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Webinar Series 2020

 SEPTEMBER 8  [4:00 PM - 5:00 PM]


To kick off the TXASLA Webinar Series, ASLA President Wendy Miller will discuss the recent successes and challenges that ASLA has faced in 2020 and a look toward the future.


Climate changes and droughts have made conserving and managing water critical for now and future generations.  Patrick Dickinson will discuss current water and future water supply and demand in Texas,the benefits of Best Management Practices, alternative water supplies for irrigation and efficient delivery of water.


Wendy Miller, ASLA President

Wendy Miller, Landscape Architecture, PLLC is a design and planning firm based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Specializing in multi-modal planning, corridors studies, transportation aesthetics, and public involvement strategies, we develop transportation design solutions to meet your agency and organizational needs.

Patrick Dickinson, Fellow

Patrick Dickinson, Fellow with Texas A&M AgriLife's Water University program, focuses on landscape water use efficiency and brings 20 years of green industry experience in landscape design and management. Dickinson specializes in plant selection, rainwater harvesting, irrigation design, drip irrigation and new technology. His outreach efforts provide industry professionals and the public with the most current, sustainable information about landscape water use in his disciplines of expertise.


 SEPTEMBER 10  [12:00 PM - 1:00 PM]



The playground should be a place for everyone to experience laughter, friends, and fun for all. Best practices in inclusive design  go beyond ADA requirement to ensure everyone of all abilities can come and play!


Jill Moore - Marketing and Inclusion Specialist

Jill Moore works with the Landscape Structures team to aid in product development and promote the importance of inclusive play. Through an active life, Jill constantly strives to not only employ a lifetime of experience, but to promote the importance of play as it truly shapes us all.

John McConkey - Market Insights Manager

John McConkey brings over 15 years of experience in the healthcare field, and offers a unique perspective on inclusion, health, fitness and children's play on the playground. John develops and delivers continued education programming to promote fitness focused design, inclusive play, and reconnecting children with nature.


 SEPTEMBER 15  [4:00 PM - 5:00 PM]


Drought stress is often talked about, but is it understood? This presentation will take a deeper look at the plant physiology behind drought stress. Understanding the changes a plant undergoes during drought deficit and the long term impacts of drought can help us in our attempts to avoid drought stress. Learn cultural practices and agronomic products that can reduce irrigation requirements. By taking a scientific approach to landscape installation and maintenance, drought stress can be avoided.


Emmett Muennink

Emmet holds a B.S. in Agronomy and a M.S. in Crop Science from Texas Tech University. He is also Board Certified Master Arborist. His role with Arborjet and Ecologel products allows him to educate and train green industry professionals in the use of a variety of agronomic products.


SEPTEMBER 17   [12:00 PM - 1:00 PM ]


Landscape architects were once our best city planners, but today many if not most of our cities are shaped by policy and governance, rather than design principles. The profession of city planning, this “art of painting on the largest of canvases”, is ideally suited to landscape architects. To many of us, city planning is boring and doesn’t challenge our design skills. But a good city plan can do more to catalyze positive change than almost any other action or design. It can guide future development, focus on key districts or areas of a city, lay the groundwork for physical and fiscal sustainability, promote better streets, transit and active transportation, and have impacts that last for decades or more. Three landscape architects/designers discuss their experiences in designing cities and laying a strong groundwork for future sustainability and prosperity. Key topics include understanding the difference between policy and design principles, and the need for both, how and when to guide rather than dictate, the importance of engagement at a citywide level, and the importance of branding and vision in setting the tone for a great plan.


Jim Carrillo - PLA, FAICP

Jim Carrillo is a Vice President for Halff Associates Inc. He grew up in the Caribbean, and moved to Texas when he was 15. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Jim is a certified planner and a professional Landscape Architect. From his base in Austin and San Antonio, and over a 30 plus year career, he has worked for both private sector and public clients. He has been involved in many major city and regional planning efforts across the Southwest for communities ranging in size from under 3,000 residents to cities that are among the ten largest in the United States. His efforts consistently strive to blend growth and economic prosperity with key strategies to enhance sustainability, placemaking, urban green spaces and active transportation in communities across the Southern United States. His work has been widely recognized for planning excellence from a wide range of national, state and local entities. He was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2012.

Rebecca Leonard - FAICP, PLA, LEED AP, CNU-A

Rebecca Leonard, the founder of Lionheart Places LLC, has over 20 years of experience in landscape architecture, community planning, urban design, stakeholder engagement, and facilitation. She has designed significant projects in the realm of parks and plazas such as the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and the Lafitte Greenway in New Orleans. She has led redevelopment and mixed use projects such as Destination Bell Boulevard in Cedar Park Texas and Broadmoor in Austin Texas. She has master planned and designed large master planned communities, corporate campuses and resorts. A national leader in performance-based design, Rebecca’s desire to balance the environmental, community, and economic benefits in every project creates successful results. She works closely with her clients to ensure that the plans she helps create are implemented. It is her awareness of the challenges bridging from visioning into implementation that drove her to open Lionheart, a firm committed to seeing clients realize their visions!


   SEPTEMBER 22    [4:00 PM – 5:00 PM] 


Prairies may be one of the least exciting ecosystems there are, when considered superficially. Grasslands, plains, savannas, they all boast modest and forgettable plant   material, and offer little in romantic quality when compared to forests with their towering trees or coastlines with their roaring surf. But this landscape “filler” is far more crucial to the environment than many realize. Open prairie offers two forms of relief for the price of one manageable and renewable resource. The first, for the relatively fast acting natural disaster of flooding. The soil in which native grasses grow is obviously more permeable than concrete or asphalt, allowing the percolation of stormwater over vast areas. But the plant material itself increases the retentive quality of this soil by an amount directly correlating to root system size. Additionally, grasslands provide another service for a more gradual issue of climate change: carbon sequestration. As unglamorous as they may seem, these same grasses take in their share of carbon from the atmosphere, offsetting human output. While it may seem like a few large interventions (such as mechanical carbon capture facilities or replanting huge swaths of old-growth forests) would make a more significant impact, the simple reestablishment of previously existing prairies, or making many small-scale interventions of the same, may have an even greater, and quicker, effect. This presentation references two projects and various experts and studies in support of these ideas. Through looking at the MD Anderson Prairie and the work being done with the Katy Prairie Conservancy, the benefits already mentioned (as well as secondary health and aesthetic benefits) will be explored.


Jim Blackburn - Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar/Environmental Lawyer

Jim Blackburn is a professor in the practice of environmental law in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University, teaching courses in sustainable development and environmental law. He is also a practicing environmental lawyer with the Blackburn & Carter law firm in Houston and a Rice faculty scholar at the Baker Institute. At Rice, he serves as the co-director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center and as director of the undergraduate minor in energy and water sustainability. At the SSPEED Center, Blackburn has been responsible for the development of landscape-scale green space solutions for surge damage mitigation, including the Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area, a web-based ecological services exchange and structural alternatives. He is the author of “The Book of Texas Bays” (Texas A&M University Press, 2004), which focuses on the environmental health of bays in Texas and efforts undertaken to protect them. He has received various public service awards, including the Barbara C. Jordan Community Advocate Award from Texas Southern University in 2007, the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation in 2001 and the Bob Eckhardt Lifetime Achievement Award for coastal preservation efforts from the Texas General Land Office in 1998. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary membership by the American Institute of Architects for legal work associated with urban quality of life issues in Houston. Blackburn received a B.A. in history and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in environmental science from Rice University. (Bio from Rice University’s Baker Institute website)

Katie Coyne - Senior Planner/Ecologist

Katie leads the Urban Ecology Studio at Asakura Robinson where she works on planning and design projects specifically targeting increased resiliency from urban to rural areas, restoring ecosystem function on small-sites and across regions, conserving open space and facilitating sustainable public access, leveraging the protection of natural resources toward equity goals, and using data and research to drive the design of multi-functional green infrastructure sites and networks. Katie’s traditional training in ecology allows her to understand the ecological imperative and technical nuances in the Urban Ecology Studio’s work while her training in community planning and design has armed her with the tools to understand how economic, cultural, social, and ecological goals must be balanced across scales for a resilient future. Over the last ten years, Katie has worked as an ecologist on landscape, aquatic, coastal, and marine ecology applied research; as an environmental advocate working with rural communities abroad; as an environmental educator in both traditional and non-traditional classrooms; and as an urban planner and ecological designer with project work throughout the country. She is passionate about studying the overlap of social and ecological issues and her work aims to create better connections between people and the ecological systems around them. Katie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Ecology from the University of Florida and dual Master’s of Science degrees at the University of Texas at Austin in Community and Regional Planning and Sustainable Design. In Katie’s free time she serves on the City of Austin Environmental Commission, City of Austin Joint Sustainability Committee, The Trail Foundation Ecological Restoration Committee, and on the Board of Directors for Equality Texas, the state’s largest LGBTQ   lobbying and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring equality for ALL Texans (#yallmeansall).

Jamie Gonzalez - Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager

Jaime González serves as the Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Texas (TNC). His work at TNC involves building partnerships, and creating and managing projects, to help make Houston a more resilient, biologically diverse, cooler, healthier, and better-connected city. He is one of growing corps of 25 Nature Conservancy city leads working to create Healthier Cities using nature-based solutions throughout North America. Prior to TNC, Jaime served as the Community Conservation Director at Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) where he worked to further prairie conservation efforts through ecological restoration, both on the Katy Prairie Preserve and at pocket prairies throughout the region, and also through environmental education programs, collaboration, and digital storytelling. He is also as the Vice President and Co-founder of the Coastal Prairie Partnership (CPP) a nonprofit which seeks to catalyze and strengthen the local prairie conservation movement but uniting NGOs, government agencies, and private citizens to take collaborative conservation and education action. Jaime González has won numerous awards for his work including a Catalyst Award from Houston Tomorrow, the Elizabeth Hull Abernathy Award from the Garden Club of America for his leadership in environmental education, and the Alban-Heiser Award from the Houston Zoo. Jaime holds an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in Science Education, and a B.S. in Biology, both from the University of Houston. Jaime also holds a Certificate in Environmental Communication from the Nicholas School for the Environment at Duke University.


 SEPTEMBER 24   [12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ]


Iconic elements in contemporary landscape architecture are becoming more prevalent throughout the profession. Is it a trend or phenomena in the world of landscape architecture as we know it today? Perhaps, social media and the technology we have at our disposal make it easier to connect to the world around us and see how these iconic elements become branding mechanisms for which landscapes are defining themselves.  These elements seem to have the ability to elevate the status of landscape architects and the important role we play in defining public space. In some cases, these elements are subtle details (or a collection of details for which a brand/identity is formed), while in other cases they become the element of a space that is committed to memory. These elements are conceptualized early in the design process and create the basis for the decision making that leads to implementation. Successful implementation of these elements takes appropriate planning and coordination, and understanding the financial, practical and technical aspects of these iconic/branding elements are critical to bring these visions from concept to reality. The process in conceptualizing an iconic element can be uniquely different than the detailing and fabrication of an iconic element. The conceptualization is often formed through compositional design and conceptual thinking. Detailing and fabrication is often formed through detailed industrial design thinking and understanding of materiality. Are the two processes really the same? If not, how can the two go together? How can a sketch on trace paper work its way through to prototyping and fabrication? What are the key steps and lessons learned for landscape architects to be that conduit from form giving and expression, through to detailing and fabrication of custom iconic elements? How does public and private bidding processes craft different strategies for fabrication to ensure the owner receives a high-quality finished product?


Steven Spears - FASLA, PLA, AICP

Steven Spears is a Principal with GroundWork Development and a Senior Landscape Architect with Lionheart Places. Spears holds a BLA degree with honors from Ball State University and earned his MFA in Design from The University of Texas at Austin. Through leadership, design, development, and research, Spears methodically integrates the local values of economy, sustainability, culture, and human sensory. Spears’ private and publicsector planning, design and development efforts have been recognized at the state and national level. Spears is a member of ASLA, ULI, and APA. He was inducted into the ASLA Council of Fellows in 2015.

Alex Ramirez - PLA

Alex Ramirez is a Landscape Architect practicing in the Houston office of Design Workshop and has been actively involved in planning and implementation projects since starting in this position. As an Associate and Project Manager, Alex has gained valuable experience by working on a broad range of projects in both the public and private sector. Alex’s professional interests focus on the ability to successfully implement innovative design solutions for his projects that balance the needs and expectations of his clients with the reality of the construction industry. Through Alex’s extensive construction observation experiences, he is a holistic designer and anticipate challenges that may present themselves in the field during the implementation phase of a given project.


SEPTEMBER 29  [4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ]


UTSA is the largest public institution in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. New university leadership is seeking to remain a community-serving institution while expanding its mission to reach and serve many first-generation students. During this session you will find out how UTSA's open space play a critical role in creating social cohesion and an active learning environment for the surrounding community.


Ryan Losch, AICP, AIA

Ryan leads Page’s most complex master planning projects for public and private institutions, government agencies and developers. These efforts play a vital role in furthering the missions of the institutions. Ryan believes that architecture, urban design and planning must work together to create beneficial outcomes for both public and private areas. 

Andrew Sullivan, ASLSA 

Andrew leads Page’s Landscape Architecture department and brings an extensive portfolio that ranges from urban design and master planning, to the design and construction of private gardens, public parks, institutional and private campuses and civic spaces. He explores people’s relationship with nature and to build connections to places where we live, work and play.

Benjamin Perry

Benjamin Perry is the Assistant Vice President of Planning & University Architect at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  He has served in this position for four years, actively supporting the advancement of the master plan, space planning, building programming, and campus aesthetics.  Ben previously served at the University of Kansas Medical Center as Senior Architect, spearheading a new master plan in 2015.  He worked for private architecture/engineering firms for 20 years prior to coming to higher education.  Ben is a licenced Texas Architect and LEED AP.  He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelors degree in Architecture and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Masters degree in Architecture.


 OCTOBER 1   [1 2:00 PM – 1:00 PM]


Valuing And Embedding Urban Nature In The Built Fabric. There are pressing needs to recognize the value of natural systems in the urban realm (trees, soils, hydrology, wildlife) and respond with sensitive, strategic design moves that enable these systems to thrive as our city develops. Understanding the connection between the natural world and truly sustainable building allows us as collaborating professionals to (re)learn the design fundamentals of working with the land rather than on or against it.


Chris Jackson - PLA, LEED AP

A Principal in TBG’s Austin office, Chris is a Pennsylvania native who has called central Texas home since joining TBG in 2007 and has become deeply embedded in the local community through wide-ranging involvement. He is actively involved with many local entities focused on community enhancement like the Downtown Austin Alliance, The Trail Foundation and ASLA’s CodeNEXT Advisory Committee, which provide valuable outlets to effect change in terms of urban renewal. Chris also serves as TBG Austin’s Strategic Leader and engages projects at all scales.

Shaney Clemmons - PLA, ASLA

Shaney Clemmons has over twenty years’ experience developing and implementing landscape preservation, planning, and urban design projects throughout the United States. Most recently celebrated for her national award-winning design on the Balcones House with Mell Lawrence Architects, Clemmons believes successful landscape design enhances well-being and evokes sense of place. She achieves this by leading clients through a thorough and collaborative process, where the design uses their inspirations and the site’s history, community and story to create the perfect balance between its built and natural environments.

 Lauren Woodward Stanley - AIA

Lauren Woodward Stanley is an architect and co-owner of Stanley Studio, an integrated design practice shared with Lars Stanley, FAIA. Their studio and shop produce architectural and metalwork projects at many scales, from schools and libraries to parks and public art, all focused on site response, crafted detail, and sustainable systems. Lauren seeks architectural design solutions that are poetically and functionally embedded in the landscape. Over two decades of practice, she has been continuously engaged in working, volunteer, and professional.


 OCTOBER 6  [ 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM] 


After 48 years of tagging trees at our nursery with clients & architects; I want to share insight about nurseries and best practices for tagging efficiently.  How many times have architects and clients arrived at nurseries for tagging, only to find the nursery unprepared to efficiently tag?


Scott Evans

Scott Evans graduated from Texas A & M University with a degree in Horticulture in 1981. He began growing trees at age 12 with his father & now 48 years latter he owns Rancho Encino Tree Farm . Rancho Encino has provided trees for many high exposure projects across Texas.


   OCTOBER 8   [12:00 PM - 1:00 PM]


Texas' four universities that offer accredited landscape architecture degrees not only train students to enter professional practice, they educate students to address challenges that are only glimpsed today. Doing so, in part, involves introducing, debating, and advancing novel concepts that allow ways to inventory, analyze, and assess our changing world. It also involves thinking through how these new ideas might be put into practice to promote health, safety, and welfare. This panel presents four emerging concepts—one from each school—that are being discussed in undergraduate and graduate programs today: antifragilty, food-energy-water nexus, geodesign, and values. Panelists will describe the underlying principles of these concepts, their intellectual lineage, some early applications, and implications of use in practice. The session will include an expanded conversation with the audience about the needs for concepts and new knowledge that can best support practitioners across Texas.


Eric A. Bernard - PLA, ASLA

Eric is Chair of Landscape Architecture at Texas Tech and licensed LA. His teaching and research focus on holistic ecological planning and design integrating cutting edge GIS3 GIScience, GeoDesign and LiDAR into multi-dimensional solutions spanning scales and system dynamics. His work has been recognized by the American Society of Landscape Architects (Honor Award Ecology-Sustainability-Design Workshop, 2000), esri (2005 Special Achievement Award in GIS and 2013 GeoDesign Best Lightning Talk Award).

Galen Newman - Ph.D., ASLA

Galen is Coordinator of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at Program at Texas A&M University. He also serves as Associate Dept. Head and Director of the Center for Housing and Urban Development. His research focuses around urban regeneration, community resilience, landscape performance, land use science, and advanced digital urban analytics. He his highly published, has received large amounts of external funding from national  organizations, and has received several awards. Selected recent research awards include the 2017 CELA Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award and the 2019 Merit Award for Research from TX-ASLA. As part of his teaching, his students have won 3 national ASLA student design awards and over 20 TX-ASLA student design awards.

Taner R. Ozdil - Ph.D., ASLA

Taner is an Associate Professor for the Landscape Architecture Program and Associate Director for Research for The Center for Metropolitan Density (CfMD) at CAPPA at The University of Texas at Arlington. His scholarly, professional, and teaching activities focus on environmental, economic, and social value creation through landscape architecture, urban design, and physical planning in mixed-use environments, high-density urban areas, and metropolitan regions. Taner’s work has been recognized by CELA (2015 Teaching Award-Jr.), LAF (three times CSI Fellow) and TX-ASLA (Merit Award for Research & Kay Tiller Service Award). Taner received his BLA from Ankara University, MLA from the University of Colorado at Denver, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

Allan W. Shearer - Ph.D., ASLA

Allan is the Associate Dean for Research and Technology at The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture. In this role, he oversee the facilitation of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of environmental, social, and economic concerns. His own research centers how individuals, communities, and societies create scenarios of the future and how these descriptions of possible tomorrows are used to inform present day decisions with a particular emphasis on environmental security.


   OCTOBER 13  [4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ]


The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas is focused on improving urban and suburban living. As part of a campus revitalization project, special attention has been given to restore ecosystem services using a holistic approach to design, integrating water conservation measures throughout. At over eight acres, the Benny J. Simpson Ecopark resides next to the new 10,000 sq. ft state of the art Water Education Building on AgriLife’s North Dallas campus. In addition to sustainable architectural design principals, the environmental education facility utilizes a 30,000-gallon cistern that not only supplies water for the landscape but also provides the sole source of water used in the building’s restrooms. The rainwater tank is not only a focal point in the building design, but also ties in the contiguous constructed natural ecopark which surrounds the facility. When full, the overflow from the cistern enters one of the largest urban green infrastructure projects in the region. This sustainable “retention pond” was designed with functional ecology in mind, to capture overflow and runoff from the adjacent 10 acres, using natural filtration methods to reduce stormwater pollutants which would otherwise enter the watershed. By design, not only does the retention pond’s serpentine water course help break down pollutants, like excess pesticides, nitrogen and phosphorus but there is also economic benefit by reducing the need for costly water treatment and minimizing sedimentation, along with other potentially negative environmental effects of stormwater. In conjunction, the meandering retention pond utilizes native plants adapted to the region, planted for their appropriate riparian function to help aid in water infiltration and bioremediation. The goal is to slow, spread and sink every drop of rainfall on the property and to capture all runoff while at the same time providing urban wildlife habitat.


Daniel Cunningham - Horticulturist and Project Manager

As a horticulturist with Texas A&M AgriLife's Water University program, Daniel provides professionals and the public with the most current research-based information on resource efficient and water-conserving landscape management. Focused on a holistic approach, Cunningham specializes in native plants, edible landscaping, rainwater harvesting and utilizing landscapes as habitat for beneficial wildlife. Keep up with Daniel by following his @TXPlantGuy social media pages, by catching his latest articles in the Dallas Morning News, Edible DFW, and Texas Gardener Magazine, segments on NBC channel 5 or listen in on 95.3 “The Range” for tips on how to get the most out of your lawn, landscape, or vegetable garden.


 OCTOBER 15  [12:00 PM - 1:00 PM]


The intense pendulum swing of living with water or living with the absence of water has become the status quo for the built and natural landscape of Texas, primarily due to climate change. Whether it be the five 500-year storm events in the last five years that the greater Houston area has encountered or the record setting hottest September ever recorded in Austin just (2019), this extremism has stressed our ecological systems and built environment and, more importantly, has revealed where there is resilience or where there is breakdown. Policies that have been heralded as quick responses to the results of climate change, such as Atlas 14 or immediate water restrictions, may not be adequate for the adaptability necessary as our population growth continues to soar. How do we plan for the anticipated population growth while adapting the literal presence and absence of water due to climate change? What can we learn from past efforts to ensure that we have a sustainable long-term future? The Texas State Demographer projections show that Texas will continue to experience significant population growth through 2050, averaging 5-7 million net population growth every decade. From 2010 to 2050, the state will experience an 88.3% population growth. The projections show the most significant growth in the suburban counties in our major metropolitan areas and in the Permian Basin. Every one of our metropolitan areas and the Permian Basin has experienced the significant extremes of severe drought or severe flooding within the last 10 years. What changes are needed to prepare for this growth as it relates to water? Our ever-evolving profession can be the catalyst for change. Change, not in immediately altering weather patterns, but change in adaptability, livability and living with and without water. Through our catalyst efforts we can help to restore long term effects of climate change. This session, led by a developer/ landscape architect, landscape architect.


Rebecca Leonard - FAICP, PLA, LEED AP, CNU A

Rebecca Leonard is the founder and CEO of Lionheart Places LLC and President of Hypernet Holding Company. Ms. Leonard offers over two decades of experience in community planning, urban design, engagement and facilitation and landscape architecture. She has created countless plans and has worked closely with her private development and public agency clients to ensure that they are implemented. It is her acute awareness of the challenges bridging from visioning into implementation that drove her to create and lead Lionheart Places LLC and Hypernet Holding Company. She was inducted into the AICP Council of Fellows in 2016.

Alex Ramirez - PLA

Alex Ramirez is a Landscape Architect practicing in the Houston office of Design Workshop and has been actively involved in planning and implementation projects since starting in this position. As an Associate and Project Manager, Alex has gained valuable experience by working on a broad range of projects in both the public and private sector. Alex’s professional interests focus on the ability to successfully implement innovative design solutions for his projects that balance the needs and expectations of his clients with the reality of the construction industry. Through Alex’s extensive construction observation experiences, he is a holistic designer and anticipate challenges that may present themselves in the field during the implementation phase of a given project.

Steven Spears - FASLA, PLA, AICP

Steven Spears is a Principal with GroundWork Development and a Senior Landscape Architect with Lionheart Places. Spears holds a BLA degree with honors from Ball State University and earned his MFA in Design from The University of Texas at Austin. Through leadership, design, development, and research, Spears methodically integrates the local values of economy, sustainability, culture, and human sensory. Spears’ private and public sector planning, design and development efforts have been recognized at the state and national level. Spears is a member of ASLA, ULI, and APA. He was inducted into the ASLA Council of Fellows in 2015.