2022 Annual WASLA Conference Sessions

Please see below for the current list of sessions to be presented at the WASLA Conference; a complete schedule will be released soon. Sessions are subject to change.

The below sessions have approved LA CES accreditation, with credits listed below.  Our morning and lunch keynote sessions will also be LA CES accredited at 1 hour each.

Please note the conference sessions will not be recorded this year. In order to receive continuing education credit, you must attend in person.

The walking tour requires separate registration and will take place on Saturday, October 8, all other conference sessions will take place on Friday, October 7.

Session Title

Session Description

Session Presenters

LA CES Credits

Black Rock City | Lessons in the Dust Black Rock City rises from the dust for a weeklong festival and celebration of art, music, and dance known as Burning Man. This presentation will discuss the guiding principals of the event, its physical design, its social constructs and some practical application of how aspects of the event might be applied to enrich more permanent settlements. Aspects include: activation of public spaces, proliferation of the leave no trace model for public events, protection and cultivation of landmarks, and concepts for prioritization of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Omar Akkari, PLA - City of Seattle | Department of Transportation | Shoreline Street Ends Program Coordinator 1
Gardens of the Olympic Sculpture Park The idea of a new park on Seattles waterfront began more than twenty years ago and construction began fifteen years ago. The evolution of the gardens continues to this day. This session will describe each iconic garden as it was formed in thought, implemented, continues to evolve and why it's a showcase garden of pacific northwest native plants. The park is a true refuge in the city and the first place in the downtown to touch the waves of Puget Sound. The gardens highlight landscapes from the high mountains to the gardens under the sea. Its a living story of archtypical landscapes dressed in an everchanging landscape. Charles Anderson, FASLA - Principal I Director of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at Cuningham 1
How I Helped Build A Freeway and Destroy A City  While many cities are either dismantling or retrofitting their highway infrastructure, Eastern Washington's largest city, Spokane, is building a new one. The only question more intriguing than "Why?" is "How?" As the principal researcher of Placemaking at Eastern Washington University, Alex Mann was both orchestrator of and witness to the WSDOT North Spokane Corridor public involvement process. This session seeks to uncover what went wrong (and right) in that process, critique the project's premise, and project a possible path beyond. Part retrospective, part confession, part cautionary tale and all problematic, this session is sure to provoke thought and debate. Alex R. Mann - Urban Designer, AHBL, Inc. 1
Landscape unArchitecture Emerges: Reimagining the Profession for the Crisis Century The climate crisis continues to accelerate and intensify.  Washington’s Climate Commitment Act, which mandates a net-zero economy by 2050, officially begins in January 2023.  Effective responses to these emerging realities will reshape landscape architecture practice.   

Landscape Architect Kate Orff understands this when she says “there is a massive need to completely hit the reset button on the methods, the goals and the outcomes of landscape architecture.”  Orff stresses that practitioners need to conceive of design as something more than solely additive by adding “new forms of design expression like un-making, un-doing, subtracting, reversing, tearing out, ripping up, softening, and connecting” to our repertoire.

This session will examine evolving opportunities for Washington landscape architects to become leaders in “undoing” many of the unsustainable interventions of the 20th century with net zero, ecologically regenerative solutions.  This will include a discussion of innovative research on “living pavements” for urban environments by WSU landscape architecture professor Dr. Kate Kraszewski

Kate Kraszewski, PhD. - Assistant Professor, Washington State University

Steve Austin, JD/ASLA - Washington State University



Applying "Natural Soils" Systems: Lessons Learned from a Model Project "Natural Soil" systems using onsite soils or native loams have been promoted as a sustainable and horticulturally superior alternative to the trend of using soil blends incorporating large portions of sand and lightweight minerals.  But when confronted with the realities of weather and schedules, most projects end up using standard sand-soil-compost blends. Custom 2-3 foot deep layered loam profiles and biological amendments were use used  to create woodland and beachfront plantings, active-use turf, meadows, and stormwater facilities on a large Seattle corporate campus. This presentation looks at where it worked, why it failed in places, and an independent, scientific evaluation of the value of biological inoculants used on most of the site.
Howard Stenn - Stenn Design, Soil and Compost Consultant


Loosening-Up: Breaking Boundaries for Creative Play in Schoolyards The beneficial value of ‘Loose Parts’ and ‘Nature Play’ for childhood development comes up repeatedly in education literature and discussions on landscape design. Yet there are few examples of these being built in public school settings because of a variety of prohibitive factors, including the dominance of manufactured playground equipment in children’s landscapes and district-level fear of injury and liability.

Beginning in 2017, the community at Hawthorne Elementary in Seattle bridged this gap with the Hawthorne S.T.E.A.M. Playspace, transforming a portion of their asphalt schoolyard into a community curated, nature based, loose parts playground. This is one of the only contemporary public schools to embrace loose parts as an intentional part of its playground.

In this panel discussion, the project designers will discuss their student and community engagement process, how they navigated bureaucratic resistance to loose parts, the benefits and management of loose-parts playgrounds, and other lessons learned.

Eric Higbee, PLA, ASLA - Principle Landscape Architect at Convene PLLC

Jason Medeiros- Outdoor Classroom Design

Leon Smith - Play Advocate, Founder of Portland Free Play

Site Specific Augmented Reality in the Public Realm As we continue to adapt to new means of collaboration and connectivity, the use of augmented reality can create novel ways to communicate and design in the public realm.
This presentation will reflect on GGLO’s 2020 Seattle Design Festival installation, “Amp’ Up Seattle”.  More broadly, the presentation will discuss the use of augmented reality in the public realm to document and reveal hidden landscapes.
Amp’ Up Seattle was a series of site specific augmented reality installations that sought to address our shifting understanding of community due to both COVID 19 social distancing and the protests against systemic racial injustices that continue to grip cities across the nation. A multi-disciplinary design team collaborated with an augmented reality company to develop eight site specific augmented reality installations throughout Seattle.
We will discuss the process of developing a site specific augmented reality installation as well as explore how this new technology could be applied to future projects in the public realm.

Stuart Jones - GGLO, Landscape Architect, PLA

Nicholas Zurlini - GGLO

CANCELLED: Graphic Representation of Collaborative Design This session will investigate how different design disciplines within the same firm can coordinate and collaborate to elevate a project’s design. Blueline is a multidisciplinary firm that offers holistic site design. On many projects, our landscape studio is often paired with one of our two in-house engineering teams – our residential and commercial teams. As landscape architects, we offer a unique viewpoint to projects the inform the site design that might not be present in the early phase of design. This will then be followed up by a brief review of lessons learned from both the landscape and engineering sides and topics we wish the other side understood a bit more of our respective work. Through this all, we show how to utilize both skill sets to graphically represent our projects to represent our clients needs, address the goals of jurisdictional review panels, and meet code requirements. Dave Bramer, , ASLA, PLA -

 Blueline, Project Landscape Architect


Presentation strategies: video content It is 2022. Smartphones are everywhere. TVs are still here. Every second, people digest video content across platforms - including juries in design competitions, your clients from different scales of projects, and the general public who is attending your open house events. But are we upgrading our presentations good enough to catch their attention? In this session, let's talk about how you can up your game by implementing videos into your presentations. And how you can plan for it so you will be more likely to win. Harley Pan - Creative Director and Digital Marketing Specialist at Sabey Corporation


The NPS-RTCA/WASLA Partnership – A Community Assistance Collaboration For over 20 years, WASLA and the National Park Service - Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (NPS-RTCA) program have joined forces to help communities plan, design, and manage their natural cultural and recreation resources. WASLA volunteers, along with WSU and UW students, provide pro-bono assistance from expert planners and designers who can turn a community’s ideas into action.

An exciting project is taking place in Fall 2022 with the Jefferson Land Trust and NPS-RTCA. The Chimacum Ridge Community Forest is a 918-acre property located south of Chimacum on the Olympic Peninsula. Over the past two years, the Land Trust and NPS-RTCA have been working with community members to develop a vision and mission for the proposed community forest.

In October, WASLA volunteers will lead conversations around the placement of trails for hiking, biking, and equestrian use within this active forest management model and conservation easement framework. We will brainstorm with local community members additional amenities and features that align with the desired forest experience and make recommendations for improving and adding to existing infrastructure.

Don Benson, ASLA, AICP - WASLA NPS Charrette Coordinator

Brianna Truden
Landscape Architect
National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance
Portland-Vancouver Metro Area

Julie Fonseca de Borges, Community Planner
NPS – Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance

Alexandra Stone - Outdoor Recreation Planner,
NPS - Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance

Erik Kingfisher -
Jefferson Land Trust

Duane Dietz, WASLA President, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP -
Senior Associate, jones & jones

Ten Things You Should Know about Your License and CLARB What does the Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects do and how does the Board work with CLARB? This session will explain what the Board's responsibilities are and what your responsibilities are as a licensee. We will also present recent trends in proposed legislature that threaten licensure and what is being done to counteract those proposals. The session also includes information on the CLARB Uniform Standard and what that could mean for the practice in the future. Curtis LaPierre, ASLA - Washington Board of Licensure for Landscape Architects 1
Salmon-Safe and the Urban Watershed We will take an in-depth look at the Salmon-Safe design principles and how they are applied to urban redevelopment projects. Looking at several case studies, we will explore urban watersheds, Salmon-Safe design, urban ecology, landscape design, Salmon-Safe maintenance practices and material selections.  We will learn about the history of Salmon-Safe, why rating systems matter, and key take-aways to improve the quality of the urban environment and reduce the impact on anadromous fish in the Puget Sound Basin.

Anna Huttel, Salmon Safe, Certification Director

Jason Henry, Berger Partnership
Principal, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP



Register Here!