President-elect 2017 Mid-year Summary

2017 Mid-Year Chapter Presidents Council
On April 28-29, the Chapter Presidents Council (CPC) and Board of Trustees (BOT) held the 2017 ASLA Midyear Meeting and Advocacy Day. This year the St. Louis Chapter Trustee and President-Elect joined nearly 90 chapter leaders from 47 chapters in Washington D.C. to deliberation a wide range of topics including career discovery and diversity, chapter web presence and social media efforts, and chapter communications.
Below is a brief summary report from your president-elect, Cory Murner, following the Midyear CPC meeting.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the Advocacy Day activities, but luckily our Chapter Trustee, Scott Emmelkamp, was in attendance. As I understand it, more than 170 chapter leaders met with their federal legislators to discuss how Landscape Architects are Leading Community Infrastructure Design and Development.
Career Discovery and Diversity Manager Shawn Balon, ASLA, presented on ASLA’s initiatives for Career Discovery and Diversity. Balon highlighted the strategic priorities that assisted in creating the new position, ASLA’s work plan for the role, Diversity Summit action items, and YOUR LAND orders.
Susanna Butler, Manager of ASLA Chapter Relations, presented the results of the 2016 Membership Cup. In 2016, the Louisiana chapter won for “Percentage of Growth” with 12.5% growth and the Texas Chapter won for “Number of New Members” with 106 new members. As of April 2017, the St. Louis Chapter is ranked 5th for “Percentage of Growth” with 2.75% growth.
The Board of Trustees and Chapter Presidents Council luncheon panel discussion focused on infrastructure, with panelists from the ASLA, Urban Land Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Planning Association and the American Institute of Architects. The panelists provided specific perspectives on what infrastructure investments are needed and recommendations on how to finance projects. They also highlighted the need to design and build projects for resilience and community equity.
An update on ASLA’s rebranding initiative was presented and discussed. Lead designer Richard Poulin of Poulin + Morris, the agency contracted for the campaign, gave the presentation. CPC members had mixed opinions of the schematic design, but provided input and constructive feedback for future design efforts.
2018-2019 National President-Elect candidates Robert Golde, FASLA and Shawn Kelly, FASLA presented their platforms and answered questions from the CPC on a wide range of topics related to their candidacy. Election Polls are open from May 2, 2017 through June 2, 2017. All Full, Associate, and International members in good professional standing are eligible to vote and will receive a paper and/or email ballot to participate.
As part of the midyear meeting, the Government Affairs department presented ASLA’s parameters for public positions. During the presentation, Director Blackwell reviewed the federal priorities process, discussed ASLA’s federal agenda, and highlighted the organization’s responses to threats posed by the current administration to programs important to landscape architects.
The 3rd annual BOT/CPC Kickball game was held between the Trustees and Chapter Presidents on Saturday. This year the Chapter President’s continued their dominance with a walk-off win over the BOT. The prestigious traveling trophy mysteriously disappeared during the CPC/BOT Open House & Reception at the Center for Landscape Architecture. Although not confirmed, CPC suspects foul play from the BOT.

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Trustee 2017 Mid-Year Summary

Day 1 • Trustees and Chapter President’s in attendance at the mid-year meeting advocated for the landscape architecture profession on Capitol Hill. David Stokes (Prairie Gateway Chapter President), Chris Cline (Prairie Gateway Chapter President-elect) and Scott Emmelkamp (St. Louis Chapter Trustee) visited with Sen. Claire McCaskill and Sen. Roy Blunts office. Landscape architects were advocating for three issues this year: permanent re-authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund; transportation enhancements…specifically speaking out against eliminating TIGER Grants and increased clean water funding from the EPA. 

Day 2
• Trustee and Chapter President’s business meetings including VP candidate presentations for Communications, Education and Government Affairs. Annual Kickball match between the Trustees and Chapter Presidents was won again this year by the Chapter Presidents. David Stokes (Prairie Gateway President) was the hero by kicking a game winning walk off home run to end a tie game. Congrats to the Chapter Presidents. The agenda included a reception in the recently renovated Center for Landscape Architecture office building. The space looks great and is functioning above expectations. 

Day 3 • Trustee and Chapter President’s business meetings including presentations by the ASLA President-elect candidates, optional participation in the People’s Climate march in DC. The Board of Trustees worked on a SWOT exercise for ASLA and discussed preparations for the Annual Meeting in Los Angeles that will occur October 20 – 23, 2017.


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2016 St. Louis ASLA Award Winners

Take a look at our online awards booklet for descriptions and additional information on our winners. 

Robert Goetz Award
 • Noel Fehr, PLA, ASLA
Emerging Young Professional Award • Michelle Ohle, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP
Civic Stewardship Award • Jay Doty

Student Merit Award
• Hui Yang, Yi Zhang "Umwelt in Landscape"
Student Merit Award • Shelbey Sill "To the Is-Land: Connecting Esperanza"
Student Honor Award • Yuhan Zhang, Jiahui Guo "The Landscape of Waste"


Merit Award • Forum Studio > Route 66 Pedestrian Bridge Concept Plan

Merit Award • Forum Studio > Mississippi Greenway Park Master Plan
Merit Award • SWT Design > Old North Sustainability Master Plan
Merit Award • Forum Studio > Fort Wayne Riverfront Master Plan
Honor Award • Forum Studio > Penn State Hall Residence Master Plan


Merit Award • Arcturis > MSD Project Clear 
Merit Award • [dtls] > Monsanto Rain Garden Pilot Project

Merit Award • HOK > Phillips 66 Headquarters 
Merit Award • SWT Design > The Commons at Cortex Innovation Community
Merit Award • [dtls] > Wildwood Garden at Bellefontaine Cemetery
Honor Award • Forum Studio > Reinsurance Group of America

Merit Award • Forum Studio > Pearl of Istanbul

Congratulations to all our winners!


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2015 Mid-Year Trustee Report (Part 1 of 2)

2015 Mid-Year Trustee Report: Stephen Ibendahl, ASLA
Greetings from Washington DC! I was excited and ready to go to ASLA Mid-year this year!  Not only had I studied our advocacy materials, I caught up on 'House of Cards' to make sure I knew the ins and outs of DC (I did stay further away from the Metro platform edge). There's so much to report from ASLA mid-year, this will be a two part Trustee report.

We had a great day on the Hill talking with our Congressional delegation.  Our three topics this year were:  TAP (Transportation Alternative Program), Land Water and Conservation Fund (LWCF) renewal, and support of the National Parks Service centennial. We were able to share great local examples of work where TAP and LWCF benefit the St. Louis region. We were able to meet with Senator McCaskill directly, and had good meetings with staff from the offices of Blunt, Wagner, Clay, and Shimkus.  The cumulative effect of ASLA's work makes a huge impact and plays a crucial role for funding for programs such as TAP, which is only 2% of the overall transportation bill. 

Center for Landscape Architecture
I'm excited to report that the Center for Landscape Architecture continues to make great progress.  Schematic design has been completed and fundraising has been strong.  ASLA members and firms have already pledged over 80% of the initial goal. With the strong fundraising, the board of trustees authorized an increase in our fundraising goal.  With fundraising, in-kind vendor donations, and a new mortgage, we will be investing $6 million dollars into the renovation and upgrades of our headquarters. I gave an update and overview of our headquarters becoming the 'Center for Landscape Architecture' at the winter awards party in February. Look for additional details from ASLA this spring and summer. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or would like more details. Also, thanks again to those St. Louis members and firms who have already pledge contributions. 

Trustees Beat Chapter Presidents in First ASLA Kickball Game
We took a short break to have a good-natured rivalry of kickball between Chapter Presidents and Trustees on the National Mall. I happy to report that the Trustees pitched (or rolled) a shutout over the Chapter Presidents 3-0! And luckily no one got hurt, especially some of the older Trustees who took tumbles.  It was a fun way to for some additional team building. Click here to view some photos of the game. 

Sneak Peak of Part 2
Look for the final wrap-up the ASLA midyear trustee meeting in part 2 including:  focus on emerging professionals, special recognition for St. Louis, and a sneak peak of the ASLA convention in Chicago.

Thank you for the privilege to represent St. Louis as your Trustee. You can always reach me at 314-265-3178 or by email at


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2015 Landscape Architecure Advocacy Day report

Landscape Architecture Advocacy Day 2015
Advocacy Day 2015 marked our 4th annual contiguous event in the Rotunda at the State Capitol. Landscape Architects from the St. Louis Chapter and Prairie Gateway Chapter met in Jefferson City on February 4 to educate Representatives about our profession.  A total of thirteen ASLA members walked our Capitol’s hallways to distribute information and talk with Representatives about the positive economic, social and environmental impact landscape architecture has in our State.  This was a pro-active event to help Representatives identify landscape architecture as an allied design profession.


A total of forty-seven Representatives were visited which included thirty-seven House members and ten Senators. By comparison, a total of thirty-eight Representatives were visited last year.  Representatives highlighted in yellow were visited last year, so many that we talked to were new contacts. 


This year there was no legislation that affected landscape architects or licensure.  Our visits were informative and relaxed and provided a great opportunity to get to know our representatives better.  We concluded our day with a lunch meeting with our lobbyist, Sam Licklider, and recapped our visits, compared notes and discussed improvements for next year’s event. A follow up conference call will be set up to discuss a future meeting with the Office of Administration to change the language of State of Missouri RFP’s to include landscape architects. Advocacy 2015 was another great event and united landscape architects across the State to advocate for our profession.  Thanks and congratulations to everyone involved!

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2014 Civic Stewardship/Robert Goetz Award Nominations

The St. Louis ASLA Chapter would like to request nominations for candidates for the 2015 Civic Stewardship Award and the Robert Goetz Award. These two awards represent a high level of achievement in the field of landscape architecture in the St. Louis area, and many prestigious individuals and organizations have received the awards in the past. Detailed descriptions and qualifications of each award follow, as well as documentation required for a nomination. 

 Nominations for both awards are due by FridayJanuary 9th, 2015 by 5pm.

Please contact Stephen Ibendahl with any questions about either award, especially if you are considering a nomination process for The Robert Goetz Award.  Please send a digital file of the nomination packet to
Stephen Ibendahl, Chapter Trustee •

The Civic Stewardship Award 
The Civic Stewardship Award is a pro-active award by the St. Louis Chapter to recognize an individual or organization that have raised awareness or shown stewardship of the natural or built environment. The recipient may or may not be a landscape architect. 

The Robert Goetz Award 
The Robert Goetz Award for Distinguished Career in Landscape Architecture acknowledges the career of a local landscape architect who has practiced the profession with integrity, recognition and excellence. The award is not an annual award, but rather will be awarded to worthy candidates as determined by the qualification submittals and by the discretion of the Executive Committee. 

If you are considering submitting a nomination, please contact the Executive Committee prior to beginning the nomination process.

For a list of past winners, click here. For a copy of the nomination form, contact Elizabeth Graff

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Call for Center of Landscape Architecture Building Donations

To my fellow landscape architects,

I’m writing to invite you to join me in donating to an exciting project to promote the image and ethic of our great profession. The ASLA Board of Trustees has approved a plan to renovate the Society’s headquarters building and create a world-class Center for Landscape Architecture to inspire and engage our staff, our membership, allied professionals, public officials, and the general public. 

As you may know, the Society purchased our current building in downtown Washington for $2.4 million in 1997, just as the neighborhood was being revitalized. Situated halfway between Capitol Hill and the White House, today it’s an incredible location in a vibrant neighborhood. While the building is structurally sound, after 17 years of occupancy it’s in shabby condition. During that time, our membership has grown by 50 percent and our staff and programs have expanded as well. In short, the building is poorly configured for our current needs. 

After an intense RFP process, Gensler was selected to lead the design team, which includes award-winning landscape architecture firm Oehme, van Sweden, so our profession’s values will be well-represented. We plan to build to LEED Platinum™ and Well™ building standards. 

Our mortgage was paid off last summer and our building is currently valued at $6.9 million. We will finance most of the renovation project by leveraging the building’s equity, but we will also raise $1 million in donations from individuals, firms, chapters, and companies. 

Since the Board approved the project on November 20, we’ve received more than $166,000 in payments and pledges, without even asking. The more funds we raise, the better off the project will be. We’ve established giving levels and naming rights. Pledges may be paid over three years and donations will go through the ASLA Fund, making them charitable contributions. I hope you will review the information and images on the web site and give generously to establish a Center for Landscape Architecture. 

Thank you for your kind consideration and happy holidays to you and yours,

James Burnett, FASLA
Fundraising Task Force Chair
Center for Landscape Architecture

Center for Landscape Architecture Fundraising Task Force Members:

Gerdo Aquino, FASLA
Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, FASLA
Thomas Balsley, FASLA
Brian Clark, FASLA
Andrea Cochran, FASLA
Chris Dimond, FASLA
Mark Johnson, FASLA
Mia Lehrer, FASLA
Mario Nievera, FASLA
  Thomas Oslund, FASLA
Martin Poirier, FASLA
Janet Rosenberg, FASLA
Brian Sawyer, ASLA
Peter L. Schaudt, FASLA
Glen Schmidt, FASLA
Christy Ten Eyck, FASLA
James Wolterman, FASLA
Thomas Woltz, FASLA

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Advocacy Prevents Deregulation for Landscape Architects

Many members may be unaware that the St. Louis Chapter ASLA Executive Committee works tirelessly with the Missouri Association of Landscape Architects on advocacy efforts to keep landscape architects licensed with the State and seated at the table with our other allied professions. A brief recap of the major advocacy milestones follows.


Organized representation of landscape professionals began in 1962 with the formation of The Missouri Association of Landscape Architects (MALA). The mission of the organization was to represent landscape architects in order to gain landscape architecture licensure in the state.  After many dedicated years and volunteer hours, advocacy efforts led to the Landscape Architecture Title Act in 1989 which defined the profession and allowed the establishment of rules and standards regarding the profession.  In 2000, the Title Act was upgraded to the current Practice Act that recognized landscape architects as competent design professionals capable of protecting the public’s health safety and welfare.  In 2007, continuing education was added to the requirements for retaining licensure and allowed the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors and Professional Landscape Architects (APEPLSPLA) to extract civil penalties from unlicensed professionals. 

Each year since 2012, a bill has been introduced to take away our licensure.  Thanks to the combined efforts of MALA, our lobbyist – Sam Licklider, and our chapters representation; we have been able to stop these efforts and bring increased visibility and validity to our profession.  

Starting in 2012, the St. Louis ASLA Chapter and Prairie Gateway Chapter ASLA  began annual attendance of  Missouri State Legislative sessions to speak to representatives, advocate for our profession and fight deregulation efforts. 


The 2014 Jefferson City Advocacy Day at the State Capitol included visits to 38 district representatives.  Our talking points included:

  •        Landscape architects creating safe, attractive amenities in communities
  •        Licensure allowing landscape architects to practice in other states
  •        Landscape architects creating small business
  •        Landscape architects creating vibrant competition for quality, cost effective projects
  •        Licensure protecting the public from unqualified or incompetent practices
  •        Licensure being revenue neutral to the State

Most Representatives had some knowledge and understanding of our profession, which suggests that visibility and perception about landscape architecture is experiencing positive change through our advocacy efforts in the State. 


Five bills, important to the landscape architects of Missouri, were watched in the 2014 Legislative Session.  The only one passed and signed by Governor Jay Nixon this summer was Senate Bill 809.  SB809 modified provisions of law regarding licensing of architects, professional engineers, professional land surveyors, and professional landscape architects.  The following is a brief synopsis of the provisions related to landscape architects.

  1.      The Professional Landscape Architect (PLA) designation became official and in effect on August 28, 2014.  PLA replaces the Registered Landscape Architect (RLA) designation previously used by licensed landscape architects in the State.
  2.      An applicant for a professional landscape architecture license must make a passing grade on each examination, and a passing grade shall be fixed by the board, but shall not exceed the passing grade determined by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (327.612).
  3.      The act repeals provisions of law which provide that the board may license without examination any landscape architect certified in another state or territory of the United States when qualifications are met (327.623). Provisions regarding the refusal to issue or renew a license have also been repealed (327.631).

Your membership does matter!  Your membership supports our efforts to retain licensure and enjoy the benefits of associating with our other allied professionals.  If you are not a member, we hope this clarifies your understanding of the benefits of membership and that you are encouraged to join.  If you are a member, thank you so much for your continued support!

 Join us for St. Louis Advocacy Day!

Landscape architects are on the move and impacting how our region designs its public spaces.  During the week of November 10-14 we will be asking you to set up an appointment to meet personally with your state representatives at their offices.  Our goal is to share the value of including landscape architecture in public space development.  Please contact Susan Maag at or call 636-357-1890 to find out more.  We need you to represent!  The number of officials that we meet will depend on your participation.  It’s not difficult and we will help guide you through the process.  We really hope you will join us in this exciting and collaborative effort! 

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