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Online Learning Opportunities

Please join us as we continue the 2018 Online Learning series with the following presentations, hosted by the Ecology & Restoration and Parks & Recreation Professional Practice Networks (PPNs):

Learning from Three Decades of Practicing Ecological Restoration in the Upper Midwest
Monday, November 19, 2018
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (Eastern)

ASLA Member: $40
Associate ASLA Member: $30
Student ASLA: $20
Nonmember: $165


Restoring degraded landscapes often brings both surprises and disappointments. While some changes become apparent after the first year or two of interventions, working on restorations for a decade or more provides valuable lessons and insights for the practice of ecological restoration. The leaders of this webinar have had the opportunity to work on long-term restorations in a city’s natural areas program and a university botanical gardens and arboretum and will share lessons they have learned over 20-30 years of practice. Topics will cover the detective work in learning a site’s history and potential for restoration, developing restoration targets and realistic expectations, creating the mechanisms for carrying out a restoration, and committing to the long-term needs of a restoration project. Emphasis will be on terrestrial ecosystems of the upper Midwest—namely prairies, oak openings, and woodlands.

Learning objectives

  • Identify background information needed about a site and its history (especially related to plants, soils, and hydrology) before beginning planning a restoration.
  • Understand criteria for setting restoration targets and planning a restoration process.
  • Understand the need for evaluation and the commitment needed for restoration success.


Bob Grese, ASLA, Professor
School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan
Director Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

David Borneman, Manager
City of Ann Arbor Natural Areas Preservation
David Borneman, LLC, Ecological Restoration/Prescribed Fire Contractor

Hosted by Lee R. Skabelund, ASLA, Ecology and Restoration PPN Officer

A Guide to Economic Analyses of Parks for Landscape Architects
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

ASLA Member: $40
Associate ASLA Member: $30
Student ASLA: $20
Nonmember: $165


This presentation will provide an overview of seven categories of economic benefits generated by city park systems and how to quantify them. The benefit categories include enhanced property value, recreational use, health of local residents, tourism, stormwater infiltration, air pollution removal, and economic development. The Trust for Public Land will present results from cities where they have previously worked and sources of publicly available data you can use.

We know the benefits of investment in parks, open space, and open space networks are both qualitative (felt) and quantitative (observed), yet park champions often need to provide estimates of a return on investment, measured in benefit or value creation. “Value creation,” which is not universally defined, can be project-specific, and an over-emphasis on economics often leaves equity behind. HR&A will discuss examples of building narratives of “public benefits” including both qualitative and quantitative benefits to tell the whole story within the economic and political context so that we can identify and mobilize supporters, build public-private partnerships, and unlock sources of funding.

Given the many stakeholders affected by parks, managing parks, and funding parks, credible impact studies on parks are a very useful tool for planning and in stakeholder management. Conducting multifaceted studies on large parks requires a multidisciplinary approach that goes well beyond quantifying economics. The Balboa Park Conservancy partnered with San Diego State University to look at the many impacts the park has on the economy, the environment and on social issues such as health and youth. The study has served as an objective platform for many dialogues with a diverse group of stakeholders including politicians, the public, and the 85 organizations operating in the park.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the types of economic benefits that can result from parks.
  • Understand what economic information is publicly available and how to use this information to make an argument in favor of investments in parks.
  • Articulate the benefits and challenges of working with a university on this type of work.
  • Understand how a multidisciplinary approach offers a more powerful impact study.
  • Create a stakeholder management strategy that engages a diverse group in ways that are meaningful to them. 


Connie J. Chung, Managing Principal
HR&A Advisors, Inc.

Jessica Sargent, Director of Conservation Economics
The Trust for Public Land

Carl Winston, Director
L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, San Diego State University

Hosted by Tomás Herrera-Mishler, ASLA, and Eric Tamulonis, ASLA, Parks & Recreation PPN Co-Chairs

Recorded Presentations:

Learn at your own pace through ASLA’s recordings of past presentations, including a selection of education sessions from recent ASLA annual meetings. More than 100 Recorded Presentations are available for on-demand viewing. Once on the registration page, sign in with your ASLA member ID and password to receive the member discount.

Note: the live presentations above will be available as recorded presentations within five to seven business days after the live event.

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