Why I Love Phoenix
A message by Steve Martino, FASLA.

For the past six years, ASLA surveys have told us that one of the top reasons landscape architects register for the annual meeting and EXPO ( each year is to explore the city in which it’s held. My colleagues and I love living and working in Phoenix and the Sonoran Desert. We want to encourage you to register for the meeting and participate in some unique opportunities to explore the city through our eyes.    
Please plan to arrive by Thursday, because we’ve organized 17 different Field Sessions on Friday, September 28, that will delight, surprise, inform, and inspire you:

 If you love plants and residential design, please join me for breakfast and a quick hike through Dreamy Draw Mountain Preserve Park before we explore some of the desert gardens I’ve designed (FS005). Or go with my good friends and amazing designers Michele Shelor, ASLA; Allison Colwell, ASLA; Chad Robert, ASLA; and Chris Winters, ASLA, to explore residential gardens with breathtaking views of Camelback Mountain (FS011). Award-winners Greg Trutza, ASLA; Christy Ten Eyck, FASLA; Steve Vollmer, ASLA; and Jeff Berghoff, ASLA, will share their incredible residential projects in FS017.

 Draw Desert Hike
Annual Meeting - Dreamy Draw Desert Hike

Design sports and recreational facilities? Fifteen of the 30 major-league baseball teams have spring training facilities nearby, and the Arizona Cardinals NFL stadium is an engineering marvel. Explore professional sports facilities with their designers to learn how they manage stormwater, minimize irrigation, and encourage community development (FS008).

We Arizonans know all about water management and—you may be surprised—waterfront development. On Sonoran Sampler (FS006), you will tour the Central Arizona Project, lunch on the lake, experience the desert’s majestic beauty, visit prehistoric sites, and learn how water is managed in a desert city. Explore a 1,500-year-old ruin of the Hohokam (FS012), who first created a canal system here. And experience two distinct approaches to desert river corridors: Tempe Town Lake and the Rio Salado Habitat (FS015).

Rio Salado
Annual Meeting - Rio Salado Waterfront

Need some exercise? Try horseback riding South Mountain Park and Preserve (FS010), biking Indian Bend Wash (FS013), or a walking tour of downtown Phoenix (FS014).
There’s no better way to capture the beauty of the desert than through a photography workshop at the Desert Botanical Garden (FS009).

Photo Workshop
Annual Meeting - Photography Workshop

Phoenix is famous for its luxurious resorts, and the landscape plays a tremendous role in their success (FS004). As in most cities, urban agriculture is gaining a foothold (FS002), and we are using urban design to revitalize our public realm (FS007). The McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers award-winning examples of sustainable design (FS001). Discover five state-of-the-art therapeutic gardens (FS003) and what’s new on the historic campus of Arizona State University (FS016).

And that’s just what’s offered on Friday—there are more than 120 education sessions, general sessions, and Learning Labs; the awards programs; and the largest EXPO in the industry offered Saturday through Monday.

I do hope you’ll come to Phoenix in late September and let us show you around.

Best regards,

Steve Martino, FASLA
Steve Martino Landscape Architecture

Steve Martino became the fourth recipient of the ASLA Design Medal in 2006. He has won numerous awards for his designs and is best known for his pioneering use of low-water, native plants and establishing the desert-derived landscape design esthetic.


Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371

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