Documenting Vanishing or Lost Landscapes

Pine Ranch
Pine Ranch, HALS AZ-4-5, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Littlefield, Mohave County, Arizona. / image: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

2020 HALS Challenge: Vanishing or Lost Landscapes
Deadline: July 31, 2020

For the 11th annual HALS Challenge, the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) invites you to document vanishing or lost landscapes. Many historic American landscapes are under threat or have been lost. Threats include development pressure, neglect, and climate change. By documenting vanishing or lost historic landscapes for HALS, you may increase historic landscape awareness with your local governments and preservation commissions by illuminating these almost forgotten vestiges of America’s past.

Short format histories should be submitted to HALS at the National Park Service no later than July 31, 2020. The HALS Short Format History guidelines, brochure, and digital template may be downloaded from the National Park Service’s HALS website.

Please contact your state ASLA chapter’s volunteer HALS Liaison if possible when you have selected a site to document for the HALS Challenge to be sure no one else is already preparing a HALS historic report for it. If your chapter’s volunteer HALS Liaison position is vacant, please consider volunteering yourself or suggesting it to a colleague who may be interested.

NOTE: there are have been some changes to HALS Challenge rules and MS Word digital HALS Short Form History Template since 2017. These updates are included within the template itself as well as within the 2020 HALS Challenge Brochure. Please read both  before entering the competition.

No more than ten (10) digital photographs may be included at the end of each HALS Challenge entry. These may ONLY consist of digital, existing-conditions photographs taken by the author(s) of the site being documented. Your research should still include analyzing historic drawings and photos of the landscape you are documenting. Historic graphics are often the most important primary source for analytically writing about a historic landscape. Due to copyright restrictions, entrants must not reproduce historic graphics within HALS Challenge entries. Historic graphics may still be referenced and described in the text with their repository source named. A thoroughly written analysis is even more useful to readers than a reproduced copy of the historic graphic itself, and all copyright issues may be avoided.

For more on how to prepare a HALS Short Format Historical Report, and to earn 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW) , please see the ASLA Online Learning webinar The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS): An Introduction to HALS and the Short Format Historical Report.

For more information, contact Chris Stevens, ASLA, HALS Landscape Architect at the National Park Service, at (202) 354-2146 or

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