ASLA celebrates 125 years

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2024 by reflecting on its past milestones and building toward a greener future.

1899: ASLA is founded in New York City with 11 charter members, including one woman, Beatrix Farrand. The first ASLA Annual Meeting also takes place.

1900: Harvard University becomes the first university to offer a degree in landscape architecture.

1910: Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM) is founded by three ASLA members.

1910: National examining board is established and continues until 1948.

1913: First ASLA chapter is founded in Boston; as of 2024 there are 49 chapters representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

1916: American Society of Landscape Architects Inc. is incorporated in Massachusetts.

1930: First Code of Professional Ethics is adopted; ASLA membership reaches 252.

1939: Katherine Bashford is elected first female chapter president by the Southern California chapter.

1953: California adopts registration of the title “Landscape Architect,” followed by the adoption of practice acts by New York and Connecticut.

1960: ASLA headquarters offices moves to Washington, D.C.; ASLA membership reaches 1,647.

1961: Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) is organized to coordinate and assist the growing number of state registration boards.


1962: The ASLA monthly newsletter Landscape Architecture News Digest (LAND) is started.

1965: ASLA medal program is established; today, ASLA’s expanded medals and awards program continues to recognize outstanding achievement in landscape architecture with annual awards.

1966: ASLA Foundation is incorporated with the purpose to solicit and coordinate funds for research and other educational projects; it is reorganized in the mid-1970s as the independent Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF).

1970: ASLA Professional Awards program begins and continues to recognize outstanding works in landscape architecture each year.

1970: CLARB is incorporated as a separate organization and begins administering the Uniform National Exam (UNE) for landscape architectural licensure; UNE later evolves into the Landscape Architecture Registration Exam (LARE), which continues today.

1973: Official policy supporting equal opportunities and treatment for women in the profession is approved by ASLA’s Board of Trustees.

1974: A new Student Awards program was announced after a long hiatus.

1979: Edward Pryce, FASLA, becomes the first African American Fellow.

1980: ASLA membership reaches 5,000.

1984: Darwina Neal, FASLA, becomes ASLA’s first female national president.

1988: Brian S. Kubota, FASLA, becomes ASLA’s first Asian American national president.

1995: ASLA establishes a website at

2005: The Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) is established as a partnership between ASLA and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin with the goal of developing the first national rating system for sustainable landscapes with or without buildings. In 2006 the United States Botanic Garden joins the partnership.

2005: The ASLA Fund receives 501(c)(3) status.

2005: Residential Design category added to the ASLA Professional Awards.

2006: ASLA dedicates new Green Roof Demonstration Project at ASLA headquarters.

2008: The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) is established as a collaborative project of ASLA, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB), and Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) to offer continuing professional education in landscape architecture.

2008: Perry Howard, FASLA, becomes the first African American national president.

2013: ASLA convenes its first annual Diversity Summit.

2014: Mark Focht, FASLA, becomes the first openly gay national president.

2015: SITES is purchased by Green Business Certification Inc. ASLA continues its support as a licensee.

2015: National Landscape Architecture Month in April becomes World Landscape Architecture Month as ASLA works with colleagues around the globe to raise awareness of the profession.

2017: Construction is completed on the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture.

2018: Presidents’ Council issues a commitment to diversity: Mirroring the Nation: Landscape Architecture and the Future of the Profession

2020: Urban Design category added to the ASLA Professional Awards.

2021: ASLA becomes an official NGO observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

2021: ASLA releases its first Racial Equity Action Plan.

2022: ASLA releases its first Climate Action Plan.

2023: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security designates landscape architecture a STEM discipline.

2023: ASLA and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) inaugurate the ASLA/IFLA Global Impact Award.

2023: SuLin Kotowicz, FASLA, becomes the first Asian American women national president.

2024: ASLA celebrates 125 years.

Related Articles