Do We Have What It Takes to Form an ASLA Chapter?

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What happens when almost 20 landscape architects gather to grapple with the question of forming our own Maine chapter of ASLA on a Saturday in June? A whole lot of energetic, frank, and honest dialogue, that’s what! Read on to learn what your LA peers are thinking about the future of our professional organization in Maine, and what it might mean for you…

Excitement and anticipation were in the air, starting the preceding evening with a small focus group (and beer and pizza!) that gathered at a local eatery in Portland to meet Julia Lent, Hon. ASLA, and Managing Director of Member and Chapter Services for ASLA National. Joining the group also was Randy Knowles, current president of the NH Granite State Chapter. Setting the stage for the Saturday sessions, the primary discussion focused on the “reality factor” of calving off from the Boston chapter and starting our own independent one.

The Saturday morning session focused on a SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis of chapter formation. The accompanying graphic highlights some of the most frequently occurring ideas. The afternoon was spent diving into the weeds about what the mechanics of chapter formation would entail.

Clearly, the fact that Maine LA’s are small in number in an extra-large state poses additional hurdles. We are spread out, tend to be working in smaller firms or are sole practitioners, making involvement in a professional organization challenging in terms of time and resources. Many may not associate value with involvement in ASLA, leading to lack of interest.

The potential benefits to both the profession and the state, though, became more tangible through discussion. Leveraging available resources from National ASLA could enable increased promotion of the profession in Maine through public awareness and advocacy initiatives, giving us the opportunity to collectively address design and planning issues critical to our state, and getting ourselves out there in front of potential clients, to boot. Opportunities to collaborate with allied professionals, educational outreach in our schools, and multiple options for professional development, could further build our professional strength, bringing value to our members, clients, and communities.

A series of meetings around the state are being planned this fall and early winter to engage those who couldn’t make it to Portland for the June sessions. We want to take the discussion to you to make sure we are hearing all voices before making a final commitment to chapter formation. This is all about you, and us – all of us together. We look forward to continuing the dialogue. Be on the lookout for more information and details to follow.


MaineASLA Chapter Exploration


Saturday June 9, 2018 in Portland

Greetings Maine Landscape Architects!  We need YOUR input about forming a NEW MaineASLA CHAPTER! Come join your colleagues in discussing the pro’s and con’s of “graduating” from being a BSLA Section and becoming our own independent Chapter of ASLA.

Where: Room 102 Wishcamper Center on the University of Southern Maine Campus

Directions: Directions and campus map at Parking is available behind the Wishcamper Center - off Bedford St or you can park (for free) in the parking garage connected to the Abromson Center.

When: June 9th from 8:30 am to 4 pm

There will be morning and afternoon sessions with light lunch and breakfast provided. We will be joined by Julia M. Lent, ASLA's Managing Director of Member and Chapter Services, for input from the national level. Be on the lookout for a survey coming soon from her to start the discussion! Representatives from the Boston Chapter will also be attending.

Join us for this important discussion. All ASLA members should participate! Here’s a chance to make your dues (and voice) count!  Other practicing Maine LA’s or Emerging Professionals are also welcome! We are exploring all options for making membership easier so we can build our Maine presence to help our profession and practices grow! Please RSVP to Amy Segal at to help facilitate our planning for this event.

Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided.

June 9th AGENDA

8:30 – 9:00            Breakfast & Introductions

9:00 – 10:30           Identify Goals: What are the benefits of chapter formation 

10:30 – 12:00         Survey Review/Findings & SWOT Analysis

12:00 – 12:30          Lunch

12:30 – 1:30            Chapter Management 101

1:30 – 2:30             ASLA Resources – Chapter Operations Workbook       

2:30 – 3:30             Objectives & Chapter Organization

3:30 – 4:00            Wrap-up


MaineASLA Chapter Formation – Part 2: Why do it, anyway?

The root question here is: “Why should I join a professional organization?” In this case, that organization is the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) which had its start in 1899. Go to the ASLA website,  Member Benefits page and see for yourself the many valuable attributes of our profession’s national organization.

We have summarized a few benefits here that motivate us, and hopefully will inspire you as well. Without your support a Maine Chapter cannot succeed.  We are stronger as a group, rather than as isolated practitioners: 

  • Advancing the profession: Through public outreach, information, and advocacy, letting the world know the function and value you offer as a Landscape Architect while increasing your visibility.

  • Advancing the professional: Through continuing education, and interaction with allied professions, keeping you current in your practice, making you a more effective Landscape Architect.

  • Interacting with and supporting fellow professionals: Through networking and social opportunities, fostering collegiality and supporting you as a Landscape Architect in the community of your peers.

The underscoring tenet of any organization of this nature is that the community provides value greater than just the sum of its parts. Come join the Chapter Planning Workshop on June 9 (free, breakfast and lunch included!) as we explore this exciting next “chapter” for landscape architecture in Maine!

Please RSVP to Amy Segal at to help facilitate our planning for this event.

April is World Landscape Architecture Month!

April is World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM), an international celebration of landscape architecture. Established by the American Society of Landscape Architects, WLAM aims to demonstrate how landscape architecture affects our daily lives. WLAM introduces the profession to the public by highlighting landscape architect-designed spaces around the world.

This year, follow ASLA’s Instagram as we kick off a month-long showcase of some of our student chapters. Starting April 1st, a different ASLA student chapter will take over our Instagram account to show off the projects they are working on and local landscape architecture.

How can I participate?

Download a #WLAM2018 card
Download a #WLAM2018 flyer
Contact your local chapter about WLAM
WLAM 2017 Recap
WLAM Instagram Takeover Schedule 

Remember to share your favorite landscape architect-designed spaces with #WLAM2018.

ASLA will showcase all of these efforts to create a national story about connecting students across the world collaborating ideas that promote the landscape architecture profession.


Architalx Lecture April 24th and World Landscape Architecture Month

On April 24th Jen Toy and Chelina Odbert will be speaking as part of the Architalx lecture series at Aura in Portland.  Their talk is titled: A Tale of Two Ponds.  MaineASLA is a Patron Sponsor of the Architalx series (your dues at work!) and this event coincides with World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM), April. The talk is free and the venue was changed to accommodate a larger crowd.

Bad news/good news:  The free tickets are sold out, but MaineASLA has 2 tickets!  If you are interested please contact us to put your name in the hat for a drawing on April 19th.  ASLA members will get first priority, but this drawing is open to all.

And while you are at it, check out this MaineASLA webpage about what you can do for WLAM!

Jen Toy and Chelina Odbert

Jen Toy and Chelina Odbert

Going Green – Furthering Living Shorelines in Maine

Learn about living shoreline approaches for erosion control and habitat restoration and enhancement.

Learn about local and regional living shoreline project efforts.

Identify challenges, opportunities, lessons learned, and next steps for encouraging permitting, design and implementation of living shoreline projects on public and private properties.

Provide updates on regulatory aspects of getting living shorelines in the ground.

Obtain tools and strategies for executing a successful living shoreline project.

Create a community of practitioners interested in living shoreline design in coastal Maine and the region.

April 6, 2018     8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Location: Greater Portland Council of Governments Conference Room, 970 Baxter Boulevard, Portland, ME

Audience: Engineers, landscape architects, consultants, designers interested in incorporating green infrastructure and living shoreline stabilization techniques into projects around coastal Maine.

Planning and Engineer credits will be available

View the agenda


 Register for this FREE event

Landscape Architecture Conference and Xpo

Monday, March 26, 2018

7:30am - 7pm

Hyatt Regency

Downtown Crossing, Boston

Direct link to REGISTRATION 

 Landscape architects, landscape designers, architects, urban planners, and city-makers; students and professors, firm leaders and emerging professionals; those working in municipalities, in nonprofits, and in communities - any and all who are curious and passionate about parks, plazas, gardens, yards, streetscapes, and open space at all scales - please join the Boston Society of Landscape Architects on March 26 in downtown Boston. 

This will again be an all-day event, with a lively mix of professional workshops and panel discussions around themes of design and planning, horticulture and technology, SITES, and the business of practice.  Join thought leaders from landscape architecture practice and academia, architecture and planning, horticulture and engineering, municipal agencies and other industry experts for 16 different seminars.

From Preparing for Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge; Climate Ready South Boston to Stabilized Stonedust - Done Correctly, Gina Ford, FASLA, on public space to Dr. John Swallow on soils, the conference lineup celebrates the diversity of landscape thinking and practice.  For more on SPEAKERS and SESSIONS, click here.

Austin Blackmon, City of Boston Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, will give the luncheon keynote. 

The Xpo also runs throughout the day, allowing in-depth, one-on-one conversations with vendors, suppliers, and others who help transform great ideas into great landscapes.  Click here for a full list of XPO EXHIBITORS.

The end-of-day SOCIAL presents a fun means to relax with colleagues and friends and get inspired by emerging voices.  The NEXT GEN TALKS Take Two will feature a robust lineup of "lightening" three minute (!) presentations by emerging leaders in landscape architecture practice and academia as well as from public and nonprofit sectors.  (If you're an emerging professional and would like to give one of the Next Gen lightening talks, email the Chapter Office.)

New this year:  PRICING is offered in All Day (4 sessions + lunch + social), Half Day (2 sessions + lunch + social), Lunch Only, or Social Only tickets.  All ASLA members, regardless of chapter, receive member pricing.  There is new, special pricing for students and government employees, too. Back again are group ticket discounts for three or more tickets from a single firm.


7:30am coffee and registration

8:30am session 1

10:00am morning break

10:30am session 2

12:00pm lunch with keynote

1:30pm session 3

3:00pm afternoon break

3:30pm session 4

5:00pm social featuring Next Gen Talks

The full SESSION SCHEDULE will be posted soon.

LA CES and AIA CEU credit is pending for all sessions.  The full day promises 6.0 credit hours, 1.5 hours per course, with 16 choices of courses to choose from.

Please be in touch with Gretchen with any questions.  Thank you!


A special THANK YOU to collaborating partner Victor Stanley, featured sponsor Belgard, and all of the table sponsors, event partners, and workshop hosts!

Back to 2018 BSLA Conference + Xpo HOME

Collaborating Partner Victor Stanley

Featured Sponsor Belgard

Table Sponsors

Chamelon Ways

Forms + Surfaces

Ideal Concrete Block

John D. Rocco Sales

Landscape Forms

Little Tikes Commercial


Premier Park & Play

Read Custom Soils

Reflex Lighting



Vista Professional Outdoor Lighting

Weston Nurseries

Whitacre Greer 

Workshop Sponsors

Green Blue Urban


Site One

Weston Nurseries 

Event Partners

COG Design


US Green Building Council, Sustainable SITES Initiative

If you are a vendor and want to participate in the Xpo or are interested in other sponsorship opportunities, contact the  Chapter Office or register online here.