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Common Space: A Public Practice Series — Q&A with Jon Wreschinsky, ASLA

Jon Wreschinsky, ASLA

Jon Wreschinsky, ASLA, PLA, is a Facilities Planner with the San Diego Unified School District. Jon is the current Committee Chair of the California Architects Board — Landscape Architects Technical Committee. He is a member of the ASLA Public Practice Advisory Committee and has served on the ASLA Policy, Licensure, and Government Affairs Committees. Jon is also a Past-President of the San Diego and Northern California Chapters of ASLA.

Did you prefer public sector versus private work when you were starting your career; or did other events shape your career decisions?

Initially, I made the decision that I wanted to become a licensed practitioner and for that reason, first worked in traditional design offices to gain the necessary experience. Having worked earlier in the public sector, I looked for opportunities to apply my expanding training as my career advanced. Over the course of my career, I have gone back and forth between public and private practice several times. The point has been to explore my interests and take advantage of the unique opportunities afforded in both settings.

How did your education and training prepare you for what you do today?

I had worked for the U.S. Forest Service after receiving my bachelor's degree and had been exposed to the public sector through that venue. I liked the diversity that the USFS afforded and so looked at other similar opportunities. When I decided to obtain my MLA degree, I looked for the type of program that would afford similar diversity, looking at opportunities to study larger scale, regional and environmental issues. I also made it a point to seek knowledge and experience outside the traditional educational path. This included an interest in public policy. I have used this education and experience in my career path.

Can you share the positive experiences you have had while working as a landscape architect in the public sector?

I have had the opportunity to work on a tremendous diversity of projects, to travel, to interact and learn from others. The opportunity to take projects literally from cradle to grave and to help shape the futures of many communities has been especially rewarding.

Is there one tip you wish to share with the next generation of landscape architects?

It is important to seek out a diversity of knowledge, skills, and experience in other subject areas that interest you. As you move through your career, that experience will open many opportunities. Don’t be afraid to choose non-traditional roles. Your perspectives will help others see and understand that there are many solutions to today’s issues.

What do you do in your current role and how have your former positions prepared you for what you do now?

My current role as a Facilities Planner involves inventorying and evaluating space throughout the school district. I play an integral role in the management and allocation of this space based on the needs of district clients. I research and prepare annual reports that inform the district's human resources and budgetary processes. My skills developed as a landscape architect in areas such as site use and conditions assessments, CAD plan development, GIS analysis, and leading planning and design charrettes to develop and analyze alternatives based on programmatic requirements all are directly applicable to my current role.

Here is some background information about Wreschinsky:

Degree or degrees, and where and when earned:

  • Bachelor of Science - Geography with Minor in Environmental Studies, University of California, Riverside
  • Master of Landscape Architecture, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • Specialized Certificate in Sustainable Business Practices, University of California, San Diego Extension

Employment history:

  • Landscape Designer: Claremont Environmental Design Group, Inc. Claremont, CA
  • Project Manager: Randolph Hlubik Associates, Inc., Riverside, CA
  • Project Landscape Architect, Johnson Associates, Walnut Creek, CA
  • Community Planner:
    • U.S. Army, Directorate of Base Realignment and Closure, Fort Ord, CA
    • U.S. Army, Directorate of Public Works, Fort Leonard Wood, MO
  • Project Planner: The Onyx Group, San Diego, CA
  • Senior Planner/Landscape Architect: John Gallup & Associates, San Diego, CA
  • Senior Associate: The Land Design Collaborative, San Diego, CA
  • Adjunct Professor:
    • The Newschool of Architecture and Design, San Diego, CA
    • Cuyamaca College, El Cajon, CA
  • Community Planner: HDR, Inc., March Air Reserve Base, CA
  • Facility Planner: San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, CA (Current position)

Number of years as an ASLA member: 32

Other affiliated professional organizations:

  • American Planning Association – Federal Planning Division

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