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ASLA Celebrates Women's History Month

Image credits: Jane Silverstein Ries. Photo Denver Public Library. Boettcher Mansion, Denver, CO, 2014. Photo Ann Komara courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

ASLA celebrates women who made important contributions to the development of the landscape architecture profession in the United States for Women’s History Month. Women have been active in ASLA since its formation in 1899 and have played major roles in its governance and membership.

For past Women’s History Months, ASLA has highlighted several women landscape architects who were pioneers in their field, including ASLA founding member Beatrix Jones Farrand (1872-1959), Marian Cruger Coffin (1876-1951), Ellen Biddle Shipman (1869-1950), Annette Hoyt Flanders (1887-1946), Marjorie Sewell Cautley (1891-1954), and Martha Brookes Hutcheson (1871-1959). This year, we are highlighting:

Jane Silverstein Ries

Jane Silverstein Ries, FASLA, born in 1909, was a trail blazer. She was the first female landscape architect in Colorado and third to be licensed in that state. Over her multi-decade career, she designed more than 1,000 urban residential gardens. She also designed major civic projects such as the Herb and Scripture Gardens at Denver Botanical Gardens; the revitalized gardens at the Colorado Governor’s Mansion; and the Molly Brown House gardens. She was a life-long advocate for civic engagement and sustainable design and a key force behind creating a green, lush Denver where native trees and plants—and the prairie aesthetic—are prized.

According to the Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), Ries was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame; received the American Institute of Architects Denver Chapter’s Community Service Award; and was the first president of the ASLA Rocky Mountain Chapter.

In 2005, the year she passed away, Ries received the ASLA Medal, the highest honor ASLA can bestow upon a landscape architect for lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession. After her death, the ASLA Rocky Mountain Chapter created the JSR Foundation to carry on her legacy.

ASLA noted Ries’ achievements in the Medal citation: “Long before it was in vogue, she brought livability and stewardship to the design of small private estates and urban gardens. Ries has been a mentor and role model for women in the profession of landscape architecture, as well as an early advocate of sustainable design, aesthetic green spaces, and raising the standards of urban life.”


Learn more about Ries and her projects.

Additional resources, articles, and publications on women in landscape architecture:

The Women in Landscape Architecture Professional Practice Network

ASLA's Women in Landscape Architecture (WILA) PPN focuses on the experience and contributions of women in the profession. WILA works to create resources for women in the profession, provide mentorship opportunities, encourage discussion of work/life balance concerns, and establish a virtual home for members.

Women in Landscape Architecture posts from The Field:




Landscape Architecture Magazine

Books by and about ASLA Members

ASLA Presidents

  • 2019-2020 — Wendy Miller, FASLA
  • 2016-2017 — Vaughn B. Rinner, FASLA
  • 2011-2012 — Susan M. Hatchell, FASLA
  • 2008-2009 — Angela D. Dye, FASLA
  • 2003-2004 — Susan L. B. Jacobson, FASLA
  • 1999-2000 — Janice Cervelli, FASLA
  • 1992-1993 — Debra L. Mitchell, FASLA
  • 1990-1991 — Claire R. Bennett, FASLA
  • 1987-1988 — Cheryl L. Barton, FASLA
  • 1983-1984 — Darwina L. Neal, FASLA

The 2013 Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Challenge: Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women

From the ASLA Archives

The Professional Practice Library at ASLA houses more than 2,000 volumes on landscape architecture and related fields, and receives more than 130 journals and newsletters. In addition, it is home to the society’s archives. Most of the archival resources were placed in storage during the construction of the Center for Landscape Architecture but we hope to restore access to researchers in 2019.

  • 1972 ASLA Survey of Women by Darwina Neal, FASLA
  • The National Survey of Career Patterns Among Women in Landscape Architecture (September 1983) by Joan Iverson Nassauer, FASLA, and Karen Arnold
  • Design Forum '81: Women Up Front by Alice C. Loh, ASLA, MRAIC

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