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San Diego ASLA Chapter

by Michael Brennan, ASLA, President; Philip Armstrong, ASLA, President-Elect; Nate Magnusson, ASLA, Past President


Brian Kempf from the Urban Tree Foundation was the keynote speaker at the San Diego Chapter ASLA's first workshop of the Sustainable Strategies series in August. He discussed how to propagate and select trees with healthy central leaders as well as tree specification and maintenance techniques.

In 2017, the San Diego Chapter of ASLA promoted the profession of landscape architecture to government leaders, policy makers and the media. Our annual accomplishments include: a $5,000 Community Grant award, Landscape Architecture Lectures with T.J. Dixon, James Nelson and Barry Anderson, and James Lord with Surfacedesign, Inc., Stewardship Committee educational workshops, the Annual Community Grant Golf Tournament, World Landscape Architecture Month celebration and social events including the Annual Kickoff, a movie night, tour of Tijuana, exhibits of art by landscape architects, and events sponsored by the Emerging Professionals Committee. The chapter also made a contribution to assist ASLA national to update their headquarters in Washington, D.C., to demonstrate to policy makers and other national organizations that ASLA is a leader in sustainable design.

Our events focused on the professional development and networking with members of SDASLA. The year started with our Annual Kick-off. Educational and networking workshops that many of our annual sponsors hosted include the Emerging Professionals LARE Workshop, Village Nurseries stewardship event, ANOVA's sketch crawl, Thompson's Building Materials summer soiree, and ARCHtoberfest kickoff party.


The San Diego ASLA Chapter started out the year by announcing the winner of the 2016 $5,000 Community Grant: the Cabrillo National Monument Visitors Center in San Diego. The grant goes to support native habitat restoration and enhancement, including the restoration of 4,392 square feet of disturbed areas and the enhancement of 1,598 square feet of landscaped areas with native plants. From left: Nate Magnusson, ASLA SD 2017 President; Jennifer Webster, ASLA SD Vice President of Community Outreach; Michael Gonzales, California Native Plant Society San Diego Chapter, for the Cabrillo National Monument Headquarters Native Landscape Project; Rich Risner, ASLA SD Past President 2016; and Greg Rubin, California's Own Native Landscape Design, Inc.

The Stewardship Committee organized an outstanding educational session focusing on green streets and how to overcome policy challenges when designing urban streets. Members can view videos of the stewardship programs at On September 11, we held the 38th Annual SDASLA Golf Tournament, which was a huge success. Players enjoyed multiple on-course games, activities, and food and drinks that were available at each hole. Through the generous sponsors and player participation, we were able to collect funding for our 2018 Community Grant and provide a contribution to the national 9/11 Memorial. The chapter came together with many countywide design organizations for the fourth year to share their best designs with others in the industry and the public with over 100 programs held during ARCHtoberfest.

The chapter's Annual Meeting and Gala are planned for December 14 and will be co-hosted with the San Diego Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Thanks to our 2017 sponsors and volunteers who make all the programs and events possible.

Editor's note: The San Diego ASLA Chapter reports that in September the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 5, the "Drought, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection & Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018." ( The governor signed the bill on Oct. 15. If approved by the voters on June 5, 2018, it would authorize the issuance of bonds in an amount of $4 billion "to finance a drought, water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access for all program."

As seen in LASN magazine, December 2017.

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January 22, 2019, 11:58 am PST

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