Common Space: A Public Practice Series

Greenbriar Local Park
Greenbriar Local Park, Potomac, MD, Hord Coplan Macht with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC). / image: Jennifer Hughes Photography

The realm of public practice, including non-profit and governmental work, offers unique opportunities and challenges to practitioners.

The ASLA Public Practice Advisory Committee aspires to encourage more landscape architects, including students in landscape-architecture programs and emerging professionals, to pursue careers in the public sector. Less than ten percent of ASLA’s membership identify as public practitioners, working for local, state, and federal government agencies, universities and colleges, or parks and arboreta. Many of these ASLA members have found their way to public practice after years in private practice, looking to shape public policy and have an impact on public spaces for the common good.

In an ongoing series for ASLA’s LAND newsletter, members of the Public Practice Advisory Committee and other landscape architects share insights on their public practice careers. Check out what’s already appeared, recapped below, and stay tuned for new articles in the future!


Linda Komes, ASLA
Landscape architect and project manager in the Park Development Division of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
Interview conducted by Julie Higgins, PLA, ASLA, Principal, Hord Coplan Macht

Nick Aceto
Landscape architect and urban designer at Aceto Landscape Architects
Interview conducted by Jennifer Shagin, ASLA, Redevelopment Support Specialist at City of Fort Collins, CO and land planner at Todd Hodges Design, LLC

Robynne Heymans, Associate ASLA
Park Planner, Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Austin, TX

Theresa Hyslop, Associate ASLA
Project Manager & Landscape Designer, ETM Associates, LLC
Highland Park, NJ

Om Khurjekar, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C
Principal, Hord Coplan Macht
Baltimore, MD

Kevin Meindl, Associate ASLA
Landscape Architect and Green Infrastructure Program Manager, Buffalo Sewer Authority
Buffalo, NY

Darcy Nuffer, ASLA
Landscape Architect, Planning Division of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Austin, TX

Jennifer Shagin, ASLA
Redevelopment Support Specialist, Fort Collins Urban Renewal Authority
Fort Collins, CO

Andrea Weber, ASLA
Program Manager for Historic Roadside Properties at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)
St. Paul, MN

ASLA 2020 Professional Research Honor Award. Seeding Specificity: Materials and Methods for Novel Ecoystems, Baltimore, Maryland. Mahan Rykiel Associates. / image: Mahan Rykiel Associates

Other Articles:

The Things They Didn’t Teach You in School About Public Practice
ASLA Public Practice Advisory Committee members look back on what they learned about public practice in school, what they didn’t learn in school but wish they had, and what they think ASLA members should consider before pursuing public practice.

For more on public practice, please explore the online resources for ASLA’s Parks and Recreation and Transportation Professional Practice Networks (PPNs).

3 thoughts on “Common Space: A Public Practice Series

  1. Stan Clauson, ASLA, AICP December 7, 2020 / 10:35 am

    Nick says it well: public practice is often difficult but very rewarding.

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