News & Press: Press Release

Call for Papers and Educational Courses

Tuesday, December 17, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jon Shiver
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Next July, the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects is ecstatic to be REELING IN AT THE REEF- in the fabulous Florida Keys for its annual state-wide conference!

The exclusive Ocean Reef Club near Key Largo has been selected for our location. The allure of this magical private community draws us to discover and enjoy what most will never have the opportunity to experience; of course, unless one is a member of the club. This private community boasts a private airport, cultural center, medical center, animal care center, academy, chamber of commerce, community foundation, chapel and it’s own public safety department.

This meticulously planned and pristinely executed community sits on 2500 lush tropical acres bordered on three sides by water. The club can be reached by land, air or sea. More than 1,700 condos, villas, townhomes and single family residences make up the real estate. The community is easily traveled by way of golf carts, bikes, and is refreshingly pedestrian friendly.

While down at the reef, there are many recreational opportunities including a wonderful spa, fitness center, tennis center, water sports such as kayaking, snorkeling, and diving, children’s activities, nature center and eco-tours, shopping, and of course fishing charters. The club is home to not one, but two championship18 hole golf courses, which is a rarity in the Florida Keys. There is even an academy of golf with PGA certified golf pros on staff. Many restaurants and cafes are on property, and there is even a cooking school. The conference facilities contain an ample 30,000 square feet of meeting space with a 7,500 square foot ballroom. And let’s not forget ……..the beach! Ocean reef is just an hour and a half drive South of Miami International Airport. Airport shuttles or rental cars are available at MIA. There is no necessity to rent a car for the duration of this conference as Ocean Reef is most easily traveled by golf cart. The elaborate golf cart culture is part of what makes this destination so fun and unique.


"Ocean Reef Club reflects the thoughtful creation of an ideal, exclusive community of like-minded people. From the modest fishing camp and 26-room lodge established by Morris Baker in 1945, the interests and expertise of our members have guided the growth of our private club and community. The original 9-hole course, laid out in the 1950s, evolved intotwo 18-hole championship courses, a clubhouse and a pro shop. A tidal swimming lagoon was created during the fifties along with a swimming pool. Shops began to appear. Moorings became a marina. It was a good place to be.

Ocean Reef became a private club in 1993 following the buy-out from the former developer. Then as now, daily operation of the Club has been overseen by the board of directors, the club staff and committees. As the years have passed, the number of members who own their own homes with magnificent views has continued to grow. Close to four thousand members of ORC remain determined to preserve the private club’s rich traditions and gracious lifestyle for future generations. The "Clubs within the Club” – many with their own long histories – have proliferated to accommodate an unusually broad spectrum of interests. There is a fire station. A medical center staffed with full-time doctors and an impressive array of visiting specialists. A corps of public safety officers trained as first responders, with ambulance and airlift on call. A landing strip and a flying club. Restaurants and shops. Yet none of these amenities intrude into the prevailing calm that’s so highly prized. "

(From the Ocean Reef Club’s official website.)

Conference Theme

"Reeling in at the Reef”-

Landscape Architects are grasping at numerous amazing opportunities and riding the tides offered to us in today’s dynamic and changing environment: They are finding themselves collaborating in lead roles with other disciplines in a wide array of project types, with varying complexities, challenging cultural differences, and overlapping scopes. Landscape Architects have energetically taken on the challenge of becoming competitive leaders by upgrading business practices and branching out into other markets to remain relevant and effective. Our conference theme answers the call to simply ‘Reel Us All In’ - reunite us, rejuvenate us, and bring us a relaxing reunion with our unique profession. The theme connects us to the sense of place of the aquatic venue and references the Ocean Reef Club’s history and the club’s humble beginnings as a laid-back fishing village on the outskirts of development.

THE TACKLE BOX. Educational Tracks and Suggested Course Content:

THREE educational tracts are being proposed. Within each track, FLASLA has identified a number of recommended course topics that it would like to feature. In addition to regular courses offering CEU or CEC credits, the conference will be offering one or more Advanced Building Code and Law Courses required by the Florida Department of Professional and Business Regulation.

Each submitter is encouraged to tailor their presentation to best address these preferences. However, FLASLA will consider other options provided that they still substantially incorporate the overall conference theme and one of more of the proposed tracks. Submitters are encouraged to offer a variety of interesting presentation formats that will engage the attendees including multiple presenters, hands-on interactive workshops, panel discussions with questions and answers, and especially because of our remarkable venue, outdoor site visits, tours, and demonstrations.

The educational tracts are as follows:


This track offers a variety of interesting tools and knowledge on raising the awareness of the profession in the marketplace, expanding and branching out into related disciplines to master new services, and broadens horizons and passions related to the dynamic field of landscape architecture. Such courses may include the following:

- Technology workshop. A hands on training course for learning and keeping up with changing technology in Auto CAD, BIM, Revit, Sketch-up, Photoshop or other digital technologies that make production more efficient.

- Low Technology workshop. Refreshing our memory on how to hand sketch, watercolor paint, or produce renderings and drawings the old fashioned way. Perhaps this course could be taught outdoors drawing upon inspiration from nature.

- A history and photographic tour of Biscayne National Park. A park guide speaks about the history of the park, the flora and fauna abundant there, and the future sustainability of it.

- Nature and Garden Photography. A workshop on how to select and operate the latest digital camera equipment, and a hands-on workshop of the different techniques used to best capture our designs on camera.

- The Flagler Railroad. The life and history of Henry Flagler and how his railroad effected the development of the State of Florida and the keys.

- The 7 mile bridge. The history and future of the bridge.

- Fairchild Tropical Gardens. A history of the design of the garden, and a presentation from the director about future initiatives and partnerships.

- Coral Castle, Monkey Jungle, or other local attractions. A history and photographic or day tour of this enigmatic local landmark.

- Edible landscapes. Practical knowledge about how to sustain vegetables in the tropics and how to navigate local codes and regulations against the design of them into our gardens.

- Florida Nursery Growers. Presentation from the FNGLA discussing the history of the historic Redlands agricultural area and the large nursery and farming industry at our doorsteps.

- The Miami Marine Stadium. History and preservation efforts.


This track gives sound practical working knowledge on tangible skills, laws, codes and techniques that landscape architects must stay current on in order to remain efficient , creative, and competitive.

- Mangrove Trimming Laws and Procedures. This course would lend itself well to being conducted outdoors with a hands-on demonstration.

- Golf course design and environmental sustainability. How can landscape architects learn more about how to make golf courses more sustainable? The hammock course at Ocean Reef is built around a tropical hammock, and lends itself to site visits.

- Sod solutions. The latest and most dependable sod choices- their design qualities and maintenance issues.

- Coastal Ecology. Explaining the different ecosystems and sustainability issues related to coastal environments including sea rise and how landscape architects can be informed of changing codes and laws relating to designing in coastal environments.

- Design for ‘Off the Grid’. Design technologies implementing solar energy, water collection systems, corrosion resistant materials, wind energy, and edible gardens for future living.

- Storm water management. Panel discussion on laws and regulations, collaboration with civil engineers, and best practices for storm water management.

- Landscape Lighting Design. The latest in low voltage and LED lighting technology and hands-on lighting demonstration at dusk outdoors.

- Irrigation technology. The latest in water saving, low emitting irrigation systems for designing with sustainability in mind.

- Working in the Caribbean. Panel discussion on shipping materials, acquiring local work personnel and work ethics in dealing with Caribbean governments.

- Florida International University’s LA department. A presentation from the director about the program and presentations from students showcasing their work.

- Green Roofs and Wind. Technical, structural and municipal code issues facing landscape architects designing green roofs in Florida.

- ADA. Hands-on study of ADA codes outside in the field.

- Urban infill. How have programs such as LEED and new urbanism changed the way our cities grow and develop and how can landscape architects position themselves in lead urban design roles.

- Historic Preservation challenges. Contrasting different approaches to how historic preservation techniques are implemented in harsh coastal environments such as the Keys and Miami where it costs less to demolish and rebuild than to restore.

- Sports venue design. Miami Marlins stadium design and green building technology implemented in the design and construction of the facility.

- Swimming pool design and aquatic engineering. Workshop describing the latest in pool design technologies.


This track may be one of the most important because it focuses in on refining and improving the skill sets used to implement the ‘professional practice’ aspect of our profession so that landscape architects lead in the business world as respected business owners , project managers, and prime consultants.

- Small firm / small business enterprise. Taking the proper business and financial steps to go out on our own to open and maintain a ‘micro-firm’ outside of the security of a large firm. The pros and cons of working as a design – build firm vs a traditional design only firm.

- Marketing and networking. Building marketing partnerships and honing skills in efficient networking that targets your market audience, and connects efficiently with building business in the local community.

- Expanding business internationally. How to negotiate the terrain and expand business into other countries.

- Understanding the legislative process. How do landscape architects keep current on new legislation and legislative actions the directly impact their livelihood? How to keep informed and interface with lawmakers to keep licensure a valuable public asset.

- Managing personalities in the office environment. Managing changing values and personalities between employees ranging from baby boomers to emerging professionals.

- Contract negotiations. Preparing highly effective proposals, contracts, and work orders that are not legally intimidating. Building mutual understanding with clients contractually and how to negotiate fees efficiently and powerfully.

- Running a profitable business. Learning effective strategies in office management areas including basic book-keeping tools, tax laws, personal management, and health insurance benefits.

Mission Statement

Leading, educating, and participating in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.

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ASLA Florida
P.O. Box 841
Pensacola, FL 32591

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