Vision & Mission

The members and associates of the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects believe in contributing to our communities and profession as leaders in the field of landscape architecture. To lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.


The Chapter holds many events throughout the year around the state that provide education and networking opportunities and provides opportunities to meet other professionals.


Want to get the most out of your ASLA membership? Volunteer today to increase your knowledge of and networking in our industry.




Membership in ASLA offers many benefits. There are eight categories of membership from student to corporate. Please visit the National ASLA website to find the type of membership that fits you best.  Dues:

Indiana State Chapter: $92.50
Full National ASLA Member: $370
Associate Member: First Year - National Dues $65
Affiliate Member: National Dues $370
Student Member: National Dues $55
Student Affiliate Member: National Dues $55
International Member: National Dues $370 plus a $50 surcharge for a total of $420
Corporate Member: National Dues $1,950

Click here to join ASLA.  All ASLA professional members must agree to abide by the principles contained in the Society's Constitution and Bylaws and Code of Professional Ethics.  For additional INASLA membership questions, email our Membership chair - membership@inasla.org.  For National ASLA membership questions, contact National ASLA - membership@asla.org

Top 10 reasons to join ASLA

1. Increase Awareness of the Profession - ASLA has launched extensive public relations and targeted marketing efforts which will introduce prospective and current commercial, residential, and government consumers to our full palette of skills and expertise, and explain how these talents are best employed.

2. Protect and Enhance the Integrity of the Profession - Across the country, ASLA and its members are at the forefront of successful efforts to maintain and improve professional state licensing laws. Because of the diligent efforts of ASLA and its members, 46 states now have licensing laws. In addition, the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, managed under ASLA auspices, ensures the quality of degree-granting programs and provides the profession with an essential mantle of credibility. Finally, ASLA successfully lobbied to create an appropriate professional sector for our members in the all-important Federal Industrial Classification System. This distinct classification for landscape architects will open up opportunities for you to compete for a larger pie of federal, state, and municipal contracts and programs.

3. Protect the Environment - At the national and local level, ASLA and its members are at the forefront of efforts to increase respect for the land and our natural environment, particularly on issues of prudent land use and planning, sustainable development, waste and water management, recreation, and land reclamation. Through efforts by ASLA, landscape architects are now recognized as experts and their knowledge and skills are often called upon by other organizations with common goals and ideals.

4. Continuing Education - ASLA members enjoy access to an ever-widening array of continuing education programs, each designed to keep the busy professional abreast of the latest developments in horticulture, land use, CAD, and other areas of importance. Plus, our annual meeting is the industry's leading education program, with entire tracks and specific sessions focusing on areas of need-including practice management, marketing, and liability.

5. Networking Opportunities. - ASLA members are afforded numerous opportunities to meet and network with peers from various areas of expertise within the profession at the local, state and national level. For example, members can join one or more of ASLA's 15 "Professional Interest Groups," comprised of individuals from multiple disciplines who come together around a specific topic of interest, including historic preservation, parks and recreation, and campus planning.

6. Information Tools - ASLA offers its members a comprehensive variety of publications and digital resources including our comprehensive Product Profiles and Directory, Landscape Architecture News Digest, salary and practice surveys, and a "members only" section on ASLA's website. In addition, ASLA members enjoy access to an unparalleled technical library and a paid research librarian to help you obtain information you need to conduct your business.

7. Landscape Architecture Magazine - If you don't already read it, you should. A subscription is included in your annual dues. Landscape Architecture is the definitive design magazine of the industry. With rich illustrations and photographs, and compelling writing, this magazine is a must-read for tens of thousands each month who must stay on the cutting edge of design and technology.

8. Discounted Products and Services - ASLA members receive substantial members-only discounts on purchases from ASLA's widely respected bookstore, affinity programs, and continuing education registration.

9. 100 Years of Integrity, Respect, and Proven Value Behind Your Name  - ASLA, through licensing, accreditation, marketing, and public relations efforts, is successfully establishing ASLA as the premier "brand" which, when seen behind your name, identifies you as a professional of the highest standard.

10. ASLA Membership More Than Pays For Itself - ASLA membership is a proven value. The benefits above more than offset the cost of your dues-in any number of ways, you'll recoup your modest membership fees in a matter of weeks, if not days. Just ask any one of your over 13,500 peers who is a member.

There you have it. Ten compelling reasons why you should join ASLA. If three or more of these apply to you or your business, then you should be one of us.  Visit the national American Society of Landscape Architects web site for more details on joining ASLA.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee meets once a month. To see who is currently on the executive committee, past executive committe meeting minutes, or board of Trustee Reports. click here

Past Presidents

Click here for list of past presidents


The designation of Fellow indicates that an individual has been recognized by his or her peers as having accomplished extraordinary work in the elected category over a sustained period of time. Individuals considered for this distinction must be 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.  Election is based solely on professional excellence and outstanding accomplishments as represented in the nomination materials presented for each nominee. Fellows are elected based on their contributions in one of four categories:

1. Works of Landscape Architecture
2. Administrative Work 
3. Knowledge
4. Service to the Profession

Eric Ernstberger, FASLA  - 2016
Scott Siefker, FASLA  - 2016
Meg Storrow, FASLA  - 2015
Meg Calkins, FASLA  - 2015
Deane Rundell, FASLA  - 2013
Ron Taylor, FASLA  - 2013
Bernie L. Dahl, FASLA  - 2005
C. Edward Curtin, FASLA  - 2004
Malcolm D. Cairns, FASLA  - 2004
Virginia L. Russell, FASLA  - 1997 (INASLA Co-nominated with Ohio and Kentucky Chapters)
Donald J. Molnar, FASLA  - 1991
Claire Richardson Bennett, FASLA  - 1984

Charter Members

The Indiana Chapter became the 20th State Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1972, and held its first official meeting on April 6, 1973.   John Lantzius, ASLA, a professor at Ball State University’s “Program in Landscape Architecture” became INASLA’s first president. At the conclusion of that first meeting, an announcement was sent out to all landscape architects in Indiana reading: “This is the first official meeting of the ASLA Indiana Chapter and one of the first opportunities for professionals, students and faculty in the state to get together.  There is a great deal for our profession to accomplish in Indiana, and now is the time to show our initiative---come see what our profession has been doing and participate in where we go from here!”  That charge from the first meeting over 40 years ago continues to be a calling for landscape architects in Indiana. A listing of the Indiana Chapter Charter Members follows:

Anthony Bauer, Clarence Davies, Fred Gerlach, David C. Klauba, John L. Lantzius, James K. Perkins, David Rogier, Theodore D. Walker, James Browning, Claire Bennett, Dan Young, Richard A. Boots, Jack Benddenbach, Robert A. Brittan, Stephen Compton, Dean C. Eberhardt, Ronald L. Hayduk, William B. Eviston, John Hill, Charles E. Kiphart, Stephen Meyerholtz, Dennis J. Noak, Orrin R. Jessions, Duane L. Schaffer, L.B. Zuercher, Bernard L. Dahl, H. Jay Harris, Robert M. Hartman

Student Chapters

The purpose and mission of the Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (SCASLA) is to enhance the educational experience of undergraduate landscape architecture students attending Ball State University and Purdue University by promoting awareness of the profession of landscape architecture through leadership opportunities, education, service, and professional interaction.

As registered student organizations through the Ball State and Purdue Universities and the American Society of Landscape Architects, SCASLA organizers aim to build bridges between the landscape architecture student community and professional landscape architects in Indiana.

Ball State University

Department of Landscape Architecture - http://cms.bsu.edu/Academics/CollegesandDepartments/CAP/Programs/LandscapeArch.aspx
Ball State Student Chapter site - http://asla.iweb.bsu.edu
Ball State - Land8Lounge site - http://land8.com/group/ballstateuniversitystudentchapterasla
Student Chapter  - asla@bsu.edu 
Landscape Architecture program - DoLA@bsu.edu

Purdue University

Horticulture & Landscape Architecture - https://ag.purdue.edu/hla/LA/Pages/default.aspx
Purdue facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Society-of-Landscape-Architects-Purdue-Chapter/227054277344756

LA Students Facebook page - LARCH

Connect with landscape architecture students across the country and work together to make the future of the profession even brighter: http://www.facebook.com/LAstudents



Public Awareness

In 2011, ASLA launched a public awareness campaign to teach the world about landscape architecture. Each summer, delegates from all chapters convene at national headquarters to create unified plans for the upcoming year. Since then, we have organized events in all 50 states, delivering a unified message around landscape architecture.

We are currently seeking members for the Public Service Project Committee. If interested, please email office@inasla.org

What Is Landscape Architecture?

Do you ever wish you could explain your career with a website? You can now. With the beginning of the public awareness campaign on 08.17.11, asla.org/design launched as a new interactive website to introduce the public to all that landscape architects do.  Arrows lead visitors through the design process from start to finish, explaining all perspectives along the way. The site even features a video of a landscape architect  walking them through the design process.

The website builds off what the visitor might already know or presents a field they may have never heard of. Designing a Landscape Architect, the education section, offers a quick how to on becoming a landscape architect, whereas the collaboration section (Design with Others) shows how landscape architects work with allied professionals. Designing Awesome stresses the real solutions landscape architects offer as part of their skill set. 

As the awareness campaign progresses, this website will serve as a resource for years to come and should be shared with potential clients, future students, and anyone looking to learn more about this no-longer-misunderstood profession. The site more than successfully captures all the interdisciplinary elements and the diversity within the design process, and more importantly does so in a way that people will enjoy reading.  Bookmark asla.org/design now and keep the success going by sharing the site with whomever you encounter.

Public Awareness Campaign Materials:

Here, find materials (logos, signage, buttons, brochures and handouts) used to engage the public. We encourage you to use these materials freely. Distribute them at your local library, coffee shop, clients, family and consultants!

Stay Up To Date With Campaign Activities By Liking The Campaign Facebook Page:




INASLA History

Excerpts reprinted from “History of the Indiana ASLA Chapter,” by Ron L. Taylor, ASLA "INASLA Centennial Retrospective Book".

On January 4, 1899, eleven individuals met in a small office in New York City and formed the American Society of Landscape Architects, an obscure collection of professionals from an even more obscure trade. Although the formal practiced of landscape architecture was over forty years old at the time, it had yet to establish any semblance of organization, accepted standardized training or public recognition. Many of the charter fellows openly wondered the value of such an organization while the number of practitioners was so few, and the public understanding of the practice so limited. After years of debate, and several informal dinner clubs, a bold step was taken, and the small group assembled into a professional organization.

The Indiana Chapter became the 20th officially recognized State Chapter of ASLA in 1972, with the first official meeting being held on April 6, 1973. Currently, the Indiana Chapter has over 200 members and 70 student affiliates. It ranks approximately 29th (of 47) in size by membership and includes private and public practitioners, scholars, government officials and other diverse practice types. Although none of ASLA’s original eleven members were from the State of Indiana, their spirit is exemplified by the actions of this state organization. Throughout its forty-year history, Indiana’s membership has been recognized as one of the hardest working and highest achieving chapters in the country.

Prior to 1935, ASLA was a single-region organization based mostly in the eastern United States. In 1935 the organization completed its first division, organizing into six regions with sixteen chapters in order to allow landscape architects outside of ASLA’s core eastern cities to have a more regional focus and influence. Indiana was initially part of the Mississippi Valley Chapter. But as the demographics of the profession changed and more practitioners moved into different regions of the country, the boundaries of ASLA’s regional chapters rotated and shifted around the state. Indiana was part of the Cleveland/Southern Ohio Chapter for awhile, and later became part of the Northeast Chapter that included Ohio and Kentucky.

By the late 1960’s, Indiana was an active part of the North Central States Chapter. Its territory included the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana. During that time, Indiana was a section of the chapter, with a local president and local officers. The Section as first led by Jim Browning, then John Lantzius, who would become the moving force in the formation of the Indiana Chapter. In 1968, Minnesota broke off to become a state chapter, and Wisconsin followed in 1970, leaving only Illinois and Indiana in the North Central States Chapter.

Archival documents indicate that in 1971, Indiana had 16 full and associate members, 16 student members and nearly an identical number of non-member practitioners. IN 1972, the North Central States Chapter was dissolved, and Illinois and Indiana became the 19th and 20th State Chapters. John Lantzius, ASLA, a professor at Ball State’s “Program in Landscape Architecture” became INASLA’s first president.


1972 – Indiana Chapter formed with John Lantzius as first President.
1973 – First meeting was held at the Memorial Union on the Purdue University campus.
July 1, 1976 – the Ball State Landscape Architecture Program was given Department status. That year, Ball State graduated 9 seniors and Purdue graduated 23. The profession was continuing to attract interest, and Purdue reported that nearly 190 students were enrolled in their landscape architecture program.
1977 – The first Articles of Incorporation were filed for the Indiana Federation of Landscape Architects. This non-profit group led the unsuccessful licensing effort for Indiana’s landscape architects in 1977.
1978 – The Indiana Federation of Landscape Architects was incorporated to head the registration efforts, and a special workshop strategy was held at the 1978 Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, with ASLA National President Lane Marshall.
1979 – The Ball State ASLA Student Chapter received formal sanction from ASLA.
By 1980, the Indian Chapter was larger than half of the other ASLA chapters around the country.
July 1980 - The INASLA Registration Committee reactivated the Articles of Incorporation for another run at achieving passage of a landscape architecture registration act.
September 1980 - INASLA began re-writing the 1977 title act language and securing a sponsor. Through the efforts of some local members, two sponsors were found in the House of Representatives, and on January 19, 1981 the bill was formally introduced into the House for first reading and assigned to the Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures for further consideration. However, the Chair refused to give it a hearing unless it was reworked in the form of a certification bill. IFLA members refused, and decided to take the legislation to the Senate. There, Senator James Abraham (R) from Anderson sponsored the bill. Mr. Abraham had worked with landscape architects on several projects, and was key in getting the bill passed through the Commerce Committee and the Senate procedures as a Registration of Title Bill.
April 6, 1981 – Indiana Governor Robert Orr signed into law the Landscape Architects Registration Act.
December 1981 – Stan Geda and Gary Bollier were appointed to the Architects Registration Board to represent landscape architects.
September 1982 – INASLA membership reached 100.
November 19-21, 1983 – The Indiana Chapter hosted the 1983 ASLA Annual Meeting: Issues in Design. The meeting was a success, and included focus issues of downtown revitalization, rural heritage, contract in the city, downtown planning and historic preservation.
1984 – Claire Bennett became the first Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects from the Indiana Chapter. She was invested at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Phoenix.
1985 – The big news of 1985 came when the American Institute of Architects issued a position statement against the registration of professionals, such as landscape architects. In their statement, they emphasized that only architects and engineers truly provide for the “health, safety and welfare” of the public and should be the only professions to seal drawings. ASLA and CLARB immediately jumped into action to oppose the statement.
1986 – Gary Bollier was elected Chairman of the Indiana State Board of Registration for Architects, the first landscape architect to do so since the landscape architecture title act was passed.
1988 – At the request of the registration board, the landscape architects began to make “housecleaning” changes to the current legislation and tried to format language that would change the existing title act to a practice act.
1989 – Former INASLA President and Trustee Claire Bennett was elected as President-elect of the national organization. She was the first national president elected from the Indiana membership, and assumed the presidency in 1990.
April 3, 1999 – President George H.W. Bush came to Indianapolis to plant a ceremonial elm tree as part of Indianapolis’ “Trees for Tomorrow” program. Bush and Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut spoke to the crowd on the issue of urban forestry and the increasingly important roles of trees and green space in the global environment. During the ceremony, he planted an American Elm tree that was in the progeny of an elm that John Quincy Adams planted on the south lawn of the White House. INASLA members were involved in the design of Presidential Place, a small urban plaza that hosted the celebration and the presidential tree. The paved plaza depicts the 1821 Indianapolis city plan designed by Alexander Ralson, centered around the ceremonial tree.
1991 – Don Molnar was selected as Indiana’s second Fellow.
1994 – InSite debuted.
1995 – Purdue Landscape Architecture Program celebrated its 30th anniversary.
1997 – Legislative efforts began to upgrade Indiana’s title act to a practice act. During its initial stages, there was much conflict reaching a resolution on how to approach the upgrade. The effort gained consensus when several landscape architect-certified site plans were rejected in late 1997 by the State’s Office of the State Building Commissioner. In response, INASLA directed its Legislative Committee to develop an action plan to address this issue. After several meetings with key agencies, they reported that the current law needed to be upgraded to a practice act. The Indiana Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) was reactivated to lead the licensure efforts in Indiana.
1997 – Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio Chapters jointly nominated Virginia Russell for Fellowship. She was inducted in 1997.
1997 – First INASLA Public Relations Plan, resulting in production of new marketing materials and the chapter’s first web page in 1998.
1998 – At the 1998 ASLA Annual Meeting in Portland, the Indiana Chapter was presented with the 1998 President’s Cup acknowledging the Chapter’s outstanding program in 1998. The award is the highest honor given to chapters by the national organization.
1998 – HB 1680 (landscape architecture practice act) was introduced in the Indiana House of Representatives by Rep. Sheila J. Klinker (D). Because of strong opposition from the Consulting Engineers of Indiana, the bill was tabled, effectively killing it for the current term.
1998 – The Indiana Chapter presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time member Mark M. Holemen, ASLA to recognize his lifelong commitment to the community through philanthropic endeavors, contributions and achievements in the landscape architecture profession.
1999- ASLA Centennial. INASLA selected ten projects as Medallion Landscapes and presented plaques to mayors and communities across Indiana in recognition of this distinction. INASLA developed two significant projects as our 100 Parks, 100 Years Program: The Indiana School for the Blind Monon Trailhead and the Prophetstown State Park Trail Charettes. NASLA also conducted the 100 Years School Tree Planting Program, where members throughout the state made presentations at schools about landscape architecture and planted trees at each school to commemorate the centennial. The chapter held several other special events to mark the centennial. INASLA co-hosted a special Midwest Centennial Celebration in Madison, Wisconsin in April. In May, INASLA sponsored a trip to one of Olmsted’s greatest works, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. And the chapter published a special Centennial Retrospective Book and Membership Directory developed specifically to mark the Centennial. The chapter developed and produced one of the most comprehensive Centennial Programs of any ASLA Chapter.
February 23, 2000 – Senate Bill 244, the Landscape Architecture Practice Act, cleared its final legislative hurdle. Governor Frank O’Bannon signed the bill.
July 1, 2000 – Landscape Architecture practice act becomes law.
September 2001 – Indiana School for the Blind Trailhead project opens to the public.
2000 – C. Edward Curtin elected to the national position of Vice President of Finance for ASLA.
2002 – Indiana School for the Blind Trailhead project receives Monumental Affair Award.
April 2003 – Indiana ASLA Chapter celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the 30 in ’03 Gala in Indianapolis.
April 2003 – Indiana ASLA Chapter celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the 30 in ’03 Gala in Indianapolis. At this gala, C. Edward Curtin, Malcolm Cairns and Bernie Dahl are awarded the inaugural “Claire Bennet Legacy Award” in recognition of their contributions to the state chapter. The Award honors past INASLA and past national ASLA President Claire Bennett.
2004 – C. Edward Curtin and Malcolm Cairns are inducted as Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.
April 2005 – The Indiana Chapter is one of ten chapters to receive special recognition for their programming activities during the first annual ASLA National Landscape Architecture Month.
2007 – Scott Siefker becomes the first Indiana Chapter member to be elected as Chair of the ASLA Chapter President’s Council.
2008 – Bernie Dahl inducted into the Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architect during the ASLA Annual Meeting. 
2010 – Indiana Chapter member Katie Clark elected as Chair of th%MCEPASTEBIN%e ASLA Chapter President’s Council.
October 2010 – David Gorden awarded the INASLA Claire Bennet Legacy Award at the INASLA annual meeting in recognition of his long-time service to the Indiana Chapter.
2010-11 – The Indiana Chapter launches social media campaign and participates in the 08.06.11 Landscape Architecture Public Awareness Day.
Sept 4, 2012 – "Women in the Dirt" National Documentary and Women's Landscape Architecture Panel at the IMA. 120 in Attendance
April 27, 2013 – "Day of Public Service" at Outside the Box
Katie Clark was CPC Chair 2013 or 2014, I believe
2013 – Chapter builds and donates sensory garden during Day of Service at Outside-the-Box, Indianapolis
2013 – INASLA Annual Meeting hosted National VP of Government Affairs Chad Danos
April 2014 – City of Indianapolis Proclamation "Landscape Architecture Month"
2014 – INASLA Annual Meeting hosted ASLA Federal Government Affairs Roxanne Blackwell and Indianapolis Mayor Ballard
October 2014  – Indiana Chapter's 40th Anniversary
2014 – Les Smith, Meg Storrow, and Ron Taylor are awarded the INASLA Claire Bennet Legacy Award at the INASLA annual meeting.
2014  – Jonathon Geels joins the Government Affairs Advisory Committee
2014-2015  – Drew Braley serves on the LAM Committee 
April 8, 2015 – 50th Anniversary of Ball State CAP
April 17th, 2015 – 50th Anniversary Purdue Landscape Architecture
April 2015 – State of Indiana Proclamation "National Landscape Architecture Month"
April 2015 – City of South Bend Resolution recognizing World Landscape Architecture Month
April 2015 – City of Fishers Resolution "Landscape Architecture Month"
April 2015 – City of Elkhart Resolution recognizing World Landscape Architecture Month
2015 – State licensure successfully defended against de-regulation threat. 
2015 – INASLA delegation defeated the Indiana Job Creation Committee's proposal to deregulate landscape architects. Delegates included Joe Blalock (BSU DOLA Chair), Sean Rotar (Purdue DOLA rep), Meg Storrow (Storrow Kinsella), Kevin Osburn (REA), Barth Hendrickson (BDMD), and Jonathon Geels (INASLA Chapter President)
2015 – INASLA hosted the first Midwest Joint Licensure Caucus with representatives from Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, as well as ASLA National President Richard Zweifel and ASLA State Government Affairs Director Julia Lent
2015 – INASLA Annual Meeting hosted National President Richard Zweifel 
October 2015 – Scott Siefker awarded the INASLA Claire Bennet Legacy Award at the INASLA annual meeting.
2015-2016  – David Gordon and April Westcott served on the Public Relations Committee
2015-2016  – Dan Liggett served on the Licensure Committee
April 2016 – State of Indiana Proclamation "World Landscape Architecture Month"
April 12, 2016 – City of Indianapolis  Proclamation "Landscape Architect Day"
April 2016 – City Proclamations for "Landscape Architecture Month" (Mishawaka, South Bend, Valparaiso, West Lafayette, Fishers, Terre Haute)
April 21, 2016 – "10 Parks that Changed America" PBS Documentary National Premier in Indianapolis hosting Senior Producer Dan Protess. 
2016 – ASLA National Advocacy Day held in Indianapolis, IN with 38 delegates from around the country.  Site tours included White River State Park, Georgia Street, the Canal, and the Cultural Trail.
2016 – INASLA Annual Meeting hosted Fishers Mayor Fadness
2016 – Katie Clark awarded the INASLA Claire Bennet Legacy Award at the INASLA annual meeting.
2017 – Sean Rotar serves as the chair of the Education Committee.  Malcom Cairns serves on the committee
2017 – David Gorden serves on the LA CES auditing committee. 

History of Landscape Architecture

The origin of today's profession of landscape architecture can be traced to the early treatments of outdoor space by successive ancient cultures, from Persia and Egypt through Greece and Rome. During the Renaissance, this interest in outdoor space, which had waned during the Middle Ages, was revived with splendid results in Italy and gave rise to ornate villas, and great outdoor piazzas.

These precedents greatly influenced the chateaux and urban gardens of 17th-century France, where landscape architecture and design reached new heights of sophistication and formality. For the first time, the garden designers became well known. Andre le Notre, who designed the gardens at Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, was among the most famous of the early forerunners of today's landscape architects. In the 18th-century, most English "landscape gardeners," such as Lancelot "Capability" Brown, who remodeled the grounds of Blenheim Palace, rejected the geometric emphasis of the French in favor of imitating the forms of nature.

One important exception was Sir Humphrey Repton. He reintroduced formal structure into landscape design with the creation of the first great public park - Victoria Park in London (1845) and Birkenhead Park in Liverpool (1847). In turn, these two parks would greatly influence the development of landscape architecture in the United States and Canada.

Frederick Law Olmsted - "Father of American Landscape Architecture"

The history of the profession in North America is often considered to truly begin with Frederick Law Olmsted, who rejected the name "landscape gardener" in favor of the title of "landscape architect," which he felt better reflected the scope of the profession. In 1863, official use of the designation "landscape architect" by New York's park commissioners marked the symbolic genesis of landscape architecture as a modern design profession.

Olmsted was a pioneer and visionary for the profession. His projects, which illustrate the highest of professional standards, include the design of Central Park in New York with Calvert Vaux in the late 1850's and the U.S. Capitol Grounds in the 1870's. Olmsted and his firm advanced the concept of parks as well-designed, functional, public green spaces amid the grayness of the urban areas.

Early Developments: Late 1800's

In the ensuing years, the profession of landscape architecture broadened. It played a major role in fulfilling the growing national need for well-planned and well-designed urban environments. Urban parks, metropolitan park systems, planned suburban residential enclaves and college campuses were planned and developed in large numbers, climaxing with the City Beautiful movement at the turn of the century.

Although the profession itself grew slowly, its early practitioners such as Olmsted, Vaux and Horace Cleveland were among the first to take part in the town planning movement and to awaken interest in civic design. Olmsted also joined other early landscape architects in working on projects in other urban settings, such as Yosemite Valley and Niagara Falls.

In 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects was founded by 11 people in New York - most of them associated with Olmsted. The Society continued to represent landscape architects throughout the United States. In 1900, Olmsted's son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., organized and taught Harvard University's first course in landscape architecture.

Broadening and Diversifying: The 20th Century

Landscape architecture continued to influence the city beautification and planning movement well into the 20th century, as growing cities used the services of professionally-trained landscape architects. The L'Enfant Plan for the nation's capitol was revived and expanded by the McMillan commission of 1901. Chicago, Cleveland and other cities also used landscape architects to lay out comprehensive development plans.

By the 1920's, urban planning separated from architecture / landscape architecture into a separate profession, with its own degree programs and organizations. Yet, landscape architecture continued to remain a major force in urban planning and urban design.

During and after the Depression, opportunities to design national and state parks, towns, parkways and new urban park systems broadened the profession. The focus of American landscape architecture returned to its roots in public projects - a trend which has continued through today.



Landscape Architecture: A Diverse Profession

A Diverse Profession - What is Landscape Architecture

One of the most diversified of the design professions, landscape architects design the built environment of neighborhoods, towns and cities while also protecting and managing the natural environment.

Members of the profession have a special commitment to improving the quality of life through the best designs. In fact, the work of landscape architects surrounds us. Members of the profession are involved in the planning of such sites as office plazas, public squares, parks, zoos, housing developments and thoroughfares. The attractiveness of these designs reflects the skill of landscape architects in planning and designing the construction.

From coast to coast, in every region of the world, examples of the landscape architecture profession can be found. Many landscape architects are involved in small projects, such as developing plans for a new city park or site plans for an office building. Other members of the profession have contributed their expertise to large scale projects such as the:

Preservation of Yosemite Park and Niagara Falls 
Management plan for the Alaskan Maritime National Wildlife Refuge 
Design of the U.S. Capitol Grounds 
Design of the Mount Royal Park in Montreal, Quebec 
Development of Stanford University site 
Creation of Boston's "emerald necklace" of green spaces tying city to suburbs 
Plans for Baltimore's park system and Inner Harbor area 
Design of "new towns" such as Columbia, Maryland, and Reston, Virginia 
Landfill reclamation for Fresh Kills in New York and Dyer in Florida 
Plans for Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California 
Sursum Cordan Affordable Housing, Washington D.C. 
Design for water treatment and park facility in Hillsboro, Oregon 
Master plan for King Saudi University in Saudi Arabia 
Restoration of Maryland's landscape along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway

Depending on the scope of the project for clients, landscape architects may plan the entire arrangement of a site, including the location of buildings, grading, stormwater management, construction, and planting. They may also coordinate teams of design, construction, and contracting professionals.

Already, federal and state government agencies, including the National Park Service and most local park planning boards, employ a large number of landscape architects. More and more private developers also now realize that the services of a landscape architect are an integral part of maximizing their projects' success and profitability.

Profession in Practice

The landscape architecture profession of today is too broad, and the projects too varied, to be described in a few simple terms. A variety of often interwoven specializations exist within the profession, including the following:

Landscape Design
Landscape design, the historical core of the profession, is concerned with detailed outdoor space design for residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and public spaces. It involves the treatment of a site as art, the balance of hard and soft surfaces in outdoor and indoor spaces, the selection of construction and plant materials, infrastructure such as irrigation, and the preparation of detailed construction plans and documents.

Site Planning
Site Planning focuses on the physical design and arrangement of built and natural elements of a land parcel. A site planning project can involve designing the land for a single house, an office park of shopping center, or an entire residential community. More specifically, site design involves the orderly, efficient, aesthetic and ecologically sensitive integration of man-made objects with a site's natural features including topography, vegetation, drainage, water, wildlife and climate. Sensitive design produces development that minimizes both environmental impacts and project costs and add value to a site.

Urban/Town Planning
Urban/Town Planning deals with designing and planning cities and towns. Urban planners use zoning techniques and regulations, master plans, conceptual plans, land use studies and other methods to set the layout and organization of urban areas. This field also involves "urban design" the development of mostly open, public spaces, such as plazas and streetscapes.

Regional Landscape Planning
With the rise of the public's environmental awareness over the last three decades, Regional Landscape Planning has emerged as a major area of practice for many landscape architects. It merges landscape architecture with environmental planning. In this field, landscape architects deal with the full spectrum of planning and managing land and water, including natural resource surveys, preparation of environmental impact statements, visual analysis, landscape reclamation and coastal zone management.

Park and Recreation Planning
Park and Recreation Planning involves creating or redesigning parks and recreational areas in cities, suburban and rural areas. Landscape architects also develop plans for large natural areas as part of national park, forest, and wildlife refuge systems.

Land Development Planning
Land Development Planning can be on large-scale, multi-acre parcels of undeveloped land or smaller scale sites in urban, rural and historic areas. It provides a bridge between policy planning and individual development projects. Landscape architects working in this area require a knowledge of real estate economics and development regulations, as well as understanding the physical constraints of developing and working with the land. The challenge is to integrate economic factors with good design and thus create quality environments. Due to the blending of expertise, landscape architects are often selected to head multi-disciplinary design teams.

Ecological Planning and Design
Ecological Planning and Design studies the interaction between people and the natural environment. It is concerned with interpretation, analysis, and formulation of design policies, guidelines and plans, to ensure the quality of the environment. This specialization includes, but is not limited to, analytical evaluations of the land and focuses on the suitability of a site for development. It requires specific knowledge of environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, Federal wetlands regulations, etc. This specialization also encompasses highway design and planning.

Historic Preservation and Reclamation
Historic Preservation and Reclamation of sites such as parks, gardens, grounds, waterfronts, and wetlands involves increasing the number of landscape architects as growing populations lead to additional development. This field may involve preservation on a site in relatively static condition, conservation of a site as part of a larger area of historic importance, restoration of a site to a given date or quality, and renovation of a site for ongoing or new use. Landscape architects often participate from the research through the actual restoration stage.

The Profession in Practice
Social and Behavioral Aspects of Landscape Design focuses on the human dimension of design, such as designing for the special needs of the elderly or the disabled. This field requires advanced training in social sciences, such as behavioral psychology, sociology, anthropology and economics. Areas of study include design evaluation of existing environments, environmental perceptions, and effects of environments of people.

The Profession of the Future

The years ahead promise new developments and challenges to the ever-broadening profession. As environmental concerns become increasingly important, landscape architects are being called upon to help solve complex problems. Rural concerns are attracting landscape architects to farmland preservation, small town revitalization, landscape preservation, and energy resource development and conservation. Advances in technology have opened the field of computerized design and land reclamation has become a major new area of emphasis.

Landscape architects have even begun to use their skill within indoor environments (e.g. atriums) and enclosed pedestrian spaces have been incorporated into commercial development projects. From southern California to the Maine coast, the names of landscape architecture firms appear on signs heralding future developments, as more people seek the expertise and services of the profession.

The future also promises increased cooperation among landscape architects and other design professionals. As interest continues to grow, students are studying the profession in increasing numbers. Nearly 60 universities and colleges in the United States now offer accredited baccalaureate and post-graduate programs in landscape architecture. Forty-five states license landscape architects. Headquartered today in Washington D.C., the American Society of Landscape Architects has grown to nearly 12,000 members in 46 chapters.

The profession continues to evolve as it meets the challenges of a society interested in improving both its quality of life and wise use of the land. Today, landscape architects are shaping the future of our world.