August 2020



Visit the WASLA Event Calendar for more information on events.

In This Issue...

President's Remarks
2020-2021 Mentorship Program
The New Normal of Office Life -- Q&A with Principal Mark Garff at SCJ Studio LA
Why ASLA Advocacy is Important
Welcome New Members!
Current Job Postings
Support Endowed Scholarships

Newsletter Editor

Devin Johnson

WASLA Board of Directors

Tim Slazinik, ASLA

President Elect
Duane Dietz, ASLA

Marieke Lacasse, ASLA

Dean Koonts, ASLA

Maren McBride, ASLA

Member at Large
Michael Lipko, ASLA

Member at Large, W. WA
Nicholas Zurlini, ASLA

Member at Large, E. WA
Steele Fitzloff, ASLA

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President's Remarks

Tim Slazinik

Dear WASLA members and readers,

As Summer begins to wind down, and the Pandemic continues to alter our lives in so many ways, we hope this newsletter finds you safe and sane in the midst of what has been a truly unique year.

As you know our Annual conference has been postponed twice due to safety concerns over COVID-19, and due to the persistence of this virus, we have made the decision to take our Conference and Educational Sessions virtual this year. Our conference team and presenters are hard at work preparing the sessions for our first online conference, and much more information regarding cost, CEU’s and access are coming very soon, so watch your inbox for more details. It is our goal to provide our members and conference attendees with the level of quality they are accustomed to, so we hope you will be patient with us as our volunteers make this transition.

We have also decided to postpone our Annual Awards to the Spring of 2021, with hopes that an in person event will be possible, so don’t wait, and get those photos now!

This is a time of uncertainty, and we know you will have questions. Be patient with us as we work to disseminate information over the next few weeks about these important events. And as always, if you are interested in helping with these events, please reach out to us at [email protected]



Tim Slazinik
WASLA President

2020-2021 Mentorship Program

It's that time of year again! UWASLA is putting out the call for local landscape architects to take part in the 2020-2021 Mentorship Program.  The program could take 1-3 hours of your time monthly during the school year and should include the following socially distanced in-person or virtual activities:

  • Meet and greet at UW - typically this is an in-person activity, but this might be individual this year
  • Desk critiques
  • Attendance at reviews
  • Office tour
  • Help with developing a portfolio

Please fill out the following form if you would like to sign up for another great year of relationship building with UW landscape architecture students.  

Best regards, 

Carrie Culp, PLA, ASLA
Mentorship Program Coordinator - WASLA

The New Normal of Office Life -- Q&A with Principal Mark Garff at SCJ Studio LA

How is business going for SCJ Studio LA in the era of Covid 19? What are some of the strategies you've employed to shift directions in regards to new business and/or just maintaining the current projects you have.

At the beginning of the shutdown we had a couple projects that we were in the middle of design who just pulled the plug completely. But I was really surprised how few of projects shut down or even went on hold, most everything kept going. It was really great. Regionally Washington's economy is just booming and it doesn't seem like it's going to tail off any time soon. We have been very fortunate to be in an area where we've been buffered from some of the harsher economic realities other areas face due to the pandemic. 

It definitely took a couple weeks for everyone to get their workstations all dialed in at home when the shutdown started. We let people take their monitors and desk chairs to set up their work spaces and everyone was very happy to do that. Like half our office furniture and hardware is at peoples houses. We just needed people to feel comfortable with their workspace so we let them take what they needed. 

In regards to diversification of projects, we've been working more closely with some of our SCJ partner offices who also have Landscape Architecture and Planning arms, as well as Civil, Transportation Engineering and Environmental. So we've actively been trying to get on teams for things like trail and parks work as well as some larger scale planning. We recently won a trail job down in Puyallup which we are very excited about. It's just really been about leveraging the resources we have from our partner offices and putting together design teams to propose on public projects we would not have previously applied to.    

Have you allowed employees to come back to working in the office, and if you have, what physical changes have you made to ensure safe social distancing?

For the 3 people who do want to come into the office, we've been alternating in and out 2 at a time. I'm coming in 4 days a week, so I am available to collaborate in person with each person on alternating days. We've moved the computers further away from one another and have set up workstations at opposite ends of the office so we can ensure good distance from one another. We also put up all the necessary signage throughout the building and wear masks all the time as per the CDC guidelines. 

We've set up a Covid Compliance Station where employees have to take and record their temperatures and where we have a large section of disposable masks, gloves, hand sanitizer. It's actually been kinda fun using the digital thermometer, I now know I have an average daily temperature of 97.3.

How has your team adapted to remote work in regards to collaboration and redlining?

For the other people who are working from home full time, we are having a lot of meetings over GoogleMeet and using Bluebeam Revu as a way to communicate design ideas and comments. It's a really wonderful tool that can do plant count quantities, you can color code stuff, you can comment back and forth. We use it for the markup capabilities mostly and to doodle over the top of drawings. The important part of this tool though, is remembering to save the session when we finish! There's been a couple times we've done some great markups and then forgot to hit save before we exited. Digital collaboration is obviously not the same as sitting around a table using pens and pencils, but it allows us the connection we need to work as a team.

What about client meetings and construction, how have you adapted to still get things done while being safe?

Our office is open on an appointment only schedule right now. So client meetings we would previously have had in person are now being done over video chat or email. This has actually been a great exercise in efficiency as we've noticed we were conducting some in person meetings that could have easily been done via the web or over the phone, thus reducing billable hours spent driving. 

Construction has largely continued on as usual with site visits and meetings except that they are all held outside the job trailer and everyone kind of keeps their distance from one another. 

Anything else interesting you wanted to share?

A couple unexpected problems we didn't realized we would have:

Our office usually does the first round schematic plans for residential projects by hand. We have 1 set of markers that live in a giant bin that everyone shares from. To replicate that for home use for each individual would be impossible. So people are borrowing portions at a time and then when they bring them back, it all has to be sanitized and prepped for the next person. Weird for work flow but necessary. 

Vandalism to our building and surrounding neighborhood increased exponentially due to all the businesses being closed during the shutdown. We had someone throw a burning car battery through the front door, shoot the front door with a gun, and break the main line to the irrigation system which resulted in the parking lot flooding.

Why ASLA Advocacy is Important

While brainstorming what to say about ASLA membership during a pandemic, I began listing what some of the main reasons people join a professional organization.  Networking, continuing education and seeking employment all spring to the front of the list. Slightly further down the list, but no less important, is the lobbying efforts that ASLA is doing on behalf of the profession and values that the Society holds dear. 

ASLA keeps a keen eye on legislation and upcoming threats to a wide range of matters that the Society has promised to protect.  Besides the large focus on water, transportation, parks, climate, and licensure, take a moment to read about what else ASLA advocates for.  

Adding your voice to this effort could not be any simpler. If you have not yet taken the opportunity, use the following link to get advocacy updates from the ASLA.  After signing up to receive the updates, an email will occasionally arrive in your inbox alerting you to the need for your help.  The whole process to answer the call to action will take approximately five minutes out of your day. All you have to do is review the pre-written letter, sign your name, then press send.  Add your voice.  It makes a difference.  

ASLA recently celebrated the monumental event of the Great American Outdoors Act becoming law, and that could not have happened without support from thousands of people taking the time to care.  Join in, get informed, and let your opinions be heard! 

Best Regards,

Rebecca Wahlstrom
ASLA Membership and Social Events - WASLA

Welcome New Members!

WASLA would like to welcome new member Eric Streeby! If you are interested in becoming a WASLA member, please click here.

Current WASLA Job Postings

Job Title
Post Date
Landscape Architect – Project Manager I SCJ Studio Landscape Architecture 8/24/2020
Mid-Level Landscape Architect/Designer Talasaea Consultants, Inc. 8/13/2020
Senior Landscape Architect / Quality Control Specialist Walker Macy LLC. 8/4/2020
Senior Landscape Architect (Parks Design Manager) City of San Jose, California
Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department (PRNS)

 Support Endowed Scholarships

Ken Struckmeyer Student Scholarship Endowment Fund

Kenichi Nakano Endowed Scholarship Fund for Landscape Architecture
See website for more images + stories.

Washington Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects 
[email protected] | (360) 867-8820 |

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