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Member Profiles 2011: Sustainable Design and Development (Part 2)

This article is the 16th in a series profiling members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs), based on responses to the 2011 Annual PPN Survey. The members of this PPN who submitted profiles addressed sustainable practices and projects from all over the country and the world. Following are some details of their work. 

M. Elise Huggins, FASLA, is a principal at Earthscape in Anchorage, Alaska. A key interest is working on plans to develop the Alaska Botanical Garden, a small but growing botanical garden in south-central Alaska. She is on the board of directors and on the design committee, which is planning a new facility. She sees the biggest obstacles to being green as cost issues and addressing the lack of knowledge.

Jon Charles Coe, FASLA, is a principal at Jon Coe Design in Healesville, Victoria, Australia. He recently designed visitor facilities for Band-e-Amir National Park in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, using local materials and labor. Also, he is planning rural community development strategies and projects using vernacular forms and local materials and labor in the Shah Foladi Protected Area, also in Bamyan Province. In addition, Coe is the planning adviser to ECOSS, a local environmental park in Victoria that is demonstrating and teaching such practices as sustainable farming, rural skills, and community gardening. He has also designed a labyrinth park using recycled railway materials.

Jim Figurski, FASLA, is a graduate teaching fellow at the University of Oregon in Eugene and a former principal at GreenWorks Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design in Portland, Oregon. He has represented ASLA and CLARB in collaborations regarding LEED and the International Green Building Code. He also mentors interns and young professionals and is active on local civic and design-review boards, commissions, and advisory committees.

James DeRoussel, ASLA, is a principal at ForeSite LLC in Tucson, Arizona. In the past year, he has been involved in sustainable design and implementation, particularly in the areas of water harvesting and green infrastructure, both at his own firm and as a project manager at the Watershed Management Group in Tucson. In the coming year, the firm is planning additional green infrastructure projects in the Arizona cities of Tucson, Phoenix, Lake Havasu City, Sierra Vista, and Flagstaff.

Lisa Nabor Cowan, ASLA, is a principal at Studioverde, a collaborative team of landscape architects and site sustainability specialists, with offices in Cumberland, Maine, and Austin, Texas. Cowan serves as an officer in the ASLA Sustainable Design and Development PPN and has been involved in education and outreach for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) since 2009. Her skills in the understanding and development of sustainable sites practices grew from her years of experience as the lead landscape architect on wetland and upland restoration projects in challenging locations. Cowan continues to promote SITES practices through Studioverde’s work—most recently in northern Maine on a federal courthouse and agency office building and on a U.S./Canadian border crossing.

T. Barnabas Kane, ASLA, is a principal at T. Barnabas Kane & Associates in Prescott, Arizona. He served as a co-instructor for an introductory permaculture design course at Prescott College, a small environmental education college. This six-week intensive summer session included classroom lectures, field trips around the area and state, and studio design work. In addition, he collaborated with leading permaculture educators on presentations and workshops in Arizona.

Barbara Restaino, ASLA, is a principal at Restaino Design Landscape Architects, PC in Grahamsville, New York. A recent notable project was to design a model rain garden for the Ulster County Department of the Environment in Kingston, New York. The rain garden demonstrated how runoff could instead be absorbed as a way to address the county’s serious combined sewage overflow problems that affect the Hudson River.

Sherry Dorward, ASLA, is a principal at Sherry Dorward Landscape Architecture LLC in Vail, Colorado. As a LEED-accredited landscape architect, she has promoted sustainable principles of site design in high-alpine environments and mountain resort communities. Most recently, she was the site planner and landscape architect for the $10 million campus of Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, Colorado, which opened in August 2011 and is expected to be one of Colorado's few LEED Platinum facilities. The natural science school’s five-acre wildland site should serve as a regional teaching model for native revegetation, high-tech irrigation, on-site wetland impact mitigation, vegetated roofs, pervious paving, and natural stormwater filtration systems.

Lewis Gene Webber, ASLA, is a principal at SNC Lavalin Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Webber has designed numerous compensatory wetlands in his 26-year career. He has recently designed several large-scale stormwater treatment ponds within the highway right-of-way of the Southeast Stoney Trail in Calgary. The ponds incorporate new treatment wetlands, new habitat wetlands, and adjacent upland habitats for large sections of a 20-kilometer-long, six-lane highway project. He is also designing landscape concepts for LID stormwater treatment facilities in a major municipal transit facility. Upcoming projects include designing additional treatment wetlands and LID facilities to clean graywater for public parks, for additional major highway projects, and for various industrial sites.

Barry Lehrman, ASLA, is a member of the ASLA Policy Committee and an assistant professor at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. His research and writings focus on developing practices to integrate ecosystem services into the built environment, landscape performance metrics, sustainable infrastructure, urban heat island mitigation, renewable energy art, and the cultural milieu of sustainability, which he covers in his blog at Publications include several book reviews in Landscape Journal and chapters in The Infrastructural City: Networked Ecologies in Los Angeles (2008) and the forthcoming book Sustainable Energy Landscapes: Designing, Planning and Development (2012).

Travis Pryor, ASLA, is a senior landscape architect at Wright-Pierce in Topsham, Maine. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional, involved in numerous sustainable design projects throughout New England. Recently, he worked on a shoreline stabilization project for a town-owned park on Casco Bay in Freeport, Maine. The primary goal of the project was to balance the needs for waterfront access, passive outdoor camping and recreational activities, preservation of the park's historic stone pier structure, and protection of the natural marine ecosystem. All of these uses were threatened by steady degradation of the shoreline from the effects of coastal wave action and tidal flows. The shoreline stabilization design maintained the natural landscape of Maine's rocky coastline and included revegetation of the shoreline embankment with native tree and shrub species. The design required approval from local, state, and federal regulatory agencies, and once received, construction of the project was substantially completed during the winter months. This was the time when the shoreline was most stable due to the frozen soil conditions and when environmental impacts to local flora and fauna were minimized.

Eirik Asa Heikes, ASLA, is a program manager for landscape architecture and planning at Fourfront Design, Inc. in Rapid City, South Dakota. He served as chair of the Green Sustainable Cities Task Force, a grassroots organization focused on sustainability in Rapid City. The task force recommended a “portal” at the local library for literature and sustainable design documents as well as other resources relevant to sustainable living. The group also developed several pilot projects in the area. One of the projects, “Downtown Recycles,” is currently under way in Rapid City’s downtown and is now a viable option in the city’s core. He hopes to form a city-based sustainability committee to make recommendations and review practices.

Brian Templeton, ASLA, is an extension associate at Mississippi State University Extension Service in Mississippi State, Mississippi. He and associate professor Cory Gallo, ASLA, performed a service-learning project with students and faculty from the university’s Department of Landscape Architecture. The project was the third phase of a landscape design and enhancement project for a small, local history museum. It involved the installation of stormwater management techniques, including bioswales and a sand filter to alleviate drainage and flooding issues. The students also removed an aging deck and main entrance walkway and designed and installed a new, custom, ADA-compliant deck and walkway. A new group of students is in the process of designing and developing a monument sign, educational signage, a stormwater cistern to supply water for irrigation, and a small, native reforestation project.

Mike Hill, Associate ASLA, is a landscape architect trainee with the Independent Resources Enterprise Team, USDA Forest Service in Washington, D.C. Hill supports the missions of individual Forest Service units through landscape design and construction management for school garden projects; program development and management; and meeting facilitation and logistical support. His primary foci are on sustainability and programs serving youth and communities. Current projects include work on the Bailey's School Butterfly Garden (Fairfax, Virginia); work with staff at the Coronado National Forest on the Sky Islands Children's Forest (Tucson, Arizona); coordination and logistical support for the Children's Forest National Community of Practice; and work on the FY 2011 agencywide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory.

Marty Camarillo, Student Affiliate ASLA, works for Marin Element in Larkspur, California. He collaborated with a former professor to develop a concept design for using plant communities in cultural and ecological applications at the College of Marin’s Botanical Arboretum in Kentfield, California. The project used sustainability practices in resource management (e.g., rainwater catchment, use of local distributors, and low-impact development) to save water, petroleum, and mineral resources for long-term use. The project also allows continuous participation by students, faculty, and the community and represents a viable green business model.

Lisa Green Santy, Student ASLA, is a graduate student at Arizona State University in Phoenix. This spring she worked on a revegetation project at the Arcosanti Project in Mayer, Arizona. The tasks included producing more than 10,000 seed balls to install on a hillside that was eroded from numerous construction projects over the years. Once the seeds germinate, it will be exciting to revisit the sight to see if it was successful.

This semester, Santy is enrolled in a multidisciplinary studio that includes students in the Master of Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture, Social Innovation, and Healthcare Innovation programs. In September, they traveled to Rwanda to conduct research with the original goal of designing a mobile medical unit. During the process, however, the students developed a sustainable, regenerative package/tool kit to support the pivotal village healthcare worker and facilitate her role as the gatekeeper to the healthcare system. Santy’s specific project was to design economically viable community gardens, customized to address identified nutritional deficiencies. She and studio colleagues hope to return next semester to continue their work as part of what will ultimately be their theses.

Kelly Holdbrooks, Student ASLA, is a graduate student at the University of Georgia in Athens. She recently interned at Southern Highlands Reserve in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina, where she worked on plant accession records, propagation, and educational programs. In another internship with the Asheville Design Center in Asheville, North Carolina, she worked on a feasibility study for a section of the greenway. Holdbrooks also collaborated with high school students and area businesses to start a community garden on two empty lots in downtown Brevard, North Carolina. She is currently interning at Koons Environmental Design in Athens, where she is working on various residential and institutional projects. She is also conducting research at the University of Georgia's Founders Memorial Garden.

Visit the Sustainable Design and Development’s PPN’s web page for more information about this group. To learn more about ASLA's other PPNs, go to the PPN home page or contact Rachel Shaw, ASLA's Manager of Professional Practice, at

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