Kick Off Rally for Yes on 3

Rhode Islanders, join the cause this morning with YESon3RI and the Audobon Society of Rhode Island as they host a kickoff rally for Yes on 3.  Not aware of the November ballot decision?

The $47.3 million Green Economy and Clean Water bond on November’s ballot gives voters the opportunity to support a state-wide investment that builds on Rhode Island’s strengths: a healthy Narragansett Bay, safe drinking water for all, a robust network of bikeways and recreational facilities, revitalized industrial spaces, working farms, open spaces for generations to enjoy, and protection against flooding and storm events.

When:  Today, October 12th at 10 AM

Where: Waterplace Park Amphitheatre, Providence, RI

For more information on the event, check out their Facebook link at the link below:


New Job Postings!

Looking for a job?  Check out our Jobs tab which was recently updated with three interesting positions!

  • Planner at Providence Department of Planning and Development
  • Horticultural Manager at Bellevue Ave Residence in Newport
  • Landscape Designer / Landscape Architect at Hali Beckman, Ltd. in Wickford, RI

Check out RIASLA on Facebook!

RIASLA recently created a new Facebook page!  This page will represent Rhode Island ASLA and showcase local work, news + events relevant to Rhode Island landscape architecture.

Check out the page here and be sure to follow us!

RIASLA June Networking Event

Let’s talk about what’s happening with landscape architecture in Rhode Island at our next networking event on Thursday, June 14!  Join RIASLA at the Isle Brewer’s Guild in Pawtucket for a night of networking, fun and games!  Event is free of charge, please email Andrew at with any questions.  Hope to see you there!

Isle Brewer’s Guild  |  461 Main Street, Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Curious what the Brewer’s Guild has to offer?  Check out their website here!

Keep an eye out for our next networking event, Thursday, July 12th and our Summer Social on Thursday, August 16th.

RIASLA Networking Event – Thursday, 5/10

Join us for drinks and conversation at Fifth Element, 111 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840, Thursday, May 10th from 6-8pm. Our last event at Bayberry Beer Hall was a great success. More than 20 landscape architects and allied professionals attended. We would love to continue to connect our community of members and supporters. Please join us Thursday night.  For more information, check out our event on Facebook:



April Is A Time for Historic Landscapes


View of pond at Wilcox Park , Westerly, RI.  the 2016 HALS merit award project. Image by Ben Congdon (URI BLA 2017)

by Elena M. Pascarella, RLA, ASLA of Landscape Elements LLC

This April, RIASLA focuses on historic landscapes.  This is an appropriate time to present information on historic landscapes for a number of reasons.

April 26th is the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted.  Olmsted is considered the “founding father” of our profession and the body of his work presents a very impressive historic record of historic landscapes in the United States.  Consider that some of his iconic work includes Central Park in New York, the Fens in Boston, the Buffalo, New York park system, the Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina.  Locally Olmsted and his firm provided designs for Wilcox Park, Westerly, RI, subdivisions in Watch Hill and Newport, Blackstone Boulevard in Providence, RI and Goddard State Park, Warwick, RI. As we look to celebrate his 196th birthday (April 26, 1822), we might consider taking a walk through one of his local landscapes and take the time to really look at his legacy.

April 26 thru April 28 is the RI Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) 33rd Annual Historic Preservation Conference. This will be an Encuentro which joins the 33rd Annual R.I. Statewide Historic Preservation Conference and the 3rd National Convening of Latinos in Heritage Conservation. It also marks the 50th anniversary of the Commission. Save the date and plan to attend! Click here for more information and to register.

Also, the RIHPHC has been busy with national register nominations and they recently completed a nomination for the historic quadrangle and surrounding buildings at the University of Rhode Island. Joanna Doherty, Architectural historian, has provided us with an overview of this nomination project and its significance as a campus landscape.

The Providence Preservation Society has been working to raise awareness about threatened historic properties in Providence.  The PPS joined forces with RI Chapter ASLA in 2017 to submit the State House landscape for listing on the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s 2018 Landslide List as a “threatened” historic landscape. ( PPS Executive Director, Brent Runyon has provided us with an article on the issues surrounding the State House grounds.

Brent is also spearheading a new Landscape Survey initiative for Rhode Island.  This initiative will start with an online survey for Newport and Providence and then expand to other communities in Rhode Island.  The rationale for starting with these 2 cities lies in the fact that they are both experiencing a great increase in new development projects that pose threats to existing open spaces and some historic properties.  The PPS hopes that this survey will help to fairly evaluate potential threatened properties and provide appropriate recommendations.

Please support PPS and their preservation efforts  at

The Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) is in the process of restoring and renovating the landscape at the Breakers, one of their signature historic properties.  The PSNC mission is as follows:

The Preservation Society of Newport County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect, preserve, and present an exceptional collection of house museums and landscapes in one of the most historically intact cities in America. 

Kaity Ryan, assistant to the executive director at the PSNC has provided us with an overview of the work that is being done at The Breakers to restore it.

And finally, the RI Chapter ASLA is in the process of preparing another Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) Challenge documentation.  Our chapter submitted a HALS Challenge documentation in 2016 with the assistance of URI Professor Richard Sheridan and his junior landscape studio.  The documentation was done for Wilcox Park, Westerly, RI which met the 2016 theme of National Register landscapes.  It was Rhode Island’s first HALS documentation and we earned a merit award out of 48 national submissions.

In 2017, RI Chapter ASLA submitted a HALS Challenge documentation for Eisenhower Park/Washington Square, Newport, RI.  The theme for 2017 was town and municipal parks. The documentation was completed with the assistance of Tanya Kelly and her staff at Place Studio as well as Jon Stevens (Cumberland, RI town planner and history buff) and his daughter Arcadia Stevens, a recent Wheaton College graduate in Classics. Out of 28 submissions, Rhode Island earned another merit recognition.

For 2018, the RIASLA will be submitting another documentation.  This year’s theme is Memorials of the Great War (WWI).  Tanya Kelly and I will be working on the nomination for Miantonomi Park, Newport, RI. If anyone would like to become involved, please contact me at



What is HALS?

Eisenhower JDS8

View of Eisenhower Park, Newport, RI – the 2017 HALS merit award winning project. Image by Jonathan Stevens


by Elena M. Pascarella, RLA, ASLA of Landscape Elements LLC

HALS documentation is one of three types of historic records maintained at the Library of Congress under the purview of the National Park Service. Other documentations include Historic American Building Surveys (HABS) and Historic American Engineering Records (HAER). HAER surveys have documented many historic roadways throughout the United States including the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut and Skyline Drive in Virginia.

HALS documentation was initiated because historians, architects and landscape architects working for the National Park Service realized that the HABS and HAER survey documentations were not adequately capturing the level of detail found in many historic landscapes.

Rhode Island has two documentations recorded with the NPS and in the Library of Congress.

During Spring semester 2016, Elena M. Pascarella, RLA, ASLA, principal of Landscape Elements, LLC worked with Professor Richard Sheridan’s Junior Landscape Architecture Studio at the University of Rhode Island to prepare a Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) Documentation for Wilcox Park in Westerly, RI. Landscape Elements had previously worked on the master plan for Wilcox Park in 2006. This park is one of Rhode Island’s significant historic landscapes having been designed by two noted 19th Century landscape architects, Warren H. Manning and Arthur Shurcliff.

The 2016 HALS documentation submission for Wilcox Park was also entered into the 2016 HALS Challenge, a competition open to all landscape architectural firms in the US and Canada. Out of 48 submissions for 2016, the documentation for Wilcox Park received an honorable mention award.

The 2017 HALS documentation submission for Eisenhower Park earned RI its second merit award. Many thanks to the people who assisted with this project:  Tanya Kelly, Kate Dana, Jon Stevens and Acadia Stevens.

For more information about HALS, please visit