December Newswire

Membership Matters!

Author: Rachel Edmonds, Vice President of Member Services

New and renewing members of ASLA have access to numerous benefits, discounts and professional development opportunities with payment of their annual dues. Given that memberships tend to not be utilized to their fullest extent, it is imperative to annually reacquaint prospective and renewing members of Oregon ASLA about some of the benefits of membership and the opportunities that await them:

Free with membership:

  • ASLA membership designation on business cards, resume, work profile, etc.
  • Landscape Architecture Magazine subscription (digital or print)
  • Professional Practice Networks (a choice of 1 from 18 networks)
  • Firm Finder listing for your firm
  • LAND, the biweekly national ASLA e-newsletter
  • Landscape Architecture Technical Information Series (LATIS)
  • JobLink résumé posting
  • Access to ExCom monthly meetings held in downtown Portland

Discounts on the following with membership:

  • National ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO registration fees
  • National ASLA Professional Awards entry fee
  • Oregon ASLA Design Symposium registration fees
  • Oregon ASLA Design Awards registration fees
  • JobLink job postings
  • LARE preparation courses
  • Online learning continuing education

For more information on other membership benefits and discounts, visit:

Awareness and Advocacy

Two notable (and likely unknown) benefits of membership are Oregon ASLA’s efforts to raise awareness of the profession and legislative advocacy on issues that matter most to the profession. In March 2015, Oregon ASLA’s President Laurie Matthews and other Oregon LA’s met with staff members from the offices of Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) to discuss key issues and federal funding bills on the horizon. The group also apprised the lawmakers of design and planning projects of importance to the State and region, such as the Willamette Falls Legacy Project.

Substantial and Diverse Networking and Professional Development Opportunities

Oregon ASLA strives to provide a wide range of opportunities for networking , professional development and continuing education. Oregon ASLA members should consider participating with the following committees, groups, and events in 2016:

Emerging Professionals Committee: The EP Committee seeks to engage with new professionals in the first five years of their career. Events include plant nursery tours, design charrettes for local non-profits, and interdisciplinary trivia nights.

Education Committee: This committee exists to determine criteria and review professional development activities for licensed professionals in Oregon, as well as help connect members interested in creating LARE study groups.

Design Symposium + Design Awards Planning Committee: The two biggest events each year require the helping hands of our dedicated members to carry it off! Members who volunteer often can receive discounted event rates. Attendance at the Design Symposium can count towards Professional Development Hours (PDH).

Fellows + Honors Nomination Committee: The Committee is always looking for current Fellows interested in helping to identify, evaluate and nominate exceptional landscape architects from our community to the national circle of ASLA Fellows.

Executive Committee: There are 16 voting positions and two non-voting positions on the ASLA Executive Committee with appointments ranging from 2 to 3 years. The sitting Executive Committee puts out a call for nominations in the summer. Those interested in serving should contact the Executive Committee for consideration.

Shadow Mentor Day: Each year, students enrolled in University of Oregon’s Landscape Architecture programs take advantage of an opportunity to visit landscape architecture offices across the region. The event is coordinated with the student chapter of ASLA and can include a social hour event.

Urban Design Panel: Portland’s Oregon ASLA members are invited to be part of a team of local professionals to assist the City in maintaining high standards of urban design, and to review projects and policies related to our built environment. The Urban Design Panel is open to members of three professional organizations (AIA, ASLA and APA) and provides a combined, focused voice for the goals and needs that are relevant to our community and our members.

For more information and a calendar of opportunities for 2016, visit:

Lastly, all new and renewing Oregon ASLA members are encouraged to update their contact information to ensure they receive chapter communication. Send your updated information to:

See you around in 2016!

ASLA add

2015 | Design Awards Soiree Recap
1.11|ASLA | AIA Fuller | Lecture: Catherine Seavitt Nordensonv (1.0 PDH)
1.16 | Sketchpdx: Drink + Draw kick-off event
1.20 | 21st Annual Mary Kim McKeown Memorial Lecture: Sonja Dümpelmann, Dr.-Ing (1.0 PDH)
1.29 | UO Shadow Mentor Day

ASLA_Oregon_600x360_GIRLS (1) (1)

2.11-13 | New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
ORASLA 2015 -


Landscape Designer/Landscape Architect/Planner – Cameron McCarthy

Landscape Designer – ESA VA


LANDbytes is a quarterly article showcasing stories, briefs, reviews, spotlights and more relevant to our design community. Check out our latest story:

Advocacy 101 – by Rebecca Wahlstrom

Meet the New Executive Committee

Please help us keep our mailing list current. Send updates or corrections of your contact information to

Executive Committee and other contact information on our About page. For mailing and other administrative inquiries about the chapter, contact:
ASLA Oregon Chapter
147 SE 102nd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97216
phone: 503.227.6156
fax: 503.253.9172
Check out our online Calendar of Events for the most up-to-date listing of opportunities!

LANDbytes: Advocacy 101

By Rebecca Wahlstrom

Every year the ASLA holds an Advocacy Summit and invites all the chapter representatives to attend intensive workshops that show how to use ASLA in crisis response and promoting legislation.  In doing this, the goal is to build a nation-wide coordinated effort of advocacy on behalf of our profession.  Being on the left coast, it is not easy to see or take part in all the work that ASLA puts into landscape architecture advocacy on various political fronts, but here are some things that we can do here in Oregon.

Sign up for  iAdvocate on the ASLA Website

In about a minute, one can add their email to the iAdvocate system.  This allows ASLA to send you an email when they need action.  The action needed is usually a form letter that is sent to the appropriate political representative.  Form letters can be used as is, but people are encouraged to modify the letter to make it their own.  It rarely takes more than 5-10 minutes and makes a great deal of difference.  Check out the link at:

If Something Goes Wrong – Utilize the National ASLA Staff

Many are unaware of just how savvy the government affairs and advocacy staff are at ASLA.  These people have spent time learning how the political system works and are adept at explaining what strategy might work best. If it is an effort that takes money, ASLA offers opportunities for grants to help fund the work that needs to be done.  Whether it is a threat to licensure laws or a piece of legislature that would be harmful to our profession, the staff at ASLA can help.

Very few of us have extra moments in the day, but making the effort to keep strengthening our profession needs continued diligence.  Paying attention to matters like the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) that Congress recently let expire, is important.  Why?  As the ASLA writes, the LWCF has been funded for 50 years “when we drill for offshore oil and gas that belongs to all Americans, we put a little of the proceeds aside as a conservation offset that gives back something lasting and meaningful – protecting parks and other public spaces we care about.” “Parks and public spaces”, is why the ASLA paid attention, and that is exactly the reason we should, too.  Transportation, parks, housing, small businesses, and water issues are not only important drivers of our profession, but important to our mission as landscape architects.   Using the iAdvocate system is an efficient tool for making it easier to track these issues  Take a moment and get involved.  Your profession depends on it.

Find out more about ways to advocate for the landscape architecture profession at:

Welcome New Excom Members

Thank you ASLA members for your participation in the annual Executive Committee Election! We are pleased to announce the following members have been elected into open positions:

President Elect: Jean Senechal Biggs

Jean Senechal Biggs

Jean Senechal Biggs is a Project Manager with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and for 19 years she has proudly served the city through planning, designing and building innovative transportation projects. She is passionate about creating engaging public spaces and livable neighborhoods that encourage walking, cycling and transit. Jean wrote the transportation section of the Landscape Architect’s Guide to Portland and that effort influenced her decision to become more active in ASLA. Jean joined the Oregon chapter’s Executive Committee last year, serving as the Member-At-Large/Education Chair with a commitment to connect the landscape architecture community with educational and professional development opportunities that further knowledge and skills. Her contributions have included identifying and promoting PDH opportunities for landscape architects and communicating with OSLAB about continuing education requirements, as well as organizing the Members-Only MAX Orange Line Preview Ride in July and the upcoming Yamhelas Westsider Trail design charrette in November. Jean is also involved with ASLA at the national level, serving as a Transportation PPN Officer and Communications Coordinator. Jean studied at the University of Oregon where she received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree. She maintains her connection to the Department of Landscape Architecture as a long-time participant in Shadow Mentor Day.


Treasurer: Gill Williams


Gill has 24 years of professional landscape architecture experience focused on open space projects, natural areas as recreational facilities, and public parks. His work includes regional recreation facilities, natural area management plans, and feasibility studies. Gill joined GreenWorks in March of 2015 as a principal. Gill brings leadership with firm management, business development, design and construction to supplement GreenWorks’ team of landscape architects and planners.



VP Member Services: Rachel Edmonds



Since 2010, I’ve been practicing as a landscape designer, urban designer and planner at MIG, Inc. I’m a native Portlander and am a homeowner in the Montavilla neighborhood. Previously, I’ve lived in Washington, DC and Oakland, CA. For graduate school, I graduated from UC Berkeley’s landscape architecture and planning departments. I enjoy a great diversity in my work: park master planning, construction drawings, cultural landscape assessments, and downtown urban design projects (to name just a few). Outside of work, I enjoy wilderness backpacking trips in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest with my husband and creating order in my small backyard.


Emerging Professionals: Patty Hines


Patty graduated summa cum laude with a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon. She was the AAA class valedictorian and was the only student to speak at commencement. In addition, she and her studio won an Oregon ASLA Honor Award for their environmental art installations at the Overlook Field School in Pennsylvania. As an emerging professional, she is the owner of Outside Design and is currently working on residential landscape projects in the Portland area. When Patty is not designing gardens you can find her on modern house tours checking out current trends in architecture and interior design. Her interests include all things related to fashion, graphics, and design. On Saturdays, she searches the PSU Farmers Market for breakfast and seasonal eats.


UO/Student Liaison: Paula Baretto



I am Latina, a veteran, and maker of social change. Born in Bogotá, Colombia and raised in New York, I joined the Navy after completing high school with the long-term goal of going to college. I started at Portland Community College, where I engaged in two leadership roles, one as Student Body President representing a variety of student voices. The second as appointed District Student Council Chair – a liaison between the administration and the district student body. Both taught me the importance of service leadership, communication, and making connections between students and higher education professionals. Community college was a welcomed transition coming from a strict military environment, because it provided strong structure, yet the freedom to creatively work independently. I transferred my knowledge and experiences to the University of Oregon and focused on the major I was passionate about. During my time there, I dedicated my energy on environmental and social equity issues – matters that have always been in the forefront of my mind, but were now being expressed through a creative, yet impactful medium. Just over three years later, I earned my BLA from the U of O in March of 2015.


Willamette Valley: Veronica Malinay


Veronica Malinay relocated from the Virginia/Washington, DC metropolitan area to the great Pacific NW to pursue her graduate research at the University of Oregon. She is currently a Research Assistant for the National Park Service and the University of Oregon. She is working on a joint research effort to analyze the effects of climate change on cultural landscapes and propose adaptation options generated by preliminary case studies in U.S. national parks. During her time at the University of Oregon her works included contributions to a place-based research method of design and inquiry at the Overlook Field School in Waverly, PA and a cultural landscape investigation, documentation, and design proposal at César Chávez National Monument in Keene, CA. Both works won awards from the 2014 ASLA Oregon Design Awards. She is a 2015 University Olmsted Scholar, and a recipient of the John Decherd Research Scholarship.


Communications Chair: Laurie Mooney


Education Chair: Laura Turnbull


Crater Lake Section Chair: 

If you are interested in getting more involved in your local chapter, please contact the current to find out more information about these Excom positions.


Departing ExCom Members

A special thank you is extended to our departing ExCom members. Your time, enthusiasm and hard work has served our members well during your tenure:

  • Arica Duhrkoop-Galas + Justin Lanphear – departing Willamette Valley section chairs
  • Brigtte Huneke – departing Student Liaison
  • Madeline Carroll – departing Emerging Professionals Chair
  • Renee Wilkinson – departing Communications Chair
  • Robin Wilcox – departing VP Member Services

UO Students Win Global Prize

via the University of Oregon

A University of Oregon landscape architecture student team defeated professional competitors to take first prize in a global innovation challenge to improve the food system, winning $10,000 and advancement to a prototype round. ASLA Oregon provided financial support to allow the students to attend the awards ceremony.

Winners in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge were announced by the Biomimicry Institute at an awards ceremony October 4 at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The team now will be provided business incubation support and an opportunity to win $100,000 and move their design to production.

The UO team’s design, which would help farmers retain nutrients in soil while decreasing fertilizer use, was based in part on the earthworm’s digestive system and would improve soil health over time.

Team members Wade Hanson, Casey Howard, Matt Jorgensen, Alison Lewis, and Krisztian Megyeri were in a spring 2015 class taught by Department of Landscape Architecture Instructors Anne Godfrey and Emma Froh.



ASLA Oregon Fellows Announced

Please join the Oregon Chapter of ASLA in congratulating Michael Faha and Dr. Robert Ribe on receiving the honor of Fellow from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The American Society of Landscape Architects has elevated 37 members to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2015. The Oregon chapter submitted two nominations this year, and is proud that both of our very deserving nominees have been awarded with the highest honor ASLA bestows on members.

Mike Faha, of GreenWorks, received his nomination in Works. Faha is a pioneer, innovator, and educator. He is one of the nation’s first landscape architects to demonstrate that ecological function can be achieved in concert with urbanism and aesthetic beauty, and he continues to influence the way we design and build. For 25 years his work has served to elevate the profession and to put landscape architects at project tables traditionally dominated by engineers, ecologists, planners, and architects. Internationally recognized, his projects transform cities, towns, and rural areas, and encompass daylighting streams, brownfield reclamation and stormwater control, from the scale of expansive urban watersheds and development sites to intimate rain gardens. His built projects in the Pacific Northwest have been toured by thousands of visitors who seek to understand the principles and practicalities of ecological design excellence.

Robert Ribe, of the University of Oregon, receive his nomination in Knowledge. Ribe is a leader in the practice of scenery management by landscape architects. At the University of Oregon, he teaches ecological planning studios and research methods to students in landscape architecture, planning, and environmental studies. From 1999 to 2010 he directed the Institute for Sustainable Environment (ISE), leading that interdisciplinary group to provide primary research and advise to governments in Oregon and Washington on issues of growth ecosystem preservation and agricultural and forest productivity. His research on the theory of forest landscapes has advanced that body of knowledge internationally. His work is methodologically rigorous and applicable to the real world. His collaborations have investigated public landscape perceptions extensively and built strong evidence that validates regional landscape plans and policies. He is also a prolific author.

The designation of Fellow is conferred on individuals in recognition of exceptional accomplishments over a sustained period of time. Individuals considered for this distinction must be full members of ASLA in good standing for at least ten years and must be recommended to the Council of Fellows by the Executive Committee of their local chapter, the Executive Committee of ASLA, or the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows.

More details available at the ASLA National Website.

Design Work Begins at Leach Botanical Gardens

Design work is underway at Leach Botanical Garden. Leach Botanical Garden is located in SE Portland off Foster Road at 122nd Avenue. The Garden opened to the public in 1983 as a partnership between Leach Garden Friends and Portland Parks & Recreation. The core of the Garden is the estate of John and Lilla Leach, who went on botanical expeditions and, in the 1930s, built the Manor House and began the gardens that bear their name.

Following a request for qualifications from Portland Parks & Recreation, the design team headed by Land Morphology andOlson-Kundig Architects has been selected. Nearly eight acres in the undeveloped Upper Garden will offer new botanical and programmatic experiences to visitors and make a connection to the historic Garden and Manor House along Johnson Creek. The design intends that Leach become the signature public cultural attraction in East Portland.

Find out more about this project by viewing the project information sheet. You can also provide feedback on the project by using this comment card.

LANDbytes: Designed by a Landscape Architect

By Rebecca Wahlstrom

The social media campaign during World Landscape Architecture Month was a great success, thanks to you! Take a moment to review the following numbers; the number of posts is relatively small in comparison to the amount of people reached. See what an impact you made?

4,000 posts with the WLAM hashtag
3 million people reached
13 million total impressions

Pretty impressive! So impressive that ASLA National would like to continue the campaign, but this time with the different hashtag, #ThisIsLandArch. You can still use the same “Designed by a Landscape Architect” cards, but post the photo on your favorite social media venue with this new hashtag. National staff will then share a selection of posts on a variety of national’s media platforms.

Think about that for a moment. Even if your firm’s Facebook page is lucky enough to have 300, or even 1000 followers, the national ASLA page can reach 4,500 people. That is a lot of people seeing your firm’s work and your firm’s name. You can promote your business, and your profession at the same time.

How to participate in #ThisIsLandArch:
1. Download and print out a “Designed by a Landscape Architect” card
2. Go to your favorite landscape-architect-designed space
3. Take a picture of it with the Designed by a Landscape Architect” card
4. Upload your image to social media with #ThisIsLandArch

Looking forward to seeing Oregon represented nation-wide!

LANDbytes: World Landscape Architecture Month

By Rebecca Wahlstrom

If you haven’t heard yet, April is not just Landscape Architecture Month (LAM) anymore; it’s WORLD Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM). In past years, the ASLA has celebrated LAM every April, sponsoring a series of events across the country. Eventually the ASLA realized that the United States was pretty much the only country to not celebrate landscape architecture with the rest of the world. Other countries were celebrating WLAM, and now we are too.

To start off the celebration, each ASLA chapter chose another country to exchange ideas during the month and Oregon’s country is Denmark. To kick off the celebration, national ASLA describes our first activity:

“During WLAM, we are asking ASLA chapters and IFLA organizations to join in the celebration by participating in our “Designed by a Landscape Architect” campaign. People around the world will use the attached cards to take pictures of iconic or unique landscapes with the hashtag #WLAM2015 and sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Then, please go to to submit the picture so ASLA can catalogue everything.”

To get your own business card sized WLAM card, just follow the link. Print it out and start sharing with the world all the great places that landscape architects have designed (be sure to include the hashtag #WLAM2015). You can give cards to friends and family as well, especially if they are traveling. Pictures don’t need to be taken just in Oregon; it’s anywhere a space has been designed by a landscape architect. It’s a fun and easy way to learn more about the world around us and expand our design community.

Students – you are part of this too! Start thinking of ways you can connect with other student groups in Denmark. Do you want a Skype Q & A session? Create You Tube channel and post a series of videos about Oregon landscape architecture? Let me know what you would like to do and I’ll try and coordinate with our IFLA partner.

P.S. Another fun event that is in the works; sketch walks in collaboration with International Sketchers. Get those pencils sharpened!

Check the Oregon ASLA website soon for more details about the “Designed by a Landscape Architect” social media event. The upshot: print out an easy to carry, business card sized WLAM card that reads, “Designed by a Landscape Architect”, take a picture of the card at various places (you guessed it) designed by a landscape architect, then post the picture to your favorite social media with our hashtag. Show the world what landscape architects create!


LANDbytes: Clear Communication

By Rebecca Wahlstrom

Clear communication is tough. Have you ever sent what you think is a carefully crafted email to someone and later found that the reader got a totally different message? Crowded days, media saturation, and short attention spans all make it difficult to communicate, especially to a diverse group of people. Contractors, consultants, clients, municipalities, co-workers all need to have a clear idea of what going on in a project, but each one of them will read the message in a slightly different way. If someone gets the wrong meaning, it can quickly turn your project into a mess of emails, phone calls, and costly delays.

At the recent National ASLA Public Awareness Summit we learned how to promote landscape architecture as a profession, but many of these points could be applied to day to day business. The ASLA hired public relations (PR) expert Cindy Powell, of CP Knowhow, LLC, to work with us for a year to increase our PR skills. The following is an excerpt based on her recent presentation.

Tips for better correspondence
1. Know your audience: if they are surveyors, realize they often leave the office at first light. Your email at 8am, asking them to locate the water line that day, is going to be too late.

2. Email subject line: make it short and clear. It’s a good idea to have the project name in the title so people can find it when they search for it in the future.

3. Greeting: get the name(s) right and get to the point quickly.

4. Remember the 5 W’s: who, what, where, why, and how.

5. Use bullets: people can get to the details quickly.

6. Call for action: if you need them to do something, let them know when and how. Be specific.

7. Check your spelling.

8. Take a moment to proofread.

These tips are not conclusive, but they are a basis for better communication in the workplace. During the next year, I will relay some portions of what we learned last weekend. While I am the Oregon representative for public awareness (telling the public about landscape architecture), I can’t promote our work alone. I need help. The more we, as landscape architects and designers, practice these PR skills in the day-to-day, the better we will represent landscape architecture as a profession.

LANDbytes: Letter from the President

By Mauricio J. Villarreal, PLA, ASLA – OR Chapter President

Accolades for OR ASLA! We ended 2014 with a smashing success holding one of the largest Design Awards Soiree in our chapter’s history and benefiting from ASLA’s selection as the third in a series of guides focused on sustainable American cities. “The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Portland” illustrates why our community is viewed as a model of sustainability and consistently ranks high on the livability charts. An amazing labor of love from the ASLA and local landscape architects, the guide illustrates our passion for environment and innovation. Explore it yourself at

2015 promises to be just as memorable with an enthusiastic Executive Committee and a talented group of volunteers dedicated to raising awareness of our profession. We are committed to the Chapter’s legacy of sharing our collective knowledge, serving as stewards of our environment, and promoting the collaborative spirit of the Oregon’s design community.

This year, we should be mindful in reaching to fellow colleagues in related professions to join us for an exchange of ideas at the annual meeting. Developments are underway for the Livable Cities-themed Design Symposium. With global perspective, we should remain focused on Oregon, exploring conditions and opportunities for sustainable development and mobility, robust and diverse communities and civic engagement, resilient economy, and protecting natural areas while crafting vibrant and viable public open space.

With you in mind, the emerging professionals + Student Liaison committee, education + professional development committee, symposium + awards planning committee, and the fellows + honors nomination committee are also diligently crafting the social and educational calendar for 2015.

On behalf of the Oregon ASLA, thank you for your enthusiasm and support and looking forward to seeing you soon.

Mauricio Villarreal
ASLA OR – President