January 2021 Print

President's Message

Wisconsin Chapter Members,

What a year. A difficult year filled with illness, pain, suffering, loss, sadness, discomfort, stress, anxiety, fear, frustration and even anger. A year that forced us to adapt, stay home, slow down, take a stand, make our voice heard (VOTE!) and remind ourselves of what is truly important.

The silver lining from this dumpster fire of a year, is that if you are reading this you have adapted, you have overcome and you have survived, despite all of the challenges you faced.  While 2020 is in the rear view, we have entered the new year with that dumpster fire still burning and we must continue our efforts to extinguish it before we can truly put it behind us. 

The pandemic has forced WI ASLA to adapt, just as each of us have done in our own lives. We are faced with many uncertainties in the year ahead but feel we have a solid plan for 2021. Some of the changes, like our committee reorganization have already been instituted, with others in the works and yet to come!

Whatever we will face in 2021, 2020 has made us stronger and more prepared.  May the New Year bring us all lots of love, happiness, health, and blessings.

Happy New Year!


Sarah McDonald, PLA, ASLA
Wisconsin Chapter President

Committee News


The team is working on finalizing our new sponsorship menu and getting started on planning CEU opportunities for our members.  Due to the pandemic we will not be hosting a spring conference this year as we have traditionally done in the past. We will be exploring how we can safely explore in person field sessions that are outside in the summer months. If you are a Sponsor, or would like to become one, and would like to see what sponsorship opportunities are available for 2021, please reach out to Kristi Sherfinski  ([email protected]) to schedule a phone call with one of our Board Members.


Thank you to all the volunteers who signed up for the mentorship program! Be on the lookout for a meeting announcement to get started in the spring semester.


Make sure to submit your projects for WI ASLA Awards!

Getting Involved

Do you want to shape the future of WIASLA? WIASLA has an ongoing Call for 2020-2021 Committee and Activity Volunteers. We need to fill out all our committees with members. Unsure what each committee does? Here is a short summary of what we need.

  • Plan awesome field sessions and tours in the summer of 2021!


  • Use your passion for the profession and ASLA to promote membership of ASLA and WI ASLA Chapter involvement.
  • Demonstrate the value of membership to members and prospective members, including firms/ employers.
  • Organize social events throughout the year, including social hours, spring conference/field session activities, vendor presentations, tours etc.


  • Identify threats to licensure and educate policy makers on what we do as Landscape Architects to help protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Get experience working alongside our lobbyist.
  • Develop graphic and content development to communicate with members and the public for our newsletter, website and social media platforms.
  • Advertise for nominees, judge other chapter awards, produce announcements, and organize awards presentations

Honors and Awards

Professional and Recognition award entries will be due on March 5, 2021.  The call for awards will be coming out later this month.  If you have questions, please email Alex Thill at [email protected].

Historic American Landscape (HALS) News

Way to go Wisconsin!
This year the chapter submitted 2 entries out of the 27 submitted from 11 different states for the 2020 HALS Challenge, Vanishing or Lost Landscapes.  One of our home state entries, “Henry Schumacher Farm,” by Megan Turner (with photographs by Rona Neri) won 3rd place in this annual writing competition.
The 2021 Challenge theme announced!
Titled Historic Black Landscapes, the 2021 HALS Challenge is to document Black cultural landscapes in Wisconsin.

Visit The Field PPN blog post from December 10th to read more about this year’s winners and the 2021 Challenge.

Virtual CEU Credits Available from NDAL

New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL.org), is an ecological landscape design educational organization founded in 1990 by Landscape Designer Larry Weaner. In early 2021, they will hold a live, national series of virtual courses on ecology-based landscapes.

The Professional Programs brochure is here .

**Registration is open, and program sessions will take place from January 4th to March 23rd, 2021.  LACES and other CEUs will be available for people who complete the professional courses.**

ASLA-NY – Women in Landscape: Designing the Bigger Time: Tools for Creating a Gender Just Practice

January 14, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

As landscape architects, we know diversity is essential for healthy ecological systems. Diversity is also vital for landscape architecture practices, and to achieve it requires active intervention. Whether you’re male, female or non-binary, are just starting your career or are firm leader, join the founders of WXLA and Jennifer Reut, Interim Editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine, for a discussion and interactive dialogue about tangible ways to advance gender equity and equality in your landscape architecture practice. This virtual event is open to everyone.


Third Thursday WI ASLA Social Events Are Making A Comeback!

Our Engagement Team is planning virtual social events for 2021 for every Third Thursday of the month.  Different themes, trivia, or discussion topics will be featured at each event.  If you have ideas for themes or topics that you want to see featured, or if you are a Sponsor with an idea that you would like to spearhead, contact Kristi Sherfinski ([email protected]). Stay tuned for registration information for our first event…

Milwaukee County Parks Survey

This is a link to a survey for Milwaukee County Parks. As many of you know, the Parks are underfunded, understaffed and maintenance budgets have been all but gutted. Op Ed: County Parks Are in Great Danger » Urban Milwaukee

Please show your support by filling out the survey if you have the time / interest, and share it with others that may be interested. You do not have to live in Milwaukee County to participate. Thanks.


Have an idea?

Please share ideas on how we can strengthen our community. E-mail us today [email protected]  

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