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Newsletter: July 2018

President's Report

This year is really flying by – and I’ve really enjoyed serving our Chapter.  Hard to believe I’ve only got a couple months left to go before handing over the reins.  We’ve accomplished a lot together in a relatively short period of time, and I’m looking forward to the homeward stretch with an eye to getting a few more things done together.
I want to give a big shout out to our Executive Committee.  Without their help and tireless efforts collectively, we couldn’t do the amazing things we’ve been able to accomplish.  And we’ve continued to grow as a Chapter – welcoming new members into the fold, and providing more opportunities to get involved.
To that end, please help me welcome Ninah Butler from BHC Rhodes as our newest addition to the PGASLA Executive Committee!  Ninah will be serving as our Membership Chair this year – and I know she is going to do a fantastic job welcoming our new members and helping to coordinate new fun events.  She’s been actively involved in our Chapter for quite some time, and we are excited to have her officially on board to help continue to move us forward.  Please reach out and congratulate her on this new appointment – and thank her for her continuing service to the Chapter.  Welcome aboard Ninah!
Here is a quick update on some upcoming activities, events, and noteworthy items

  • Summer Social Club – Powell Gardens 
    PGASLA is hosting a day at Powell Gardens this Saturday, July 28th from 10am-2pm – including a tour of the Festival of Butterflies.See the “flyer” in this newsletter! 
    Register Here
  • Annual PGASLA Election
    Don’t forget to vote in our PGASLA Annual Election that is currently underway – check your e-mail for your official ballot. The election ends on August 9th, and our next slate of officers will be announced in next month’s newsletter.
  • Prairie Gateway ASLA Leadership Scholarship
    We’ve officially worked through all the details with the KSU Foundation – and it’s official. Our new scholarship is now fully endowed, and they are actively reviewing and will be selecting the 2018-2019 recipient very soon. We’ll hopefully be able to announce it in next month’s newsletter – stay tuned.
  • Awards Jury Members Needed
    Our Chapter will be convening a jury of Landscape Architects to review submissions from the South Carolina Chapter. David Contag is leading this effort, and will be convening the jury. If you are interested in this opportunity, please e-mail him directly at right away! The review will happen sometime between August 24th and September 10th (exact time TBD). The South Carolina Chapter served as the jury for our recent Central States Awards submittals, and they did a fantastic job for us. This is our opportunity to return the favor.
  • Sponsorship Appreciation Event
    Many thanks go out to Jackie Kolpek for organizing this year’s event out at “The K”. Please mark your calendars for Friday, September 14th to watch our Royals take on the Twins. Tailgating starts at 5:00pm and first pitch of the game will be at 7:15pm. This year’s tailgate will be catered with pulled pork bbq and other fixin’s – along with some cold tasty beverages. Each chapter member receives one complimentary ticket, and sponsors receive two tickets. Registration will be available on our website soon, and additional tickets can be purchased for $15 each through our site as well. Watch for an e-mail announcement soon with more details – and check out the flyer in this newsletter.
  • Annual Meeting at Top Golf
    Based on the success of this event last year, we’ve decided to have our 2018 Annual Meeting at Top Golf in Overland Park once again – scheduled for Tuesday, September 25thWe anticipate some great appetizers and drinks, with a $25 ticket price. We are also encouraging and accepting event sponsors for this one – so please let us know if your company would like to participate and gain some stage time in front of our membership that evening. Many thanks go out to Michael Killeen for organizing this year’s event – and please e-mail him at to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
  • Regional Initiative Support
    Our Chapter will likely be hosting two large public meetings in the next few months – and we’ll need volunteers to help provide facilitation during these two events. We are actively coordinating these efforts with key stakeholders and hope to be able to announce more details in the next month or so.
  • Bi-State APA Conference – Planning for Tomorrow
    Mark your calendars for this upcoming conference scheduled for October 24-27 here in Kansas City. Early bird registration deadline is August 31st. More information is available at There should be some fantastic opportunities for continuing education credits, and our Chapter is a sponsor for this year’s conference. We design and planning types need to stick together and support each other – right?!?

That’s A LOT of stuff to put on your calendars. It’s amazing to see the things our Chapter is accomplishing with our growing group of volunteers.  There are emerging opportunities to get involvement throughout our entire Chapter’s foot print – including Wichita, Manhattan, and Lawrence.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in learning more.
Stay cool out there – and hope to see you all soon!    

Wm. Christopher Cline, PLA, ASLA
President, Prairie Gateway Chapter

Diamond Level Sponsors

PGASLA Summer Social Club: Powell Gardens Festival of Butterflies

PGASLA is excited to host a day at Powell Gardens! Please sign up to join us for a tour of the Festival of Butterflies, a new exhibit coming to the botanic gardens. This family friendly event is open to all members and their families.
Snacks and beverages will be provided around lunch-time. Visitors will be required to cover the parking fee of $5.

Register Here

PGASLA Sponsorship Appreciation Night at the KC Royals

Register Here

Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Collaborative

What is SITES?
The Sustainable Sites Initiative, or SITES, is the most comprehensive program and toolkit for developing sustainable landscapes and resilient places. The SITES program offers a rating system designed to define sustainable sites, measure their performance, and ultimately evaluate the value of landscapes.
Learn More about SITES.  

The SITES Collaborative Vision
Developing and empowering leaders in the industry to act as SITES implementation experts, advocating for sustainable design and the facilitation of integrated SITES practices within the region.

SITES Collaborative Goals
  • Develop a list of experts who specialize in each area or section of the rating system.
  • Establish metrics, talking points, tools and more for discussing the benefits of the rating systems.
  • Develop feedback for GBCI on the benefits and difficulties of their offerings.

We meet the first Wednesday of each month at 8:30am via web conference.
The SITES Collaborative is open to anyone in the USGBC West North Central Region: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North & South Dakota. If you would like to get more information and join the Collaborative, please reach out to Michael Killeen (, or Julie Peterson (

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Trustee Report

Submitted by David Contag
July 26, 2018
I am excited about the great work your PGASLA Executive Committee is doing.  Check the calendar on the website for upcoming events including our Sponsorship Appreciation event at the Royals.  Our Annual Meeting at TopGolf in August is also coming up soon.  Probably the most exciting, is the new Landscape Architecture scholarship our chapter will be setting up at K-State for LA students which is designed to encourage students committed to Landscape Architecture and to promote leadership in ASLA programs. 
The Board of Trustees are gearing up for their summer workshop webinar next week in preparation for the national Trustee meetings in Philadelphia this October.  The following summarizes other events and initiatives ASLA is doing nationally:
Executive Offices

  • The Executive Committee met July 20-21 in Albuquerque to focus on the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis; review of Board input on revisions to the mission, vision, values, and culture; continuation of Board discussions on membership categories and privileges; 2019-2020 legislative priorities; preliminary program changes and enhancements for the 2019 annual operating plan; approval of new committee guidelines and updated PPN guidelines; new and returning officer orientation; and review of eligibility requirements for the student awards.  (Executive Committee agendas can be accessed in the Leadership Handbook on the website.) The meeting also included two days of wellness exercises with early morning run/walks around historic Albuquerque.
  • The Board of Trustees summer webinar will be held on Thursday, August 2, at 3:00 p.m. EDT/Noon PDT.  The agenda will be a program and operations update and look ahead to the fall Board meeting.  Contact Corporate Secretary Curt Millay, ASLA, for more information.
  • Staff changes in process:  The new Human Resources Manager, Richard Winston III, started yesterday. PR and Communications Director Terry Poltrack will be retiring at the end of the month.  Terry’s many contributions to ASLA include his leadership of the Public Awareness Summits and the first four Diversity Summits.  Kevin Fry, who has been on board as a communications consultant, will take Terry’s place.  Also retiring at the end of July is Resource Development and Stakeholder Relations Director Ron Sears, who managed the successful fundraising for the ASLA Center and established the ongoing Annual Fund and Heritage Circle Fund campaigns.  The resource development position will be changed to a manager position and will report to PR and Communications under Kevin.  Marketing, handled by Manager Lauren Martella, will move out of PR and Communications and report to Susan Apollonio in the retitled Education and Marketing department.  A few additional staff changes are taking place in the Professional Practice department. Professional Practice Manager Katie Riddle, ASLA, has been elevated to Sr. Manager and Coordinator Ali Hay has been promoted to Professional Practice Manager.  Recruitment will begin shortly for a professional practice coordinator.  Government Affairs Coordinator Casey Ellingson has been accepted to the University of Amsterdam for a master’s program and will be departing at the end of the week. Recruitment has begun for his position.  Congratulations to all!
  • The Chinatown Green Street team made final selections on construction management, geotechnical, and permit expediting firms and will begin negotiating contracts with each as design development continues.  Meetings with stakeholders and city agencies continue. Secretary Millay submitted the second quarter 2018 progress report to the District Department of the Environment today as a requirement of the EPA Clean Water Revolving State Fund grant for the Chinatown Green Street. 
  • Staff traveled to the office of Rhodeside & Harwell in Alexandria, VA, today to learn the inner workings of a landscape architecture firm. Principals Faye Harwell, FASLA, and Elliot Rhodeside, FASLA, gave a presentation on the firm’s work.  Staff also had an opportunity to speak with the firm’s staff about the projects they are working on.
Finance, Meetings, and Business Operations
  • CFO Mike O’Brien, Hon. ASLA, and the Accounting staff have completed the June 2018 close (results are in line with the plan), reported the results at the summer Executive Committee meeting last weekend, and will report the results to the Finance and Investments Committee via conference call tomorrow.
  • Close to 3,000 have already registered for the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO. If you have not yet purchased your ticket for the Council of Fellows Investiture Dinner, purchase it soon before the event sells out. Five field sessions are sold out. It’s not too late to save:  Register before the advanced rate deadline of September 14 and save $75 off onsite rates.
  • The official annual meeting hotel room block is filling up and rooms are selling as quickly as they are added. The Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown has availability, 10/17-10/23, while the others may be limited to 10/18-10/22. Sold out hotels include Loews, Le Meridien, Home2Suites, and Aloft. For housing assistance, call Experient at 800-424-5249. Book in the block and save up to $75 more on registration. Don’t fall victim to housing poachers.  
Government Affairs
  • Government affairs is requesting that each chapter complete a short National Site Tour Day Outlook Survey. During Advocacy Day 2018 staff unveiled, “National Site Tour Day,” a new chapter advocacy initiative that will take place on August 4. Completion of the survey will provide direction to ASLA staff on which chapters need additional assistance implementing their site tour.
  • Last week, working with coalition partners and our grassroots advocates, Government Affairs helped defeat two amendments on the floor of the House of Representatives that would have eliminated all funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). ASLA activated the iAdvocate network urging members to oppose amendments #111 and #129 to H.R. 6147, the Interior-Environment, and Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act for FY 2019. These amendments, both offered by Representative Andy Biggs (AZ), were direct attacks on LWCF and were specifically devised to drive a wedge between conservation and recreation groups by taking money from LWCF and giving it to either/or the National Parks Service’s (NPS) maintenance backlog or to pay down the U.S. Forest Services’ deficit.
  • ASLA submitted comments in opposition to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park Supplemental Perimeter Fencing proposal. In response to overwhelming public backlash, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) adopted a motion to defer any action on the proposal until its September 2018 meeting. NCPC has requested, prior to the next commission meeting, that the Smithsonian Institution provide a brief security assessment and conduct public outreach with members of the community and other stakeholders.  You can read ASLA’s comments and find out more details on the proposal here.
  • Recently, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed an executive order directing New Mexico state licensing boards and commissions to review all of their licensing requirements, compare the requirements against national averages, and propose changes to eliminate any “unnecessary regulatory burdens.” Government Affairs provided the New Mexico Chapter with an initial set of guidelines to aid in responding to the review and will continue to work with the chapter, New Mexico Board of Landscape Architects, and the Council of Landscape Architecture Registration Boards in drafting a formal response.
Landscape Architecture Magazine
  • LAM Editor Brad McKee welcomed 38 high school students and 4 teachers from Arts on the Block to the Center for Landscape Architecture for an introduction to landscape architecture and a tour of the ASLA green roof. The nonprofit, based in Kensington, MD, recruits promising art students locally to compete for and create public art and placemaking projects.
Member and Chapter Services
  • ASLA launched the new FirmFinder tool last week.  FirmFinder is now fully searchable by location and area of specialty.  ASLA members can enhance their firm profiles at no extra cost, adding information and images related to their firm’s services.
  • ASLA overall membership has declined slightly, with a 1.7 percent since July 25, 2017.  Most of this decline is attributed to the associate membership category, down by 18.7 percent since last year.  One positive trend is student membership, which after many years of sharp decline, has increased by 1.2 percent from last year. 

Public Relations and Communications
  • On July 9, the Communications department hosted a webinar for the Public Awareness Coalition to discuss PARK(ing) Day 2018 plans, honors nominations, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resilience report, and an update on the annual meeting and EXPO. You can find a recording of the webinar here.
  • The Business Quarterly survey for the second quarter closed yesterday, with 116 key firm contacts responding. The results will be announced in a forthcoming press release.
  • DIRT Editor Jared Green interviewed Robert Gibbs, ASLA, a landscape architect who has planned over 500 retail environments. The interview has received nearly 2,000 reads.
  • ASLA Communications Intern Andrew Wright covered the Commission on Fine Arts meeting, which reviewed the latest designs for the World War I Memorial.
Education and Marketing
  • The annual meeting education has been approved by LA CES, AIA, APA, CMAA, ISA, Florida and New York licensing boards. The annual meeting website is being updated as approvals are received.
  • The professional development needs survey closed on July 17. The purpose of the survey is to inform the development of continuing education content. The survey received 519 responses.
  • The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™) has 243 active providers offering 1,276 courses. There are two new provider applications pending review.
  • Careers Building Communities, a strategic collaboration of 29 real estate-related organizations focused on raising awareness and attracting diverse talent to the many careers available across the built environment, launched this week. The platform is designed for students, educators and other individuals to explore each industry sector and learn more about education and employment opportunities (
  • The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) met July 13-14 for the Summer 2018 board meeting. LAAB reviewed 10 renewal of accreditation programs, including: Michigan State University (BLA); Texas Tech University (BLA); State University of New York (BLA & MLA); University of Nebraska (BLA); University of California Berkeley (MLA); University of Virginia (MLA); University of Idaho (MLA); University of Connecticut (BSLA); and University of California Davis (BSLA); one initial accreditation program Kent State University (MLA); and one candidacy program Universidad del Turabo (BSLA). Additionally, LAAB worked on organizational improvements and processes, including discussion of accrediting online programs.
Professional Practice
  • Director Susan Cahill, Hon. ASLA, and Sr. Manager Katie Riddle, ASLA, are working with the North Carolina Chapter and U.S. Green Building Council on their joint Sustainable SITES® event series to be held during the week of November 5. A SITES presentation coordinated with a chapter section event are being planned for each of the five sections to engage and motivate the members and the communities.
  • On August 7, the Water Conservation PPN will host a live ASLA Online Learning presentation, Water Conservation in Landscape Irrigation, offering 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW). Michael Igo, PE, Affiliate ASLA, president, Aqueous Consultants, LLC, will present the biology, mechanics, and engineering behind plant water conservation, implementation methods through irrigation practices and technology, and how the result can be a landscape that uses significantly less water while preserving your intended look as a landscape architect.
  • Sr. Manager Riddle hosted a call with staff from the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) and Joy Kuebler, ASLA. Joy will be participating in NRPA’s 10-Minute Walk Learning Series, sharing her expertise in how to achieve equitable park access and quality through public engagement techniques utilizing the power of play. The 10-Minute Walk Campaign is a nationwide movement to ensure there’s a great park within a 10-minute walk of every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America. Joy’s learning series recording will be available by early August, followed up by a live Q&A session on August 30. More information to come.
  • Sr. Manager Riddle and Manager Hay hosted sixth and seventh grade students from the National Building Museum’s summer camp, Building with Land, a 5-day camp focused on landscape architecture. The students participated in a career discovery presentation and engaged in exciting questions about the profession, design, and local projects around D.C. The students completed a design exercise from the ASLA Discover Landscape Architecture Activity Book for Kids, identified native plants on the green roof, and explored the educational exhibition of the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture. 
  • Last week, the ASLA Archives received original submission materials from past ASLA professional awards winners for the years 1968-1999. The collection, totaling 48.75 linear feet of materials, will be preserved in the archives and fully processed in the future.
Deadlines and Reminders 
  • Get a $100 discount off the SITES® Accredited Professional exam for the first 150 registrants through September 3.

The Leadership Calendar can be accessed on the web.

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