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letter from the president

Hello all,


Now that Halloween is behind us, we can all start looking forward to Thanksgiving and those quickly approaching winter holidays!  This busy time of year seems to move by more and more quickly with each passing year.

The ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo were held in Los Angeles last week and record attendance was expected. Several members of NMASLA were in attendance.  There were many great tours and educational sessions offered and I was lucky enough to attend a few.  On Monday, October 23, 2017, NMASLA’s very own Greg Miller was honored at the President’s Dinner as he begins his term in office as national President of ASLA.  Keep an eye out for #whereisgregmiller to stay up to date on his travels as he serves his term.  Dennis Wilkinson was also honored at the ASLA Council of Fellows Investiture Dinner.  The UNM Student Chapter of ASLA won 2nd place for their alumni reception table décor in the design category.  The award included ten free student registrations to next year's annual meeting and expo in Philadelphia!

Last week NMASLA held our Q4 event - Pollinators: From Backyard Beekeeping to National Policy, and it was a tremendous success.  Attendees were entertained by presentations about what is happening at the local, state, and national scale to not only promote pollinator habitats, but also look at how to incorporate them into public landscapes. 

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On November 11th, NMASLA will be supporting the annual Pop-Up Playground where children help create and engage in the construction of temporary playground elements before putting them to use.  Amy Bell and Erin Burch do a fantastic job every year of both planning and managing the event.  Please join us!

The upcoming year looks to be action-packed as NMASLA will again host four quarterly events.  Planning for these events will happen in the coming weeks and I would like to encourage each of you to participate by sharing any great ideas you might have for the content, format or location for these events.  Date, time, and location will be announced shortly.  If you have ideas you would like discussed but are unable to attend, please email me at and I will be happy to pass them along. 

In 2017, NMASLA established a sunset review committee to prepare for the upcoming sunset of New Mexico's licensure law for landscape architects.  The committee is headed by Rob Loftis, our current NMASLA Trustee.  In the coming year, we will be asking for your support, both financially and as advocates for our profession.  NMASLA has contracted with Erin Marshall, a public health lobbyist, to help identify areas of opportunity and to assist in preparing for the numerous tasks at hand.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, I would like to thank our sponsors.  Without your support, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to host social gatherings, provide continuing education opportunities for our members, or advocate in a meaningful way.  2018 will be our most critical period of fundraising in many years, as we near the upcoming sunset review.  We value your support and if there is anything we can do to help our sponsors reach our membership, we would be happy to hear your ideas. 

I hope to see you all at the NMASLA Holiday Party on Friday, December 8th, at 6pm.  We are returning to Ragin’ Shrimp and the event is sponsored by our friends at Victor Stanley.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming year! I think we have the opportunity and ambition to build on years past and show why New Mexico truly is a great state for Landscape Architecture.

Justin Weathermon, PLA, ASLA


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About fifty people showed up on Friday, October 27 to learn about pollinators - their importance to our ecosystems and the ways our urban policies and design affect them.

Jessie Brown, President of the NM Beekeepers Association, took us on a journey into the world of beehives, queen bees, and drone bees.

Tatia Veltkamp, who has been raising butterflies for over 16 years, introduced the audience to the fascinating world of butterflies – from eggs, to caterpillars, to chrysalis, to an adult butterfly. It is good to know that pollinator gardens need to cater not only to the butterflies, but to the caterpillars as well. In other words – think not only pretty flowers (nectar plants) but also plants which will get eaten (host plants), like Milkweed.

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The intricacies of public perception, municipal park maintenance, and risk aversion were all touched upon by Greg Miller, FASLA. Greg recently worked with the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Division to create design guidelines and maintenance masterplans for public streetscapes and parks. Municipalities and landscape architects are helping to shift the public expectation of “neat” landscapes (traditional turfed parks) to something more beneficial to pollinators (strip of “unkept” native vegetation providing pollinator habitat). It is important to show our park users that the "weedy looking messy patch at the edge” is a design intent and not “a space left behind”.

New Mexico is one of the most diverse states in terms of pollinators with over 1,000 species of native bees and over 350 species of butterflies. Dr. Ashley Bennett, from NMSU, shared the results of her research that informs the design and management of urban landscapes for pollinators. Her data showed that increased diversity also increases ecosystem function and stability, which directly affects ecosystem resilience and resistance.

Keith Robinson, ASLA, has over 35 years of experience and leadership in the transportation landscape architectural field. He is a Principal Landscape Architect with the California Department of Transportation and oversees the development and implementation of the Statewide Roadside Design Program. Keith talked about large scale projects restoring the health of pollinators through roadside landscapes, the annual Monarch butterfly migration, and the ingenious idea to use snowplows to evenly spread compost during revegetation.

The audience, consisting of landscape architects, landscape designers, master gardeners, beekeepers, urban designers, and others interested in pollinators, enjoyed the butterfly anatomy demonstration, earned 3.5 CEUs, browsed a selection of books provided by Bookworks, and left with a handful of seed bombs to start their own pollinator habitat at home. NMASLA thanks the event primary sponsor, Mountain States Wholesale Nursery, for helping us make this event FREE for our members and the public.

student asla news

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The University of New Mexico Student ASLA had a strong showing at this year’s ASLA National Conference, with 7 students in attendance.  We attended a vast array of classes, on different topics, including:

  • Green infrastructure
  • Soils
  • Urban tree canopy
  • Urban landscapes
  • Water management
  • Pollinators
  • Historic preservation
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Community-based issues
  • Native plants
  • Climate change
  • Design, build + research
  • How autonomous vehicles will shape our world
  • Lectures by Katya Crawford and Greg Miller

We were also honored to win 2nd place in the design competition at the Alumni Tailgate.  UNM has an amazing LA program and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all felt proud to receive the award and get the recognition.  Special thanks goes out to Katya Crawford for putting together our design project. 

The students also spent time touring areas around Los Angeles, including the Getty Center, Togva Park and several of the beaches.  It was a wonderful experience, but seemed to go by too quickly!

-Travis Tabet, UNM Student ASLA President

Trustee's Report

The Board of Trustee's had a productive meeting in Los Angeles last month.  In addition to reviewing the society's finances and receiving reports from ASLA staff, the Trustee's were able to review the latest iteration of the new ASLA logo.  Based on the Board's feedback, a refresh of the existing logo was selected and will be ready for release in the near future.  The Board also provided direction to staff on use of the ASLA logo by firms and how the society should proceed with the findings of ASLA's Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change.  Other meeting highlights included the recognition of ASLA CFO Mike O'Brian and Victor Stanley's Emma Skalka as Honorary Members of ASLA.  Mike and Emma have been great supporters of NMASLA and we are delighted to see them honored.

In local news, NMASLA has been working with Erin Marshall Consulting to prepare for the upcoming sunset review.  Erin was able to unravel the mystery of how and when the sunset review will occur.  NMASLA members will need to advocate on behalf of licensure leading up to the Sunset Review scheduled for summer 0f 2018.  NMASLA has developed advocacy tools and will be rolling out a robust advocacy plan in the next few weeks.  We ask all NMASLA members to assist us in this critical effort.

Please share your ideas, questions or concerns regarding ASLA programs and initiatives with me.  I can be reached at and I am always happy to hear from NMASLA members.

-Rob Loftis, Trustee

ANNOUNCING the new ex-com members!

President-   Justin Weathermon

President-Elect-   Scott Culler

Past-President-   Will Moses

Trustee-   Rob Loftis

Treasurer-   Aaron Trevizo

Secretary-   Roxanne Carpenter


Judith Wong

Jitka Dekojova

Aaron Zahm                      


Alicia Peterson

Kevin Amagai

Matt Moffa

Student NMASLA President-   Travis Tabet

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Christopher Green, ASLA - 25 Years

Kenneth Smith, FASLA - 15 Years

Robert Wells, ASLA - 15 Years

Kenneth Romig, ASLA - 15 Years

Jennifer Barr, ASLA - 10 Years

Kristina Werenko, ASLA - 10 Years

Will Moses, ASLA - 5 Years

save the date for the annual nmasla holiday party! december 8, 2017


2017-2018 Student-Professional Mentorship Program Update

The 2017-2018 UNM/MLA – NMASLA mentorship program is off to a good start. This year, we have 10 mentorship pairs, connecting local landscape professionals with students attending their first, second or third year at the MLA program. Some suggested activities for how the mentorship pairs can interact include: portfolio review, site visit , help with a substantial completion punch list, desk crit review, or a simple meet and greet during a happy hour.

If you have any questions or suggestion about the mentorship program, please contact Jitka Dekojova.


Sites Southwest is dedicated to improving place through environmentally appropriate, creative, and contemporary design. We are a diverse group of design professionals who work collaboratively across multiple disciplines, including landscape architecture, planning, urban design, and environmental planning and design. Our design process starts with an understanding of ecology,  an intuitive understanding of need, and thoughtful execution to create inspiring, contextually-responsive solutions.

Sites Southwest is seeking a landscape architect or designer to join our team. This motivated team player should have a passion for landscape and urban design and a commitment to affecting positive change in the Rio Grande corridor.

Visit the Job Posting page for more information.


I spent most of my life in a small town in northern New Jersey, just 45 minutes outside of NYC. I was always interested in architecture since taking drafting classes in high school. During my time at Earlham College, I learned that my interest wasn't in the structure itself, but the relationship between the structure and the surrounding landscape. That is when I shifted my career path to landscape architecture.

I applied to UNM for the Master of Landscape Architecture program in 2011 and graduated in 2014. For my thesis I studied phytoremediation, the use of plants to repair existing soils to "fix" a given site.  Visiting sites such as the Santa Fe Railyards and Gas Works Park in Seattle, projects that have turned what were once industrial fields into an elegant park, has given me an appreciation of landscape architecture and its role in improving the world.

I have been working at MRWM Landscape Architects since 2014 and have been learning how to live and work in an arid environment. It's a totally different world to me - having grown up on the east coast - but I have loved every minute of it. Helping many communities revamp their main streets, city parks, and community centers brings meaning to my work.