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In Memoriam: Robin Lee Gyorgyfalvy, FASLA

Robin Lee Gyorgyfalvy, FASLA at HAPA'EA 2014

In Memory of Robin Lee Gyorgyfalvy
ASLA Oregon is grieved to share that our colleague Robin Lee Gyorgyfalvy, FASLA, passed away on January 14, 2020.  Robin retired in September 2019 from a distinguished 32-year career with the U.S. Forest Service, served as ASLA’s Vice President of Government Affairs from 2015-2017 and was instrumental in forming the High Desert Section of ASLA Oregon.  She was also active in civic affairs in her community of Bend, Oregon.

“Robin was such a great advocate for the profession, women and diversity in landscape architecture, public practitioners, and building beautiful roadway infrastructure” said ASLA President Wendy Miller, FASLA.

Her innovative policy for communities adjacent to federal properties—scenic byways and rivers, national monuments, wilderness, and conservation areas—set the standard for conservation education, interpretation, and accessibility. As a major attraction in the Pacific Northwest, the Cascade Lakes Highway introduced a land conservation ethic now embraced by the surrounding communities. Robin’s planning efforts also brought three million dollars in grants to central Oregon to continue Park Service efforts. Other projects included new welcome station facilities, historic guard station restoration, interpretive signs, and outdoor classrooms that encourage respectful recreation on public lands.  For her contributions to the body of knowledge around leadership in public practice, Robin was elevated to the Council of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2012.

“I remember Robin as an early advocate for formation of the High Desert ASLA Section, and for integrating artful storytelling in all projects. Her generosity and creativity will be missed,” commented Chelsea Schneider of Loci Studio, Bend, Ore.

A native of Hawaii, Robin Lee Gyorgyfalvy earned a BA in Sculpture from Mt. Holyoke College. After attending the University of Hawaii’s graduate school of architecture and regional planning, she decided to focus on environmental design by earning BLA and MLA degrees at the University of Oregon, where she also excelled as a soccer player. She worked in private practice for several years before she joined the Forest Service in 1987. She married Martin Gyorgyfalvy, a partner in a Bend, Ore., engineering firm, in 2001. During her Deschutes National Forest career, Robin’s innovative work enriched the experiences of national forest visitors along the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, at visitor centers and along scenic trails, and at museums in surrounding communities. International assignments took her to China and Indonesia.

Craig Churchward, FASLA, of HDR in Minneapolis, Minn. observed, “To know people like Robin is to be blessed. I imagine that her legacy in Bend, in ASLA, and in the USFS is quietly and so competently pragmatic, astute, and visionary that we will continue to stumble on evidence of her contributions for years to come.  That she gave so much and created so much means her legacy will survive.  I certainly will look out at sunset (and perhaps sunrise, too) this week when I am in Hawaii and whisper a prayer for her and her beloved landscapes.”  

ASLA Oregon thanks the staff of the Pacific Forest Service Association Old Smokeys Newsletter and staff at ASLA for details on Robin’s life and career. 

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