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letter from the president

Hello NMASLA members and friends! I hope that 2019 is off to a great start for you. We are excited as we look forward to this year and are hard at work planning several great events for our New Mexico Chapter.

Our first quarterly event of the year will be on March 1st. The event will be held at the State Capitol in Santa Fe where we will all get a chance to advocate for Landscape Architecture in the state of New Mexico. As you may be aware, the New Mexico Landscape Architects Professional Licensing Act (NM Statutes 61-24B) is up for sunset review this year. The NMASLA along with the state board and a lobbyist, that the chapter has retained, have been at work over the past year preparing for this review and advocating on your behalf. The good news is that it appears at this time that the act will be renewed during the 2019 legislative session. We still need to continue to promote the profession to our legislators to ensure the bill passes and that they understand the importance of Landscape Architecture in the state.

We hope that you will be all be able to join us at this 1st event of the year as we advocate together for licensure. Every voice of our membership matters. In the meantime, we encourage you to talk with your state legislator to discuss landscape architecture and its importance to your local community. So, mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information regarding our event at the roundhouse.

We will continue to let you know as we finalize dates and details for our three other quarterly events of the year. Please visit to find the latest information on each of these events. Our website is also a great place to find the latest news and other great resources including, links to all our great sponsors which make our chapter events possible every year. So, please check them out.

This year we will also continue our collaboration with the ASLA Student Chapter at UNM. Watch for information so that you can participate in portfolio reviews, our Fall Student-Professional Mixer, and our yearly mentorship program.

It’s almost that time again. In 2019 LAs will be receiving notices from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department to renew licenses. This means now would be a good time to make sure that you are up to date on continuing education and to make plans to get those final education hours in. NMASLA will work to make as many credits available as we can for our Q2 education event, and we will keep you informed of any other events that may help you to complete those credit hours.

As always, we are working on increasing our membership. So, if you know osomeone who we should reach out to become a member, please let us know! The benefits of being a member easily pay the cost of membership several times over. If you would like to become more involved with NM chapter of ASLA we are always looking for volunteers to serve on committees and help with events throughout the year. Please contact me if you are interested in serving in some capacity.

If you have questions, ideas for events, or need any support from NMASLA please let us know. We can’t wait to see you all at our 2019 events!

Scott Culler, PLA, ASLA

Railyard Park- 10th Anniversary Celebration

At first glance, one might wonder: “Is this a paint-ball course? A mini-rendition of Game of Thrones? A construction site with a slip n’ slide?”  Not quite.  It is the site of a Pop Up Playground.  Pop Up Playgrounds are events that encourage children (and adults) to create their own playground with materials, tools, teamwork and space. Using cardboard, wood pallets, tarps, fabric, scrap wood, mud, and other loose parts, children work with families and new friends to build and paint forts, slides, teepees, and whatever their imaginations inspire. 

 This was Santa Fe’s second time hosting a Pop Up Playground, but the first time in a public park.  Santa Fe’s first Pop Up Playground took place at on May 12, 2018 at the Audubon Center.

 For those feeling less adventurous, a crafting area was set-up with a variety of materials, including: small branches, cut-flowers, string, seashells, and rocks.  The crafting area also allowed people to sit-down and enjoy some shade amidst the surrounding construction. 



















Left to Right: Elena Johnson, Katya Crawford, Bonnie Strange, Jitka Dekojova, Kevin Amagai, Justin Weathermon, Travis Tabet, Scott Culler, Kenneth Francis, and Sue Mortier

Left to Right: Elena Johnson, Katya Crawford, Bonnie Strange, Jitka Dekojova, Kevin Amagai, Justin Weathermon, Travis Tabet, Scott Culler, Kenneth Francis, and Sue Mortier

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Bonnie Strange, Landscape Designer at Groundwork Studio

Originally from New England, I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY in 2012. During that time, I was fortunate enough to study wild rivers in New Zealand and gain access to remote places via helicopter. I also spent a summer leading a backcountry youth conservation crew in Vermont, and the remainder of my summers were spent guiding on various rivers.

Graduating during the recession was tough, but I made the best of it. A good friend convinced me to take a gap year in Vail, CO to work and play. While in Vail, I worked as a pedi-cab driver (think bicycle taxi), which segued into discovering mountain biking as a hobby. During the off-season and summer - when I wasn’t working on the Arkansas River - I was lucky enough to see a lot of the state of Colorado from a bicycle on singletrack trails.

In 2013, I decided to begin acquiring residency in the state of New Mexico for graduate school, so I moved to a cabin in Gallina Canyon, close to Taos. It was a great Northern New Mexico experience – I used only a wood stove for heat, sometimes had to pump and haul water if the pipes froze, and often ran barefoot through the snow between my cabin and the wash room. Wanting to fully experience the New Mexico landscape for another year, I worked as a ski technician and in rentals which gave me the opportunity to ski and or snowboard almost every day.

The following summer, I learned a lot working for a design/build firm in Albuquerque. I started in the residential office, where I learned how to take accurate field measurements, hand draft, and hand color plans. I stayed working with them off and on while I completed graduate school, eventually moving to the commercial office.

Since completing graduate school with my MLA in 2017, I have been employed with Groundwork Studio where we keep landscape architecture weird! I can’t think of a better fit, and love working in a multi-disciplinary setting. I’m enjoying building our graphic standards, while simultaneously learning a lot about project management. I’m currently taking exams for licensure and hope to become licensed soon.

-Bonnie Strange, Landscape Designer