- a reflection by Daniel Lowery CPLD, FAPLD

Twenty-five years ago, a state chapter was formed to serve the Greater Seattle Area members of the national organization of Association of Professional Landscape Designers [APLD]. The local chapter is known as the Association of Professional Landscape Designers – WA Chapter [APLDWA]. It enabled the group to participate easily in the display gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. At the same time, the chapter structure permitted an information exchange, educational opportunities, mentorship, and support for largely self-employed landscape designers. Regardless of the type of employment, all are welcome.

Starting with a few individuals who supported the national agenda and wanting wanted to foster local camaraderie, the group described themselves in an early pamphlet, as “hospitable and keen designers”. Interest in the group grew each year, and now counts 100 members who practice in the State of Washington.

It wasn’t always a party. Energy was spent watching legislation. Another group tried to severely restrict what we do for a living. Letters to congress, visits to hearings, testifying to Senate committees, working with lobbyists and other Landscape organizations over a period of several years led us to a stable position. We must be diligent to keeping the right to practice, even today.

group of people sitting on bench
Washington Chapter members at the 2013 APLD International Conference in Detroit

Over the years of membership and the building of one’s practice, two professional recognitions may be obtained. The first one is CPLD which stands for Certified Professional Landscape Designer and recognizes a nationally administered peer review of education and quality of design. The second is FAPLD which stands for an individual becoming recognized as a Fellow. Fellows are senior members with a lengthy long successful practice and a history of giving back to the organization.

Now to the “party” part, which of course, is mainly education, ; there are several ways to enjoy the membership of APLDWA. There are national conferences, national and local podcasts, local garden tours, outside speakers, manufacturer representative talks, and seasonal gatherings featuring epic feasts.

We didn’t reach this number of 100 magically, but through the talent and involvement of our passionate members - people like you! Please consider contributing by getting involved contactus@apldwa.org. We are serious when we say we need you to keep our awesome programming meaningful and alive.

APLDWA Garden Tour 2022. Photo credit: Lisa Port, FAPLD