ACE Mentoring seeking Landscape Architects

ACE Mentoring is looking for Landscape Architects/Designers to join their teams in the coming school year, beginning in October. This is a great opportunity to work on multi-disciplinary projects and to teach highschool students about landscape architecture. Teams usually meet on weekdays between 4-6pm, throughout the Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, but you can discuss your individual schedule requirements with team leaders once you are placed.
Please contact ASLA NY Education Chair, Alison Duncan, at [email protected] for more information.
For more information regarding ACE Mentoring in NYC: 

Success for Landscape Architects at the New York City Department of Buildings



Difficulty achieving project approvals from the Department of Buildings has been an on-going challenge for landscape architects. Most department officials only focus on buildings – after all that’s the name of their agency. But in the spring of 2011, Landscape Architects began experiencing absolute road blocks at the agency. To gain DOB approval Landscape Architects had to pay an architect or engineer to sign and seal their landscape drawings and forms. This was even necessary when the landscape architect was the prime consultant on the project.

That practice will finally come to an end on October 1, 2014. After a concerted effort by the ASLA-NY DOB Task Force, the DOB added language to the latest revision to the building code that included a definition of landscape architect and a reference to the professional licensing of our profession including the land development tasks we perform. This was codified in Local Law 141 of 2013 (see excerpt below) which, in one of his last acts as mayor, Michael Bloomberg signed into law.

Landscape Architects will be allowed to submit forms and specific plans based on the clause below (you can download the complete document here:  Local Law 141 of 2013)

This outcome is a direct result of the advocacy work of ASLA-NY. Our local chapter mobilized both members and non-members alike to volunteer their time to effect positive change for our profession. The effort lasted nearly 3 years, culminating in the Task Force Chair, Adrian Smith ASLA testifying before the New York City Council. Other task force members were in the audience ready to testify and still others came to the hearing but were turned away because the hearing room was too small.

Going forward, Landscape Architects with projects in New York City will have a more streamlined approval process for work that falls under the jurisdiction of the Building Department. For that achievement, gratitude is due the ASLA-NY DOB Task Force:

Adrian Smith ASLA, chair
Elena Brescia ASLA
Terri-Lee Burger ASLA
Isabel Castilla
Susannah Drake FASLA
Sergio Ghiano
Justine Heilner
Michael Koontz ASLA
Kate Larsen Aff. ASLA
Signe Nielsen FASLA
Steven Noone ASLA
Elizabeth Silver
Laura Starr ASLA
Lisa Switkin
Karen Tamir ASLA
Annette Wilkus FASLA
Denisha Williams ASLA
Christian Zimmerman FASLA
We should also recognize that National ASLA Advocacy staff helped facilitate our outreach efforts to members and to members of the New York City Council.


LOCAL LAW 141 OF 2013:

§28-101.5 Definitions

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT. A person licensed and registered to practice the profession of landscape architecture under the Education Law of the State of New York.

§28-104.6 Applicant. The applicant for approval of construction documents shall be the registered design professional who prepared or supervised the preparation of the construction documents on behalf of the owner.

Exception: The applicant may be other than a registered design professional for: 

4. Applications for work falling within the practice of landscape architecture as defined by the New York state education law, including but not limited to landscaping and vegetation plans, tree protection plans, erosion and sedimentation plans, grading and drainage plans, curb cuts, pavement plans, and site plans for urban plazas and parking lots, where the applicant is a landscape architect. Landscape architects shall not file plans for stormwater management and plumbing systems;

§28-104.6.1 Verification of professional qualification required. The department shall not accept construction documents or other documents submitted in connection with applications for construction document approval or work permits under this code by any person representing that he or she is [an architect or engineer] a registered design professional or landscape architect without verifying, by means of lists compiled and made available by the New York state department of education pursuant to paragraph e-1 of subdivision four of section sixty-five hundred seven of the education law, that such person meets the qualifications established by law to practice as an architect or engineer in New York state.

  Adrian Smith is ASLA-NY’s current Trustee and is a past chapter President.


ASLA-NY Applauds National Recognition of its Members

For Immediate Release
New York, June 18, 2014
Contact: Kathy Shea, 212.269.2984 [email protected]
Ryan Kovac, Public Relations Chair, [email protected]

The New York Chapter of the ASLA is proud to recognize its members to be elevated to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2014. The national office of the American Society of Landscape Architects announced on June 17, 2014 that the following members will receive the highest honor bestowed within the profession of landscape architecture for their lasting contribution and professional achievements.

This year’s ASLA-NY member honorees for ASLA Fellow include: Andrew Lavallee, ASLA, of AECOM (NY) and Chris Nolan, ASLA, of the Central Park Conservancy. The designation of Fellow is conferred on individuals in recognition of exceptional accomplishments over a sustained period of time. Eligibility for this honor is limited to full members of ASLA in good standing for at least ten years, who are nominated by representative bodies of the Profession.

As Marc Boddewyn, RLA Vice President Design and Construction Hudson River Park Trust stated in Andrew Lavallee’s fellows nomination, “While [Andrew] is a talented designer, his true skills lie in his ability to envision and enact successful project implementation strategies. He has raised the bar for landscape architectural practice in New York City.”

Michael Bloomberg had this to say about Chris Nolan, “For twenty-five years, Chris has worked to not only preserve the Park’s legacy, but enhance it through innovative planning, design, and reconstruction. His inspired civic design has helped ensure that Central Park remains an international icon.”

Additional Honors to be presented to the following New York-based professionals and organizations are:

Honorary Membership for two prominent New York based figures, as nominated by ASLA-NY. This is the highest honor ASLA may bestow upon non-landscape architects in recognition of notable service to the profession. 2014 Honorary Members include:

Mary Alice Lee serves as the program director for the City Spaces Program at the Trust for Public Land. Through this program, Mary Alice not only teaches students about landscape architecture but to also allows them to put on the hat of a landscape designer through the 10 week program as they design their own playground with a stormwater management focus.

Holly Leicht is the director for New York and New Jersey at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she has played a lead role in the federal government’s ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Holly has long been a well respected voice for park advocacy and is dedicated to elevating the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

The LaGasse Medal to be awarded to Will Rogers, CEO of the Trust for Public Land, as nominated by the NY Chapter. The LaGasse Medal is awarded for contributions to the management and conservation of natural resources and public landscapes.

The Olmsted Medal awarded to former New York City Parks Commissioner and Honorary ASLA member, Adrian Benepe. The Olmsted Medal award recognizes individuals, organizations, agencies, or programs outside the profession of landscape architecture for environmental leadership, vision, and stewardship.

The Medal of Excellence to be received by the Friends of the High Line in recognition of significant contributions to landscape architecture policy, research, education, project planning and design, or a combination of these items.

“It is very exciting to see so many of our deserving partners and friends recognized by the ASLA this year for a range of awards and honors. From the inspiring work accomplished in the New York area to national advocates and thought leaders on parks and open space, all of these awardees elevate and expand the impact of landscape architecture across the country.” – Jeannette Compton, ASLA-NY Chapter President

A complete listing of honorees and further coverage can be found at


About the American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapter
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects. Founded in 1899, the association represents over 15,000 membersand features 49 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The territory of the Chapter encompasses the five boroughs of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties. The Society’s mission is to lead in the planning, design and care of both our natural and built environments. While keeping pace with the ever-changing forces of nature and technology, landscape architects increasingly have a profound impact on the way people live, work and play.


For Immediate Release
New York, June 10, 2014
Contact: Kathy Shea, 212.269.2984 [email protected]

Download Press Release


New York, NY, June 10, 2014 – The New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA-NY) is proud to announce our honorees for the 2014 President’s Dinner Gala. On November 6, 2014, ASLA-NY will host its 100th Anniversary President’s Dinner at Tribeca 360 – an annual event that has grown to include over 400 landscape architects, design professionals, vendors, city officials and partner organizations. Each year our chapter honors individuals and organizations that have contributed to our profession, promoted landscape architecture and urban design and improved the quality of life for New Yorkers and beyond.

Founded in 1914, the New York chapter is the second chapter to be created out of the national ASLA organization. The founding members included the esteemed landscape architects Beatrix Farrand, James Greenleaf, and Ferruccio Vitale. Since the chapter’s inception, New York members have led the nation in urban landscape design and planning.

This year ASLA-NY will honor Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Leslie Koch, President of Trust for Governors Island, and Time Warner Cable News NY1 (TWC News NY1).

Judith Rodin is dedicated to meeting challenges worldwide to build greater resilience for our people and our environment. As president of the Rockefeller Foundation, she has been instrumental in the Rebuild by Design competition process inspiring strong collaborations of landscape architects and designers to develop creative solutions for rebuilding a more resilient waterfront environment. The Rockefeller Foundation is the lead funding partner of Rebuild by Design. Through this competition, the complex role of landscape architects has been exposed in greater capacities, thus providing a better understanding of our profession by fellow designers as well as the general public. Our chapter is proud to say that landscape architects have been a primary driving force behind the winning proposals!

Since taking reins at Governors Island, Leslie Koch has been devoted to transforming the island into a world class destination. Through her diligent planning and redevelopment ideas to bring life back to the abandoned island, a modern new parks and public spaces complement historic structures and public art in a place that is all at once an escape from the busy city but still very much New York. As a result of an International design competition, the new park spaces were reimagined by landscape architects who have created an oasis in the middle of New York harbor. With the recent opening of the first 30 acres of new park and the highly anticipated opening of the next phase, the Hills, along with Governors Island now being open to the public 7 days a week, Leslie has given New Yorkers a piece of modern history that will stand the test of time.

TWC News NY1 has covered many stories involving landscape architects and urban designers including park and playground openings, round-table discussions about park equity and funding, panel discussions about climate change and the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and Rebuild By Design presentations and interviews with team members. Through their broadcasts and videos, New Yorkers have a better understand of landscape architecture and the complexities of our profession.

This year’s honorees will be introduced and presented awards at our President’s Dinner on November 6. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please visit

About our Honorees

Judith Rodin is the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations. Prior to the Rockefeller Foundation, she was the president of the University of Pennsylvania, and provost of Yale University. She was the first woman named to lead an Ivy League Institution and is the first woman to serve as the Rockefeller Foundation’s president in its over 100-year history. Since joining the Foundation in 2005, Dr. Rodin has recalibrated its focus to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Today the Foundation supports and shapes innovations to strengthen resilience to risks and advance inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity. Dr. Rodin is the author of more than 200 academic articles and has written or co-written 14 books and has received 18 honorary degrees and serves as a member of the board for several leading corporations and non-profits including AMR Corporation (formerly), Citigroup, Comcast and the White House Council for Community Solutions. Dr. Rodin also served as Co-Chair of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NYS 2100 Commission. Dr. Rodin is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Ph D. in Psychology from Columbia University.

Leslie Koch is the president of The Trust for Governors Island. Governors Island is a 172 acre island in New York Harbor. Ms. Koch is responsible for the planning, redevelopment and on-going operation of the 150 acres of the Island owned by The Trust. Under her direction since 2006, Governors Island has been transformed from an abandoned military base into a vibrant public space, attracting hundreds of thousands of seasonal visitors and a diverse array of arts and cultural programs. Ms. Koch oversees an ambitious $300 million capital program which is adding 40 new acres of park and bringing the Island’s infrastructure into the 21st century. Ms. Koch is considered a leader in public-private partnerships, attracting new tenants and philanthropic support for the Hills, the centerpiece of the Island’s transformation. Her leadership has received recognition from such organizations as the American Institute of Architects and the Municipal Art Society, among others. Prior to The Trust, Ms. Koch was the CEO of the Fund for Public Schools, the nonprofit organization affiliated with the New York City Department of Education. She increased public participation in education and secured nearly $160 million in private sector support. Ms. Koch previously was an executive at Microsoft. A native New Yorker, she received a BA summa cum laude from Yale College and a MPPM from the Yale School of Management. She lives in Brooklyn.

TWC News NY1 is Time Warner Cable’s 24-hour newschannel in New York City. Available on Time Warner Cable throughout the five boroughs – and in parts of Westchester and Hudson Valley as well as Bergen and Hudson counties in New Jersey – NY1 covers the city with more than 40 full-time reporters. In addition to NY1’s continuous news coverage throughout the day, the news channel features a slate of daily and weekly programs that cover a wide range of New York issues and events. NY1 has covered many events and issues directly related to landscape architecture and urban design, in particular the aftermath of hurricane Sandy and the more resilient rebuilding efforts that have redefined waterfront design.

About ASLA

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the national professional association for landscape architects. Founded in 1899, the association represents over 15,000 members and features 49 professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The New York Chapter, founded in 1914, encompasses the five boroughs of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties. The Society’s mission is to lead in the planning, design and care of both our natural and built environments. While keeping pace with the ever-changing forces of nature and technology, landscape architects increasingly have a profound impact on the way people live, work and play.


New Park at Governors Island Open!

Photo courtesy of West 8

Memorial Day Weekend usually marks the unofficial beginning of summer while also paying tribute to those whose lives were lost while serving our country. This year a blending of these two meanings of Memorial Day was celebrated with the opening of Governors Island and the new park spaces that give new life to the island that once was an army post and now historic national monument. The 172 acre island opened it’s newest public spaces – 30 acres of parkland that includes ballfields, play areas, seating areas, sculpture garden and a hammock grove. The new park space design stemmed from the winning master plan of the landscape architecture firm, West 8, then developed alongside a team of talented design professionals including Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. Siteworks LLC worked along with the LiRo Group/STV, serving as the resident engineering team.

Photo courtesy of West 8

The main features of the new park spaces are:

Liggett Terrace, a sunny, 6 acre plaza with seasonal plantings, plenty of seating to take in the fabulous views, water features and public art;
Hammock Grove, a playful 10 acre space that includes 1,500 new trees, creative play areas and 50 hammocks to relax in;
The Play Lawn, 14 acres for play and relaxation that includes two natural turf ball fields sized for adult softball and Little League baseball – all within view of the Statue of Liberty.


ASLA-NY hosted a sneak-preview of the new park spaces on May 7 with a tour led by Kim Mathews (Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architecture), John Payne and  Brandon Cappellari (both of West 8). See photos below. Richard Alomar was sketching the tour – you can view his sketches here.

Other changes this year include opening Governors Island 7 days a week. Previously the island was only open to the public on the weekends or special events. There is also now a charge to ride the ferry over to the island, but at $2, it is well worth it! The ferry is free 10 AM, 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Manhattan on Saturdays and Sundays and 11 AM and 11:30 AM from Brooklyn on Saturdays and Sundays.

Lead Designer/Prime Consultant: West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.
Consultant Team:
Associate Landscape Architect: Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects Lead Civil Engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates Local Civil Engineer: AKRF Geotechnical Engineer: Hart Crowser Inc. Signage and Wayfinding: Pentagram Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates MEP Engineer: Dagher Associates Soils Consultant: Pine and Swallow Environmental Irrigation Consultants: Northern Designs Code Consultants: Code Consulting Inc. Cost Estimator: Faithful & Gould Operations and Maintenance: ETM Associates Surveyors of Record: Langan

2014 Design Awards now Online!

The winning submissions for the 2014 ASLA-NY Design Awards are now live on our website!

Check out the new Awards format and view images and descriptions in a more user-friendly way:

Now you can view the award winners on a grid, as shown here and you can sort the grid by showing only Honor Awards, only Merit Awards or all awards.

Once on the individual award pages the thumbnail images can be moused over to change image or to view the images in a larger pop-up screen, simply click the image.

All project info is now shown directly on the page including the project team – previously you had to download the PDF to view all info.

We hope you find this new format for viewing awards more appropriate to display the beautiful images and descriptive details as they were meant to be seen. We once again congratulate this year’s award winners and we encourage all designers to submit your best projects for awards next year (request for submissions is usually released in January).


LARE Prep Webinars

The next LARE is coming up– August 18th-30th. These webinars will help you get organized, study for, and conquer these tough exams.

Few people teaching LARE review courses have taken the new format exam, but Cheryl Corson has taken Sections 3 and 4, passing Section 3 (the first time), and Section 4 the second time. She treats her students with respect, and understanding of the challenge of adding test preparation to the responsbilities of adult life. Due to their length, and breadth of topics, each Section’s materials are presented in three pre-recorded webinars, each followed by a live Q&A session.
Passing LARE Section 4

Section 4 tests diverse concepts such as stormwater management, construction methods, grading and drainage, specifications, construction administration, and much more. That’s a lot to study! By focusing on key concepts with the use of strategic study resources and organizing your time, you’ll be efficient and well-equipped for this challenging test.
Passing LARE Section 3

Section 3 tests basic concepts that influence design decisions, and asks how to move a conceptual design forward. With material seeming like common sense or even subjective, Section 3 can seem difficult to study for. But teasing out core concepts and refreshing yourself on design strategies for project types you may not do every day is not only possible, it can be fun.


Registration Fee includes:

  • A link to watch the pre-recorded webinars in preparation for the live Q&A session;
  • A live online hour-long interactive Q&A session to follow each pre-recorded webinar;
  • Recordings of both the pre-recorded webinars and Q&A sessions you may watch any time, as often as you like;
  • A discount code for 25% off CLARB’s sample questions.

Registration Options:

  • $245 for all five webinars plus five corresponding live Q&A sessions (Section 3 and Section 4 series)
  • $145 for all three webinars plus three corresponding live Q&A sessions (Section 3 series or Section 4 series)
  • $110 for any two webinars (plus live Q&A sessions)
  • $55 for any individual webinar (plus live Q&A session)

Click here For more information or to register
Cheryl Corson, RLA, ASLA, is a landscape architect in private practice since 2003. She has taught landscape design, graphic methods, and historic landscapes at The George Washington University and the University of Maryland. She holds an MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She serves on the ASLA LARE Prep sub-committee.
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Here’s a preview of some of the information that will be covered: Land8 Lounge article.