Perspectives: David Nelson, ASLA

- by Chiye Azuma

How did you first get involved in landscape architecture?

When I was five years old my family moved into a new house and I remember my dad would spend the weekends looking for new plants to landscape the yard. My brother and I spent a lot of time helping my dad and he put a lot of thought into whether a plant needed shade or what the drainage was like. I also had a great aunt, Christine Sundine, who we called Aunt Stine, and she was a big influence in our family. She was a  gardener and could point things out, so there was a family connection to gardening. But it was at a family reunion when I […]

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ASLA Leaders E-Express #348

December 3, 2014

Governance and Administration

Staff are continuing to receive great feedback on the Denver annual meeting from attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. Thanks to everyone who contributed to another successful meeting, and special thanks to the Colorado Chapter!

The annual installation of officers was held on November 24, the final day of the 2014 meeting. Newly installed were: President K. Richard “Dick” Zweifel, FASLA; President-Elect Chad D. Danos, FASLA; Finance VP Jeffrey A. Townsend, ASLA; Professional Practice VP Hunter L. Beckham, FASLA; and Membership VP Keith P. Wilson, ASLA (outgoing California Sierra Chapter trustee). Officers continuing their service are: Education VP Kay Williams, FASLA; Government Affairs VP Thomas R. Doolittle, ASLA; and Communications VP Pamela J. Linn, ASLA.  Mark A. Focht, FASLA, […]

Portfolio Review 2014

The Mentorship Committee of the ASLA-Northern California Chapter held a Portfolio Review night on June 11, 2014.  Close to 20 participants signed up to have their work reviewed by a panel of five reviewers, consisting of three landscape architects and two architects.  In addition to the individual reviews and feedback from the panel, the participants received  invaluable advice on the do’s and don’ts of interviewing.  Carolyne Orazi, co-chair of the Mentorship Committee, reported that the participants were very happy with their reviews, noting that it seemed like 30 minutes was not enough time.

President-elect David Nelson, ASLA and Gerald Kawamoto, ASLA, both Principals of MPA Design generously gave their time and shared a list of helpful tips (click on link below) for candidates preparing to interview […]

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ASLA Leaders Express #347

November 12, 2014

Governance and Administration

Due to the annual meeting, the next ASLA Leaders E-Express will be on December 3, and will be the annual conference update issue.

Preparations for the Denver governance meetings are ongoing. The agenda for the Executive Committee meeting posts today.  The subcommittee on ExCom performance met by conference call last week to finalize recommendations for full committee discussion in Denver.

It’s live! The redesigned debuted Thursday with updated styles and footers throughout after a year-long planning and design process, which included input from staff from every department. The home page offers easy access to the latest happenings at ASLA while also allowing users to delve into all the latest news and educational opportunities for members. […]

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ASLA Leaders Express #346

October 29, 2014


Governance and Administration


President Elect Dick Zweifel, FASLA, was one of the speakers at the Southern California Chapter’s bi-annual awards ceremony last week in Long Beach, where he presented the prestigiousAward of Excellence to this year’s recipient.  


The Oregonian ran a feature on the Landscape Architects’ Guide to Portland, Oregon, that included this quote: “At the Oct. 7 launch party at the urban-oasis Lan Su Chinese Garden, Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said, ‘ASLA is one of the secret weapons for livability. The profession blends the built environment with the natural environment. This guide is a visual portrayal of the unique elements that we are so proud of here.’” The guide continues to earn impressive numbers (11,100 pageviews since […]

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Don't Grow Crazy

Saving Water… Saving Wildlands

- by Greg Richardson

California’s drought is popularizing low-water landscaping: lawns are coming out, xeriscaping is going in.

Fortunately, water agencies, nurseries, and garden media are all promoting drought-tolerant plant lists to guide purchasing decisions and reduce water usage. Unfortunately, in this rush for water conservation, invasive plants are creeping onto some of these lists! Maybe you’ve already noticed…

While it is of little surprise that invasive plants are drought-resistant – by definition they can take over without extra fertilizers or irrigation – they pose a serious risk to our state’s natural areas.  Invasive plants are skilled at distributing their seeds and plant material, on cars, in waterways, or by birds and once they do, their damaging impacts are numerous. For example, […]

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2014-15 Executive Committee Welcomes New Members

The Chapter’s Executive Committee held its annual transition dinner and meeting on Tuesday, October 7 at Firenze by Night in San Francisco. Current members of the Executive Committee and Laura Leuer, Chapter Administrator, gave a warm welcome to newly elected members who will be assuming their new duties as of November 11, 2014.


2014-15 Executive Committee

David Nelson, ASLA

Marybeth Harasz, ASLA

Elizabeth Boults, ASLA

Carolyne Orazi, ASLA

Jayson Wood, ASLA

Past-President and CCASLA Delegate
Amy Cupples-Rubiano, ASLA

CCASLA Delegate
Chiye Azuma, ASLA

April Philips, FASLA

Jennifer Cooper, ASLA
Yasmine Farazian, ASLA
Katrina Majewski, ASLA
Jacob […]

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Design, Events

Luciano Giubbilei Lecture Oct 30 at the Presidio

invites you to celebrate

Acclaimed Garden Designer




The Garden Conservancy will be hosting acclaimed Garden Designer Luciano Gubbilei on October 30 in San Francisco. He will give a lecture entitled Creating Atmosphere: the Power of Collaboration, followed by a cocktail reception at the Officers’ Club at the Presidio. To register, follow this link:

LUCIANO GIUBBILEI is known for the understated elegance and timelessness of the gardens he creates. Luciano was born in Siena, Italy, and moved to London in 1994. He studied at the Inchbald School of Design before establishing his own garden design practice in 1997. Luciano has won countless awards including the British Association […]

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ASLA Leaders E-Express Oct, 15, 2014

Governance and Administration

On Wednesday, President Mark A. Focht, FASLA, and Government Affairs Manager Mark Cason attended two meetings at the White House at the invitation of The White House Council on Environmental Quality. The morning featured a roundtable discussion of public and private sector leaders on stormwater green infrastructure.  The afternoon was titled “GreenGov Dialogue on Green Infrastructure,” which provided a forum to share best practices, lessons learned, and results achieved from green infrastructure implementation.  The day provided a high profile platform for landscape architects and ASLA.

On Friday, President Focht participated in the “Innovative Stormwater Infrastructure” day-long symposium organized by the New Mexico ASLA Chapter in Albuquerque.  President Focht shared information on Philadelphia’s “Green City, Clean Waters” program and green infrastructure […]

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Legislative and ASLA Updates

AB 2282 Gatto: An act to add sections to the building standards in the Health and Safety Code related to recycled water systems. (view pdf  – Senate Amendment, August 5, 2014)
A Letter from Governor Jerry Brown on his No-Frills, No-Pork Water Bond and Water Action Plan.
 July 2014 Legislative Updates
News from ASLA National:  Leaders E-Express #337 June 2014#338 July 2014