02-18-22 | Feature

ASLA California, Southern Chapter

Southern California
by Vicki Phillipy

Evan Mather, President
Pamela Brief, President-Elect
Carlos Flores, Former President
Vicki Phillipy, Honorary Member

This time last year there seemed to be nothing more consequential on everyone's minds than awaiting the conclusion of 2020 and counting down to New Year's Eve in anticipation of a better year ahead. And, while we did not rid ourselves of COVID 19 in 2021, we are learning to live with it. After a trying year causing everyone to retreat to our home screens and endless Zoom meetings, the focus for the Chapter in 2021 was to re-energize an environment of connection moving forward. Southern California did not give up the new world of Zoom altogether; therefore, the Chapter did continue to host some virtual webinars in the first six months of the year. With the anticipation of being able to get vaccines, the Chapter's leadership took a leap of faith, deciding to move forward in person with one of the Chapter's biggest signature events.
Quality-of-Life Design Awards
Having postponed from 2020, the Chapter moved forward with the Quality-of-Life Design Awards on Thursday evening, September 30. Just over 200 members, colleagues and other allied professionals attended the biennial event on the Water Court Plaza at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles. What seemingly was the last perfect summer evening, the event couldn't have been more spectacular! Over 50 projects from members and firms were awarded, including an award for Public Stewardship presented to the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority (MRCA) and a new award for the Equitable Communities Champion which was presented to Kounkuey Design Initiative. As always, the event was videotaped. The Chapter wants to thank Team PMP and Pulse Staging, producer of extraordinary award events for the building industry. To view the videotape, project winners and download photos from the evening's event, click

2021 ASLA Student Honor and Merit Awards

Nineteen students received 2021 ASLA Student Honor and Merit Awards. Those awarded included nine students from Cal Poly Pomona; six students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; two students from the University of Southern California and two students from the UCLA Extension Program. For a list of all student award winners, click

Other in person events held included an ASKETCHLA event in coordination with AWA+D held in August, as well as a Community Gardens Tour which was held in September. Significant virtual events included a Mid-Day Conversation with Kelly Comras, FASLA and Claire Latane', ASLA; and a monthly Speaker Series: Landscape Architecture and the Science of Climate Change with Cal Poly Pomona which occurs the first Friday of every month with a different topic related to Climate Change.

National Conference
Congratulations to two ASLA Southern California Chapter members who will be honored in Nashville at the upcoming national Conference on Landscape Architecture. Baxter Miller, Principal from BMLA, Inc. and member of ASLA for 23 years, will be inducted into the 2021 CLASS of Fellows at the Fellows Investiture Dinner on November 21, 2021. Victoria Phillipy, ASLA member and Chapter's Executive Director for 28 years, will be bestowed with Honorary ASLA Membership on November 18, 2021.

The Green Industry Hall of Fame
The Green Industry Hall of Fame will also honor ASLA members Baxter Miller from BMLA, Inc. and Marty McPhee with Park West Landscape for their contributions to the green industry. A celebratory awards dinner will be held at the Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda on November 13, 2021.
The Chapter said good-bye to two of our ASLA Fellows; Donald Brinkerhoff, FASLA and Gary Karner, FASLA. Donald Brinkerhoff's remarkable life and career in landscape architecture spanned the professional and academic realms. He was CEO of Lifescapes International Inc., a premier landscape architecture firm he co-founded with his wife, Barbara. Gary Karner, a member of the Southern California Chapter since 1965, was a licensed landscape architect for over 60 years. A passionate, wildly smart, world-traveling, hot-tempered Irishman, he was also a marvelously talented and loving father, husband, professor, and artist who was not nearly done with this world.
The Chapter's Executive Committee held their annual leadership retreat in person this year on Saturday, October 16, 2021. Carlos Flores, ASLA ends his term as President and Evan Mather, FASLA will become Chapter President along with all newly elected leaders following the conclusion of the 2021 Conference on Landscape Architecture. The Southern California Chapter wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.


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