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2016 ASLA Chapter Reports
Great Plains ASLA Chapter


Mark Focht, FASLA, provided the keynote address at the Great Plains Chapter Annual Conference in Bellevue, Neb. There were 88 participants, including 46 students, who attended the conference for presentations and networking.

One of the main initiatives for the Great Plains Chapter this past year was to increase educational and networking opportunities for members throughout the three states they represent; Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. To kick-off the year, the Nebraska Section held an event in Lincoln, Neb., highlighting the current works of The Clark Enersen Partners. Six more individual section events were held within the chapter throughout the year. To help celebrate World Landscape Architecture Month, the North Dakota and South Dakota sections held events in Fargo, North Dakota and Rapid City, South Dakota featuring a public screening of the PBS film "10 Parks that Changed America."


South Dakota Section members gathered in Rapid City for the GPC Summer Social. Front row left to right: Alex DeSmidt, Tanya Olson and Chris Brandriet. Back row: Mike Bender, Tim Deckert, Mellissa Petersen, Luke Champa, Michael Stanley, Randy Fisher, Alex Bossert, Eirik Heikes and Matt Fridell.

The chapter also strove to increase collaboration with allied professionals. In March, the Nebraska Section co-sponsored a kick-off reception for the Great Plains LID Symposium in Omaha in conjunction with the Nebraska American Society of Civil Engineers. In South Dakota, the chapter helped to sponsor two events in conjunction with AIA South Dakota. These events included the South Dakota Design in the Hills Conference in July and the South Dakota AIA Conference in September. All of these events provided a great opportunity for members to meet and mingle with engineering and architecture colleagues.


Winners of an ASLA Student Honor Award from South Dakota State University include (from left to right); Rachel Drietz, Carter Roberts, Kyle Franta, Thomas Schneider and Caleb Tschetter.

On September 30, the GPC Annual Conference was held at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, Nebraska. A total of 88 participants, including 46 students, showed up for a day of stimulating presentations and networking opportunities. Mark Focht, FASLA, Past President of ASLA, introduced the conference theme with his keynote address, Parks in American Life. Mark's presentation was followed by a series of presentations highlighting nine local and state parks, given primarily by GPC members. Additional speakers included Patty Trap, Deputy Regional Director of the Midwest Region of the National Park Service; and Heidi Hohmann of Iowa State University.


GPC members attended the Nebraska Section event in July that included a presentation on the design of the Nebraska Capitol Courtyard Fountains followed by a tour to see the status of construction for two of the four fountains. Capitol Commission Administrator Robert Ripley, FAIA, was available to respond to questions from members, including one from member Art Thompson regarding the fountain's design.

In addition to the great work provided by members to organize these events, a number of professional and student chapter members have obtained awards and special recognition for their achievements this past year. Congratulations to the following individuals for their accomplishments!

- Michael Stanley, ASLA - installed as ASLA Vice President of Communications.

- Nicole Crutchfield, ASLA - elected to CLARB's Committee on Nominations.

- Eirik Heikes, ASLA - nominated and selected to attend the ASLA Advocacy Summit in Indianapolis.

- Katie Swanson, ASLA - winner of the Anova 2016 National Grant Competition for Emerging Professionals in Landscape Architecture.

- Laura Koch, former University of Nebraska Student Chapter member - winner of the Landscape Forms Design for People Scholarship given out as part of the 2016 Landscape Architecture Foundation scholarship program.

- Rachel Drietz, Kyle Franta, Carter Roberts, Erika Roeber, Thomas Schneider and Caleb Tschetter - SDSU Landscape Architecture Program - winners of a 2016 ASLA Student Honor Award for their project, "Transect Across the 42nd Parallel."

As seen in LASN magazine, December 2016.

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