The Cascade Business News published a tribute to Dave, highlighting his career and reflections from colleagues who knew him well. We’d like to share the article with our Landscape Architecture community..
Last month Bend lost its native-born landscape architect. David P. Olsen ASLA RLA passed unexpectedly leaving family, colleagues, clients and friends with great loss. His personality was bigger than life offering an ever present smile and notable sense of humor.
His legacy will live on through the family he so loved and his projects. “You would be hard pressed to stand anywhere in Bend or Redmond and not be within sight of a project Dave hadn’t designed and had a hand in,” said Mel Stout, a long-time friend and colleague.
Dave was a University of Oregon graduate and registered landscape architect. He served on many local boards and felt it was his duty as a citizen to participate in the community and give back to his profession. Along with local positions he served eight years on the Oregon State Landscape Architects Board and was a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
“He was one of the most talented and driven landscape architects I have ever worked with,” said Katrina Langenderfer, another long-time friend and colleague.
Over the course of his career Dave worked on hundreds of projects that have benefitted communities throughout the United States and especially Central Oregon. Most recently he and Langenderfer finished work on Hope Playground in Sam Johnson Park in Redmond, where his exceptional design talent and skills shined. It includes one of the largest all-inclusive playgrounds in the Pacific Northwest and has already become an icon in the region. He was especially proud of the custom climbing wall, an artistic and functional center piece of the park which he designed to be reflective of the geology in nearby Smith Rock State Park.
“Dave was one of the best all-around landscape architects I have been associated with. He could master plan, site plan, design, prepare construction documents, sketch, write, present and more,” said Stout.
He had a long history of exceptional work at Fred Glick Associates, Portland, Oregon 1982-84, Michell-Nelson Group, Portland, Oregon 1984-85, Urban and Associates, Annapolis, Maryland 1985-88, OTAK, Inc., Kirkland, Washington 1988-92, David Evans and Associates, Inc., Bend, Oregon 1992-2008, Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, Inc., (HHPR) Bend, Oregon 2008-16.
As a professional, Dave served on the Oregon State Board of Landscape Architecture, as he felt it was important to give back to his profession and the community. He served on several other local committees.
HHPR specializes in master/site planning, park/trail planning and design, streetscape and green street design, landscape and irrigation design, sustainable design applications, native plant restoration and enhancement and land development services.
His clients included Oregon Department of Transportation, Central Oregon Community College, the Cities of Bend, Redmond, Madras and Prineville as well as Bend Park and Recreation District, Knott Landfill, Bend-LaPine School District and the Redmond School District.
A few of his projects include Jefferson County Courthouse, Minnesota Avenue Renovation, Bend Parkway Landscape, U.S. Highway 97 Beautification, Hope Playground in Sam Johnson Park, American Legion Park, City of Redmond Trails Amenities Plan, Prineville Downtown Enhancement, Madras Downtown Enhancement, Pine Nursery Regional Park, Juniper Swim and Aquatic Center Remodel, Riverbend Park Master Plan, Black Butte Ranch Entry Remodel and Stone Creek Park, currently in construction with completion scheduled for spring 2017.
Central Oregon will continue to share his passion as Central Oregon lives, learns, works and plays in the communities, developments, streetscapes, campuses, school grounds, sports fields, parks, trails and memorials Dave Olsen planned and designed.
Dave was a firm believer in organ donation and his life has provided life to others and will provide over 50 people renewed opportunities to live though him.
Dave shared 35 years of marriage with his beautiful wife Ilene, who is a kindergarten teacher at Miller Elementary in Bend. He was the proud father of three wonderful daughters, Jenny Olsen, Beth and Kyle (son in-law) Lewis and Maddie Olsen. Additionally, Dave is survived by his four siblings, three brothers and a sister, as well as several nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.