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Thank You for a Remarkable Year!

laf-staff-275The small but mighty LAF staff

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) invests in research, scholarships, and leadership initiatives to spur the profession forward and cultivate the next generation of design leaders. As the year winds down, LAF would like to thank our many friends, partners, and donors for their indispensable support during this ambitious year.

In 2017, LAF continued to spread the bold aspirations in our New Landscape Declaration with conversations at over 60 firms, universities, and ASLA chapter events and the launch of a new book. The ideas from a powerhouse of leading designers and the resulting call to action have been called an “excellent way to define our commitment to the environment, ecology, and health” and “an eloquent call to action for the immediate and long future of our profession and our world.”

Generous support from donors allows LAF to strengthen and embolden the profession with innovative and influential initiatives like the New Landscape Declaration, as well as our transformative programs. Together, we accomplished the following in 2017:

  • Awarded $135,000 to students through scholarships, fellowships, and research assistantships.
  • Kicked off the new $25,000 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership with the first cohort of six recipients engaged in projects that address a range of issues — from homelessness to water resources in India to K-12 career discovery.
  • Recognized pioneers Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, OC and the U.S. National Park Service with the 2017 LAF Medal and Founders’ Award.
  • Funded landscape performance research to bolster non-profit organizations, community leaders, and advocates as they make a case for more sustainable practices and policies
  • Awarded the final round of mini-grants to faculty for a total of $50,000 invested in developing and testing coursework on landscape performance.

Thank you to all who devoted their time, thought leadership, and financial support to these efforts. LAF is honored to support this profession and help make our collective aspirations for change a reality.

Please consider investing in the Landscape Architecture Foundation in your year-end giving. Together we can increase our influence and impact at this important time when the services and talents of landscape architects are so vitally needed. Give online or learn more about the many ways to support LAF.

Our friends at IRONSMITH will match up to $10,000 of your donations made by Dec 31!

LAF is a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your charitable contribution is deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Landscape Forms Scholarship Honors Peter Schaudt (1959-2015)

peter-schaudt-xtremela2014Peter Schaudt at the Landscape Forms 2014 Xtreme LA Challenge

Since 2007, Landscape Forms has offered a scholarship through the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), awarding $33,000 to 11 promising students to date. This year, Landscape Forms increased the award amount and relaunched the scholarship in memory of Peter Schaudt, FASLA (1959-2015) and his nearly 30-year career as a landscape architect.

A leader and visionary in the profession, Peter was one of the founding principals of the award-winning firm, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architecture in Chicago, Illinois and a dedicated member of the Board of Directors for Landscape Forms. Peter was widely admired for his incredible talent, dedication, generosity, and integrity. Distinguished by his focus on the “art of design,” professional stewardship, and social responsibility, Peter’s body of work leaves a lasting legacy.

The $5,000 Landscape Forms Scholarship in Memory of Peter Schaudt, FASLA is open to landscape architecture students in their final two years of full-time undergraduate study in a LAAB- or CSLA-accredited program in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants must demonstrate passion, commitment, and competence in creating artfully-designed places for people. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic accomplishment and creative design ability.

The scholarship is one of nine offered through LAF, now totaling $63,500 available annually to reward superior student performance, encourage diversity, support original research, and assist students with unmet financial need. Applications are now open and due Feb 1.

Learn more at:

Landscape Architecture Podcast Round-Up



Traveling this holiday season? Load up your phone or media player with some landscape architecture-related podcasts. Here are some of our favorites.


america-adapts-120America Adapts

The America Adapts podcast explores the challenges, approaches, and national movement around adapting to climate change. In episode 54, host Doug Parsons attended the 2017 American Society of Landscape Architects conference and interviewed a wide swath of participants, including LAF CEO Barbara Deutsch. From legendary Martha Schwartz to students just entering the field, listen for insights and advice on how landscape architecture is stepping up to the challenge of adaptation.


common-edge-120Common Edge Podcast

Common Edge is a non-profit dedicated to reconnecting architecture and design with the public that it’s meant to serve. They produce editorials, interviews, and podcasts. We especially like their July podcast on Landscape Architecture in the Age of Climate Change, which features Brooklyn-based firm, Local Office Landscape Architecture (LOLA) discussing resilience, the relationship between science and design, and how the firm became an advisor to the Obama Administration.


homelandlab-120Homeland Lab

Now with 13 episodes, the Homeland Lab podcast is an initiative of LAF Fellow Brice Maryman, whose work explores the intersection of public space and homelessness. The podcast features a diversity of perspectives — politicians, people who have experienced homelessness, designers, researchers, public space managers — to help foster a more nuanced and productive understanding about the profound relationship between homelessness and public space.


design-chatter-120Design Chatter

Sasaki’s podcast features notable guests from creative disciplines, the occasional thought piece, humor, and tangents. Episode 2 features LAF 2011 National Olmsted Scholar Kate Tooke discussing a topic near and dear to her as a researcher, former teacher, and parent: play. The section from 9:20 to 16:05 on why children need play should be required listening for every designer and parent.


remarkable-objects-120Remarkable Objects

This podcast about the intersection of nature and urban design was launched by DeepRoot in 2016. The first episode features LAF CEO Barbara Deutsch discussing landscape performance and resources to help quantify the environmental, social, and economic impacts of sustainable site design.

Welcome 2017-2018 Board of Directors

The 2017-2018 LAF Board of Directors began its term on October 20 at LAF’s Annual Board Meeting in Los Angeles. Adam Greenspan, ASLA of PWP Landscape Architecture became President, succeeding now Past-President Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA of GGN whose leadership helped close out and sustain the momentum from LAF’s extraordinary 50th anniversary year, which included an unprecendented summit, the launch of two new programs and a successful fundraising campaign. Stephanie Rolley, FASLA, AICP of Kansas State University became President-Elect.

bd-presidents2LAF CEO Barbara Deutsch with outgoing President Jennifer Guthrie and incoming President Adam Greenspan

Monte Wilson moved from Vice President of Leadership to Vice President of Finance. Directors Kofi Boone and Lisa Switkin became the Vice Presidents of Education/Scholarships and Leadership, respectively.  Adam Greenspan became Vice President of Communication, succeeding Laura Solano, who returned to the role of Vice President of Finance. Three other officers continue in their positions on the executive leadership team.

  • Vice President of Education:
    Kofi Boone, ASLA, North Carolina State University
  • Vice President of Research:
    M. Elen Deming, DDes, North Carolina State University
  • Vice President of Leadership:
    Lisa Tziona Switkin, James Corner Field Operations
  • Vice President of Communication:
    Richard E. Heriford, Landscape Forms
  • Vice President of Finance: 
    Monte Wilson, ASLA, Jacobs Engineering
  • Vice President of Development: 
    Jim Manskey, ASLA, TBG Partners

Mark Dawson, FASLA of Sasaki, Kona Gray, FASLA of EDSA, and Mia Lehrer, FASLA of Studio-MLA retired off the board at the end of their terms, which included a three-year extension for Mia and a six-year extension for Mark. Leann Andrews of the University of Washington rotated off after serving a two-year term as an Olmsted Scholar representative, and Chad D. Danos, FASLA rotated off after serving for a year in an Ex Officio capacity as an ASLA Representative. Thank you for your service!

Seven new Directors joined the LAF Board, bringing experience and insights from landscape architecture practice, industry, and the nonprofit sector. Kendra Hyson, a 2015 Olmsted Scholar, was selected for the open Director position for Olmsted Scholars. ASLA Immediate Past President Vaughn B. Rinner, FASLA will serve as the ASLA Representative, and Bo Yang, PhD continues as the CELA Representative. Welcome to the new Board members:

  • Rich Centolella, FASLA, EDSA
  • Alma Du Solier, Hood Design Studio
  • Michael Grove, ASLA, Sasaki Associates
  • Kendra Hyson, Neighborhood Design Center
  • Daniel Martin, Permaloc
  • Kate Orff, ASLA, SCAPE
  • Vaughn B. Rinner, FASLA

LAF is honored to have such an accomplished, passionate, and engaged board, and we look forward to working together to advance the vision laid out in our New Landscape Declaration. Thanks to all for your commitment and service!

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander Receives LAF Medal


Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, O.C., O.B.C., FCSLA, FASLA, BCSLA is the 2017 recipient of the LAF Medal, the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s highest honor. The award is conveyed to a landscape architect for distinguished work over a career in applying the principles of sustainability to landscapes.

On October 20 at LAF’s 32nd Annual Benefit in Los Angeles, longtime friend and colleague Virginia Burt accepted the award on Cornelia’s behalf. The record crowd of over 600 supporters watched in rapt attention as a video acceptance speech from Cornelia was played. That video is posted here.

“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive, and even spiritual satisfaction. This award celebrates all that is possible in our profession. Thank you so much for honoring my commitment to the land and to this precious planet.”

The LAF Medal is the latest of the many honors that Cornelia has received over a career that spans seven decades.These include the Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the ASLA Medal from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award from the International Federation of Landscape Architects, appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and honorary degrees from a number of Canadian and U.S. universities.