March 2020 Print

President's Message

What a conference! I don’t know about you but there is something so energizing about meeting with fellow landscape architects, colleagues and catching up with friends. It gives me that burst of renewed energy and reminds me why I became a landscape architect in the first place.

In the days since the WI ASLA Spring Conference I’ve had some time to reflect on what I’ve learned from the keynote speakers and education sessions.

50& Forward celebrated 50 years of:

  • Earth Day
  • Phil Lewis and the E-way
  • The Nelson Institute
  • Environmental Regulation as a result of the Environmental Movement


50& Forward also highlighted some of the environmental issues we face today and some of the exciting things happening around the world in response.

Thomas Rainer taught us how to rebuild abundance and inspired us to create dynamic plant communities. Can you build these techniques into your practice?

Laura Grossenbacher encouraged us to contemplate our morals and ethics.  The question remains, would you leave a note?

Dennis Nola taught us that we all have value and ASLA membership has great value for protecting our passion for landscape architecture. Membership is decreasing at an alarming rate, that should concern all of us about the future of our profession.  I’m all in, are you?!

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes talked about the creation of the Climate Change Task Force and how Wisconsin can emerge as a leader in combating climate change. Landscape Architects can and should get involved in advising the task force on the way forward.

James Edward Mills discussed the inequities of access to nature. A growing, diverse population of people lack exposure to our nation’s public lands, so how can we guarantee that they would be the next generation of stewards to help protect it? I’m inspired to help close the Adventure Gap, are you?

I feel more informed, inspired, and I’m ready to move forward with renewed vigor. How about you?


Sarah McDonald, PLA, ASLA

Wisconsin Chapter President

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Conference Tree

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WI ASLA 50 & FORWARD Conference Thank-yous!

All the attendees!

The conference committee: Alex DeSmidt, Rhonda James, Jackie Jay, Sarah McDonald, Christa Schaefer, Suzanne Vincent, Aaron Williams, Stephanie Wilson

WAM: Doug Stangor, Leslie, Tina, others behind the scenes

Photographer:  Brad Bertram

Wisconsin Union:  Laura Richards, AV crew, Kitchen crew, Maintenance Crew

Silent Auction Donors and Bidders!  Raised $1,385 plus a $500 donation from W. F. Baird & Associates


Winning Bidders



Keynote Speakers:

Education Session Speakers:


WI ASLA Committee Chairs

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2020 WI ASLA Professional Awards

2020 Professional Awards Entrants,

Thank you to all the members that submitted projects for this year’s annual award recognition program. Thank you to our colleagues in the Kentucky Chapter of ASLA, who judged all the award nominations this past month. Listed below are the projects they selected as 2020 Professional Award Winners. Each of the winners were given their certificates at the Awards Banquet during the Spring Conference on February 19th.

2020 WI ASLA Professional Award Recipients:

General Design – Category B

Award of Excellence – Dash Park – Onalaska, Wisconsin


Honor Award – Lake Vista Park – Oak Creek, Wisconsin


Merit Award – Columbia Playfield Renovation – Milwaukee, WI


Merit Award – Sentry Insurance-Office Building – Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Flad Architects

Merit Award – Wauwatosa Village Streetscape Redevelopment – Wauwatosa, WI

Saiki Design

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2020 WI ASLA Recognition Awards

Additionally, this year there were three Recognition Award recipients.  These awards go to individuals who help to enhance the visibility of the profession and Chapter, promote professional ethics, foster environmental stewardship, and promote excellence in and around the field of landscape design and architecture.

This year’s winners are as follows:

Visibility Award – UW Madison Student ASLA Chapter for all their dedication and innovative approach in providing a glimpse into the life of a student during their World Landscape Architecture Month social media campaign. 

Environmental Enhancement Award – Milwaukee Public Schools for their passion and dedication to the Greener Healthier Schools Program that is focused on increasing biodiversity and education through the reclamation of asphalt playgrounds, while helping to mitigate the amount of stormwater runoff entering the Lake Michigan watershed.

Life Achievement Award – Brenda Williams for her endless passion within the profession of landscape architecture.  For over 30 years, Brenda has advanced professional practice by championing inclusion within process and diversity in solutions; widening the landscape architect’s role in community engagement processes to extend the relevance, excellence, and vitality of the profession.

Please congratulate all of this year’s winners as they continue to push the profession forward, and showcase all the great things happening in the State of Wisconsin.

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