Editorial: Eligibility requirements for State Landscape Architect Licenses

Home Forums STORY BOARD Editorial: Eligibility requirements for State Landscape Architect Licenses

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  • #151872

    J. Robert Wainner
    Participant

    Martin; Thanks for your insightful input here…..you have made some very good points!

    On the “Certified Arborist” issue, yes, I totally am in agreement with you there.  I have designed projects in 17 different states (many, many different cities in the U.S.).  And, I was always doing intense “research” on plant materials appropriate for every project…directly contacting Landscape Contractors in those areas, etc.  I agree, most LAs aren’t really as educated with “plant materials” as they really should be.  And, he’s in his early 30’s not in his 20’s…and he has admitted that he would be overwhelmed attempting to design larger projects (other than residential).  But, even to design upscale estate expensive single family projects can be very complex & demanding.

    Question?  If you were NOT an LA and you just bought a newly built $5 million estate home…who would you most likely hire to provide LA design services……an LA with 2 to 5 yrs. of exp. or an LA with over 20 yrs. of design exp?  My theory has always been….clients/developers don’t really want their designers to “learn on their dime”, they tend to want you to have a strong resume’ and extensive design portfolio….well, that’s just been my personal experience over the years. Solid exp. is a very good “marketing tool”.

    On Civil Engineers…IMO, they have no business designing “Site Plans”.  Recently, I got my hands on a Site Plan a CE Firm designed…it was very poorly thought out.  I spent less than 30 minutes doing a hand sketch re-design, and, I believe it made much more sense than their plan.  CEs don’t seem to realize that a great Site Plan really matters to the success of a development.  Owners – Developers sink a ton of money into those developments…they need to be the best they can be!

    On Structural Engineering.  Years ago, I had a Structural Eng. friend tell me, LAs should not be providing ANY “structural design services” with their LA design services.  He said, well, I know you guys are taught how to design “construction details” in your University LA programs, but, it’s a good way to get caught up in a law suit. He suggested that LAs show “aesthetic intent” for all design elements that are “structural” in nature…just add a note to the final contract documents that state “All structural design for this projects shall be by the Structural Engineer”.  He said, even if you do have the appropriate “liability insurance”, you really never want to have to use it.  So, from then, I tended to use his “advise”. None of my clients took issue with me for deferring “structural design” on my projects.

    I do understand your thinking about Fredrick Law Olmstead…that he was totally “self-taught” as a Landscape Architect.  IMO, he was an exception to the rule.  I believe a small percentage of “gifted” and “creative” people can learn to be an LA on the fly…but, not many.  I believe the LA profession does go way back…while in the U.S. Navy and visiting several Southern European Countries, I saw first hand, many examples of Landscape Architecture…in fact, seeing what I saw during those 4 yrs. had a major influence on my wanting to study to become an LA.  

    I have been mentoring a young LA graduate (who graduated from a 5 yr. LA program)…for about 2 yrs. now. He had 2 yrs. exp. & was having difficulties with the “Grading” portion of the CLARB exam.  I was able to get him up to speed on grading…and he passed the CLARB exam…and is now a Licensed LA in 2 states (including Florida…which has their own State Exam). He’s creative and talented, but, 2 yrs. of exp. as an LA is so little to begin your own start-up LA firm. But, I have agreed to assist him in his efforts…by handling several of the Preliminary Designs and Cost Estimates for new projects & then, guiding him thru the “process” to generate all necessary “contract documents”.  He knows autoCAD, I don’t, so, we make a pretty good team.  Under the circumstances, I believe he’s doing very well, but, now with only 4 yrs. of experience, he still plans to retain my LA services (especially on the front end of more complex larger projects).

    I will say, my Father-In-Law was a “self-taught” Landscape Contractor & Landscape Designer…he was very talented.  So, yes, “some” individuals can succeed doing “self-taught” LA skills. 

    I probably could have left the Dallas LA firm I was with for 14 years a few years earlier to start my own LA private practice….but, didn’t.  I’m really glad I had the exp. I had & it still took me a full 2 yrs. to get my LA firm really up and running to the point where I was earning a good living from LA design services alone.  Since going it alone…I have remained a (1) person LA firm, so, I had no other LAs to run my designs by…I had to rely on my past experience to get it “right” OR, I would have definitely failed.   But, it has worked out well for me…I just believe for me, I could not have taught myself “Landscape Architect” and have succeeded at it.  Being IN (2) different LA firms for those 14 yrs., working under and with many talented & experienced LAs, I believe, really provided me with the design background I needed going forward.

    Just a “side note”…to any LA who wishes to create their own “start-up LA firm”….plan for it to take at least (2) years.  Doesn’t matter how much experience you have OR how strong your financial situation is…..it WILL take you a min. of (2) yrs. to get it up and running.  Serious marketing efforts are required to get established…to build up clientele.  In the beginning, you’ll need to take on any little project you can get your hands on (I did)…and continue to search for those larger, higher paying projects.

    Bob

    #151871

    Martin Arredondo
    Participant

    Had I gone a different route in life I would have but I didn’t decide to get into the design business until I hit 30. I was already too old to take a path like you or others and get into the military and get the GI bill thing going (thank you for your service. My Dad was a Navy man). I already had a family to take care of. I had already been “in the field” and in the home building business for around 12 yrs working with framers, plumbers, doing just about any kind of job you could do, decks, concrete, additions, roofing, you name it. I didn’t want to spend my older years outside. I picked up landscaping and nursery when I managed a garden center for about three years. That’s how I picked up much of the basic plant knowledge that I have. I’m certainly not trying to disagree with any opinion that you or others have offered. I just get tired of hearing people say “you can’t do it.” I certainly don’t claim to be Olmstead. I often tell myself that I don’t know what I don’t know so that keeps me grounded and constantly researching the work. 

    I too have taught several people that I was studying the LARE with how to grade. I know how LA students have trouble with it. Several people were taking it six and seven times prior to asking for help which is money not well spent.

    Point on with what I was trying to say about Civil and site plans. They’re not the best that they think they are.

    Agreed completely on structural. I know prob more than others on some structural. I designed some things to “try my hand at it” such as smaller walls, solid and segmental, elevated platforms of structural steel. But, there is NO WAY I would want the liability associated with it. I know too many PE’s that said the got out of the business because they could not sleep at night thinking about whether they had the right design or not. A structure fails and you’re in deep do.

    I have been working on Fed Gov’t with some smaller and larger commercial sites for about 8 yrs or so now. I’m trying to get some of my work uploaded here but I’m reluctant to do so because I don’t know how much I can reveal since the sites could be considered sensitive. I’m trying to figure out how to do that.

    Thanks for the input. It is well received. 

    #151870

    J. Robert Wainner
    Participant

    It sounds to me, Martin, that you must have a very strong “work ethic”….to go thru all you went thru……and to learn Landscape Architecture as you did.  I have to admit, I learned so much from pool – landscape & irrigation contractors over the years.  It was like OJT…an extension of what I learned inside the LA firms.

    Other than the U.S. Navy…I have never been involved with any Gov’t type projects…only the private sector.

    Hopefully, Trump will get his $1 Trillion infrastructure legislation passed…and get a lot of designers and construction people a lot of new work.

    To be honest with you….in hind sight, I’m not sure that my LA professors really got me fully prepared to deal with the “real world” of Landscape Architecture.  I felt pretty lost those first few years working in LA Firms.  I think it took me almost 8 yrs. before I was really comfortable….designing entire projects on my own.

    Take care….and Good Luck to You!

    Bob

    #151869

    Martin Arredondo
    Participant

    It’s been nothing but hard work not to say anyone else doesn’t do the same. Thanks for the responses. You’re experience and insight are an asset to this site for sure. Happy Holidays. 

    #151868

    Ed Fenzl
    Participant

    The opinion above is such arcane/elitist thinking.  Internships are “cheap” corporate slavery……..period.

    After spending 4-6 years of time/$ at the University to qualify to take the licensing exam (California had a 9 to 11% pass rate in the early ’90’s) who has the “time/$” to diddle around and get a license.  There is a problem at the foundation level.  Over 70 % of “Landscape Architectural functions” may and are performed without a license by Federal (Army Corps of Engineers for example), State, County and City employees.  Many, many Landscape Architects and firms “farm-out” (sub-contract) the “health, safety, welfare and technical” aspects of the design services to Civil Engineers,  Structural Engineers, Architects and so on.

    It’s just not worth the liability to be designing huge retaining walls, load bearing structures, etc…..

    I became a Park Superintendent in California in 1990 with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture, a California Landscape Contractor’s license and a 5 year Certification in Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley Extension.—it became obvious early  on to me that the Landscape Architecture  ‘Profession ‘ had it’s head in the clouds and I see that hasn’t changed much by the old elite guard.

    #151867

    J. Robert Wainner
    Participant

    Ed;

    I have to respectfully disagree with you, Ed.  “Old guard elitists”….really?  I really HOPE no one takes offense to my comments here….these are just my opinions, ok.

    First, IMO, you have to have a “passion” for “design”….not just Landscape Architecture…as the LA profession does have many areas where an LA can use his/her educational background.

    If you don’t believe in “internship programs” for LAs, HOW does a young LA grad go about learning to be a creative & talented “designer”???  As I have mentioned before here on LAND 8, you can NOT teach yourself to be a “Landscape Architectural Designer”.  

    Coming from a family of “designers”, from the age of about 12, I had a strong desire to one day be a professional designer.  I didn’t discover Landscape Architecture until after I was honorably discharged after serving 4 yrs. in the U.S. Navy…felt it was a great fit for ME.  So, the ONLY way I knew (after graduating @ Texas A&M) to progress as a “designer” in Landscape Architecture…is to design for LA firms.  *Note:  I wouldn’t recommend any LA go to work for an Architecture or CE firm…you need to surround yourself with creative, talented and experienced LAs.  Sure, you’re making profits for your employer…but, that doesn’t have to be forever.  Even 4 or 5 yrs. could be enough exp. to allow you to go out on your own.

    Research showed me that the lower 10% of LAs in the U.S. are salaried @ $40k & the top 90% are @ $110k annually.  But, I can tell you, you can do much better than that with your own LA practice….I avg. 50% higher than that 90% figure for over 15 yrs…and that has been working totally on my own (zero staff).  

    I found it very curious about 10 yrs. ago, seeing a U.S. Gov’t LA position (several actually) listed at $110k (but, ONLY 3 yrs. exp. as an LA were required for those positions….UNREAL!!!).  According to the “Coro Institute” which is a U.S. Govt. agency, they state that the average U.S. Gov’t employee is paid 78% more than the private sector (same type of positions).  Gov’t pay of $84k vs. private sector pay of $56k.  ..

    Personally, there’s “no way” that I would have ever designed for a City, State or Federal agency…but, that’ just me.  The $1 Trillion Infrastructure legislation that is being proposed by President-Elect Donald Trump will plan to seek a lot of “private” construction…as I understand he believes that anything built by the Gov’t ends up over budget, poorly built & behind schedule.  

    I understand also, that Trump plans to “downsize” the U.S. Gov’t.  IMO, our Gov’t is “bloated”.  I think it’s fine, if an LA wishes to accept a Gov’t type position, but, I just don’t personally believe if you have a “passion for design”, that’s where you really want to be.  

    Addressing the California State LA exam (CA Licensed LAs will know more about this subject than me)…but, it’s my understanding that the CA LA test was re-designed to be easier to pass about 7 yrs. ago….as the LA board was forced by the CA State Legislature to change the exam (telling the CA LA Board that their exam was illegally keeping qualified LAs from becoming Licensed LAs in California.  I have read that the L.A.R.E. exam is not an easy exam to pass…that it sometimes takes several times to pass it & candidates spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars to prepare and finally pass it…..which I believe is problematic.  The L.A.R.E. should be testing for “min. competency”.  However, let’s all realize, that even if you have a State LA License…that only means you can “legally” call yourself a “Landscape Architect” and in many cases, even practice LA in a state.  That LA license is ONLY a starting point……you need “experience”.  So, that brings us BACK to the “internship” concept.  Most States only require (2) yrs. of exp. designing under a Licensed LA to become eligible to be a Licensed LA in the state (but, you also have to have passed the L.A.R.E. as well).  

    IMO, if you don’t really have a “passion” for “design”…..maybe you should choose another profession other than “Landscape Architecture”? 

    Hey….Merry Christmas to you, Ed, out there in Hawaii……must be nice! *smile*

    Regards,

    J. Robert (Bob) Wainner

    #151866

    Keith A. French
    Participant

    Contrary to the Idea that one should work for x years under a Landscape Architect. I offer my Resume. I never worked under a Landscape Architect until I worked for myself.
    It has been a journey and there are many paths. When I graduated with honors from Cal Poly Pomona, Garret Eckbo offered a Position starting at $2.00 per hour. I took a Job with a Civil Engineer at $10/Hour. So much for internship. Check this out.

    Summary

    Keith A. French
    Landscape Designer /Planner/Urban Designer.
    Keith has managed Landscape Architectural and Planning Offices ranging from 5 to 80 people and Managed Multi-Disciplinary Planning Teams with Consultants from 4 to 10 separate Companies. Projects have ranged from small Cameo Projects to New Towns. Clients have been served in numerous locations all over the US, in Canada, Japan, Iran and South Africa.

    My Professional Experience includes (most recent First):

    Landscape Design Consultant to R3 Studios, Oakland, CA
    Botanica of Wichita, On-call all as-needed Planner, Landscape Designer
    Civica Development LLC, Project Management -Metro Phoenix Area, AZ
    Project Design Consultants Director Planning and Urban Design Group – San Diego, CA
    NUVIS – Principal, Landscape Architect – San Ramon, CA
    The Keith French Group – President, Landscape Architect, San Clemente – Sacramento, CA
    Rapp & French – President, Landscape Architect, San Clemente,
    EDAW, inc (now AECOM) Chairman of the Board, San Francisco, CA
    EDAW, inc (now AECOM) – Officer-in-Charge – Newport Beach, CA
    Keith French Associates – President, Landscape Architect – Los Angeles, Washington DC
    Bechtel, City of Industry, CA Planner
    Oceanic Properties – Landscape Architect – Honolulu, HI
    Larwin Company – Planner, Landscape Architect – Beverly Hills, CA
    Holzhauer Engineering – Planner, Office Manager – Fullerton, CA

    Landscape Architectural/ Planning Experience

    Establishment of Keith French Associates (KFA with offices in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA. Projects of significance for which Keith was responsible include: Playboy Mansion West, Tierrasanta New Community, San Diego, CA, Westlake and Suzaranko New Towns in Japan, and numerous landscape design projects throughout the United States.

    EDAW (an international planning and design firm) to Principal within one year becoming the Officer in-Charge of the EDAW Newport Beach and Chairman of the Board Projects of significance while with EDAW included Principal-in-Charge of several multi-discipline studies include: Burke Mountain New Town, Vancouver, British Colombia: US Navy; Terminal Island Master Plan, Long Beach, CA; El Toro Streetscape and Design Guidelines, El Toro, CA; Lake Skinner Regional Park Master Plan and Construction Documents; Lake Silverwood State Recreational Area Phase III Development plan and Construction Documents, San Bernardino, CA.
    Reference: Richard A Moore FASLA former President EDAW, inc

    The Keith French Group (TKFG). Projects of significance during this period included: winner, A. J. Chandler Memorial Plaza International Design Competition, Chandler, AZ; Calico Ghost Town Regional Park Master Plan, Barstow, CA; Deukmejian Wilderness Park Master Plan, and Phase 1 Development Plans, Glendale, CA; Midrand New Towne Centre, Master Plan, Midrand, Republic of South Africa; and the Michael Landon Residence, Malibu, CA.

    Nuvis Principal Projects of significance during this period included: Phase 2:Deukmejian Wilderness Park Construction Plans, Glendale, CA; Mission College Master Plan and Implementation Documents, (Student Center, Library, Engineering Building) Santa Clara, CA; Rivermark an Urban Development in the City Santa Clara, CA; Deer Creek Community, Brentwood, CA; and Lower Silvercreek Rehabilitation Plan, San Jose, CA

    Director of Landscape Architecture and Planning Project Design Consultants San Diego. During that time Keith was responsible for numerous Landscape and Planning Projects in San Diego, Phoenix, Bakersfield and Salinas, CA.

    The Keith French Group President Developed a Management Operations plan and Development Schedule for over 120 individual land development projects for Civica Development LLC, Goodyear, AZ.

    Secretary San Diego Elks Lodge.

    Keith French Group located to Wichita, KS where Keith serves as an ongoing/Design Consultant to R3 Studios located in Oakland, CA

    Board of Directors Unity of Wichita

    #151865

    J. Robert Wainner
    Participant

    Keith…KUDOS to you for the success you have achieved as a Landscape Architect. But, I sure hope there are no young aspiring physicians or pilots who will read and prescribe to your “theory” that a “professional internship” is just NOT necessary to succeed in this world.

    I think, you have to believe that you are a major exception to the rule here.

    99.9% of the young LA University graduates are totally clueless after they graduate.

    In my case…I took Architectural Drafting in the 7th, 9th, 10, 11th & 12th grades…along with 3 art courses (Jr. high & High School. Then, 3 semesters at The University of North Texas (mostly art & architecture courses). After 4 yrs. in the U.S. Navy…3 yrs. @ Texas A&M. My Father was a very gifted Graphic Designer & I believe I inherited some “creative genes” from him. Still, I designed for 13 yrs.@ 2 LA firms (that included 2 yrs. worth of over-time) before I went out on my own. While at a Dallas LA firm, I mentored at least 50 young LAs…trust me, there’s NO WAY any of them could have made it without at least 3 or 4 yrs. working with and for experience and talented LAs. I seriously doubt that I would have succeeded as a Landscape Architect had I not worked for the 2 LA firms I worked for first.

    You know, as well as I do…..Landscape Architecture is a very complex design profession. Even plumbers and electricians must go through a period of “internship” before they are truly qualified to practice.

    IMO, for young LA University graduates to read your comment & believe that YOUR WAY is a viable option, would be a major mistake on their part.

    #151864

    Keith A. French
    Participant

    I did not say that internship wasn’t necessary. Because I sincerely believe that my internship with a Civil Engineer was the perfect fit for me.
    The major problem I faced as a young Graduate with 2 Children was the Landscape Architects were not paying enough to attract my interest. Leading me to think that rather than be used I wouldn’t waste my time there.

    I know I am the exception and I also believe If you say it you own it.
    Put it out into the Universe and wait for what your wish to Manifest.
    I believe anyone can be what they want. That is my story and my History.

    #151863

    J. Robert Wainner
    Participant

    Just a P.S. Keith……Yes, I looked at your Profile more closely.  You were with a Civil Eng. firm for 5 yrs., then, a builder/developer for another 5 yrs…..I would consider those as your “internship” period.  I think stating you’re self-taught is a bit misleading….respectfully.

    Also, with all of your extensive experience & with top LA firms like EDAW…..I would think you would want to display some of your LA Design Portfolio Samples.  

    Garrett Eckbo visited my design studio at Texas A&M my Senior Yr…..a great guy!  Also, Don Austin (formerly of EDAW) was the Head of the Texas A&M University LA program for the last 2 yrs. I was a student.  I felt it was a major positive to have an LA like Don Austin in our program….due to his extensive “professional experience”.

    I can add this about my Son.  He rec’d his first computer at the age of 6.  At the age of 15, he taught himself how to create Web Sites.  Nobody ever taught my Son anything about computers or Web Site design.  He created 2 websites that became very successful….and at age 20, he sold both web sites to a NYC Computer firm for $4 Million.  He has continued creating successful Web sites….and about 2 yrs. ago, my Son sold one of his Web Sites to Answers.com for $34 Million.  So, yes, some people can become very successful in their fields….by being self-taught. But, I think those people are extremely rare!

    #151862

    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    Keith, I totally agree with you that internship in a CE office should be perfectly acceptable as long as you have a degree in an accredited LA curriculum. These are tasks of an LA done with the trained way of thinking that an LA has through education. It is different than doing the same tasks without that degree.

    Certainly more valuable an internship than rendering and CAD drafting designs by more senior LAs.

    The only time that I have ever been under paid, exploited in fact, was when I HAD TO work for a licensed LA for licensure. I learned more working for landscape design/build contractors than that LA. I certainly learned tons more working for the two different CE firms that I worked at for more than 12 years.

    #151861

    J. Robert Wainner
    Participant

    Well, we all know that Civil Engineering & Landscape Architectural  professions are VERY different.  I have made some good CE friends over the years.  But, I have also come across too many CEs who were disrespectful to LAs…thinking LAs are less important to various projects than CEs.

    I do understand that the avg. salaries for LAs run approx. $20k less annually than CEs…..still, LAs have a very critical role in the success of every development.

    I have to respectfully disagree…..IMO, a young LA will learn much more about the LA profession working at an LA firm.  The key is, to ensure the Landscape Architecture firm is a high quality firm with a strong design portfolio with a talented, creative and experienced staff.  Most CEs, IMO, really don’t have a good understanding about what we do.  I have seen some really poorly designed Site Plans created by CEs…LAs should be more involved in this process.

    I have been asked by Developer clients to re-design many Site Plans that were originally designed by my client’s CE firm.  And, here in Texas, I have seen many CE firms also providing Planting Plans for projects that are very poorly done.  

    And on Site Grading, most of the CE firms I worked with only handled the “big picture” of he Site Grading.  It was critical for me, the project LA, to provide very detailed Grading Plans….that took into account walkways, steps, necessary retaining walls, swales, handicap accessibility, earth berms, spot grades, detailed contouring, ponds, area and deck drains, PVC drain lines, drainage arrows, top & bottom of wall grades, all outdoor site amenity areas, etc.

    I know many large CE firms like to hire a wide variety of other professionals…such as LAs, Architects, Structural Eng’s, Environmentalist, etc…by doing so, they can pull in much more profit on a given project than if. they were only providing CE design services.  

    Developers I have worked with over the years, tend to be more comfortable hiring LA firms to handle the Landscape Architectural Design Services……rather than rely on the LAs on board CE firms.  This is just MY experience…I know there are some very talented LAs who are working for CE firms.

    #151860

    Andrew Garulay, RLA
    Participant

    Ideally, a young LA should learn more in an LA firm. However, it is not an ideal world.

    The problem, if you have been paying attention since 2008, is that the opportunities are extremely limited and there are many LA firms who cycle through interns to do production work at low wages (or salaries) keeping them pigeon holed. They learn CAD and nothing about the business. Some of those also have the mentality that they don’t want to “train future competition” so they don’t keep them to the full 2 years that they need for licensing, they don’t teach them about the business, they don’t raise their pay and advance them within the firm. They unload them and replace them with new victims.

    Certainly this is not what they all do, but if you combine limited opportunity and those firms it is clear that there needs to be other ways to move forward.

    Also, I would argue that you can learn more about the business by doing business with LAs than by being buried in a cubicle. First, you learn how others think about the various LAs they work with and why. You not only get that from within the CE office, but by working with the architects, developers, and contractors who are working with them. You can learn what you need to do to gel with the other professions. You learn why this architect does not like working with that LA and likes working with this one. You learn why the developer does not want to bring in an LA for a certain project and why he does for another. You learn where opportunities that are not being filled are and how they might be better addressed by an LA. You learn what a pain in the ass it is to get a felt tip pen drawing from an LA to re-draft into a plan that needs to be stamped by a CE or PLS. You learn what a pain in the ass it is to get a CAD file that is not accurately drawn or is not well managed. Those are a few things about the business that you can’t learn at the drafting table in an LA office for two years. It is grad school for understanding how the profession fits with what is outside of the profession.

    No, CEs don’t think like LAs. No, you won’t have carte blanche to apply your creativity and LA way of thinking to every project. Yes, CEs are programmed to take what the developer gives him and make it work which is 180 degrees from finding an LA solution.

    Yes, you will learn tons about regulation, dealing with regulatory boards, septic regulations, wetland regulations, grading, drainage, road layout, parking, vehicular circulation, presenting projects to regulatory boards, advocating for clients, …..

    It is very easy to transition to applying an LA way of thinking to this experience. It is much harder to gain these experiences being a CAD monkey or rendering machine.

    The experience is not the same, but LA is an extremely diverse field that is not unique to the profession. It is a blend of a few other professions in varying  measurements of each. Some LA’s are very site design oriented others are not. Some produce elaborate drawings others don’t. They are still doing Landscape Architecture. It makes sense that interning in one of the professions that we blend can be just as good if not better than interning in a firm that has a narrow niche.

    #151859

    J. Robert Wainner
    Participant

    All good points here, Chris.

    You’re so right about LA firms…they have limited knowledge about ALL of those “issues” you described. In LA firms I worked for, they left those tasks totally up to either the Owner/Developer or the CE firm.

    The point I was trying to make…was, I just believe that young LAs graduating from a University would IMO be in a better place to learn HOW to be a successful Landscape Architect…by learning from talented, creative & very experienced LAs (on a daily basis). And, I know all too well, that few LA firms pay well for “intern” positions. Actually, I don’t believe I ever earned any serious income as an LA until I went out on my own…which was approx. 14 yrs. after designing for 2 different LA firms.

    Of course, I also learned much from working with consulting designers…like project CEs, Structural Engineers…as well as Landscape/Irrigation & Pool Contractors,

    Annapolis, Maryland…nice place. I designed a project there back in 2002 and was asked by my client to make an inspection trip to the project site.

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