Updates from ASLA


ASLA's 125th: Ohio Chapter History

ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen and ASLA Past-President Jeannie Martin, FASLA (center), along with the 2022 Executive Committee of the Ohio Chapter ASLA / NORBENRONALE Studio

By David Wilson, ASLA, Carmine Russo, RLA, ASLA, and Kathleen Fox, FASLA,   

The Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (OCASLA) has its roots in a historic three-state chapter that included Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. As the ranks of landscape architects grew, this tri-state chapter split into three single-state chapters in 1972.

Home to many national officers of ASLA, the Ohio Chapter has been a leader in the profession of landscape architecture for decades. The Ohio Chapter hosted the 1985 National ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Cincinnati and the 1995 National ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Cleveland.

National ASLA presidents elected from the Ohio Chapter include:

  • Jeannie Martin, FASLA of Columbus
  • William Behnke, FASLA of Cleveland
  • Robert Mortensen, FASLA of Toledo
  • And the late Jot Carpenter, FASLA, former Ohio State University landscape architecture department chairman

Don Leary, FASLA from the Maumee Section of the Ohio Chapter has served as ASLA national Vice-President of Finance. Other past national Vice Presidents from Ohio include:

  • Virginia Russell, FASLA of the Miami Section
  • Kathleen Fox, FASLA of the Buckeye Section

Scioto MileScioto Mile, Columbus, Ohio. MKSK / Randall L. Scheiber

OCASLA has a rich history of legislative advocacy dating back many decades. Beginning in 2015, the Ohio Chapter initiated one of the first Statehouse Day events modeled after the National Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. This year marks the 10th annual Statehouse Day event, which even continued virtually through the pandemic. The Ohio Chapter was awarded the ASLA Chapter of the Year Advocacy Award after hosting the inaugural joint ASLA/CLARB Licensure Summit in Columbus, OH in 2019.

Previously, OCASLA leadership testified before the Ohio State Senate Subcommittee hearing in support of the Practice Act for landscape architects in 2000, which was approved in large part to the efforts of Jot Carpenter, who tragically passed away prior to the Act’s legislative session approval. The National ASLA Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal was established in his memory.

The Ohio Chapter’s Community Assistance Team (CAT), modeled after the National ASLA CATs of the time, was launched in the mid-to-late 1980s and played a key role in the restoration of the Ohio Statehouse’s 10-acre grounds.

Glass CityGlass City Metropark, Toledo, Ohio. SmithGroup

In 2023, the Ohio Chapter added two new executive committee positions: VP of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) and VP of Climate Action. These roles were created to align more closely with ASLA National efforts to increase the profession’s reach and relevance for new audiences and aspiring professionals and support ASLA’s major commitment in addressing the industry’s impact on the environment.


  • There are currently 384 members on the Ohio Chapter roster (including 79 students)
  • The Ohio Chapter executive committee is currently made up of 12 voting members. In addition, there are 9 section leaders and 4 committee representatives.
  • Ohio boasts of 35 ASLA Fellows
  • OCASLA is divided into three sections:
    • Buckeye Section (Columbus, Zanesville)
    • Miami Section (Cincinnati, Dayton)
    • Western Reserve Section (Cleveland, Akron, Toledo)
  • Ohio is the proud home of three landscape architecture programs:
    • The Ohio State University (BLA & MLA)
    • Kent State University (MLA)
    • University of Cincinnati (MLA)
  • Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) in Ohio
  • Notable landscape architecture projects:
    • Smale River Park (Cincinnati)
    • Public Square (Cleveland)
    • Scioto Greenway (Columbus)
    • Glass City Riverwalk (Toledo)

David Wilson, ASLA, is ASLA Ohio Chapter President; Carmine Russo, RLA, ASLA, and Kathleen Fox, FASLA, are former ASLA Ohio Chapter Presidents.

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