Page 1

SCAPE land and design in the Upper Midwest

summer 15

The Awards Issue PLUS Solutions for endless possibilities Rust Revisited in Duluth Spotlight on Iceland Licensure Perspectives Exploring STEM Education Leadership Reflections Engagement Abroad Publication of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

from the

CHAPTER PRESIDENT Matthew Rentsch, ASLA | ASLA-MN President

Welcome to the 2015 Awards issue of _SCAPE magazine! Last fall we introduced our chapter’s theme of “A World of Solutions: One Profession, Endless Possibilities.” The practice of landscape architecture is problem solving; one might say that the current global challenges that impact our daily work transcend our roles in past traditional work and thus, the need for landscape architecture is more important than ever. Every day, landscape architects encounter issues like impacted water resources, pollinator and habitat endangerment, and forgotten, polluted and unsafe spaces. In return, landscape architects provide solutions for sustainable water resource practices, enhanced pollinator and preserved wildlife habitats and healthy, safe and manageable places for diverse users. Every day we provide solutions. Every day we face challenges optimistically, knowing that there are endless possibilities. On May 1, members of the Minnesota Chapter gathered to participate in a day of education sessions that had as much variety as the types of challenges for which we find solutions. Attendees enjoyed subjects including ethics, technology, brain science, modern graphics techniques and community engagement with diverse populations. It was a successful series of presentations with thought-provoking content and practical technique exploration with fun and enlightening opportunities for audience participation. Later that day we gathered together for a social hour and delicious dinner - taking time out of our busy schedules for one evening of catching up to talk with each other about work, opportunities and life. Later, we celebrated the accomplishments of the fine design work and service our members have been producing and serving over the past year. In the following pages you will see this outstanding work. Thank you to the Michigan ASLA Chapter for assembling a team of jurors to access our entries. In my welcome to the awards audience, I spoke about an experience during my recent trip to Washington, D.C. where the Chapter Presidents Council was challenged to a game of kickball by the Board of Trustees. Recounting the story, I made an analogy that outlined the importance of ASLA: our careers are like a kickball game. But unlike the occasional friendly kickball game, we suit up and put on our game faces, ready to face, at times, a universe of challenges every day. We get out there and play hard, but it’s easier with ASLA there to support us! Sometimes the game gets rained

ASLA-MN President Matthew Rentsch and Trustee Ellen Stewart face off for the kickball game of a lifetime in Washington, D.C., April, 2015.

out - much like our recent recession. Sometimes the team cuts a player - a layoff. ASLA is there to help find a new team or opportunities through JobLink and networking. Through government advocacy and public relations, ASLA provides opportunities to keep play going and the game relevant. ASLA fosters the rookie players with the chance to lead, grow, learn new techniques and meet new players. Most importantly, ASLA is a community of players. We have fun, socialize and recall together why this game, or, profession means so much to us. Thank you to our very supportive sponsors, members of the Executive Committee and you. Because of your dedicated time, money and participation, we are a strong organization, ready to support the professionals as they face daily challenges with a world of solutions!

Matthew Rentsch, ASLA President ASLA-MN

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


JTH Lighting Alliance Twin Cities Largest Provider of Commercial Lighting Solutions

Contact your Local Representative for the following assistance: Design • Sample Reviews • Budget Pricing • Mock-Ups Photometric Calculations

ASLA-MN is the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) which represents nearly 300 professionals in the landscape architecture profession through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. ASLA, the national organization, has more than 18,000 members and 48 chapters, representing all 50 states, U.S. territories, and 42 countries around the world.

_SCAPE Editorial

Executive Committee & At-Large Members

Editor Ann Rexine

Matthew Rentsch, ASLA President

Ann Rexine, ASLA Director of Communications

Gina Bonsignore, ASLA President-Elect

Colleen O’Dell, Assoc. ASLA Director of Public Relations

Chris Behringer, ASLA Past President

Andrew Montgomery, Associate ASLA Co-Director of Awards & Banquet

Copy Editor Jason McGrew-King Publisher JS Print Group Duluth, Minnesota

Ellen Stewart, ASLA Chapter Trustee

Ally Czechowicz, Assoc. ASLA Co-Director of Awards & Banquet

Nicole Peterson, Assoc. ASLA Secretary


Kathy Aro Executive Director

Kathryn Ryan, ASLA Treasurer

Vacant Fellow Representative Michael McGarvey, ASLA Government Affairs Committee

Graham Sones, ASLA Director of Education & Professional Development

Vacant Student Chapter President

Coal Dorius, ASLA Director of Programs & Student Chapter Liaison

Birch Vignette Photo Contributor: Lance Schuer

_SCAPE is published twice each year by the American Society of Landscape Architects - Minnesota Chapter (ASLA-MN). _SCAPE is FREE (in limited quantity). To subscribe, go to and click _SCAPE.

Send general ASLA-MN inquiries, including sponsorships, to: ASLA-MN International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 54 Minneapolis, MN 55405 PH: 612.339.0797 F: 612.338.7981

Send general _SCAPE inquiries, letters to the editor, and article queries to: Ann Rexine, Editor 9722 106th Place North Maple Grove, MN 55369

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


UNLIMITED DESIGN OPTIONS Turn your creative designs into reality with VERSA-LOK retaining walls and Willow Creek pavers. Solid VERSA-LOK wall units make attractive stairs, corners, curves, columns and more, giving your projects a consistent appearance from top to bottom. Willow Creek pavers come in shapes, textures and colors to suit any landscape styling, from classic to contemporary.

from the

UNIVERSITY OF MN Department of Landscape Architecture Kristine Miller, PhD | Professor & Department Head Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the University of Minnesota’s Landscape Architecture program, and we plan to celebrate that fall by looking back and looking forward. This fall we will be reaching out to alums and local practitioners to gather stories and answers to various questions. What forces shaped the past 50 years of landscape architecture? What challenges will drive the next 50 years? What were the major shifts impacting landscape architecture while you were a student? During your career? How did your design education prepare you to deal with those changes (or others you didn’t foresee)? What do you see as the major shifts impacting landscape architecture over the next 50 years? How will the next generation of professionals need to be prepared to handle these changes? What are the big unknowns? Watch for emails from our 50th Celebration Organizing Committee members Richard Murphy, Diane Norman, Bruce Chamberlain, and Egle Vanagaite and from CDES Director of Alumni Relations Lori Mollberg. Watch for more news and information about the celebration at la50. Many thanks to our committee for its hard work and support! Two UMN symposia held in 2015 highlighted questions of the future of practice. Paradigm shifts were the focus of Nature 3.x: Where is Nature Now? a multi-disciplinary symposium sponsored by the Department of Landscape Architecture, the UMN Institute for Advanced Study, and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. Nature 3.x considered how global environmental issues challenge our relationships with the environment. Assistant Professor Matthew Tucker of

Landscape Architecture and Associate Professor Christine Bauemler of Fine Art questioned the prevailing attitude that nature and culture are “essential counterparts, but ultimately separable.” Speakers including landscape architect Kate Orff and public artist Buster Simpson sparked conversations about ideas of nature that would be better suited for the realities of this century. Simpson also led a student charette in collaboration with the UMN River Life Program called “URBAN HEADWATERS” where students mapped and studied outfalls along the Mississippi River and created site-specific installations on the Washington Avenue Bridge. See the Minneapolis Parks Foundation interview with Matt Tucker at http:// designer-qa-matt-tucker-on-nature-3-xpart-1-of-2/

Director of the Metropolitan Design Center. The search has begun for a new CDES Dean and the search committee will begin interviews this fall. To nominate a candidate and for updates on the search, see:

On August 14 – 22, “DredgeFest Great Lakes,” will further conversations about nature and practice by looking at sediment and landscape architecture on America's Third Coast. DredgeFest includes a two-day symposium, a tour of Duluth, and a week-long workshop in Duluth and Minneapolis. Both the symposium and tour are open to the public. The workshop invites young landscape architects and designers to examine in detail some of the issues raised by the symposium and propose designs that build toward a better future. For more information and registration see: http://dredgeresearchcollaborative. org/dredgefest/ or contact DredgeFest co-coordinators Vince deBritto and Ozayr Saloojee. As you have probably heard, the College of Design is going through its own big changes as long-term Dean Tom Fisher steps down this summer. We look forward to working with Tom in his new role as

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Designs that Inspire

Wabun Picnic Area, Minnehaha Regional Park Minneapolis

Learn more at or contact your local playground consultant. Insta

4940 W.Lake 35thRoad Street 5607 Cedar South St. Louis Park,Park, Minnesota 55416 565 & 567 Serving allLouis Minnesota zipMN codes except St. 55416 877.550.7860 877.550.7860 877.550.7860 • 763.550.7860 763.550.7860 763.550.7860

Serving Minnesota zip codes 565 & 567

800.726.4064 • 701.237.6181 ©2015 Landscape Structures Inc.

from the

ASLA COUNCIL OF FELLOWS Representing the Minnesota Chapter for 2015 The designation of Fellow (FASLA) is conferred on individuals in recognition of exceptional accomplishments over a sustained period of time. Individuals considered for this distinction must be a current ASLA Full Member or International Member in good standing, have achieved at least ten continuous years of full membership at the time of nomination, have demonstrated exceptional contributions over an extended period of time, have made a significant positive impact on the public and the profession and have received recognition for those contributions from multiple sources. ASLA-MN would like to formally recognize the ASLA College of Fellows newest members representing Minnesota:

Richard Murphy, FASLA

Future Fellow - 1958

When the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) awarded its prestigious Fellow designation to Richard T. Murphy Jr., it was an out-of-thebox choice. Originally trained as a landscape architect (LA), Murphy went on to become the fourth-generation leader of his family’s logistics business and no longer is a full-time practicing LA professional; he has served as Murphy Logistics’s president and CEO for 21 years.

ASLA-MN’s newest FASLA member

Yet the time Murphy would have poured into tending others’ spaces, he has devoted to his own logistics campuses, transforming them into showcases of environmental sustainability. And then he has made a point of sharing what he’s learned with other business owners. For this reason, Murphy’s recent election to the ASLA Council of Fellows is well deserved, according to Chris Behringer, past president of ASLA-MN. “Richard is an evangelist for environmental sustainability among his business peers,” said Behringer. “Whether tracking ROI on native prairies on a former superfund site, or designing a stormwater management system to preserve water quality and eliminate a hefty stormwater fee, Richard has combined his LA training and design aesthetic with a CEO’s eye to the financial impacts of such investments. “Though he doesn’t run a landscape architecture firm, or even work in one, Richard is making a big impact – more than most of us – as a business leader advocating sustainability and landscape architecture,” Behringer says. Murphy earned his undergraduate LA degree from the University of Minnesota and his master’s

degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University, and then began teaching and practicing landscape architecture. In 1983, he returned to Minnesota to take up the reigns at his family’s logistics business. Though he continued his love of teaching as an adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the University of Minnesota College of Design for 25 years, his responsibilities were focused on managing his family’s expanding logistics business. But Murphy would be the first to say that his LA training has helped him be an effective business leader. “Much of what I learned, practiced and taught as a landscape architect I have applied to running my business,” Murphy says. “Design thinking is a current hot topic in business and MBA schools, and this design world of creative problem solving is my heritage. Thinking outside the box (versus in silos) is a natural outgrowth of my design training and practice, and has helped me immensely career-wise.” Today, Murphy Warehouse Company is one of the Upper Midwest’s largest asset-based logistics companies, and is well known for their implementation of sustainable business

measures in an industry with an especially large environmental footprint. From solar powered and LED lit facilities, to stormwater-managed campuses surrounded by native prairies – Murphy is dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint within the logistic industry’s 5 billion square feet under roof (that’s a four-foot-wide walkway to the moon!). Murphy is the first privately held company of its size in Minnesota to publish a fully compliant and registered GRI Corporate Sustainability Report, which they did last July, to showcase their sustainability initiatives to a worldwide audience and prove that all companies have the ability to implement environmentally sustainable practices. ASLA has more than 18,000 members nationwide and nearly 300 in Minnesota. Murphy was one of only 32 professionals to be awarded a fellowship in 2014; he was recognized along with the new class of Fellows at the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting this past November in Denver.

Tartan Park, Lake Elmo Tuesday, September 15th Visit for details

2015 ASLA-MN Golf Event

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Hafnarfjörður Waterfront Promenade Designer(s): Landslag A waterfront promenade for pedestrians and cyclists in the town of Hafnarfjordur near Reykjavik.

Skarfagarður Designer(s): Forma Landscapearchitects The Sundahofn harbour in Reykjavik is a key port in Iceland for both cargo and cruise ships. In the midst of the harbor area, an intimate beach refuge was constructed to allow peaceful public access to the ocean.


World Landscape Architecture Month Colleen O’Dell Starting in April 2015, the Minnesota Chapter of ASLA celebrated World Landscape Architecture Month by exploring the landscapes and landscape architecture of Iceland. The chapter shared details about Iceland and Icelandic design on our website and via social media. We highlighted several Icelandic landscape architecture projects with tabletop displays at our annual Awards Gala. Following the Gala, ASLA-MN member Jody Martinez, Design and Construction Manager for Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, presented a session on landscape architecture at the annual conference of the Icelandic National League of North America held in Bloomington, MN. Most importantly, the chapter also forged a connection with the Federation of Icelandic Landscape Architects (FILA, or Félag Íslenskra Landslagsarkitekta), sharing information about our respective organizations and design projects. For more information about FILA, visit their website at

Seljalandsfoss Designer(s): Landform The majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall is an important natural tourist attraction in Iceland. When new access stairs were needed in 2011 to improve access and security, designers took great care to fit them into the landscape, causing the least visual aesthetic disruption.

Fontana, Natural Steam Bath at Laugarvatn Designer(s): Landform The popular natural steam bath at Laugarvatn had been operating since 1929, with a cabin built in 1940. The goal of the 2011 renovation was to better fit the bath into the natural coastline of Lake Laugarvatn with minimal maintenance.

Ísafjörður, Avalanche Defense near Holtahverfi Designer(s): Landmotun, EFLA This project is a design of an avalanche protection area, and also serves a second purpose as a nature area with paths, resting places, neighborhood sports fields and a planting of forest trees.

The following is a selection of landscape architecture and land-based design projects in Iceland. Keep this list handy when trip planning your next adventure to Iceland! Reykjavík University Campus Designer(s): Landmotun with Henning Larsen architects and Arkis architects This prize-winning competition project from 2006 is a landscape design for the campus around new education and administration buildings of the University of Reykjavik. The campus is situated in the foothills of Öskjuhlíð, near Nauthólsvík geothermal beach.

Bergheimar pre-school playground, Thorlakshöfn village Designer(s): Landmotun

This renovation and expansion of a kindergarten playground focused on a free flow of movement, as well as a diversity of materials and spaces, with an emphasis on imaginative play.

Thingvellir National Park, Visitor Center Entrance Designer(s): Landslag This project designed an expansive entrance to the Visitor Center for dramatic Thingvellir National Park. The entrance area was designed to be paved with natural lava blocks.

Photo Above: Fontana at Laugarvatn Photo credit: Félag Íslenskra Landslagsarkitekta



Isafjorour Avalanche Defense Photo credit: Félag Íslenskra Landslagsarkitekta

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Thingvellir National Park Viewing Platform, Oxararfoss Waterfall Designer(s): Landslag, with Glama Kim Architects, Reykjavik This viewing platform was designed to allow tourists at this popular national park to have access to spectacular views of the Oxararfoss waterfall with few visual interruptions and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. It became a U.N. World Heritage Site in 2004.

Hringbraut Bridge in Reykjavík Designer(s): Landslag with Studio Granda and Línuhönnun This bridge was created by a partnership to design a bridge over a busy freeway to safely accommodate pedestrians and cyclists, while also providing visual delight.

Psychiatric Unit Health Park – Reykjavik Designer(s): Landmotun This first health treatment park for youth in Iceland is in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Department of the University Children’s Hospital. It includes places for cooperation, group therapy and solitude, using natural materials. The goal was to create an environment for both mental and physical relaxation.

Landmannalaugar Hot Springs Designer(s): Landmotun This 2014 competition proposal was to restore a sense of wilderness of the highlands region to the pool area. The goal of the proposal is to strengthen the image of Landmannalaugar as a spectacular natural area and to offer a design with minimal natural and ecological disturbance.

Nauthólsvík Designer(s): Landmotun

This bathing area is a sustainable pool heated by geothermal water in a delineated area separated from the sea. This redesign respected the history of this site as a World War II port and shelter for sea planes, while also improving conditions for outdoor activities and sunbathing.

Harpa Square/Plaza – Reykjavik Designer(s): Landslag (Landscape Ltd.) with Batteriid, Hennig Larsen, Olafur Eliasson, and Mannvit. This collaboration won the Nordic prize as best Nordic public space in 2011. It is an outdoor public plaza/square adjacent to Harpa, an award-winning concert hall and conference center. The space is built over land_ ll. A “water mirror” pool distinguishes landfill islets from the original shoreline. Access to the square is on piers. The design references the history of the area from its early days as an untouched beach where a brook flowed to the sea.

Siglufjörður Avalanche Protection Gardens Designer(s): Landslag (Landscape Ltd.) o provide avalance avalanche protection to the town of Siglufjörður, landscape architects worked with engineers to create a curved feature in the mountainside which that deflected snow. This engineered infrastructure was designed to blend into the natural landscape in an aesthetically pleasing way. This project received special recognition at the Rosa Barba landscape design prize awarded in Barcelona in 2003. T

Sesseljuhus at Solheimar Eco-Village Designer(s): site design by Birgir Einarsson, building by Árni Friðriksson. Founded by Sesselja Hreindis Sigmundsdottir Sesseljuhus is an education center focused on environmental issues and sustainable development. It is located in the Solheimar eco-village in Southern southern Iceland. Built from sustainable timber, the building has a sod roof and natural passive heating and cooling systems. The goal for the design of Sesseljuhus was to minimize impact on the surrounding environment, and to choose efficient, environmentally friendly solutions applicable in Icelandic conditions. Founded in 1930, Solheimar is one of the oldest thriving ecovillages in the world, and is a model community for green-minded individuals. It is a small village of about 100 people set in the countryside, characterized by vegetation, open common spaces and buildings that nicely coexist with the landscape. In 1997, the Global Eco-village network proclaimed Solheimer the first sustainable hamlet in Iceland. In addition to its gardens, there are great examples of both modern and traditional architecture in the village.

Thingvellir Oxararfoss Platform Photo credit: Einar Á.E.Sæmundsen

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


rust revisited

Widening the lens through which we view post-industrial landscapes Joseph J. Nowak Post-industrial landscapes and structures have recently garnered increasing intrigue across many disciplines. Beyond their immense complexity and environmental degradation, there are even deeper reasons for such surging interest in the relics of industry, most notably surrounding themes of community identity and a visceral aesthetic. In my final year of the MLA program, I have been particularly interested in the industrial remnants scattered across West Duluth. Like many other cities of varying size, Duluth was shaped largely by industry. Also similar to many other cities, Duluth – especially West Duluth – is now home to many idle or abandoned remnants of such industries. As a critical link between the Iron Range and the Great Lakes transportation network, much of Duluth’s industrial remains are from shipping iron ore and associated processes along the waterfront. Other industrial activities represented through their marks on the West Duluth landscape include timber mills, rock quarries and ample railroad infrastructure. All of this exists, however, amidst a still very active industrial waterfront as part of the largest freshwater port on the continent. Through study and site exploration over the past year, I came to realize that many of the case studies and precedents we so often are exposed to in design school (and look to for guidance and potential solutions) are not directly applicable to a community such as Duluth. The currently celebrated model for post-industrial redevelopment is that of a large destination park, but for communities like Duluth, this model is not economically feasible or spatially appropriate. Some of the most inspirational projects for me in design school have been Ballast Point Park (Sydney), Gasworks Park (Seattle), Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord (Duisburg, Germany), Don Valley Brick Works Park (Toronto) and Westergasfabriek (Amsterdam). These sites have helped inspire a wave of hopeful designers now seeking to remediate urban brownfields while simultaneously creating amazing cultural spaces.



These projects represent an undeniable success in the design world, as this strategy has consistently shown to be both socially and ecologically beneficial. However, all of these projects operate in cities with populations around or over 500,000 people (Toronto is over 2 million and Sydney is well over 4 million) whereas Duluth’s population comes in at around 86,000 people. Another major factor at play is public transportation. Even though the populations of Amsterdam and Duisburg aren’t at the same levels as Toronto or Sydney, they are part of an extensive public transportation network that allows their large destination parks to be more easily accessed by a wider population beyond even their immediate metropolitan area. In contrast, Duluth is both significantly smaller and boasts no such major public transportation network. Duluth’s industrial legacy is critical to both its past and its future. When I first started looking at West Duluth’s industrial remnants with an eye toward potential design solutions, my natural inclination was to think to the projects that had inspired me throughout my previous two years of design school. I began to realize, however, that without the economic backing or robust populations of the cities previously mentioned, West Duluth would need a different strategy for imagining future uses for its industrial relics and landscapes. With this realization, I looked to Duluth’s already well-established direction and city strategy. It has become well known that Duluth city leadership is actively seeking to become known as a hub for outdoor recreation. While many of the mountain bike trails and cross-country ski trails exist just outside the city, many of West Duluth’s industrial remnants exist directly in, or adjacent to, residential neighborhoods. For my capstone project I highlighted four post-industrial sites with distinct spatial characteristics. In envisioning potential programmatic transformation and future user groups, their differences allowed for a range of intervention strategies. The industrial remnants I chose to focus on were a rock quarry, an ore dock, a long crumbling wall, and a polluted bay. It was important to me that the sites represented a variety of landscape conditions and an array of degradation. Another priority was that any theoretical site intervention strategy

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

would contribute to a more active community by providing opportunity for a 30 – 60 minute walking route desirable to local residents and visitors alike. It was also important to me that the use of any of these sites would provide a platform for a larger dialogue revolving around how degraded or abandoned sites can be better utilized within an approachable budget for a community like Duluth, which - while prioritizing public space and recreational needs - does not have an immense tax base from which to draw. Ideally, these sites would be able to maintain their raw, rusty, visceral character that make industrial remnants so inspirational, while also being made safe enough for public use. The ore docks are a West Duluth icon and one of the most prominent features of the waterfront. Ore Dock Five now sits idle and is within realistic walking distance from both the Denfeld and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, but is off limits to the public despite its amazing potential as an immersive walk through its beautifully weathered steel frame culminating in an even more amazing view of the vibrant St. Louis Bay. Another site of interest is Casket Quarry, which is already used by climbers, but could offer so much more to the Cody and Denfeld neighborhoods.


can help bring post-industrial sites forward into a new era. In deindustrializing areas across the Great Lakes region and throughout the country, remnant sites such as these four in Duluth will become increasingly important in the coming years to community identities across local, regional and national scales as will the discussion surrounding how to address proposed design solutions that are specific to the community for which they are intended.

This will require a wider range of solutions than the current model allows. With a better understanding of our perceptions and connections to these sites of former industrial activity, there is incredible potential for meaningful design solutions as these structures and landscapes enter into a new era. Successful solutions have already started to emerge, but diverse approaches will require collaboration across disciplines and professions to ensure that sites of former industrial activity are able to become better integrated into their surrounding communities and utilized to their fullest potential. _______________________________________________________ Much of Joseph’s recent student work has focused on revealing potential design solutions for post-industrial landscapes. Joseph is originally from Mid Coast Maine and graduated from Bates College.

Additionally, U.S. Steel’s former Duluth Works site occupies 640 acres on the waterfront in Gary-New Duluth and blocks those communities from the river and their nearby neighbors in Morgan Park. This site has been under extensive remediation work to address contaminated soils and its future use is still not determined. There is an old storage wall that is more than 2,000 feet long and is ripe with potential for adventurous activities. While the site is off limits to the public during continued remediation and construction, the wall sits close to the western boundary on one of the least contaminated areas of the entire site. Access easily could be allowed to the wall without disrupting any of the other activity throughout the site and could help increase public engagement in the process of figuring out what the site could be used for in the future. Lastly, Radio Tower Bay is the site of a former timber mill. Over the years wood waste settled to the bottom of the bay and clogged the oxygen and nutrients cycles, which destroyed habitat. The bay also sits at the intersection of several existing and proposed recreational trails so will likely see increased visitation. Recent efforts to remove much of the wood will presumably lead to an improved bay ecosystem, potentially providing an excellent opportunity for bird watching while simultaneously learning about the bay’s place within Duluth’s industrial legacy. For communities where large destination parks are not appropriate, small and targeted intervention strategies focusing on distinct and achievable recreational desires Summer 2015 | Issue #21


endless possibilities Increasing landscape architecture’s market share Seth Bossert and Bryan Pynn Landscape architecture has always been difficult to define; but everyone in our field seems able to agree that landscape architecture’s primary role is in shaping the environment around us and creating spaces where society and ecology merge. Within the history of the field, there is an interwoven story among other disciplines including architecture, ecology, horticulture, and engineering. From the layout of towns, temples, and estates to the design of parks and gardens, over time the discipline has grown into additional areas and has become accepted as having valuable input in city master plans, public transportation, and real estate development. Moving into the present century, we have seen landscape architects in leading roles on projects that prioritize the importance of multiple layers of functionality and that require project managers who are able to integrate seamlessly with the other allied professionals. Much of this new work is intensely ecological in nature and much more interdisciplinary than ever before. Integrating innovative approaches to stormwater management, habitat restoration, and establishing metrics for landscape performance are becoming integral parts of a landscape architect's job. There is a wealth of new opportunity out there for landscape architects to assert themselves as the “go-to” professional in these instances. The problem seems to be that we are still largely invisible to the average population. There is not a large enough presence for those outside of our profession to realize that we are indeed the service provider that best suits their ecological and multi-disciplinary needs. In order to



be that professional and make ourselves more visible in the state of Minnesota (and nationally), we need a larger pool of professionals who can legally call themselves a landscape architect. That growth starts with increased opportunity for professional licensure. In concert with the ASLA-MN theme that 2015 is the year of “A World of Solutions, One Profession – Endless Possibilities,” everyone should agree growth of the profession is needed. Growth brings with it increased awareness, visibility, and market share. We lag behind allied professionals (413 licensed landscape architects in 2014 compared to 3,420 architects and 12,730 civil engineers). We are limited in numbers and market share relative to our allied professionals, and often find ourselves on the outside looking in on projects that we are very qualified to conceptualize, develop, manage, and build. You don’t have to look very hard to identify areas where the growth of landscape architecture is happening and why it has occurred in such a way. There is nothing like the sobering economics of the Great Recession to spur ingenuity. For those young professionals who had lost their jobs or had recently graduated during (and after) this recession, they have had to figure out how to gain meaningful experience in the profession that they have spent so much time and money to join. Finding limited opportunities in traditional firms, many recent MLA graduates and displaced entry-level professionals had little choice but to break new ground and carve out a role for themselves in nontraditional landscape architecture roles and growth areas.

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

In order to create endless possibilities, we need to increase visibility. This is best achieved through an increased volume of professionals who excitedly tout the benefits of partnering with a landscape architect. Many work in auxiliary fields who are extremely talented and trained as landscape architects but cannot call themselves landscape architects. Yet, these unlicensed individuals have been making a name for the profession expanding and controlling a larger service area than ever before. Many of these unlicensed professionals struggle with how to associate with the profession, having the education but not the title, and how to sell their valuable design sense to prospective employers and clients. Their non-traditional employers have found great value in the unique skill sets that a landscape architect can bring to their teams and have actively sought them out in the employment process. Collectively, these people are completing plan reviews for engineering firms and making recommendations to accommodate increased landscape performance (stormwater, habitat, health, quality of life, etc.). They are leading wetland and stream restoration projects that must weave together human, ecological, and economic needs across political and geographic boundaries to assure functionality and positive public perception are achieved. They are completing commercial campus inventories and rehabilitations that layer aesthetic appeal with functionality, achieving appreciable cost savings, and focusing on ease of maintenance while providing a welcoming and safe place to gather and meet during work hours. They are also developing HOA landscape management plans that are driven by a combination of economic and ecologic performance metrics. These projects are just a small sample of the new niches being carved out or expanded upon. These professionals are utilizing their landscape architecture training to gain relevant design, project management, and construction management experience; possibly even more relevant experience at such early stages in their careers than if they had pursued a traditional career as an entry-level landscape designer somewhere working only on CAD drawings or graphic renderings. They are building multi-stakeholder partnerships and multi-disciplinary teams to achieve water quality and habitat goals on a regional scale. They are modeling, conceptualizing, designing, contracting, and managing construction projects of varying magnitudes ($20,000 to $1,000,000 construction budgets). Many of those who have found work in these auxiliary fields are doing work of a comparable nature to that of a professional landscape architect, that if legally recognized as such it would open up a whole new market of opportunity for our members. However, under current Minnesota licensing law, very few of these pioneers can become licensed. Minnesota licensing law requires qualifying experience after graduation be under the direct supervision of a licensed landscape architect. The only exception allows for full credit under a licensed professional engineer for up to one year when the work is related to landscape architecture. Other states have recognized their laws as limiting professional growth and visibility and have begun to add alternate pathways for direct supervision under their laws: •

Colorado has several rules for alternates. They are a new board and there were no licensed individuals before that point. Currently employees at businesses identified as practicing landscape architecture can satisfy their experience. Colorado allows practical experience for teaching as well.

Wisconsin states that one should have at least two years of experience in landscape architecture and an accredited degree, with experience satisfactory to their licensure board.


South Carolina rewrote its law in 2010 and started to allow indirect supervision at the discretion of the board. They began to allow experience under licensed architects and engineers, with a preference of supervision by a licensed landscape architect, on a case-by-case basis.

Illinois allows experience under licensed engineers and architects and is discussing allowing experience under city planners (not licensed by the state). Illinois also allows credit (up to two years) for teaching at an accredited program.

Kentucky changed its statues to two years of experience under direct supervision of licensed landscape architects, architects, and engineers.

Indiana focuses on the health, safety, and welfare of the public through its allied professional board (architects and landscape architects). It currently requires three years, but they are going to two years under any allied professional.

Alaska has a mentoring program for candidates who don’t work under a licensed landscape architect. They are also considering expanding the face-to-face requirement to allow virtual mentoring due to the geographic vastness of the state. Alaska also allows a year of experience for pursuing a master's degree after completing a first professional degree in landscape architecture. Alaska allows practical experience for teaching as well.

Oregon is looking into a virtual mentoring/supervision program.

Having more licensed landscape architects does not have to mean that we are losing market share to each other or diluting the talent pool. It also does not mean we intend to compromise the mandate of protecting the life, health, property, and public welfare of our state. It means there are more talented and licensed professionals eagerly demonstrating the benefits of having a landscape architect as a lead or a subcontractor on a project. Do we risk further alienating our extremely talented graduates and mid-level professionals who cannot find work in traditional firms (but are landscape architects by all other virtues) or do we try another approach and welcome more of these talents to the licensure pool? Rather than one simple written rule, why can’t we create more paths to licensure before the opportunity is lost and these young entrepreneurs turn away from the profession? ________________________________________________________ Each of the authors develops and implements innovative residential, commercial, and municipal stormwater projects of varying scales and complexities, as well creating habitat and waterway restoration projects that integrate varying stakeholder interests and usability on public and private lands. Seth Bossert - Worked in private design/build, non-profit, and currently works at a metro Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) developing water quality projects and large scale analysis work locating future projects. He also consults for residential design. Bryan Pynn - Worked in private consulting, design/build, non-profit, and public sectors. Currently at a metro SWCD improving water quality and habitat through a wide variety of installations, visual renderings, and planning processes.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


WSB University Students

STEM education, examples from the field Samantha McKinney and Thomas Badon Case Study 1: Center for Girl’s Leadership & WSB Samantha McKinney brings a unique, artistic perspective on a wide range of projects for WSB’s clients. She is also an advocate for women and girls to pursue STEM careers, especially in landscape architecture.

Valley-based design firm, so ignoring the declining presence of women would prove to be a disservice to the industry, and could not be overlooked.

In the past decade, jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industry have outpaced those in non-STEM related fields. In response to this trend, there has been an increased focus around engaging and finding better ways to prepare students for careers in the industry. As a result, STEM schools and STEM programs have been gaining traction nationwide.

The women of WSB recognized this as an opportunity to join forces with the Center for Girls’ Leadership (CGL), a nonprofit invested in empowering future leaders, to do something that would excite girls about STEM opportunities. “Since WSB’s commitment to education and leadership so nicely compliments the CGL’s mission to encourage girls to become confident leaders, the partnership was only fitting,” said Alex Young, Education Coordinator at WSB and founder and Executive Director of the CGL. With this, the first “Girls in STEM” collaboration between WSB and the CGL was announced.

The learning experiences for students in these programs are substantially different from those in traditional classrooms. Students are challenged through hands-on learning and encouraged to become creative, critical thinkers. This integrated learning environment has proven to help students discover solutions on a deeper level. Truth in Numbers Despite early engagement and a relatively balanced ratio of boys to girls in K-12 programs, the number of women in STEM careers has not kept up with the overall industry growth. Sadly, by first grade many girls report they feel inadequate in math and science, or can’t picture how they could fit into a predominately male environment. According to the United States Department of Labor, women account for approximately 20 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics. This information doesn’t sit well with WSB. Leading the Way Thirty-eight percent of group managers at WSB are women – an industry-leading number. Inspiring people to be creative, explore their possibilities, and collaborate are fundamental values at the Golden



A Day in the Life The day started with a panel of female landscape architects, planners, environmental scientists, and engineers discussing their occupation and how they started their careers. More than 60 middle school and high school girls joined in the discussion asking everything from “How much do you make?” to “What time do you have to get up?” Brian Bourassa, father to one of the students and WSB Shareholder, said, “A few parents asked about the work/life balance. At first I didn’t think much of it – but afterwards I started to wonder if that question would have been brought up in a room full of boys. I don’t think it would. It made me see how social barriers like choosing between a career and family are so easily passed on to our daughters.” While the panelists admitted they had demanding careers, they assured the girls and parents they chose this path because they wanted to do something that would make them excited and challenge

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

them to think differently while designing the world around them. They also pointed out that we all have choices to make and picking “either/ or” doesn’t have to be the only option. In the end, what was intended to be an inspirational discussion for students ignited the parents’ and panelists’ enthusiasm and support of STEM. Hands-on Inspiration After the panelist discussion, the girls broke into small groups for a series of activities aimed at demonstrating how creativity, teamwork, and critical thinking are incorporated in areas such as landscape architecture, civil engineering, and environmental science. They made bath fizzies, took on a tallest cup tower challenge, constructed bridges from marshmallows and toothpicks, and designed a dream park. Candace Amberg, Senior Landscape Architect at WSB, led the dream park activity. “The girls were given a site map of a park space that illustrated park topography including the existing adjacent site land uses. The goal was to look at the property, define the opportunities and constraints, brainstorm a list of potential amenities to include in the park design, and then work together to illustrate how to implement the program based on the site’s unique characteristics. The activity looked at spatial configurations, pedestrian and vehicular access and circulation, implementation of the amenities based on land forms and relationships, as well as overall park characteristics and aesthetics.” Unprompted, students began asking each other the type of challenging and thought-provoking questions you would expect from professionals, such as “could an ice rink double as a basketball court?” and “what will make people want to go here?” In the end, they created beautiful and creative park designs. One middle school girl, Asya, finished the day with a new outlook. “I never thought I wanted to be in STEM, but now I think I might pursue a career in the subject. The activities were really fun, and opened your eyes to new things like landscape architecture.”


to answer questions, those answers produced more questions. Ultimately, they realized the possibility of a sustainable soil enhancer that could help invigorate urban soils without chemicals or big label products. This grass-roots research emerged from a commitment to STEM education and introduced students to the field of landscape architecture through science, an avenue not commonly associated with landscape architecture.

Research and Product As part of their mission, Providence Academy’s curriculum “promotes superior academic achievement, mastery of skills and content, character development and citizenship.” Under the direction of Dr. Yvonne Boldt, the senior level advanced biology classes have been conducting field research since the spring of 2009. This course typically hosts 12-16 students and has led to an increase in extracurricular research activity. As an extension to this course, and the entire Biology Department, the volunteer Soil Application Research Program was formed in 2010 and is expected to host at least 25 students this summer. Last summer, while working on a research grant, the students and some recent graduates logged 588 volunteer hours. In working with the community, the summer program is also available to students from other schools. Given the popularity of the summer program, last fall Dr. Boldt extended the extracurricular research program into the school year. Thus far this school year, 28 students have logged 154 volunteer research hours.

After the event, Young reported, “CGL is driven to inspire girls today to lead tomorrow. I really feel this event did just that. Watching the older girls naturally take on leadership roles while mentoring the younger students really showed how a collaborative environment like this can generate so many great ideas across all ages. This event is exactly what STEM, CGL, and WSB are about.” While some of these girls may not pursue a STEM career, they walked out of WSB that day with a better understanding of the opportunities at their fingertips, excited about the potential they hold, and confident that nothing can hold them back from being a STEM leader tomorrow. Bourassa is encouraged: “At WSB, we know first-hand how impactful women are in this industry. Our goal as parents and leaders is to make sure the current underrepresentation of women in this industry doesn’t dictate what our girls can and cannot become.” To learn more about the Center for Girls’ Leadership, visit

Case Study 2: Providence Academy Thomas Badon, ASLA, is Vice President of Sales at MSP Outdoor Services. He earned his master’s in business administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Ball State University. Tom is also an ISA Certified Arborist and teaches part-time at DeVry University in Minneapolis.

Traditionally, the profession of landscape architecture is unbeknownst to students until college, myself included. Through participation in an advanced biology class and an extracurricular research program, a group of high school students from Providence Academy in Plymouth, Minnesota, discovered the possibility and science behind developing a sustainable planting environment. As the results of their research began

Providence Academy students conducting laboratory study.

Prior to this new opportunity, the research process was studied with “cookbook” labs that, although having their merits, offer predictable results that focus more on the process than the questions. Given the opportunity to expand the classroom and create their own experiment, research began on several recently-planted maple trees along the front of the school. With support from the city of Plymouth, exploration was conducted to help determine best practices for future plantings. The trees were each given different applications of traditional tree planting practices including nitrogen-rich fertilizer, standard wood chips, and compost. Control trees received only topsoil. >>

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


After several months of calculating soil nutrients, chlorophyll, new growth rates, and trunk diameter, it was concluded that with good soil, no additional treatments are necessary for growth and establishment of plant materials. They came to a valid conclusion, considering trees in a natural forest setting are not artificially fertilized or mulched; however, not quite the silver bullet the class was looking for. Fortunately, this led to another question and research possibility, “How do we get good soil?” The class began looking at the soil microbial community that is integral to nutrient cycling, thereby making nutrients available to plants. Perhaps a more appropriate question is “Can it be replicated in the urban environment?” The scientist and entrepreneur team at a small start-up company called Precision Organics had been working on this possibility of enhancing the naturally occurring nutrient cycle; however, they lacked the laboratory to conduct their own research. Seizing the opportunity to bring “real world” research into the classroom, Providence Academy and Dr. Boldt partnered with Precision Organics to begin conducting a series of experiments to verify the validity of this carbon-based product.

Center for Girl’s Leadership at WSB University.

Providence Academy STEM class.

Beginning in April 2014, the advanced biology class shifted its attention from plant growth to soil microbial activity. Instead of measuring leaf tissue and plant growth, the class began looking at soil respiration as an indicator of microbial activity. After several successful experiments with soil, compost, and an organic test product, the students began asking other questions, including, “What would happen if these positive results were applied to plants?” As the school year wound down, several questions were left unanswered. Fortunately, a summer volunteer program was already established and approximately 25 students, including recent graduates, continued the experiments on soil respiration and radish plants.



When asked about the students’ experience, one student named Brendon answered, “The experience has provided me a springboard for trying new projects and possibly starting my own research. This project allowed me to put to use my programming skills, particularly in the area of data analytics and scripting. I was able to write a statistical analysis script that greatly increased the processing of foliar, soil, and tree growth data for the Soil Application Research Program.” Results From a product development perspective, the research thus far is encouraging and supports the possibility of reviving urban soils and increasing plant health and survivability through the application of an organic byproduct. In fact, the increase in microbial soil activity was almost incalculable when compared to traditional soil supplements such as fertilizer and compost. Is this naturally derived byproduct a possible new alternative to expensive fertilizers and volatile composts? Can this organic byproduct reduce plant mortality? Thus far, this byproduct successfully revived microbial activity in a low-quality subsoil obtained from more than 15 feet below the soil surface during recent construction on Providence Academy property. For the next generation of the work force, engaging students with “real world” applications of science classes has focused their attention on developing solutions to create and sustain healthy landscapes and create a sustainable alternative to traditional fertilizer through questions, not chemicals. The research obtained thus far supports the possibilities for a reduced reliance on chemicals to rejuvenate urban soils. Beyond the research results, the entire process has equipped students with critical thinking skills that will prepare them for college and future career endeavors. After participating in both the advanced biology class and the summer program, Jenny added, “This research experience and class helped me decide that I wanted to major in the field of environmental studies and continue to research plants and their effects on the environment.” What’s Next With a commitment to expanding this curriculum, Dr. Boldt explains, “Next year we are initiating a set of environmental science research elective courses to increase the number of students that can do novel research and to allow us to address a greater range of questions in the research setting each year.” As the program broadens, Providence Academy and partners in the green industry plan to create research plots both on campus and spread throughout the Twin Cities metro area and western Wisconsin. As the research moves beyond the classroom walls, lectures from landscape architects, engineers, city planners and scientists will further enhance the project and the students’ understanding of these professions. As a reward for all of the hard work, the students presented posters on their research twice at the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Annual Conference and are committed to presenting more research at the Soil Science Society of America’s National Meeting in the fall of 2015. Many of the posters and papers these high school students are presenting alongside are prepared by college students and post-graduate professionals. A recent study conducted by STEM Education Coalition suggests that “only 30 percent of 12th-graders who took the ACT test are ready for college-level work in science.” The students at Providence Academy are not only ready for their college courses, but have already begun to integrate research with business development. As their research continues and new questions emerge, the next solution to sustainability might just be coming from a consortium of landscape architects and scientists working as one profession with endless possibilities.

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

Its Just Water Without Us Providing: Concept Development & Budgeting Assistance Consultation Engineering & Construction Document Services Single Source- Design / Build Services

Specializing in The Complete Fountain Structure Waterproofing Finishes Mechanical Systems Electrical & Control Systems

Contact for a complimentary conceptual design & budgetary analysis.



one belief at a time Greening cities + saving budgets David M. Motzenbecker, ASLA, PLA What color is a peacock feather? Iridescent blue, green, gold? The obvious answers become less apparent when seen through the lens of biomimicry and biophilia. As my own knowledge of these fields deepened, I learned that peacock feathers are actually brown! Yes, brown. The reason we perceive peacocks as rippling with striking colors is due to the feather’s microscopic structure. The way certain proteins are directionally layered, combined with the melanin background, makes light bend as it moves through the feather – allowing us to see the colors. The "color" isn’t surficial, it’s structural. The idea of such integral structure provides a thread with which to approach our practice, our cities, and our values a bit differently. Replace the word “color” with any other we will discuss – leadership, biophilia, salutogenics, antifragility – and you are adding the ability to build value to your arsenal. Value rooted in your beliefs. Belief systems My friend Pat Hanlon, CEO of Thinktopia, likes to remind me that brands are belief systems. He even has a construct he calls the Social Code to help create one. He distills that down into tenets for leadership that I wholeheartedly embrace and use every day because like it or not, we all are our own brand: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

EXPLAIN why you’re standing on the wrong side of the line. DEFINE why your side is better. ENSURE others can identify you and your community. DO something. CREATE a language around your community. Be clear about WHAT YOU ARE NOT AND NEVER WANT TO BECOME. 7. PREPARE your leaders.

These are important, because if you can accomplish these, you are on your way to establishing your value. Knowing WHY you are practicing your brand of landscape architecture will tell the world why your divergent ideas are ones they should also be listening to. Be confident in your belief system, as that confidence will help attract followers. As I



practice, my own belief system becomes more and more developed – like a muscle. My belief system revolves around biophilia, salutogenics, and antifragility. These three elements resonate deeply with how my practice of landscape architecture has evolved. Why? Because I want to help - to help humankind, my city, the country, the planet. These elements encompass healing, the living world, and divergent survival thinking; and help me advance my practice. Biophilia Edward O. Wilson published The Biophilia Hypothesis in 1993. In the hypothesis, Wilson describes biophilia as "the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.” This desire to connect with nature and living things is deeply seated in our DNA. Why is this relevant to us as landscape architects? Because biophilic design principles, when incorporated into projects, help heal us. Why are all Minnesotans drawn to a cabin on the lake? Why do all humans take comfort in a flickering fire? Why is the view most impressive from above? It is not the market that ensures penthouses are the most valuable, it is evolution. Ideas of prospect and refuge have driven us from our earliest days to be able to look out over the landscape from a high point for reconnaissance; to do that in a place where we are protected from behind and above. Looking at an engaging view also does something positive to the brain - endorphins are released when looking at beautiful things. Those are the reasons we have penthouses. Biophilia has incredible positive influences on our minds and bodies. In their 2012 paper, The Economics of Biophilia, Terrapin Bright Green showcased seven indicators where productivity is substantially improved by incorporating biophilic principles and patterns. Those indicators are: • Illness and absenteeism • Staff retention • Job performance (mental stress/fatigue)

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

• • • •

Healing rates Classroom learning rates Retail sales Violence statistics

Knowledge workers need to decompress; they need to put the screen away and get outside. The connections to nature can take many forms – a window, a view, daylight, a complex natural scene, indoor plants, materials like stone and wood, access to a pocket park or green roof, and many more examples. If your office has a place like this on its roof or you have a park nearby, it may influence how happy you are at your job and how long you will work there. Hiring and installing new talent is by far more expensive than retaining existing talent. By helping both private and public clients attract and retain their workers by offering those same workers spaces for daily respite, we as designers are helping their bottom line. Salutogenics Bottom-line savings are critical in one of Minnesota’s most premier industries: health care. Dr. Tony Iton of Healthy Communities, who holds an MD, JD, and a master’s of public health, recently spoke in Minneapolis and challenged us with this question: “What is most important when it comes to health? Your genetic code – or your zip code? The topic is relevant to landscape architecture because as designers, we can influence policy makers, developers, and city builders – which in turn helps set the context for where health happens (or doesn’t). This is hugely important in a state known around the world for health care. Dr. Iton’s research shows a steady rise in life expectancy over two centuries. This is now declining, for the first time in history, due to obesity. Life expectancy is lower by 15 to 20 years in census tracts that have high poverty rates, a finding consistent across the country. This means Americans are dying younger than people in ALL other higher-income countries. Why is that? This dire fact accelerates more when we add stress on top of obesity and heart disease. What causes stress? Long commutes; poor housing; poor neighborhood conditions (physical and social); high demand/ low control jobs; lack of access to retail, jobs, services – in essence, all bad place-related circumstances. Internalizing all these environmental factors enhances stress and produces cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress. When the body’s systems are continuously bathed in cortisol, the results are hypertension, heart disease, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, infection, inflammation, and atrophy/death of neurons in the brain. What can help this? One component of the solution is salutogenic public places. Salutogenesis was coined by Aaron Antonovsky in 1979. The word "salutogenesis" comes from the Latin salus = health and the Greek genesis = origin. In a speech to the World Health Organization in 1992, Antonovsky discusses the tendency of our current health care system – which he prefers to call ‘disease care’ – to focus on “saving swimmers drowning downstream by heroic measures, rather than asking 'Who or what is pushing them into the river in the first place?'” Another key component to salutogenesis is meaningfulness. If we, as humans, can find meaning in something, it helps us to comprehend and manage the situation much easier. What’s one thing that can help us find meaning as humans? Biophilia.


places of green respite to recharge our bodies and minds. The Japanese already know this secret well. Researchers at the Center for Environment, Health & Field Sciences at Chiba University; as well as their colleagues at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Ibaraki, think this need is rooted in evolution. Throughout our evolution we have existed within, and as a partner with, nature - we are comfortable and feel a symbiosis with it. By contrast, our modern “artificial” society is inherently stressful. According to these researchers, “Shinrin-yoku” (literally “surrounding yourself with forest air”) is considered to be the best way to connect with the natural world and lower stress levels. This is why it is so pleasant to bike around Lake Harriet after a long day at the office. Green refreshes, rejuvenates, restores. Who designed the Chain of Lakes? Horace Cleveland – a landscape architect.

The Chiba University study, “conducted across 24 forests in Japan found that when people strolled in a wooded area, their levels of cortisol plummeted almost 16 percent more than when they walked in an urban environment. And the effects were quickly apparent: Subjects' blood pressure showed improvement after about 15 minutes of the practice. But one of the biggest benefits may come from breathing in chemicals called phytoncides, emitted by trees and plants. Women who logged two to four hours in a forest on two consecutive days saw a nearly 40 percent surge in the activity of cancer-fighting white blood cells, according to one study.” The conclusion? Salutogenically- and biophilically-designed places, which focus on health, help your body by producing the oxygen and phytoncides it craves. They are also places for stormwater to infiltrate and be cleansed, people to recreate, plants to grow, and habitat to flourish. Antifragility Nassim Nicholas Taleb coined this term in his recent book – Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. The basic thesis goes beyond the word du jour – resilience – to another plane altogether. Resilient things are flexible – they can bounce back to their original state from stressors placed upon them. Things that are antifragile also bounce back, but the difference is that instead of just returning to their previous state, antifragile things bounce back and become stronger, better, more improved. When I had ACL surgery on my knee, the surgeon told me that not only would my replacement tendon heal 125 percent stronger than the original ligament; but it would also adapt at a cellular level – the cells shifting over time to become more like a ligament than like a tendon. They became antifragile. As landscape architects, we must strive for antifragility as a rule. We all have tried and true solutions to a design challenge, our go-to materials. But instead of creating designs that emulate the phoenix, emerging the same time and again, let’s create designs that emulate the hydra; the hydra adapts, responds, and becomes stronger when confronted with change. Nature is extremely talented at creating antifragility. Nature is our expertise, our palette. We gravitated to this vocation for our love of the natural world. By knowing how to combine biophilia, salutogenics, and antifragility in the right combinations, we are again building and showcasing our value. One of the best ways to do that is through metrics. >>

We are all capable designers, so let’s buck the status quo and create places that focus on the origins of health with deep-seated meaning. As more people move into urban environments, the more we need

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Green infrastructure metrics I want to offer you a glimpse of just a few current metrics that support the ideas discussed in this article. This is important because metrics are the essential tools that help translate our ideas and beliefs into built work. We have all presented a winning idea, only to have value engineering process water down the integrity it once had. Why? Dollars. Ideas can be enough with some clients, but they are few and far between. For most clients, the market demands you pair ideas with economics. Creating your own metrics, using examples like these, makes the value engineering argument that much harder and your design remains much more intact. Philadelphia’s Green Infrastructure Plan is currently saving the city $4.8 billion – yes, with a “B” – over the traditional grey infrastructure system. Imagine how happy your city government would be if they could showcase billions in savings to taxpayers by moving from fragile to antifragile, pathogenic to salutogenic, and man-made to biophilic? Here are more three more powerful metrics from a great resource Terrapin Bright Green’s The Economics of Biophilia: •

In 1978, ING Bank directors shared a vision for their new 538,000 square foot headquarters in Amsterdam. The focus of the building design was to maximize natural lighting, integrate organic art, and install water features to enhance the productivity of its workers while also creating a new image for the bank. The productivity savings in this case were astounding: absenteeism decreased by 15 percent after construction was completed. Employees looked forward to coming to work and voluntarily tended to the natural features in the office (Romm & Browning, 1994). The bank additionally saved an estimated $2.6 million per year after all energy system and daylighting units were installed

Annually about 45,000 surgeries occur in the United States. The average stay in the hospital for those surgeries is about 4.8 days. (Hall et al., 2010). Views to nature tend to reduce the length of a hospital stay by 8.5 percent (Ulrich, 1984). If we apply this percentage to the 4.8-day hospital stay, we estimate that the average length in hospital stay will decrease by roughly half a day. The national average cost for a day in the hospital is $5,059. We estimate that the nationwide savings per year due to reduced hospital stay associated with major surgery is $93,324,031 (Machlin & Carper, 2007). Again, the purpose of this calculation is not to pinpoint an exact industry cost savings, but rather to generate an idea of what the macroeconomic impacts of biophilic design are on the healthcare industry.

In a consumer study of biophilic store designs, the results were clear: well-tended streets with large trees received the highest preference ratings even though plants obscured some products and building facades (Wolf, 2005). Retail customers judge businesses surrounded by nature and natural features to be worthy of prices up to 25 percent higher than businesses with no access to nature.

mathematical formulas to assist in calculating cost savings and value that designs created by landscape architects can bring. Calculations on reduction of runoff by tree canopies, bio-retention and infiltration, permeable pavements, and water harvesting are there in resplendent mathematical glory just waiting for you to use them. CNT also looks at Value of Quantified Benefits like avoided stormwater treatment costs vs. cost for conventional approaches. Increasing our value What will the headlines say in 2050 about your practice? Will people know why you’re diverging from the rest and why that’s the place to be? Will you have internalized what you will never be? Do people know who you are, what your practice stands for? Have you done something you’re proud of? Will the stories showcase how your practice has created places that heal by design, thrive with volatility, and weave nature into the hearts of our cities so that they would be unrecognizable to us today? Just like the peacock feather’s structural integrity allows it to create brilliant hues from a matte brown base; so can our belief systems allow us to lead the design professions in reforming the dirt of the Anthropocene era into something just as brilliant. ________________________________________________________ David brings a precedent-setting approach to creating solutions for the urban landscape; the crucial centerpiece of a city’s performance, value, and livability. He is a past President of the Minneapolis City Planning Commission and has 14 years of design experience.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology’s (CNT) paper “The Value of Green Infrastructure” offers users extensive



A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

Spec the best from us! 651.450.0277 1.877.JRK.SEED

peru Image credit: Tom Ososki

engage internationally Tom Ososki, Architect/Urbanist My wife and I have a passion for living and working abroad. We have worked as a teacher/ELCA Lutheran pastor (my wife) and as an architect/planner/pastor’s husband/stay-at-home dad (myself). We have worked together in China, Ethiopia, and, most recently, in Peru (the land of quinoa and lima beans!). So, how does an international stay-at-home-dad with limited Spanish engage in the local culture (in this case, in the lovely town of Cusco, Peru)? One, as mentioned above, is to be married to a Lutheran pastor and help her congregation complete construction of their unfinished church. The second is to meet others through children’s activities. This is how Frank Hajek and I met. Frank, myself, and our families all belonged to the Children’s Nature Club of Cusco. This club coordinates Saturday morning kid-focused hikes in and around Cusco for both expatriates (like myself) and for local Peruvians (like Frank). Our short two- to three-hour excursions usually were around my neighborhood of San Jeronimo, but sometimes we hopped in our vehicles or a taxi and adventured out. Frank and I had our first conversation about the urbanism of Cusco drinking some coco after hiking a cave a few miles from Saqsaywamen - the ancient king’s palace of the Inca Empire. This cave, and almost all caves in Peru, are/were considered sacred as they were a connection to the earth’s center. And many of these sacred places throughout the country were connected back to Cusco by energy lines called seques. Cusco Cusco was the epicenter of the short-lived Inca Empire and was considered both the political and spiritual capital. The city was planned out in the form of the puma, the sacred jungle animal of the Incas. The political center was at the puma’s head, Saqsaywamen, and the spiritual center was located at the puma’s reproductive organs. Cusco has transformed from a small city to an urban center of 500,000 souls, many of whom speak both Spanish and Quechua. Fairly dry with seasonal rains, Cusco still feels like a farming town as shepherds (chewing on their jerky) bring their sheep or llamas in to graze in the rugged boulevards and parks. Despite this agricultural aura there is no doubt that Cusco is struggling with development pressure at its edges. Peru’s land history is complex and, honestly, I can only explain bits and pieces. Before and during the Inca’s reign (roughly from the early 1400s until the 1520s) land was communal or owned by the king and



community infrastructure projects were a part of the taxation process. After Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadors took control of the country in the 1530s, they divided up the land amongst themselves. Through the centuries the relatives of the first conquistadors further divided up or sold their land holdings. In addition, the Catholic Church was a big player and a purchaser of lands. These huge landholdings, also known as haciendas, were basically small serfdoms with their own school, church, stores, and serfs. It was a tough life for the common folk. This was the system from basically the mid 1500s until the early 1970s. Around 1972, the left-wing military national leader, Valesco Astete, imposed land reform for much of the country. Essentially, many haciendas were partially or completely closed down. The land was divided up for small individual farms or given to the community. This, along with other factors, caused a downturn in the economy for nearly a decade. To be certain, this land reform was not popular among the upper classes and the business elite. The interesting thing is that a lot of the hillsides/mountainsides of Cusco

are now owned by local community groups. Cusco can generally be thought of as a narrow valley running east-west for about 12 miles and maybe about a mile wide. Most of the valley flats have been developed, so this communal land that has generally been viewed as having little financial value except for grazing (somewhat akin to land in the western United States managed by the Bureau of Land Management) has become financially valuable. Most of the time these areas are divided up to create the most (and smallest) residential lots that can fit on the land. The lots are then sold off and provide income for those in the poor rural communities. However, land sharks sometimes squeeze themselves onto land boards and influence the decision-making process so that they can profit either by selling, buying or developing. Water issues, archeological areas, and road access are a few other large factors in the planning of neighborhoods. As with most places with a limited financial resources, the planning department of Cusco is very small and in the private sector there are few planning professionals (particularly outside of Lima). Fortunately, there are folks like Frank, who care very much about the environment and how humans interact with it. Frank and Nature Services Peru Frank, was raised in the capital of Lima, trained in Oxford, and now lives and works in Cusco. Several years back Frank formed the non-governmental organization, Servicios Ecosistémicos Perú (SePerú). They have been focused on working with the state governments in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. As one might imagine, these Amazonian states are rich in natural resources and are feeling the immense pressures of extraction for wood, gold, natural gas, and other minerals. SePerú works alongside these communities, assisting them in their decision making on how to best manage their natural resources that provides both benefits to the local citizens and to the natural environment. Alongside the formation of SePerú, Frank began a sister organization called Nature Services Peru. This part of the organization provides different consulting services for various organizations. Fees are charged and this money is meant to sustain and develop SePerú. Ticipata and the airport It is through Nature Services that Frank and I formed a working relationship - Frank working with the neighborhood of Ticipata on urban design and I as his consultant/designer. Ticipata is part of one these old haciendas and in fact, the old owner’s large house still exists

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


in the community. With the help of Nature Services Peru, the local land board of Ticipata is looking on how to develop this area that could reflect some core values that would make it a great example for future development in Cusco. The preliminary ideas for Ticipata were to incorporate possible public transportation routes, insert pocket parks, include a public plaza, think about a school location, provide fair distribution from the three mountain springs, and to preserve the small valley that bordered the west side. We provided the council some visual images of what this might look like. One goal was to focus development alongside a new road that runs along the western edge. The public plaza is a familiar concept in Peru, as the Spaniards put one in nearly every town (there are called Plaza de Armas). The one we proposed would overlook the valley and be directly across from protected stone terracing built during the Inca dynasty. At the very end of our stay in Cusco, Frank and I also discussed the possible development opportunity that might be at hand in regards to the airport in town – literally, almost in the center of town. A new international airport that will have longer runways is due to be constructed about 30 minutes outside of Cusco. (You need long runways when you are 11,000 feet above sea level!) What becomes of the old airport site is unknown. Frank and I decided to do a little sketch of what it could be – mostly a central park space, incorporating sports, a zoo, a small environmental university, and some development. We proposed a central pathway in the shape of a snake (another of the sacred animals in Peru). Perhaps the next neighborhood could be shaped in the form of a condor!

Image credit: Tom Ososki

Ticipata refreshed - incorporating public transportation, pocket parks, public plaza, connections to a school and fair distribution from three mountain springs.

International colleagues Although our time together was short, it was a joy to work with Frank – a local resident who cares deeply about the future of his country. It is his engagement with tribes and officials in the jungle along with his work with urban planning that is truly inspiring. You can learn more about Frank Hajek’s work at ________________________________________________________ Tom Ososki is a licensed architect working as a sole proprietor in Saint Paul, MN. He lives with his wife and two children, all of whom speak Spanish a whole lot better than he does. See more of Tom’s Peruvian projects at



Borgerts’ Holland Stone™ is simple in design, yet capable of meeting the demands of architects and designers for a beautiful and durable paved surface. Pavers can be applied in a number of fascinating patterns to create intrigue. For more visual impact, add a contrasting color to create accent bands within your project.

Design without limitations



Visit our showroom at: IMS, Suite 12C

For more information or for a free Borgert catalog call 800.622.4952 W W W. B O R G E R T P R O D U C T S . CO M

STABILIZED PATHWAY MIX A firm and resilient surface with a natural look and feel. Available in 50+ colors of natural

Perkins Woods Evanston, Illinois Pewter Stabilized Pathway

Our Stabilized Pathway Mix consists of decomposed granite or crushed stone screenings blended with a stabilizing binder. This binds and locks the pathway mix to provide a durable, permeable, and natural aggregate surface. These surfaces substantially resist the erosive effects of weather and traffic compared to traditional gravel materials.

stone and recycled materials.

With a natural look much less obtrusive than concrete or asphalt, the Stabilized Pathway surface blends in well with natural settings, making it popular for use in botanical gardens, patios, courtyards, bike paths, nature trails, golf courses, commericial properties, or any environment where a more organic look and feel is desired.

Contact us for a Lunch & Learn Presentation!

800/852-7415 | |

awards celebration and gala May 1, 2015 Minneapolis Central Library

2015 Awards Celebration & Gala Minneapolis Central Library

At its annual Awards Celebration and Gala, ASLA-MN acknowledged outstanding projects that represent the talented work of local professionals and students. In addition to the design awards, the chapter also awarded awards of recognition to recognize outstanding regional professionals that contribute to the local profession. Congratulations to all the award winners your talent is a true testament of your leadership in landscape architecture, your engagement in our communities and your commitment to our environment. The Executive Committee looks forward to another successful year for Minnesota’s creative landscape architecture community.

Credit: Wikepedia

Service & Recognition

General Design (cont’d)

Unbuilt Works

Community Design Excellence Award Colleen Carey

Merit Award City of Oakdale (designed by Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc.) The Pond at Tartan Crossing

Merit Award Coen + Partners Marshall Riverfront and Operations Center

Wirth Award for Excellence in Parks Award Peter Olin, FASLA

Residential Design

Lob Pine Award Bryan Carlson, FASLA

Honor Award Coen + Partners Tulsa Residence

Public Service Award Oryln Miller Women in Landscape Architecture (WILA-MN) Student Leadership Award Bridget Ayers-Looby

Analysis & Planning

H.W.S. Cleveland Award Andrew Montgomery

Honor Award SRF Consulting Group, Inc. Central Mississippi Riverfront Master Plan

General Design Award of Excellence HGA Architects and Engineers Owensboro Health System Campus Honor Award Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc. Target Field Station Square


Merit Award Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc. Valparaiso Downtown Central Park Plaza


Merit Award Steve Durrant, LLC The Peter Mitchell Landscape Framework Plan Merit Award Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc. Duluth Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Merit Award DAMON FARBER University of St. Thomas


Merit Award DAMON FARBER Nic on Fifth

Honor Award University of Minnesota Mined Land: A Short Field Guide

A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

Merit Award oslund.and.assoc. Peavey Plaza

ASLA-MN Student Work Honor Award Alex Hill & Jodi Refsland Dredge Duluth

Merit Award Michael Jones & Jonathan Fillmore The Water Experience Merit Award Sarah Hayosh & Mya Kesler Emerge Lab - Urban Ecology Research Park

University of Minnesota Student Work Honor Award Jody Rader Shannon Sawyer Merit Award Rachel Burand Jodi Refsland

People’s Choice

Michael Jones & Jonathan Fillmore The Water Experience


Community Design Excellence Award Colleen Carey The Community Design Excellence Award is given to an individual who has recognized the role urban design and environmental excellence play in maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Minnesota’s towns and cities. Recipients have shown a strong commitment to the work of landscape architects, sustainable design, and place making. Colleen Carey is highly deserving due to her community-focused, place-making approach to development and her unwavering commitment to socially and environmentally innovative projects. Her excellence is not only embodied in her work in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Richfield and other Minnesota cities, but is heartily attested to by her colleagues within her company and the larger industry. Her colleague describes it succinctly, “Colleen is a place maker, not a developer. Her motivation is to make an impact beyond a building or the simple bricks and mortar.” Colleen is building a legacy of place-making that has only been possible through her understanding and great commitment to design.

Wirth Award for Excellence in Parks Award Peter Olin, FASLA The Theodore Wirth Award for Excellence in Parks is presented to an individual, group, organization, business, governmental or non-governmental agency who has been influential in the planning, design, development, administration, maintenance or preservation of an historic site, landmark or cultural landscape in a park, park system or wildlife preserve. Peter Olin was nominated for the 2015 Wirth Award for his work and leadership in arboreta, gardens, universities, communities and parks globally for more than 45 years. Peter’s work has helped develop and support public open space and the environment by promoting appreciation for quality and environmentally sensitive design solutions, public outreach, research and education and recreation. Peter’s influence has brought increased recognition and elevated the importance of preserving our environment for present and future generations to come.

Lob Pine Award Bryan Carlson, FASLA The Lob Pine Award is the highest honor given by ASLA-MN and has been awarded annually since 1989. Recipients have demonstrated exemplary leadership and mentorship for the landscape architecture community over an extended period of time. Bryan Carlson received this award for his tireless and selfless service and support to the ASLA Minnesota organization and its members. Bryan’s high level of professionalism, leadership, dedication to engaging members, mentorship to emerging professionals, and dedication to the upholding the highest values of landscape architecture sets him as a role model for all members of the organization. Bryan also received this award in 2011.

Public Service Award Orlyn Miller The Public Service Award is generally presented to a landscape architect working in the public sector. The recipients have demonstrated service to the public through projects or advocacy. This award has also been presented to landscape architects who have been voluntarily active in projects or groups which provide a service to the public. Orlyn Miller’s unwavering commitment to innovation and design excellence through direct and honest dialogue balanced with pragmatism required of a public university made his contribution to the evolution of all University of Minnesota Campuses a remarkable one. His professional conduct and personal style yielded a planning and design process that valued collaboration with national and local design talent.

Women in Landscape Architecture (WILA Student Leadership Award Bridget Ayers-Looby The WILA Student Leadership Award goal is to recognize the accomplishments of emerging women leaders in our field. The award competition is open to second and third year women masters in landscape architecture students at the University of Minnesota. Bridget Ayers-Looby demonstrates how emerging landscape architects are reimagining the profession. Bridget serves as the vice-president of the ASLA-MN student chapter, co-founder of the The Buzz pollinators student group, and student representative for the Public Interest Design Certificate working group. Outside the MLA program, Bridget is a team leader with Global Citizens Network where she leads very diverse groups to indigenous international sites, focusing on community development projects as catalysts for cultural exchange. WILA hopes that Bridget will continue to bring passion and thoughtfulness to all that she does.

H.W.S. Cleveland Award Andrew Montgomery The Horace William Shaler (H.W.S.) Cleveland Award is given annually to an individual trained in landscape architecture who is not yet licensed. Recipients have shown through their work and service to ASLA-MN that they have the potential to be a leader in the profession. Andrew Montgomery received the H.W.S. Cleveland Award for his outstanding abilities as a practitioner of landscape architecture and as a recent graduate of the Masters of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Minnesota College of Design. His understanding of critical factors facing today’s landscape architects, exceptional talent at addressing design from master planning to details, and desire for life-long learning only touches the surface on the enthusiasm he exhibits for this complex and challenging profession. Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Owensboro, Kentucky Client: Owensboro Heath Regional Hospital


Owensboro Health System Campus HGA Architects and Engineers

General Design Award The Owensboro Health System Campus takes cues from the surrounding Ohio River ecology to integrate a complex array of water management, ecological reclamation, and human health strategies. To protect against seasonal floods on a flat site, the hospital’s designed topography undulates to create stormwater retention ponds and a large plinth that elevates the hospital. These features double as recreational and healing amenities for patients, visitors, employees, and community members. The landscape architect’s leadership from planning to site management elevates the site’s sustainable impact, establishing an adaptable framework and illustrating the direct connection between a healthy environment and community wellness.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: Hennepin County


Target Field Station Square Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc. General Design Award The LEED certified Target Field Station Square at the doorstep of Target Field, the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, and downtown Minneapolis, embraces a confluence of systems: transportation, rooftop green and public space, innovative stormwater management, and resource reuse. The landscape architects through collaborative leadership endeavored a landscape approach for this transit center exemplified by interlinking, open, accessible, flexible, and iconic civic spaces with strong definition and contextual connections. This transit hub is a model for landscape architects working at the nexus of urban design, transit-oriented development, and sustainability to look beyond discipline boundaries to create meaningful places of lasting value.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: St. Paul, Minnesota Client: University of St. Thomas

University of St. Thomas DAMON FARBER General Design Award The University of St. Thomas, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, has completed its most significant transformation in the last century. The Landscape Architect was instrumental to the successful integration of the new athletic complex, veranda, student center, and quad renovation on this historic campus. This was achieved through comprehensive study of the surrounding context, careful planning, thoughtful placement and detailing of amenities, and visual continuity of geometry, materials, and patterns. Scale, form, and complex circulation issues were resolved with grace. The resulting project seamlessly merges the historic fabric with new campus amenities.



A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Valparaiso, Indiana Client: City of Valparaiso, Parks and Recreation Department


Valparaiso Downtown Central Park Plaza Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc. General Design Award The Downtown Central Park Plaza in Valparaiso, Indiana is a model for how landscape architects can approach design of 21st century urban civic space within a place of significant historic value. As lead on the project, the landscape architects reconciled traditional historic downtown vernacular with innovative stormwater infrastructure, public spaces for versatile use and programming, technological resources, and transit support facilities at the new central park plaza. This successful civic space in the heart of the historic downtown is prominent, flexible, and sustainable, meeting the needs of the modern user and the City, and benefitting downtown business owners.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Oakdale, Minnesota Client: City of Oakdale

The Pond at Tartan Crossing City of Oakdale (designed by SEH, Inc.) General Design Award The site is a unique amenity and centerpiece of a key redevelopment project that was a top priority for the city. The site artfully functions as a regional stormwater treatment facility for the adjacent development and serves as a park attraction for the neighborhood on the city’s signature street. The four-cell filtration basin is designed with decorative, arc-shaped cast in place walls that utilize weirs and multiple spouts to convey water from cell to cell through a meandering channel. The area is planted with native grasses, forbs, and shrubs providing pollinator habitat and year-round visual interest. 33


A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma Client: Private Residence


Tulsa Residence

Honor Award Coen + Partners

Residential Design Award Tulsa Residence sits on a 2.4 acre hillside site with a notable collection of mature Post Oak trees. The client’s goal was to create a comfortable home of the entire site, while maintaining and enhancing the existing oak Savannah vegetation. Matures trees were kept and became focus point for special landscape features, such as auto court flag stone gardens and back yard fire pit areas. The entire site was designed to minimize maintenance and water usage. Private spaces of the house open inward to a protected central pool courtyard, pulling in the sky above through reflection.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: The Opus Group

Nic on Fifth DAMON FARBER Residential Design Award The Nic on Fifth is a LEED-Silver 27 story, 253 luxury apartment tower situated in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. The residence’s social ‘backyard’ is the 22,000 square feet - 6th floor roof-top amenity terrace. The landscape architect was responsible for leading the pool/hot tub design, arbor/bar/cabana/firepit detailing, paving patterns, furniture selection, lighting concepts, fine grading, landscape design and extensive green roof layout.



A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Central Mississippi Riverfront Master Plan SRF Consulting Group, Inc. Analysis and Planning Award Creating a master plan for the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park (CMRRP), which encompasses approximately 350 acres of Mississippi riverfront located in the heart of Minneapolis, required a comprehensive public engagement process. The result is a set of policy directions that resonate with a diverse group of stakeholders who have now become advocates for its implementation. The CMRRP master plan connects people to the river and provides dynamic places, while enhancing natural resources and maintaining consistency with the riverfront’s history. Few master plans processes exceed its influence, in terms of positively impacting the community and ecology of this important place. 39


A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Duluth, Minnesota Client: City of Duluth


Duluth Parks and Recreation Plan Hoisington Koegler Group, Inc. Analysis and Planning Award This systemwide Parks and Recreation Plan for the City of Duluth was intended to address budgetary and maintenance issues that led to elimination of programs and a growing backlog of maintenance projects and issues. The planning process featured an extensive community engagement campaign, a system inventory and needs assessment, and resulted in the establishment of eight guiding principles and objectives, fifty-four recommended actions, and thirteen priority projects for implementation. At least eight of the priority projects have been completed or are in progress and the plan has led to multiple planning and improvement projects throughout the system.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Mesabi Iron Range, Minnesota Client: Northshore Mining Company

The Peter Mitchell Landscape Framework Plan Steve Durrant, LLC Analysis and Planning Award The Peter Mitchell Landscape Framework Plan pioneers a master strategy for reclamation of taconite mines on the Mesabi Iron Range. It prescribes a sixty-year approach to rebuilding an 11-mile mine into future upland, shoreline and aquatic habitat, in response to state guidelines for mitigation of impacts to local watersheds. The Framework advances landscape architecture thinking and practice in long-term planning and large-scale design of altered landscapes. It inspired precedentsetting interdisciplinary collaboration, client action planning, and installation of practical tools for in field mine operators. Land forming of phase one is underway. 43


A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Mesabi Iron Range, Minnesota Client: University of Minnesota with sponsorship by Laurentian Vision Partnership

Mined Land: A Short Field Guide University of Minnesota Communications Award Mined Land: A Short Field Guide presents a variety of progressive reclamation concepts for the repair and reclamation of mine land features – stockpiles, rock stockpiles, pit lake edges and high walls, soils, haul and service roads. Technically dimensioned and colored sections and diagrams, along with photos depicting desired future landscape character, illustrate the goals and recommended practices. The guidebook’s format is designed for use in the field by mine engineers and equipment operators.



A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Marshall Riverfront Park and Operations Center Coen + Partners Unbuilt Works Award The Marshall Riverfront Park and Operations Center is a crucial link in the city’s riverside park system, a place to acknowledge our evolving relationship to the Mississippi River. Site analysis established the program for a 30-year park vision that performs through both function and experience. The Phase One design implementation uses contextual plant, hardscape, and site elements to reflect the Mississippi River ecology, respond to the existing industrial heritage, and invite the public to see their intersection. Furthermore, the design employs educational signage to illuminate the performative environmental processes on site including phytoremediation, stormwater biofiltration, and native plantings. 47


A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota Client: City of Minneapolis


Peavy Plaza oslund.and.assoc. Unbuilt Works Award Redesigning Peavey Plaza draws its conceptual moves from cues of the original design by creating a recessed space geared specifically to performance. The site, located in the center of downtown Minneapolis along Nicollet Avenue, becomes an iconic urban plaza. A newly revitalized Peavey Plaza will create a vibrant, usable, and centrally located public space in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. The space is dedicated to programmed activities and performances connected to the street level and offers space for public viewing and participation of passersby. The flexible space can be used not only for large events but functions for the daily needs of the city.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21


Dredge Duluth Alex Hill & Jodi Refsland Student Work Dredge Duluth reimagines the traditional dredging process in an effort to rebrand dredge material as a resource to support ecological resilience and facilitate recreation throughout the St. Louis River Estuary. Our proposal develops a cycle-based response to address contaminated sediment and delist the St. Louis River Area of Concern. Through the use of geotubes, phytoremediation, and marsh terracing, Dredge Duluth generates a site-based system that encourages community interaction and celebrates the process of sedimentation, dredging, and cleansing. This process becomes a replicable strategy throughout the river as a means to rebuild the ecological integrity of the St. Louis River Estuary. 51


A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21


The Water Experience Michael Jones & Jonathan Fillmore Student Work With the new water ethic emerging along with changing roles for landscape architects, our question for this project is, “What would a water centric community look like in Chicago for the future?” The heart of this proposed design is a constructed water treatment wetland complex, which serves to function as a river cleansing mechanism and storm water treatment system where water from the Chicago River is pumped through a series of five wetlands. Nestled around these wetlands, we designed commercial, mixed-use and residential courtyards that are focused on a live, work, and play living condition and around a new water paradigm. This project also received the 2015 People’s Choice Award, as voted upon by ASLA-MN Celebration & Gala attendees. 53


A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities


Summer 2015 | Issue #21



Emerge Lab - Urban Ecology Research Park Sarah Hayosh & Mya Kesler Student Work A 62-acre former industrial site near downtown Chicago along the Chicago River provides an opportunity to study the environmental potential of brownfield sites, while creating a unique recreational space where urban dwellers can interact with nature. We propose creating a research center, Emerge Lab, to study emergent plant communities that have already established on the site and examine their role in wider ecological process. We also present a remediation and development framework that integrates research function with recreational greenspace, and promotes green infrastructure.

Summer 2015 | Issue #21



In an effort to reward students demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, each year ASLA invites accredited Universities to nominate a number of their graduating students for the ASLA National Honor and Merit Awards. The University of Minnesota faculty selects four nominees from a list of eligible candidates who have demonstrated the highest level of academic scholarship and have exhibited self-motivation, responsibility, and a willingness to work with others. The nominees present their academic work to a jury of professionals, who then vote to award up to two Honor and two Merit awards.

Honor Award, Jody Rader National Student Awards

Jody came to Landscape Architecture through her background in community and public interest design. After completing her undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Minnesota, she lived on the Gulf Coast for 6 years, performing design and planning work as a response to Hurricane Katrina. While in grad school, she has had the opportunity to engage in a number of interdisciplinary research projects, looking at cold-climate greenhouses, prairie restoration, affordable housing, and campus design. She currently works for the City of Minneapolis, doing research and mapping for the Downtown Public Realm Framework plan. Her desire to create authentic public spaces has fueled her capstone work, which focuses on designing mechanisms to activate underdeveloped surface parking lots in the Elliot Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Honor Award, Shannon Sawyer Shannon’s education and experience in landscape architecture and heritage preservation position her at the cutting edge of the future of the professional world, where interdisciplinary knowledge and work will be indispensable. With a passion for cultural landscapes and sustainable landscape preservation, the National Park Service is the ideal path for Shannon. Her capstone project explores the intersection of climate change adaptation and the National Park Service’s Mission of preservation at Mount Rainier National Park.

Merit Award, Jodi Refsland Jodi’s passion as a designer is fueled by ecological restoration and landscape stewardship. Complementing her landscape architecture degree with Conservation Biology and Ecological Restoration minors, her work strives to marry ecological function and human experience. From large-scale visioning projects that enhance resiliency and capture the awe-factor of nature, to site-scale interventions that encourage exploration of our native environments, Jodi is committed to creating socio-ecologically vibrant landscapes that strengthen the human connection with nature. Her capstone project explores the healing potential of ecological restoration as a process that not only restores the land but also has the potential to support PTSD recovery and civilian transitioning of today veterans while fostering a legacy of landscape stewardship.

Merit Award, Rachel Burand Rachel’s decision to pursue a career in landscape architecture stems from a year spent in AmeriCorps as the Special Projects Manager for the Port of Cascade Locks in Oregon. It was there she designed and managed a landscape plan within a park along the Columbia River Gorge, started a local community garden, and was introduced to this field. As a landscape architecture student with a background in environmental studies and graphic design, she is interested in urban design, walkability, and designing for public health. Her capstone project explores reconnecting a neighborhood in St. Paul with a freeway lid park over I-94.



A world of solutions - one profession, endless possibilities

thank you advertisers Historic Stone Company



Victor Stanley, Inc.

Scharetg Pictures

651-641-1234 Minneapolis, MN

Thinking about your next project? Contact these advertisers for more information on the products and services they offer.

Plaisted Companies, Inc.

1.800.368.2573 Maryland, USA

US Patent D710,625 S; D710,139 S.

763.441.1100 Elk River, MN

Spending lunch in Camelot since 1962. For over 50 years, Victor Stanley has designed, engineered, and manufactured timeless site furnishings so you can bring communities to life. Using genuine IPE wood slats and solid steel with exceptionally high recycled content, our new Reverie collection is the perfect marriage of sleek design, longevity, and comfort. Contact Charlene Vera at


ASLA_Minnesota_8.5x7.75_CAMELOT.indd 1

7/2/15 4:42 PM

UNLIMITED DESIGN OPTIONS Turn your creative designs into reality with VERSA-LOK retaining walls and Willow Creek pavers. Solid VERSA-LOK wall units make attractive stairs, corners, curves, columns and more, giving your projects a consistent appearance from top to bottom. Willow Creek pavers come in shapes, textures and colors to suit any landscape styling, from

VERSA-LOK Retaining Wall Systems 651.770.3166 Oakdale, MN

classic to contemporary.

Bachman’s Wholesale 651.463.3288 Farmington, MN

Gertens Wholesale

Spec the best from us!

Inver Grove Heights, MN 651.450.1501 www.gertens/wholesale/

Landscape Forms 1.800.430.6206 x 1333 MN, ND, SD, WI




Borgerts’ Holland Stone™ is simple in design, yet capable of meeting the demands of architects and designers for a beautiful and durable paved surface. Pavers can be applied in a number of fascinating patterns to create intrigue. For more visual impact, add a contrasting color to create accent bands within your project.

Design without limitations


Borgert Products, Inc.

Mlazgar Associates

1.800.622.4952 St. Joseph, MN

Eden Prairie: 952.943.8080 Grand Forks: 701.746.5407


Visit our showroom at: IMS, Suite 12C


For more information or for a free Borgert catalog call 800.622.4952 W W W. B O R G E R T P R O D U C T S . CO M

Designs that Inspire

Landscape Structures

Hunter | FXLuminaire


760.744.5240 San Marcos, CA

JTH Lighting Alliance


Wabun Picnic Area, Minnehaha Regional Park Minneapolis

Learn more at or contact your local playground consultant. Insta

4940 W.Lake 35thRoad Street 5607 Cedar South St. Louis Park,Park, Minnesota 55416 565 & 567 Serving allLouis Minnesota zipMN codes except St. 55416 877.550.7860 877.550.7860

Serving Minnesota zip codes 565 & 567

877.550.7860 • 763.550.7860 763.550.7860 763.550.7860

800.726.4064 • 701.237.6181

©2015 Landscape Structures Inc.

JTH Lighting Alliance Twin Cities Largest Provider of Commercial Lighting Solutions Design • Sample Reviews • Budget Pricing • Mock-Ups Photometric Calculations

jth_ad_8.5x5.5 2015.indd 1

Plymouth: 763.512.2849 Stillwater: 651.748.3158 Farmington: 651.423.5048

Contact your Local Representative for the following assistance:

5/11/15 9:51 PM

Providing: Concept Development & Budgeting Assistance Consultation Engineering & Construction Document Services Single Source- Design / Build Services

Specializing in The Complete Fountain Structure Waterproofing Finishes Mechanical Systems Electrical & Control Systems

Contact for a complimentary conceptual design & budgetary analysis.



Kafka Granite

Commercial Aquatic Engineering

Its Just Water Without Us


STABILIZED PATHWAY MIX A firm and resilient surface with a natural look and feel. Available in 50+ colors of natural

Perkins Woods Evanston, Illinois Pewter Stabilized Pathway

Our Stabilized Pathway Mix consists of decomposed granite or crushed stone screenings blended with a stabilizing binder. This binds and locks the pathway mix to provide a durable, permeable, and natural aggregate surface. These surfaces substantially resist the erosive effects of weather and traffic compared to traditional gravel materials.


stone and recycled materials.

With a natural look much less obtrusive than concrete or asphalt, the Stabilized Pathway surface blends in well with natural settings, making it popular for use in botanical gardens, patios, courtyards, bike paths, nature trails, golf courses, commericial properties, or any environment where a more organic look and feel is desired. Contact us for a Lunch & Learn Presentation!

800/852-7415 | |

Want to advertise with ASLA-MN? • Contact Kathy Aro at 612.339.0797 or for more information.

International Market Square 275 Market Street, Suite 54 Minneapolis, MN 55405-1627 T: 612.339.0797 F: 612.338.7981

_SCAPE 2015 Summer  
_SCAPE 2015 Summer