizabeth Hebron and representatives from the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards shared with the Chapter Presidents Council their next steps in licensure defense and chapter/board relationship building.

Landscape Architecture Magazine

  • The LAMMY Awards for advertising were a big success on October 20 in the EXPO hall, with about 100 people in attendance. Awards went to Sunbrella for Best Graphic Quality; Landscape Structures for Best Message; and Broan-Nutone for Most Persuasive Ad. The judges were Vice President of Finance Thomas Mroz, ASLA, of Smith Group/JJR; Jill Fortuna, ASLA, of GGN; Ben Feldmann, ASLA, of Studio-MLA; Janelle Johnson, ASLA, of Hoerr Schaudt; and Maggie Aravena, Associate ASLA, of TERRA Engineering. Kudos to Marketing Manager Lauren Martella and Production Manager Sarah Berger for their huge help in organizing the event.
  • Senior Editor Jennifer Reut led a very well attended education session, “Deconstructing Gentrification: Understanding and Accommodating Change in Urban Communities,” with Diane Jones Allen, ASLA, and Gary Strang, FASLA. The discussion focused on triggers for gentrification, what gentrification is and isn’t, and how designers can try to manage gentrification effects that have been long in play by the time they encounter a given project.

Member and Chapter Services

  • On October 19, the Board of Trustees approved changes to the ASLA Constitution and Bylaws that will add a new membership category: International Student.   The category is open to students enrolled a landscape architecture program outside the United States and not otherwise qualified to be Student members.  A membership vote is required to finalize the change to the Constitution.

  • The LARE Prep Committee hosted two workshops at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO.  Both sessions received high marks from the participants, with nearly 90 percent indicating that they would strongly recommend the technical workshop on Section 4 to colleagues. The second session, The LARE Experience—What to Expect and How to Prepare, also was received well, with more than 97 percent in agreement that the speakers were professional and informative. The LARE Experience has also shown improved metrics since it was first developed in 2015.

  • Representatives from 47 chapters participated in the fall Chapter Presidents Council meeting in Los Angeles. Key topics discussed included membership recruitment, good governance, chapter best practices tools, and chapter tools for recruitment and outreach. The schedule included time for a variety of facilitated workshop topics including hiring and managing consultants, unique sponsorship and fundraising ideas, as well as charrettes for career discovery.

  • At ASLA Central, the Membership team responded to a variety of requests, including processing renewals and changing PPN assignments.

  • Over 80 emerging professionals took part in the emerging professionals’ portfolio review this year. Thank you to the ASLA members who offered their time and expertise for these review sessions. 

Public Relations and Communications

  • Some 80 annual meeting attendees donned Samsung Gear virtual reality (VR) headsets to watch the new video of Klyde Warren Park at the annual meeting. The video has received another 400 views on YouTube 360.
  • The Dirt coverage of the annual meeting was extensive, with eight posts to date and more to come. Summer intern Dana Davidsen came from San Francisco to help report.

  • Senior Communications Manager Jared Green conducted interviews with Clare Cooper Marcus; Mikyoung Kim, FASLA; and Mark Rios, FASLA. Interviews will be published in coming weeks.

  • This was the last annual meeting for Honors & Awards Specialist Carolyn Mitchell. She was acknowledged on stage during the awards presentation. Carolyn retired and is moving back to her hometown of Detroit. A search has begun for her replacement.

  • Attendee, non-attendee, and exhibitor post-meeting surveys were sent to appropriate lists to get immediate feedback on the annual meeting and EXPO experience in L.A.  A staff survey will serve as the basis for a Society-wide debrief.

  • The proposed new logo, as part of the rebranding effort, was presented to the Board of Trustees and Chapter Presidents Council by Erik Herter of the Herter Design Group for final comments. Herter will share his design responses with staff later this week.

  • In other news: The third quarter Business Quarterly Survey closed with 137 primary firm contacts responding. This is an all-time low. Staff is reassessing the process to ensure that the data, while meant as a snapshot, have integrity.

  • Invitations have been sent to the professional and student jury candidates identified by the Honors and Awards Advisory Committee for the 2018 cycle.

Education Programs

  • The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™) has 247 active providers offering 1,125 courses. There are five new provider applications pending review.
  • The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) held its second LAAB Accreditation Workshop with two former board members presenting, Stephanie Rolley, FASLA, and Karl Von Bieberstein, FASLA, along with Accreditation and Education Programs Manager Kristopher Pritchard. Over 20 participants represented both accredited programs and programs seeking LAAB accreditation.

  • The Academic Administrators and Committee on Education (COE) meeting was held in Los Angeles last Friday. Then-Vice President of Education David Cutter, ASLA, presented COE updates; LAAB intern Nathania Martinez, Student ASLA, presented updates on the LAAB Annual Report; Career Discovery & Diversity Manager Shawn Balon, ASLA, presented on Career Discovery and Diversity; and LAAB Chair Ned Crankshaw, FASLA, presented information about accrediting online programs. The presentation will be sent to all program chairs.

  • LAAB ROVE Teams continue conducting accreditation reviews for fall 2017. University of Southern California (MLA), Texas Tech University (MLA), and South Dakota State University (BLA) had their reviews conducted this week. Programs reviewed during fall 2017 are scheduled to be considered at the LAAB winter 2018 meeting.

  • Yesterday, Manager Balon met via conference call with Debbie Philips, Ph.D CPM, President of The Quadrillion, to discuss next steps in creating an interactive online web page for various built environment professions. ASLA is collaborating with over 20 built environment professionals via the Real Estate and Built Environment CEO summit to develop an interactive talent development (aka career discovery) website and will continue to provide resources as the webpage is developed.

  • Today, Manager Balon met with Nicole Plunkett, ASLA, to continue discussing curriculum and initiatives planned for Future Landscape Architects of America (FLAA) and collaboration opportunities on various initiatives.

  • Manager Balon attended the first volunteer session at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School as an ACE Mentor. Balon will be mentoring for the 2017-2018 school year to better understand how the ACE Mentor Program works regionally and to learn how ASLA members can be more involved in the program.

  • The 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO featured 120 education sessions, 16 field sessions, five workshops, and two general sessions with over 400 speakers.  Attendees received instructions on how to access their professional development attendance certificates along with a request to complete education session evaluations.

  • A post annual meeting speaker survey was deployed this week with the feedback being used to improve the planning and implementation of future annual meeting programs.

  • During the ASLA fall CPC meeting, Manager Balon challenged chapter leadership to create problem-solving activities to be considered for the ASLA activity book for teens and adults. During the charrette, members were asked to create problems and solutions focusing on plan drawings, analysis drawings, sectional drawings, and technical drawings. Sixteen submittals were completed and will be considered for the activity book.  Additionally, Manager Pritchard presented a call to action for recruitment on behalf the ASLA Committee on Education. A new recruitment PowerPoint presentation, talking points, and a report form for members to download was discussed. For additional information, visit the Chapter Outreach webpage.

  • Sketch Corner had a great turnout in ASLA Central at the annual meeting. Members were asked to provide a sketch to be considered for the ASLA activity books and over 60 sketches were completed. Throughout the weekend, Jim Richards, FASLA, Richard Alomar, ASLA, Robert Chipman, ASLA, and Chip Sullivan, ASLA, provided sketches and mentored members on their sketches.

  • Also during the annual meeting, Manager Balon participated in the education session A Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities: Allied Organizations Collaborate, with Jane Futrell Winslow, FASLA, Sara Carr, Associate ASLA, and Sara Hammerschmidt from ULI. The presentation discussed the recent Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities and presented nuances of building healthy communities collaboratively. 

Professional Practice

  • The annual meeting’s Professional Practice Network (PPN) meetings, held in the EXPO’s PPN Live space, had a great turnout, with the highest attendance across all PPN meetings ever (459 attendees), beating the previous record of 417 attendees in 2015. The PPN Live stage also hosted the largest PPN meeting to date: the joint meeting of the Children’s Outdoor Environments and Healthcare & Therapeutic Design PPNs, which featured presentations by Joanne Hiromura, ASLA, and Naomi Sachs, ASLA (73 attendees). PPN highlights from the annual meeting will be shared on The Field next week.
  • For the annual meeting’s PPN EXPO Tours, 34 exhibitors gave short educational presentations on 9 60-minute tours of the EXPO floor focusing on PPN topic areas. The tours offered the opportunity to learn about new and improved techniques and how these improvements and services can assist in creating a successful design project. Attendees earned 1.0 PDH (LA CES / HSW) for participating.

  • In addition to the PPN meetings and EXPO Tours, the PPN Council meeting for PPN leadership volunteers was also well attended, with 22 attendees and 13 of the 20 PPNs represented. The conversation, focusing on the PPNs’ essential goals of facilitating networking, information sharing, and connection building amongst members, was led by the PPN Council Leadership: Council Chair for 2016-2017 Kristina Snyder, ASLA, Chair-Designate Lisa Horne, ASLA, and incoming Chair-Designate Chad Kennedy, ASLA.

  • The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Subcommittee of the Historic Preservation PPN, led by Chris Stevens, ASLA, met on October 21 in Los Angeles. In addition to reviewing the annual reports of the ASLA HALS Chapter Liaisons, plans for the Heritage Documentation Programs Digital Photography Guidelines Workshop will be held at the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture tomorrow and Friday. Other updates: the winners of the 2017 HALS Challenge were announced, along with the theme for the 2018 Challenge. Liz Sargent, FASLA, and Jennifer Trompetter won first place for their history of Emancipation Park (formerly Lee Park) in Charlottesville, VA. The theme for the 2018 HALS Challenge will be Memorialization, Commemorating the Great War. More detailed information on the 2017 winners and 2018 theme will be shared on The Field in the next few weeks.

  • The Women in Landscape Architecture Walk, organized by Stephanie Psomas, ASLA, and the Southern California Host Chapter, also had record attendance, with 70-80 participants. The morning walk around downtown Los Angeles included stops in Biddy Mason Memorial Park, Grand Park, the Disney Hall Gardens, the Bunker Hill Steps, and Maguire Gardens.

  • On October 20, the SITES® workshop co-led with GBCI staff, was a success with 23 people in attendance. It was the first workshop to feature SITES AP review for ASLA and all participants confirmed they are already registered or would be registering to take the SITES AP exam.

  • Both SITES education sessions, “SITES: Water Cycle Management and Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change,”  and “SITES: Devise a Truly Sustainable Maintenance Plan that works for the Long Term,” were well attended and provided participants with specific SITES credit towards their GBCI SITES AP maintenance requirements.  The sessions provided a closer look at particular topics within the rating system. 

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Member Firms

PGASLA would like to invite firms to become a 2018 Member Firm and showcase your work on the PGASLA website and at events.  

All firms within the PGASLA region that provide Landscape Architectural services are invited to become a 2018 PGASLA Member Firm. To be eligible each firm must have at least one PGASLA full member for the entire duration of the member firm period. Each firm can only be listed once.

Member Firm Benefits Include

  • Firm listing on PGASLA website including firm description, project photos with descriptions, and types of services provided
  • Minimum one time feature firm listing on PGASLA home page

Additionally, all firms that have their application submitted by November 30, 2017 will be included in the 2017 "Spare Time" Challenge.  See President's Letter for details.

Please fill out the Member Firm Application and return it to

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Center Updates

Orchestrated Urbanism:  The Race-Built City is a timely topic that both impacts and resonates with the design community. This is a passion project for an architect and urban designer named Tyler Cukar—a Parkville, MO native who currently works in NYC at FXFOWLE. He has researched Kansas City and the damaging role that racial covenants, red-lining, school desegregation and finally, urban renewal played in shaping not only our cities but our social understandings of the communities. Tyler will be joined by Kate Collignon, a partner at HR&A Advisors in New York, and Gwendolyn Grant, president & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. This topic is challenging, but we believe our audience will bring thoughtful approaches to this difficult context. We envision a high-caliber discussion and impactful experience for our audience.

Open to the public and registration is required:  $10 for Center members and students; $20 for nonmembers. 

Register Here >

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Please click here for the latest PGASLA News

LA’s In The News – PGASLA is looking for information regarding your activity in the community, especially if it is newsworthy.  Or perhaps you or your firm have been in the news!  Either way, please forward any information to the PGASLA president at  We will be happy to send news of your accomplishments to our media contacts.

ASLA Membership – ASLA National is offering a monthly installment option for payments of membership to ASLA.  When your membership renewal is due, and if you are interested in this option, please contact the national office to receive details.

Job Opportunities - Click here for current job postings.

PGASLA is on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Land8Lounge.  Please join us for local professional and event discussions.!/PGASLA

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Volunteer Opportunities

We are always looking for volunteers to help with advocacy, public awareness, and events hosted by the chapter.  Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity for you to get involved with your peers and others in the community. Contact the chapter president at for more information on upcoming opportunities.

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Member Login

Within the PGASLA website there is a members only area where you can register for events, see the chapter roster and view past history of your attendance at events.  To log-in, each member will need to use their ASLA member number and a temporary password (eggplant).  Once logged in, members will need to change their password.  If you have any questions please contact

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