American Society of Landscape Architects
Northern California Chapter



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UCB Student Awards

By Carmen Erasmus

Pablo Alfaro, Micaela Bazo, Kushal Lachhwani, and Anna Thompson.



The 2016 ASLA-NCC student awards were presented by Carmen Erasmus at UC Berkeley’s Reception for Graduating LAEP students at Blake Garden on Sunday, May 15. Earlier this month Elizabeth Boults and Dave Mitchell judged the students’ work and found it to be of exceptional quality, resulting in all nominees receiving the Certificate of Honor which is the highest award.

The graduate student winners are: Pablo Alfaro, Micaela Bazo, Kushal Lachhwani, and Anna Thompson.  The undergraduate winners are Mariana Ricker and Alexa Vaughn.  Congratulations to all!

Carmen Erasmus, Mariana Ricker and Alexa Vaughn

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“I Advocate,” 2016

“I Advocate,” 2016

Submitted by Elizabeth Boults, ASLA

On May 19, 2016, four representatives from the Northern California Chapter participated in ASLA Advocacy Day in Washington DC.  Marybeth Harasz, Amy Cupples, Joanna Salem, and Elizabeth Boults joined hundreds of other ASLA members who met with their House and Senate officials to promote our profession and ask for support of legislation critical to landscape architecture practice. Well-informed with talking points and infographics prepared by ASLA’s government affairs team, we specifically discussed the need to fund the National Parks centennial challenge and promote Resilient Streets initiatives by opposing any amendments or bills that limit green infrastructure in transportation projects. Scoring over 15,000 steps on our pedometers, it was an empowering and rewarding day on […]

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ASLA-NCC, Events

North Beach Sketch Crawl

By April Philips, FASLA

On an unusual rainy Saturday in May a group of intrepid urban sketchers met in Washington Square, umbrellas and sketchbooks in hand, to participate in an afternoon of on location sketching and café hopping.  Led by drawing champions Chip Sullivan and Jim Richards with a little assist from myself, April Philips, the group explored the treasures and iconic places of this charming San Francisco neighborhood.

Chip led off the afternoon expedition with funny historical anecdotes and his curated map of North Beach that highlighted places to consider drawing. City Lights, Vesuvio’s, The Condor Club, Zoetrope Studios, Jack Kerouac, and Mario’s Cigar Bar were just the tip of the iceberg in this charming […]

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Indemnity Bill Showing Success in California Legislature

By Jon Wreschinsky, CCASLA Delegate

As reported in the last newsletter article, CCASLA has been working with our allied design professional organizations in support of passage of Senate Bill 885 (Wolk) – Construction contracts: indemnity. To refresh your memory, the Bill as currently proposed would specify, for construction contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2017, that a design professional, as defined, only has the duty to defend claims that arise out of, or pertain or relate to, negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct of the design professional. Under the bill, a design professional would not have a duty to defend claims against any other person or entity arising from a construction project, except that person or entity’s reasonable defense costs […]

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California Council of ASLA Sacramento meeting

On April 25, 2016, members of the California Council of ASLA gathered in Sacramento for a one-day retreat.  Director John Nicolaus, representing the Sierra Chapter, hosted the meeting at the Sacramento headquarters of Wood Rodgers.

CCASLA Board of Directors 2015-16.  From Left, John Nicolaus (Sierra), Cathy Blake (N California), Chiye Azuma (N California), Jon Wreschinsky (San Diego), Jerry Hastings (S California), Mike Scheele (Sierra).  Missing: Mike Nichols (San Diego) and Jim Pickel (S California).

With President Chiye Azuma of the Northern California Chapter presiding, Executive Director Tracy Morgan Hollingworth and CCASLA Board of Directors representing all four California Chapters welcomed Terri Thomas, CCASLA’s legislative advocate in Sacramento, and Trish Rodriguez, LATC’s Program Manager, to the meeting and heard legislative reports and program […]

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2016 State Legislative Bills of Interest

AB 1142 (Gray) Mining and Reclamation            Watch  Chaptered 4.18.16

AB 1142
(Gray D)   Mining and geology: surface mining.

Current Text: Chaptered: 4/18/2016   pdf   html

Status: 4/18/2016-Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 7, Statutes of 2016.

Is Urgency: N

Location: 4/18/2016-A. CHAPTERED

Summary:  The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 prohibits a person, with exceptions, from conducting surface mining operations unless, among other things, a permit is obtained from, a specified reclamation plan is submitted to and approved by, and financial assurances for reclamation have been approved by the lead agency for the operation of the surface mining operation. This bill would revise and recast provisions of the act related to the approval of reclamation plans and, among other things, would require a reclamation plan filed by an operator of […]

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Help Plant Street Trees and School Yards with Oakland’s Sierra Club Tree Team

by Derek Schubert, ASLA, Coordinator of the Sierra Club Tree Team

Thanks to our volunteers, the Sierra Club Tree Team has planted around 300 trees in Oakland since mid-November, and roughly 1,500 trees in total since 2010. We hope you can join us. We’ll provide the shovels, gloves, and other tools and supplies.

When: Most Saturdays at 9am, and some Sundays, and even the occasional weekday. Join us as often as your schedule allows it. Please be on time so you can get our orientation and safety-briefing.

Where: We usually meet at our staging area in Fruitvale (Epic School, 1122 29th Avenue, southeast side of the street between East 12th Street and the railroad tracks), but if we’re planting in […]

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David Mitchell – Advocate and Activist for California’s Landscape Architects

On April 21st, 2016 at the ASLA-NCC Annual Meeting and Awards Gala, David Mitchell was awarded the ASLA-NCC Special Recognition Award for Continuous and Dedicated Membership. Dave served for 23 years as a member of the Northern California Chapter’s Executive Committee beginning his tenure in the early 1990’s as the South Bay Section Chair. In 1995, he was elected as PresidentElect to the Northern California Chapter and served as the Chapter President in 1996‐1997 after which he moved on to serve on the CCASLA Committee representing the Northern California Chapter.

But Dave has not only served on the ASLA-NCC Executive Committee, he has also continuously represented California’s Landscape Architects again and again during his tenure beginning in the […]

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Little Less Conversation, Little More Action (Please) by Jan Merryweather

by Jan Merryweather, PlantRight

I saw Elvis today.

Actually, he’s quite the regular at Sustainable Conservation’s San Francisco headquarters these days. More than a titan among musical icons “The King” has become a muse to the PlantRight team, especially this National Invasive Species Awareness Week . We love Elvis’ “A Little Less Conversation” because it might as well be our theme song for actionable awareness. We can’t guarantee you’ll be dancing along by the end of this article, but we do guarantee providing you with a few awareness-raising resources, a deeper understanding of what’s holding back the hold-outs from taking positive action, and most importantly what we can do about it.

PlantRight defines “actionable awareness” as what happens when individuals […]

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What Have You Done For Me Lately?

The Executive Committee of the NCC volunteers spend their time working on behalf of our members, often behind the scenes with little fanfare. We spend our time organizing lectures and events, ensuring fiscal health and advocating for landscape architects locally and at the State level.  Our key goals are to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship. In our busy professional lives it’s nice to take time out to connect with colleagues by volunteering or attending events.

We are sometimes asked about the value of membership – what do we really get for our dues? It’s important to remember that ASLA is the only professional organization effectively representing landscape architects with policy makers and the public.  There are a […]

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