Updates from ASLA


ASLA's 125th: Indiana Chapter History

Claire R. Bennett, FASLA, upon her election to ASLA President in 1989 / Indiana ASLA Newsletter

By Kristopher May

In the late 1960’s, Indiana was an active part of the North Central States Chapter, along with the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

During that time Indiana was a section of the Chapter with a local president and officers. As other states began breaking off to form individual chapters, Indiana eventually followed suit. The Indiana Chapter (INASLA) became the 20th officially recognized state chapter of ASLA in 1972, with the first official meeting held on April 6, 1973 at the Memorial Union on the Purdue University campus.

John Lantzius, ASLA, a professor at Ball State’s “program in landscape architecture,” became INASLA’s first president. Archival records indicate that Indiana had 16 full and associate members and 16 student members in 1971. Today, the Chapter has grown to 211 full and associate members and 34 student members.

INASLA 1981Governor Robert Orr signs Indiana's landscape architecture registration act in 1981 / Indiana Chapter ASLA

INASLA has many accomplishments to be proud of over the years:

  • In 1980, The INASLA Registration Committee reactivated the Articles of Incorporation for another run at achieving passage of a landscape architecture registration act. Through their tireless efforts the bill was signed into law by Indiana Governor Robert Orr in 1981.
  • The Indiana Chapter hosted the 1983 ASLA Annual Meeting: Issues in Design. The meeting was a success, and focused on issues of downtown revitalization, rural heritage, contract in the city, downtown planning and historic preservation.
  • The organization has helped to elevate 21 members to the National Council of Fellows (9 of which were in the past 5 years alone!), beginning with Claire Bennett in 1984, and including our two newest fellows elevated this year: Craig Farnsworth and Kenneth Prince.
  • Former INASLA President and Trustee Claire Bennett was elected as President of the national organization. She was the first national president elected from the Indiana membership, and assumed the presidency in 1990. Sadly, we lost Claire this year and will have a moment of reflection later in the program where we will celebrate her life, and her amazing contribution to our profession in Indiana and beyond.
  • We have given thousands in student scholarships and facilitated years of student honor and merit awards – engaging with Purdue and Ball State Universities – two Indiana schools offering accredited landscape architecture degrees, and which consistently rank among top schools for undergraduate and graduate LA programs.
  • On February 23, 2000, Senate Bill 244, the Landscape Architecture Practice Act, cleared its final legislative hurdle. Governor Frank O’Bannon signed the bill and on July 1, 2000, the Act became Law.
  • Since 2000, we have had numerous Indiana members elected to National committees and officer positions, including most recently April Westcott, FASLA, who is our newest VP of Membership for National ASLA.
  • In 2015, INASLA hosted the first Midwest Joint Licensure Caucus with representatives from Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kentucky, as well as ASLA National representatives.
  • In 2018 INASALA hired a lobbyist to ensure that our licensure, sustainability, and social practice interests were well represented and fought for at the Indiana State House.
  • This year a new Climate Action Committee was started by Stacy Haviland, ASLA, to localize the work that ASLA National has begun with the ASLA Climate Action Plan.

Over the past fifty years, INASLA has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape architecture profession in Indiana. Our dedicated members have left an indelible mark on the state, creating spaces that inspire, connect, and enrich the lives of communities across the region.

Kristopher May, ASLA, is an associate at Context Design.

Leave a Comment