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Great Plains ASLA Chapter
2015 ASLA Chapter Reports

Three Great Plains Chapter ASLA member firms were selected by the Landscape Architecture Foundation for its Case Study Investigation program, supporting collaboration between academia and the landscape architecture profession. The selected firms include Confluence for its work in Sioux Falls, S.D., FourFront for its work in Rapid City, S.D., and Wyss Associates for its work on Mount Rushmore in Keystone, S.D., pictured.

Last spring Eirik Heikes, PLA, ASLA, president of the Great Plains Chapter ASLA, made a challenge to his Chapter, in part borrowed from ASLA National Past President Mark Focht, ASLA: "Let's be BOLD as professionals; we have the establishment and responsibility in our region. Let's strive for significant work and continue to compete on a national level."

Heikes summarized some of the boldness he observed this year as chapter president.

Membership in the Great Plains Chapter has grown, and it has a new trustee, John Royster, FASLA, who has been effective and dynamic.

The chapter has been busy as sections, getting together on numerous occasions for social, professional, and strategic partnering efforts. The sponsorship/partnership efforts exceeded the goals set for the year and continue to show great promise for 2016. The Fargo Ruban event in August was excellent, Heikes said, and firms in that vibrant community sure know how to put on a conference. Landscape architects received 19 total professional awards in the Great Plains Chapter biannual awards program, showcasing diversity, innovation, and dedication.


Nineteen total professional awards were distributed at the chapter's biannual awards program. The Elmwood Park Stormwater Diversion project designed by Big Muddy Workshop received an award in the Design Build category.

The chapter attended the Public Awareness meeting in Tampa, Fla., and really stepped up its social media emphasis and advocacy. "Designed by a Landscape Architect" saw record exposure nationally and internationally. GPCASLA sent a strong constituency to Washington, D.C., in April for Advocacy Day. The chapter is seeing the fruit of this work come to reality now with transportation and other legislative work.

Dennis Bryers, FASLA, was elected to CLARB Committee on Nominations. Mike Stanley, prior trustee, took over as vice president of communications of national ASLA after the Chicago Annual Meeting. A new chapter president and new officers stepped up following Chicago as well. Brian Pecka, ASLA, will do great work as president. He gets the keys to a finely tuned machine and has great things planned. The Landscape Architecture Foundation Case Study Investigation featured the work of three landscape architecture firms in South Dakota this year. South Dakota State University celebrated 50 years of landscape architecture in April just in time for Landscape Architecture Month.


The Fargo section of the Great Plains Chapter ASLA held a Chapter Conference on August 28-29. Shawn T. Kelly, MLA, PLA, FASLA, was one of the speakers at the conference.

Many members participated in Parking Day on September 18th as well as other advocacy and awareness work for the profession. The chapter saw a record amount of opportunities for continuing education through various events and has really refined the application of the LA/CES process. The chapter saw significant happenings on its website and Facebook page (GPC ASLA); updates and events were almost a daily occurrence and people got the word out.

Heikes wishes to extend a very special thank you to all who gave time and energy to the Great Plains Chapter and to the American Society of Landscape Architects. The chapter hosted a reception at the ASLA Expo in Chicago in November, where he had the chance to personally thank each present member for their boldness this year.

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October 15, 2019, 10:22 pm PDT

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