H.R. 831, the Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act of 2019, a bill to restart the National Scenic Byways Program nomination process, is expected to get a vote on the House floor on Wednesday, February 6.

The bill would direct the Secretary of Transportation to reopen the National Scenic Byways Program to new nominations. The program has designated 150 special roads around the country as National Scenic Byways since its inception in 1991. The last round of designations occurred in 2009, and Congress pulled support for the program in 2012.

Scenic byways both protect America’s scenic and historic places and contribute to strong local economies. A recent survey found that 44 state scenic byways in 24 states are prepared to seek designation as National Scenic Byways – proving the program is needed!  The Federal Highway Administration stated that reopening this program would not require additional funding – it simply requires congressional approval.

Write to your member of Congress today to urge them to VOTE YES on H.R. 831, the Reviving America’s Scenic Byways Act

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Thomas Rainer is a registered landscape architect, teacher, and author living in Arlington, Virginia. Thomas, a leading voice in ecological landscape design, has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden, as well as over 100 gardens from Maine to Florida. He is a celebrated public speaker who has garnered acclaim for his passionate presentations to audiences across the U.S. and in Europe. Thomas serves as a Principal for the landscape architectural and consulting firm Phyto Studio in Washington, D.C.

Thomas received his Masters Degree from the University of Georgia. Thomas has worked for the firms Oehme, van Sweden and Associates, and was most recently a Principal at the landscape architectural and planning firm, Rhodeside & Harwell. He has a broad range of experience in project types ranging from intimate residential gardens to expansive estates, rooftop gardens, botanical gardens, large-scale green infrastructure design & implementation, and national memorials. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York TimesLandscape Architecture MagazineThe Washington PostThe Chicago Tribune, and Architectural Digest.

While passionate about design and focusing on details, Thomas is a specialist in applying innovative planting concepts to create ecologically-functional designed landscapes. His recent work focuses on the artful interpretation of wild plant communities into designed plantings that thrive in the context of towns and cities.  He also continues to love working on residential gardens, enjoying the intimate collaboration with clients and creating spaces.

Thomas teaches planting design for the George Washington University Landscape Design program. His recently published book co-authored with Claudia West, Planting in a Post-Wild World, was released in fall 2015 from Timber Press and was selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 2016 books of the year.

For more information about the conference go to http://www.twinstatesconference.com

On-line registration and a downloadable form are now available for the 2019 AL/MS Twin States Conference, April 4-6, in Huntsville, Alabama.  Please go to the conference website at http://www.twinstatesconference.com and follow the links.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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WASHINGTON, D.C. –The following statement was issued by Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects on the occasion of the signing into law of the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (H.R. 7279). The new law provides flexibility to municipalities wishing to prioritize investments in wastewater and stormwater projects needed for Clean Water Act compliance and requires the EPA to promote the option of green infrastructure, which allows communities to use natural processes to infiltrate or reuse storm water runoff beneficially on-site where it is generated.

At a time when our nation’s infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating, the enactment of the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act represents a significant step forward in helping communities use green infrastructure to meet critical water management goals, while protecting the health, safety, and well-being of their residents.

Thanks in part to the continued advocacy efforts of ASLA and its members, the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act is now law. Over the last decade landscape architects have been at the forefront of advocating for green infrastructure policies that improve community infrastructure, including water and stormwater management.

This bipartisan law provides flexibility and local autonomy for vital wastewater and stormwater projects, increasing the likelihood that green infrastructure principles will be put into practice throughout the country.

Landscape architects are prepared to help implement this law by working with municipalities to develop and design projects that safeguard our nation’s water supply. These green infrastructure projects will also stimulate the creation of well-paying jobs, and create public places that enhance the quality of community life.

Join the South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects for the ASLA Southeast Regional Conference. The conference will be held on Sunday, June 2nd through Tuesday, June 4th at the Hyatt Regency Greenville located in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

The ASLA Southeast Regional Conference 2019 is certain to educate, engage, and ignite discussion within the Landscape Architecture Community!

  • Panel discussions to case studies, lectures and tours
  • Learn and engage with Industry Partners during the interactive Expo Hall
  • Enjoy the Southeast Regional Awards Ceremony with colleagues
  • Network with leaders in the Landscape Architecture Profession
  • Experience downtown Greenville and all that it has to offer, including the iconic Falls Park, a thriving downtown, an exciting culinary scene, and incredible outdoor activities

SCORP Survey

The Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) is extremely important because it allows Mississippi to be eligible to receive federal funding for improvements and additions to public recreational facilities.

Part of the SCORP update includes public input; therefore a public survey has been produced in an attempt to reach as many Mississippi residents as possible. The survey is intended for respondents to share observations concerning recreational facilities and activities. Results of the survey will be published in the 2019-2024 MS SCORP report.

Take the survey here.

On Friday, September 21st the City of Jackson Department of Planning and Development will be hosting its first PARK(ing) Day event from 12pm-10pm. PARK(ing) Day is an annual event that encourages community members, businesses, students, and designers to transform metered parking spaces into temporary parklets. Parklets are a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street. Usually parklets are installed on parking lanes and use several parking spaces. The City of Jackson will be designing its first parklet downtown on Congress St. between Amite St. and Capitol St. The mission of our PARK(ing) Day event is to call attention to the need for more public space to generate critical discussion around human scale development and policy.

For more information about the event check our Facebook link for updates:


Please make plans now to attend the 2019 TSC in Huntsville, Alabama, April 4-6.  The conference will be held at the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville.  The theme for the conference will be “Creating Resilient Solutions”.

More information soon.  In the meantime visit twinstatesconference.com or call Jana Hoops, Conference Coordinator, at 601-624-8740.

We look forward to seeing you there.


In recent years, ASLA achieved some critical legislative successes including working to successfully stave off state attacks on licensure, to pass legislation to support the National Park Service, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, active transportation programs, and more.  Even as advocacy continues for these and other issues, the results of this survey will begin to determine which federal advocacy issues will be a priority for the Society in the upcoming 116th Congress in 2019-2020 and will help shape your local chapter’s upcoming advocacy efforts.

Please take a moment to complete the ASLA Federal and State Legislative Priorities Survey to tell us about issues that are important to you and continue to share it with your Chapter members. Please complete your survey by May 15.

Take this opportunity to shape ASLA’s future political landscape.

If you missed the online registration deadline it is still not too late to attend.  Join us this Thursday -Saturday, March 8-10 at the new Westin Jackson Hotel, earn up to 11 CEU’s and interact with nationally known landscape architects and others.  We hope to see you there!