UPDATE(d) Newsletter

ASLA Emerging Professionals Firm Visit – with John Pearson of O|CB, The Office of Cheryl Barton

Visit write-up by Paul Dillingham

As part of ASLA-NCC’s Emerging Professionals program, a group of  approximately 20 students and practitioners visited the Office of Cheryl Barton in San Francisco on February 20 from 6:30-8 pm. To give an overview of the design and green urbanism practices of O|CB,  Associate John Pearson took visitors through informal presentations of several current projects. Afterwards John answered questions relating to his own decision to become a landscape architect; his interests and motivations; what he thinks of the future of the profession; the importance of sharing ideas with other professionals; and career decisions for other young professionals. Attendees discussed how a small office works on a daily basis; how to balance productivity, scheduling, and career development; and the art [...]

LARE Prep Classes: Section 4

Date/Time:  June 20-22, 2014  8:30 am-6:30 pm


This workshop covers exam background, grading & drainage skills applicable to the LARE, interpretation and use of third party information, construction document drawings and specifications, sedimentation and erosion control, stormwater management, irrigation systems, and the use and detailing of construction materials. 455 page syllabus. 185 practice questions.

Our classes have attracted over 2000 students from 46 states, 5 Canadian Provinces, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The classes cover exam formats, tips and tricks, and feature programmed instruction focusing on developing the skills needed to solve every known type of technical task required on these sections of the LARE.

The format of the classes are lecture, short tests, and question and answer.

 LaQuinta Inn, 920 University Avenue, Berkeley, [...]

LARE Prep Classes: Sections 1 & 2

Date/Time:  June 7-8, 2014  8:30 am-6:00 pm

This workshop covers exam background, project management, contracts, construction administration, construction law, inventory and analysis, programming, ordinances and codes. 285 page syllabus. 215 practice questions.

 LaQuinta Inn, 920 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA  94710

Ray Freeman ASLA, CPESC 413,  RLA CA 3722, MA 928, NC 356

Cost:  Through 5/28 $350; After 5/28: $375

Freeman & Jewell Landscape Architecture
Phone Number: 510-528-0375
Email Address:

More information: Send e-mail to above address



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2014 State Legislative Bills of Interest

AB 793  (Gray D)

Renewable energy: publicly owned electric utility: hydroelectric generation facility.

 Current Text: Amended: 7/9/2013 pdf 

 Status: 9/13/2013-Failed Deadline pursuant to Rule 61(a)(14). (Last location was INACTIVE FILE on 9/3/2013)

 Is Urgency: N

 Location: 9/13/2013-S. 2 YEAR

 Summary: The California Renewables Portfolio Standard Program, referred to as the RPS program, requires a retail seller of electricity, as defined, and local publicly owned electric utilities to purchase specified minimum quantities of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources, as defined, for specified compliance periods, sufficient to ensure that the procurement of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources achieves 20% of retail sales for the period from January 1, 2011, to [...]

Fire Ecosystem Forest Management & Water Yield Symposium

May 2, 2014 – 9 AM – 4:30 PM 

USFS Wildland Fire Training Center, McClellan, CA 



Water yield and Sierra forest management has emerged as a critical issue. Severe drought, increasingly massive fire incidents, fuel loaded forests, and climate change trends combined have forced re-evaluation of watershed forest management methods to increase water supply (and power production), protect forests from catastrophic fires, and build resilience to climate change effects.

Decision-makers, project implementers, water and power managers, researchers, and all stakeholders who want to know the science and economics of healthy forest and water reliability. The Fire Ecosystem Forest Management and Water Yield Symposium presents the current facts and issues from the leading researchers, economists, and demonstration project managers.

Symposium Themes and [...]

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An Evening of Conversation with Peter Walker

Landscape architect Peter Walker’s decades-long career includes enough professional highlights to fill several careers, among them the 9/11 Memorial in New York.  How he as an landscape architect translates a patron’s vision – whether a garden for a great art collector’s sculpture or a hallowed place for remembrance and reflection – will be among the subjects covered in a West Coast legacy lecture/interview with Walker by Charles A. Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation.  How did Dan Kiley influence Walker, especially Kiley’s Miller Garden in Columbus, IN? What does Walker consider his signature achievements and impact on the profession? And what are his views about the future of his projects, given the existing threats to some of [...]

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ASLA News, Design, Events


AIA San Francisco, January 23, 2014
Review by Paul Dillingham 

In this lecture, three local designers presented their experiences and perspectives on the use of concrete in shaping the historic and present-day landscape.

Gary Strang, Architect and Landscape Architect, GLS Landscape|Architecture observed how landscape architecture commissions are shifting from suburban projects to urban infrastructure projects, such as the Seattle Art Museum, that require intense design and engineering. He noted that just as Corbusier looked to the design of machines to see the future of architecture, we must look to our grand infrastructure projects to see the future of landscape architecture. According to Strang, the principle role of the designer is to find ways to apply the lessons of infrastructural design to site scale [...]

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Columns, Perspectives

An Interview with Betsy Flack

Betsy Flack feels her landscape practice has come full circle. She says: My early study of biology, native plants, horticulture, garden design and preservation, and landscape architecture led me to a three-prong career in professional gardening and contracting, landscape architecture, and public garden education. Today, I feel that I am back where I am supposed to be after many years of preparation— and that is back in the dirt, beginning a 20-year plan for restoring a California grassland/prairie in Sonoma County.

By Melissa Erikson 


How did you first get involved in landscape architecture?

As a child, I was surrounded by art and theater and by adults who talked about their work. My University of Texas professor parents introduced me to mountains, cemeteries, [...]

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ADA and Inclusive Design, Design

Sensory Diets in Outdoor Play Environments

The following article has been reposted with permission from LAND Connections, O’Dell Engineering’s monthly e-newsletter authored by Chad Kennedy, ASLA.

During a recent trip to the sunny beaches of San Diego, California I watched my three children closely as they interacted with the salty ocean water and the silky smooth sand. I am constantly amazed at the differences between each of them and their distinct individual actions at the beach were no surprise. The oldest, methodically traveled the beach, fascinated with the textures and colors of the many seashells and with the spongy qualities of the sand as evidenced in the depth of her footprints. The middle child was timid and tiptoed across the sand trying, futile as it [...]

Rare Napa Valley Landscape by Pioneering Modernist Thomas Church Under Threat

Letters of support are needed immediately

William Cole Vineyards, St Helena, CA

By Pam-Anela Messenger
Published February 14, 2014

William Cole Vineyard, photo by Pam-Anela Messenger.
Napa Valley’s William Cole Vineyards, owned since 1999 by Bill and Jane Ballentine, includes landscape and gardens designed by the great Modernist landscape architect Thomas Church. For safety reasons, local officials are now requiring the Ballentines to widen the Church-designed service road – a move fire code consultants, engineers and preservationists say is unnecessary – or they will shut the winery down.


How to Help

Unless the county’s proposed 20-foot-wide driveway is built by February 17th, the winery will be shut down.

Letters in support of preserving the garden should be emailed immediately to:

Brad Wagenknecht –
Mark [...]