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, [...]

Comments Off By Category:

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Comments Off By Category:

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


Comments Off By Category:
Events, Sustainability

Green Fire – Screening

- by Katrina Majewski

Aldo Leopold famously said, “There are two things that interest me; the relationship of people to each other and the relationship of people to land.”  Although Aldo Leopold was not a landscape architect by profession, his actions, beliefs and lifestyle reflect landscape architectural core values.

Previous to attending the ASLA film screening of the Green Fire  documentary at the AIA building in San Francisco, on June 19th, I had only been familiar with Aldo Leopold’s name, and not with his legacy. Anita Bueno, ASLA, and Landscape Architect with the US Forest Service, gave the introduction to Green Fire, providing a summary of the US Forest Service and also Aldo Leopold. She explained how Green Fire helps to connect and bridge the [...]

Comments Off By Category:
Don't Grow Crazy, Sustainability

We couldn’t have done it without you!

The following message was received from PlantRight and Sustainable Conservation, recapping the recent awareness and fund-raising campaign to stop a large shipment of Mexican feathergrass before it reached wide distribution.

Our campaign to stop California’s next plant invasion achieved 86% of our financial goal, and we’re pleased to inform you that your generous donations are already hard at work.

Thanks to all our donors, and in collaboration with one of the state’s largest growers, we’ve been able to buy out their remaining Mexican feathergrass inventory that was otherwise bound for 200 garden centers across California. Lest you be curious, all these plants will be properly disposed of in very hot, very large compost heaps. (We’ll have a few photos to share, and a recap, [...]

Convert Your Water-Hungry Lawn to a Drought-Tolerant Landscape

On Thursday, September 18, 2014 at UC Davis, California Native Grasslands Association (CNGA) will be hosting a new workshop focusing on converting lawns to water efficient landscapes. Download the flyer and registration form here or register on the CNGA website .



Comments Off By Category:

SF Giants Night with ASLA-NCC

- by Chiye Azuma

Nearly 150 ASLA-NCC members, friends and sponsors gathered at San Francisco’s AT&T Park on the evening of Monday, July 28th to cheer on the SF Giants against the Pittsburg Pirates.  Thanks to co-chairs James Ingels and Liz Boultz, this event has now become a Chapter tradition in its third successful year with plenty of fun and socializing.

Bob Birkeland, ASLA (Director 2012-2014) and Chris Kent, ASLA (Trustee 2007-2013) at Anchor Plaza

Members of the ASLA-NCC group were treated to a pregame social in Anchor Plaza with classic ball park food and drinks, courtesy of our generous sponsors: Acker-Stone, Calstone, Cold Spring Granite, Ironsmith, Landscape Forms, Miracle Playsystems, Park Pacific, Park West, Tournesol and Victor Stanley.

And curious about the [...]

Comments Off By Category:
ASLA News, Design

Court Rules Designers Owe Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

On July 3, the Supreme Court of California published its decision in Beacon Residential Community Assn. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  In short, the court concluded that prime architects designing residential buildings owe a duty of care to future homeowners even though they do not actually build the projects themselves or exercise ultimate control over their construction.
Of importance, Beacon involved a demurrer at the trial court level meaning that, on appeal, the Supreme Court was required to accept the facts pled in the plaintiff’s amended complaint as true.  This included the allegation that the Beacon project’s designers provided their services “knowing that the finished construction would be sold as condominiums.”  It also was claimed that the defendants played an active role throughout the construction [...]