American Society of Landscape Architects
Mark A. Focht, FASLA, serves as first deputy commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of 63 parks, totaling 9,200 acres, with a staff of 210 employees and an annual operating budget of $16.7 million. Prior to this appointment, he served as director of Fairmount Park’s environment, stewardship, and education division; an unprecedented multi-million-dollar effort to restore the natural areas throughout the park system, and to build a constituency for their protection through environmental education and community stewardship. Prior to that position, he served as the park system’s natural lands restoration manager.
He has served in various volunteer capacities with ASLA for over 20 years. On the chapter level, service has included Eastern Pennsylvania Section chair, member at large, and communications chair (including editor of PLAN, the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter newsletter). At the national level, he served on the Government Affairs Advisory Committee and Public Practice Advisory Committee, which he chaired from 2002-2007. He also served on the Host Committee for the 2008 ASLA annual meeting in Philadelphia, co-chairing the Tours Committee. In 2008, he was honored by induction into the ASLA Council of Fellows for service to the profession.
He holds bachelor of science and masters degrees in landscape architecture from the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Massachusetts, respectively, and is a licensed landscape architect in Pennsylvania.
Prior to joining Fairmount Park in 1997, he served as director of capital projects for the Center City District, a private sector business improvements district, where he managed the $26 million Walk!Philadelphia streetscape improvement project. Additionally, he has over ten years’ experience working for two multi-disciplinary design firms, and has been an adjunct professor in Temple University’s landscape architecture and horticulture department since 1989.
He lectures extensively and serves on the Board of Directors of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Fairmount Park Historic Preservation Trust, Awbury Arboretum Association, Please Touch Museum, and the Philadelphia Sports Congress. He was the recipient of the 2007 Arts and Architecture Alumni Achievement Award from Pennsylvania State University.