January 2020 Print

President's Message

Wisconsin Chapter Members,

It’s a new year and new decade! From everyone at WI ASLA we hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday season and wish you success in achieving all your resolutions. 

We hope that one such resolution is continuing your journey being the best landscape architect you can be!  There are 10 ideas to  help you get a head start:

  1. Recruit one member to join ASLA
  2. Talk with your firm about supporting your membership
  3. Talk with colleagues about the value of membership
  4. Volunteer with the chapter, start small with a project or event
  5. Submit a project award (due January 10th!)
  6. Mentor a younger Landscape Architect
  7. Educate the public and the next generation on what landscape architecture is
  8. Advocate for the profession and licensure for the health, safety and welfare of the public
  9. Get involved in projects that improve our communities and the health of our environment
  10. Continue to learn, attend the WI ASLA spring conference!

This is 2020,


Sarah McDonald, PLA, ASLA

Wisconsin Chapter President

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2020 WI ASLA Spring Conference


February 19th & 20th, 2020

Union South, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI



Wisconsin Union Hotel at Union South
1308 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI 53715
1-608-263-2600 (Ask for Group Rate)
Group Name: American Society of Landscape Architects
Group Code: ASLA2020

Best Western Plus Inn Towner Madison
2424 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53726
1-608-233-1651 (ask for group rate)
Group Name: American Society of Landscape Architects
Group ID #: 979-1

For all conference information, please see


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Featured Keynote Speakers

WI ASLA 50 & Forward is the theme of the February 19 & 20, 2020 WI ASLA Conference.  We are celebrating 50 years since WI ASLA became its own chapter in 1970, previously part of a larger group.  We are excited to be featuring three keynote speakers:

Dennis R. Nola, PLA, ASLA

“Can Landscape Architects Save the World and Uplift the Human Spirit?”

This talk explores the historic need and development of the EPA, its relevance to resilience and sustainability, the educational and informative products, services, and programs of ASLA, and the need for membership as a methodology of protecting and promoting our passion.

Dennis is the Chair of the Landscape Architecture Undergraduate Program in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland. His teaching focus, over the past 35 years, is conservation and environmental based site planning and urban agriculture. He teaches two study abroad courses in Italy and New Zealand. Dennis volunteers his professional services in an under-served community as President of the board of directors of their community development corporation.  He also maintains a consulting practice and is the Vice President of ASLA for Membership.

Thomas Rainer, ASLA

“Rebuilding Abundance: A Designer’s Guide to Developing Dynamic Plant Communities”

This talk presents a powerful alternative to traditional horticulture—designed plantings that function like naturally-occurring plant communities. Learn how plants fit together in nature and how to use this knowledge to create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful, and diverse. As practical as it is inspiring, this talk explores a new synthesis of ecology and horticulture--resulting in an intentionally designed and managed community where population dynamics are encouraged.

Thomas Rainer is a landscape architect, teacher, and author living in Arlington, Virginia. Thomas, a leading voice in ecological planting design, has designed landscapes for the Philadelphia Airport, the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, as well as over 100 gardens from Maine to Florida. He is a celebrated public speaker who has garnered acclaim for his passionate presentations to audiences across the U.S. and in Europe. 

James Edward Mills

James Edward Mills is a journalist and media producer. He specializes in stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. He has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, and writer. Learn more about him at www.joytripproject.com.

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WI ASLA Spring Conference Mobile App Coming Soon!

As part of the 50 & Forward celebration we will be integrating a NEW mobile app for the 2020 conference to better serve our conference attendees and connect them with sponsors, vendors, and speakers. The conference agenda and all conference resources will be available right at your fingertips so you can get the most out of this annual event and help WI ALSA reduce our paper consumption for this event. 

Registered attendees will receive an email prior to the conference with these instructions to Download the Whova App:

Search "Whova" in the App Store on your iPhone or in Google Play on your Android phone.

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Awards Jury Volunteers Needed!

WI ASLA is looking for a few volunteers to help jury the Kentucky ASLA Awards for this year.  Tentative first jury meeting would be on January 21st or 22nd, location TBD.  The time commitment would include this first meeting and then a second meeting to actually judge the entries, which will take about two hours to complete.

If you are interested, or know someone else who is, please contact Alex Thill at [email protected]

Thank you!

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HALS Challenge 2020

The 2020 Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge to document “Vanishing or Lost Landscapes” has been issued! Entries are due July 31st, so start thinking now about special historic Wisconsin places that have been forgotten or neglected; threatened by development pressure or a changing climate. Questions, ideas, or considering an entry to the Challenge? Contact WI ASLA HALS Liaison, Megan Turner, at [email protected] .

Look for more HALS resources and more ways to get involved in the next newsletter. 

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Did you Know? Member benefits

Happy 2020, it's the start of a new year and a new decade. Now is a great time to join ASLA, renew your membership, and encourage others to join. ASLA Membership is more than just a monthly copy of LAM magazine. There are many benefits of being an ASLA member, make sure you are getting the most out of your membership by checking them out here: https://www.asla.org/benefits.aspx

Being a WI ASLA member also offers lots of benefits including reduced rates for the State Spring Conference in Madison, WI on February 19 & 20, https://WI ASLA.com/Spring_Conference.

Happy New Year!

Alex DeSmidt
WI ASLA Chapter Membership Chair

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35 Years
Michael Jones
25 Years
Joel Minkoff,             General Beverage Sales Company
20 Years
Michael Repyak        International Mountain Bike Association
10 Years
Chris Miracle            LandWorks Landscape Services

Know anyone celebrating a career milestone? Let us know at
[email protected]

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Featured Platinum Sponsor

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