What is a Landscape Architect? Landscape Architecture “encompasses the analysis, planning, design, management, and stewardship of the natural and built environments.” This is the definition used by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Many people hear the term Landscape Architect, or LA, and associate it with landscaping and even landscape maintenance, which is inaccurate. To better understand the profession, it helps to understand the broad range of services that fall under the license. LA’s have similar schooling as Architects, but instead of designing buildings we design everything “from the building out”. This requires a working knowledge of civil engineering practices, such as grading and drainage, soil properties, and construction techniques. We also work with plant material, which requires knowledge of plant behavior, especially in the years to come. Combine this working knowledge with the design process, which dictates how to approach a project both analytically and creatively, and you have one of the core services that a Landscape Architect can offer. Most importantly, the basis of the state licensure is “the health, safety, and welfare” of the public. We take all of these skills and use them to design places and spaces that are betterment to the people. There are many types of projects that an LA would be involved in, here are some examples: Streetscape improvements, public parks and recreational facilities, cemeteries and memorials, housing subdivisions, office parks, golf courses, and residences. This is the broad scope of the profession: the ability and training to beautify an existing urban street, transforming it into a destination that can help revitalize a downtown; and also the ability and training to work within a limited budget to enhance a family’s dream home. Why hire a Landscape Architect?