Awards Soiree Celebrates the Spirit of Landscape Architecture

Oregon ASLA presented its 2016 Honor Awards at the chapter’s Annual Soiree on Friday, November 4 at Union/Pine, an event venue in Southeast Portland. Over 130 attendees came out for an evening of socializing and celebration.

The Awards Committee would like to extend a gracious thank-you to our General Event Sponsor TimberForm/Columbia Cascade. Their continued financial support over the years has allowed Oregon ASLA to provide members opportunities for networking, learning and annual social occasions that would simply not be possible otherwise. Thank you so much, Steve Kirn and David Gaston, for working with Oregon ASLA and making the night a success!

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Here’s Our Recap With All the Honorees


Outgoing chapter president Laurie Matthews kicked off the evening with an overview of this year’s new awards program to recognize people and organizations for their outstanding service to the profession, design excellence, community leadership and careful stewardship. She explained that Oregon ASLA will issue a member survey this winter to get feedback on our design awards program so that the chapter can have a more robust design awards program in 2017.

Matthews went on to recognize outgoing Oregon ASLA Executive Committee members and thank them for their service, as well as introduce the incoming Executive Committee. And the crowd let out a cheer when Matthews announced the names of Oregon’s newest landscape architects who became registered since last year’s Design Awards Soirée. Congratulations to Kathryn Forester, Michael Moyers, Alexandra Perove, Westley Shoger, Shannon Simms and Courtney Skybak.

Honoring Oregon Students

Oregon ASLA Student Liaison Paula Barreto, who serves as the chapter’s liaison to the University of Oregon Student Chapter, and University of Oregon Associate Professor Roxi Thoren, announced the winners of the Student Honor and Student Merit Awards. The awards recognize academic achievement, design competence, and interpersonal skills for both graduate and undergraduate students majoring in landscape architecture at the UO. Kelly Stoecklein, MLA, received the Graduate Honor Award and Casey Howard, BLA, received the Undergraduate Honor Award. Elizabeth Stapleton, MLA, received the Graduate Merit Award and Jane Jewett, BLA, received the Undergraduate Merit Award.


Graduate Honor Award winner Kelly Stoecklein (center) with Roxi Thoren (left) and Paula Barreto (right)


Undergraduate Honor Award winner Casey Howard with Paula Barreto











Graduate Merit Award winner Elizabeth Stapleton with Paula Barreto


Undergraduate Merit Award winner Jane Jewett with Paula Barreto











Barreto and Thoren then recognized the 2016-2017 recipients of the Oregon ASLA Student Scholarship, Margo Barajas, MLA Candidate and Hanna Belleli, BLA Candidate. Oregon ASLA established its namesake scholarship in 1997 in the UO’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Initially seeded with a generous gift of $10,000 from Oregon ASLA members, this fund subsequently grew by yet another gift from the membership of $15,000 in December 2005. The scholarship is an endowed fund at the UO, meaning it will provide support to landscape architecture students permanently.

Citing rising tuition costs and the ability for scholarship funds to attract the best and brightest to attend UO, Thoren took a moment to ask all the attendees to contribute the Oregon ASLA Scholarship endowment so that it can continue to provide a meaningful impact to students. She encouraged everyone to make a tax-deductible donation to help grow the fund.


Oregon ASLA Scholarship recipients Margo Barajas, MLA Candidate, and Hanna Belleli, BLA Candidate, with UO Associate Professor Roxi Thoren and Oregon ASLA Student Liaison Paula Barreto

Honoring Our Profession and Our Allies

Laurie Matthews presented the first of the professional honor awards to Liska Chan, Roxi Thoren and Anne Godfrey from the University of Oregon’s Department of Landscape Architecture, who received the Lord & Schryver Award in recognition of their significant contributions to the achievement and recognition of women in landscape architecture. Matthews noted that together these three women faculty members have provided a high level of leadership and mentorship to students and alumni. In her remarks, Thoren delivered a strong message about supporting women in their careers to thunderous applause.


UO Department of Landscape Architecture faculty Roxi Thoren, Liska Chan and Anne Godfrey with Oregon ASLA Past President Laurie Matthews

Next came the Tom McCall Award, which was given to Portland-based nonprofit Friends of Trees for their outstanding community leadership and careful stewardship of Oregon’s natural environment. Incoming chapter president Jean Senechal Biggs gave an overview of their 25+ years of accomplishments and shared her own personal experience as a volunteer with the organization, before presenting the award to Executive Director Scott Fogarty.


Oregon ASLA President Jean Senechal Biggs with Friends of Trees Executive Director Scott Fogarty and Friends of Trees Board Member, Nancy Buley, Hon. ASLA

Oregon ASLA Communications Chair Laurie Mooney presented the Outstanding Emerging Professional Award to Deven Young, ASLA, a senior designer at Alta Planning + Design, Inc. in Portland. Mooney shared an excerpt from his nomination that described his skill in managing clients with “a delicate balance of grace, confidence and modesty.” In his remarks, Young reached back to his coworkers and colleagues and thanked them for their support of his career and accomplishments.


2016 Outstanding Emerging Professional Deven Young with Oregon ASLA Past President Laurie Matthews and Communications Chair Laurie Mooney

Jean Senechal Biggs then presented the Distinguished Practitioner Award to Paul Agrimis, ASLA, Vice President and Landscape Architecture Program Leader at ESA in Portland, sharing that his work creates “enduring landscape solutions that engage both the heart and mind.” When Agrimis took the stage, he shared the story of his career path, starting from childhood explorations of a nearby creek to opening his first office with Ken Vigil to leading a team of 10 landscape architects and designers at ESA. His story was both personal and professional, and made everyone appreciate landscape architecture as a career choice.


2016 Distinguished Practitioner Paul Agrimis with Oregon Chapter President Jean Senechal Biggs

Oregon ASLA Vice President of Member Services Rachel Edmonds presented the Outstanding Firm Award to Mayer/Reed, Inc. in recognition of major contributions to the profession for a sustained period. The 25-person, interdisciplinary design studio was established in Portland in 1986 and offers landscape architecture, urban design, wayfinding and interpretive design for projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Founding Principal Carol Mayer-Reed accepted the award on behalf of the firm, with her staff proudly standing alongside her. In her remarks, Mayer-Reed reflected on the history of the firm, staff contributions, and even called out the names of “alumni” of the firm who were in the audience.


Oregon ASLA VP of Member Services Rachel Edmonds (left) with Carol Mayer-Reed (center in blue) with the team from Mayer/Reed, Inc.

Laurie Matthews returned to the stage to present the President’s Chapter Service Award, which is given annually to a member of the Executive Committee in recognition of outstanding volunteer service to the organization and its members, and is kept secret until announced at the Annual Soiree. Deven Young, ASLA, the chapter’s outgoing Vice President of Chapter Services, received this year’s surprise honor. Young was the lead organizer of the 2015 Design Symposium, the 2016 Design Symposium and the 2015 Design Awards. Matthews commented that Young gave himself and his time graciously to ensure that the events were of the highest quality. Young was humble in receiving the award and thanked his employer, Alta Planning + Design, for supporting his volunteer activities.


Surprise! Oregon ASLA Past President Laurie Matthews with Deven Young, winner of the President’s Chapter Service Award

The final award of the evening was determined by a vote of the attendees at the Soiree, giving everyone a chance to participate. The Olmsted Brothers Award honors outstanding works of landscape architecture in Oregon that are 25 years or older and have withstood the test of time. The Oregon ASLA Executive Committee nominated five sites for this award this year: the Historic Columbia River Highway; the Halprin Open Space Sequence, Portland; Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland; Portland Japanese Garden; and Salishan Lodge, Gleneden Beach.

Jean Senechal Biggs returned to the stage to announce the winner, the Halprin Open Space Sequence, the series of interactive fountains, plazas, and connecting pathways in downtown Portland designed by the renowned Lawrence Halprin and Associates between 1963 and 1970. Receiving the award were Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté, FASLA, Halprin Landscape Conservancy Board President Randy Gragg, and Portland Parks & Recreation Project Manager Sandra Burtzos, ASLA. All three shared news of the efforts to restore the sequence, which has suffered from under-funded maintenance, through a ground-breaking public/private partnership. They expressed heartfelt thanks to Steve Koch, FASLA, for his many hours of service given to the project and encouraged attendees to get involved and follow the restoration.


Halprin Landscape Conservancy President Randy Gragg, Portland Parks and Recreation Director Mike Abbaté, and project manager Sandra Burtzos

Looking Ahead

Senechal Biggs closed out the evening with announcements about Oregon ASLA’s upcoming events and shared her excitement to lead the chapter in the year ahead with the support of the outstanding members of the Executive Committee.

Thanks to all who attended! Be sure to check out more pictures from this event on the ASLA Oregon Facebook page.

The Awards Committee also wishes to extend applause to our supporting event sponsors, who provided complimentary cocktails (Northwest Playground Equipment), dessert (Northwest Recreation), table decor (Mutual Materials), and a raffle item (Landscape Forms) at the event. Cheers!

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Oregon ASLA Brings Focus, Inspiration to Trail Design Workshop

A team of sixteen members of Oregon ASLA, joined by nine members of the Student Chapter of ASLA at the University of Oregon, gathered in Carlton, Oregon on November 13th and 14th for a design workshop for the Yamhelas Westsider Trail, a proposed multimodal transportation corridor in Yamhill County.

Over 50 local residents, business owners, elected officials and agency staff worked directly with the Oregon/UO ASLA team to develop conceptual plans that will guide the future development of the trail. The team solicited input to develop design ideas for elements of the trail including trailheads, wayfinding signage, property access, and connections to key destinations. The workshop concluded with an public open house for the landscape architects to present their design proposals and solicit feedback from the larger community.

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Yamhill County and the non-profit organization, Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail, are leading efforts to develop the trail. The design workshop was part of a collaborative planning process funded through a technical assistance grant from the National Parks Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (NPS RTCA). Carlton-based winery Ken Wright Cellars hosted the workshop and their barrel room provided an inspiring backdrop for our work.

YWT Workshop 01

About the Yamhelas Westsider Trail

The 17-mile long railroad corridor is located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country and provides a link between four cities, two counties and several regionally significant recreation sites, including Henry Hagg Lake and Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Yamhill County has been actively working with the Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail, citizens, local businesses and partner agencies including the Cities of Carlton, Yamhill, McMinnville, and Gaston, Washington County, and Oregon Parks and Recreation on the proposed acquisition of the abandoned Union Pacific Railroad right of way from Hagg Lake to OR 99W, near McMinnville.

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“The trail will provide a safe, off-street facility for people walking and biking to work, students attending Yamhill-Carlton High School, recreational cyclists and for other local trips in Carlton and Yamhill,” said Yamhill County Commissioner Stan Primozich. “This is a needed investment that has the ability to transform our community.”

The first phase of the project will acquire up to 9 miles of the railroad right-of-way using $1.7 million of Federal Transportation Enhancement funds through a grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation. The acquisition would preserve the rail corridor in one single public ownership. Yamhill County and the Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail are actively pursuing additional grant funds to develop the alignment, creating the first regional alternative transportation corridor in the Yamhill Valley.

NPS RTCA Partnership Brings Opportunities

Oregon ASLA participated in the workshop under ASLA’s partnership with NPS RTCA to help communities plan, design and manage their natural, cultural and recreational resources.

Since 2000, ASLA chapters across the country and NPS RTCA have worked together to support dozens of community-led natural resource conservation and recreation projects. This unique partnership, first tested in the Pacific Northwest, expanded opportunities for ASLA chapters and National Park Service staff across the county.

YWT Open House

What’s next?

NPS RTCA staff will work with Yamhill County and the Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail to assemble the drawings and information into a concept plan document that will be published in 2016.

“Community leaders from Yamhill County have led the development of this project over several decades and provided the necessary support to secure the federal transportation funds to acquire the rail property,” said Wayne Wiebke with the Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail. “We are excited to be where we are today, developing ideas to guide the design of this future trail.”

Yamhelas Westsider Trail Design Workshop

November 13-14, 2015, Carlton, Oregon

Oregon ASLA: Elizabeth Auvil (Alta Planning + Design), Brian Bainnson (Quatrefoil), Tim Bono (Walker Macy), Arica Duhrkoop-Galas (The Office of Stangeland and Associates; University of Oregon), Gregg Everhart (Parametrix; Everhart LA, LLC), Kate Forester (Herrera Environmental Consultants), Tamra Lehuta (Meier Architecture + Engineering), Aaron Maples (Walker Macy), Arjen Meeuswen (PLACE), Maureen Raad (ESA Vigil Agrimis), Sterling Rung (PLACE), Jean Senechal Biggs (Portland Bureau of Transportation), Shannon Simms (Mayer Reed), Pam Symond (City of Eugene), Robin Wilcox (PLACE), and Alex Zatarain (Stemmler Design).

UO Student Chapter ASLA: Kayla Byrne, Casey Howard, Alison Lewis, John Maxson, Krisztian Megyeri, Peter Obermeyer, Keegan Oneal, Nancy Pierce, and Callan Roemer.

NPS RTCA: Dan Miller and Shawn James

Yamhill County: Jayne Mercer and Brett Henry

Friends of Yamhelas Westsider Trail

Special thanks to our hosts, Ken Wright Cellars.