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2024 Professional + Student Chapter Awards 

The Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects recently held its annual Awards Gala to celebrate the exceptional work and accomplishments of its members. This year’s event took place at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Montgomery County, MD. We welcomed Joy Columbus, Director of Smithsonian Gardens as our Keynote Speaker.

This year's award categories included General Design, General Design (Unbuilt), Residential Design (Single and Multi-Family), Institutional, Analysis & Planning, and Research. Distinctions included Merit Awards, Honor Awards, the Traveling Award of Innovative Excellence, and the Presidential Award of Excellence. See this year's winners, below.

Student Awards

Student Awards

University of Maryland, College Park

Cierra Hargrove.JPG

Cierra Hargrove, Student ASLA

BLA Candidate

Honor Award

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Gabrielle Shelton,

Student ASLA
BLA Candidate

Honor Award

 Madison Mohan.jpeg

Madison Mohan,

Student ASLA
BLA Candidate

Merit Award

Emma Steuernagle.jpg

Emmeline Steuernagle,

Student ASLA
BLA Candidate

Merit Award

Azadeh Esmaeili.jpg

Azadeh Esmaeili,

Student ASLA
MLA Candidate

Honor Award

Mary Christensen.jpg

Mary Christensen,

Student ASLA
MLA Candidate

Merit Award

Morgan State University


Simone Robinson,

Student ASLA

Merit Award

2023 Student Scholarship and Fellowship Winners

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Gabrielle Shelton, SASLA
2024 BLA Candidate

University of Maryland


Caleb Austin - Headshot - Caleb Austin (1).jpg

Caleb Austin, SASLA

2025 BLA Candidate

University of Maryland


Jen Plaskowitz - Jennifer Plaskowitz (1) (2).jpg

Jennifer Plaskowitz

2024 MLA Candidate

Morgan State University


Merit Awards

Merit Awards

General Design

Appian Rooftop Terrace

Baltimore, MD

Mahan Rykiel Associates

Owner: Appian Corporation; Prime Architect: CRTKL; Lighting Designer: CM Kling; Structural Engineer: Silman; General Contractor: Hitt Landscape Contractor; JB Kline; Trellis & Planter Fabricator: Deco Planters

General Design

Lumen Plaza at 100 Light

Baltimore, MD

Floura Teeter Landscape Architects

Owner: COPT; Waterproofing: Construction Insight; Civil: Morris Ritchie & Associates; MEP: BKM; Contractor: Plano Coudon.

General Design (Unbuilt)

Annapolis City Dock

Annapolis , MD

Mahan Rykiel Associates

Project Team: Mahan Rykiel Associates, BCT Design Group, WSP, Whiting-Turner, Amber Infrastructure, The City of Annapolis

General Design (Unbuilt)

Pikesville Armory Vision Plan

Pikesville, MD

Unknown Studio

Project Team: Seawall, Onyx Development, Pikesville Armory Foundation, Ziger|Snead, MK Consulting Engineers

General Design (Unbuilt)

Traci Atkins Park

West Baltimore, MD

Jonathan Ceci Landscape Architects

Project Team: Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Mount Clare Community Council.

General Design

Chevy Chase Lake Block B

Chevy Chase, MD

Mahan Rykiel Associates

Project Team: Bozzuto Development Company, Bozzuto Construction Company, Lerch, Early & Brewer, The Martin Architectural Group, David M. Schwatcz Architects, MCLA, VIKA, RD Jones, Sustainable Design Consulting

General Design

Texas Live! Entertainment District

Arlington, TX

Hord Coplan Macht

Project Team: The Cordish Companies, The City of Arlington, Texas, HCM Architects, HKS Architects, Selbert Perkins, SMR Landscape Architects.

General Design (Unbuilt)

Chrome Works Park

Baltimore, MD

iO Studio, Inc.

Project Team: Beatty Harvery CoCo Architects, Beatty Developments, RKK Engineers, MRCE Engineers, Morris and Ritchie Engineers.

General Design (Unbuilt)

Popes Creek Waterfront Master Plan

Charles County, MD

Hord Coplan Macht

Client: Charles County Recreation and Parks; Civil: Mead & Hunt; Ecological Consultant: Coastal Resources, Inc.

Residential Design (Single-Family)

Bethesda Modern Classic

Bethesda, MD​

Horn & Co.

Project Team: Donald Lococo Architects (Architect), Horizon Building Corporation (Builder), Planted Earth Landscaping (Landscaping), Alpine Pool (Pool), Nature Unlimited (Lighting & Irrigation), and Anice Hoachlander (Photography).

Residential Design (Single-Family)

Meadow on the Magothy

Pasadena, MD

CLINTON + RIES Landscape Architects

Project Team: Walnut Hill Landscape Company, Ernst Conservation Seeds, Good Earth Gardeners

Residential Design (Single-Family)

Wild Pines

Sparks Glencoe, MD


FORM Garden Design

Builder: ProCor Group; Interior Designer: Stephanie Bradshaw Creative; Landscape Contractor: Pinehurst Landscape

Analysis & Planning

Lower Stoney Run Strategic Plan

Baltimore, MD

Mahan Rykiel Associates

Project Team: Mahan Rykiel Associates (Tom McGilloway PLA, Megan Oliver AICP, Jeff Dube PLA), Friends of Stoney Run, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.

Residential Design

Northwest Point Farm

Centreville, MD

Campion Hruby Landscape Architects

Architect: Purple Cherry Architects; Builder: GYC Group; Landscape: Planted Earth Landscaping

Institutional Design

Howard County Circuit Courthouse

Columbia, MD



Project Team: Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate (Client), Creative Machines (Public Art).


Creating Space for Nature Rx at HBCUs


Marci-Ann Smith

University of Maryland, College Park Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture; University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Honor Awards

Honor Awards

General Design

Color Burst Park

Columbia, MD

Mahan Rykiel Associates

Project Team: Howard Hughes Corporation, JP2 Architects, TCA Architects, FOX Architects, Daft McCune Walker, The Lighting Practice, Kusser FountainWorks.

Residential Design (Multi-Family)

8001 Woodmore Avenue

Bethesda, MD


Project Team: JBG Smith (Client); FXCollaborative (Architect); VIKA (Engineer).

Residential Design (Single-Family)

Threading Ecologies

Barnesville, MD


Moody Graham Landscape Architects

Clients: Carole Bewley and Marius Clore; Architect: Stoiber+Associates; Civil Engineer and Site Survey: Snider & Associates; Meadow Consultant, Installation and Maintenance: Larry Weaner Landscape Associates; Builder/General Contractor: Summit Design & Construction, Inc.; Excavation and Grading: Gebcon Corporation; Planting Installation: Oldetowne Landscape Architects; Willow Panels: The Willow Farm; Garden Maintenance: Hedge Garden Care Hardscape Contractor: Neto Construction.

Traveling Award

Traveling Award of Innovative Excellence
& Honor Award

Analysis & Planning

Holly Beach Stewardship Plan

Annapolis, MD


Moody Graham Landscape Architects

Project Team: Environmental Systems Analysis, Inc; Mark Burchick, Principal / Senior Environmental Scientist; Leslie Wood, PWS  Principal/Senior Environmental Scientist; heike nolker, landscape architect; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Willy Agee; Holly Beach Farm Conservancy; Tom Thayer

Holly Beach Farm is a 300-acre coastal resource characterized by wetland-dominated natural areas, complex vegetative diversity, abundant wildlife, and five miles of tidal shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay and Whitehall Bay.


Originally a farm with historic and cultural values, the property was placed in conservation 20 years ago and managed under the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) care. The proposed stewardship plan is a multi-faceted proposal integrating innovative offshore and land-based methods to preserve and celebrate the coastline, a layered history, and a multitude of ecosystems on located in the property. Holly Beach Farm has the capability to operate as the region’s environmental, educational, and climate change research hub during this stewardship. The plan is comprised of a network of paths that introduces users to ecological study plots, reforestation zones, restored historic structures and living shorelines. One proposed ecological study plot central to the site is the “wheel of succession,” and is a series of transitory plant communities that develop during ecological succession from fallow ground to mature woodlands.


It is rare that a place of such rich ecological diversity and undeveloped educational potential is close to a growing population area. Explaining the qualities of this place, including its fragile nature, to decision-makers is critical to charting a successful plan for long-term stewardship of the site’s natural and cultural features.

Presidential Award

Presidential Award

General Design

UMPC Mercy Pavillion

Pittsburgh, PA


Project Team: Chris Downey, AIA (Special Consultant); UPMC (client), 

UPMC Mercy Pavilion is a new state-of-the-art facility offering comprehensive clinical services for patients with visual impairments and diseases of the eye. Throughout the project, the landscape team worked closely with one of the world’s only blind architects to ensure the facility was infused with strategies to welcome and aid eye patients. These design approaches include lighting levels that promote contrast and brightness, materials and textures that enhance cane detection, and the use of sound as a wayfinding and therapy tool.


For the streetscape, the design adds a public plaza with shade trees and seating for respite. The Pavilion entry welcomes patients and visitors of all abilities through thoughtful design gestures, including an ADA-compliant pedestrian walkway, in-ground non-glare lighting and high-contrast color in the paving material and raised textures for cane detection. Working closely with UPMC experts, the landscape team designed a Rehabilitation and Healing Garden for the fourth-floor terrace. A powerful demonstration of the healing power of landscape architecture, the Garden utilizes non-visual stimuli, including touch and sound, to promote opportunities for learning and connection with others. The central feature is an ADA-compliant training path where patients can practice navigating elevation change and interact with a variety of common outdoor surfaces. The Winter Garden, a flexible outdoor space for UPMC’s staff, is located on the other side of the terrace. Separated by a peaceful green wall, this area provides dedicated outdoor space for work or small events. The landscape is completed by two levels of non-accessible green roofs.

Individual Awards

Spencer Ellis Award


Stephanie Oberle

Director of Brookside Gardens

Stephanie was presented this award by friend, Landscape Architecture educator and advocater, and ASLA Fellow, Jack Sullivan, FASLA. Jack had the following to share about Stephanie:

Stephanie Oberle graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture, and from the University of Delaware with a Master's Degree in Public Horticulture Administration. She previously held positions at the American Horticultural Society in Alexandria, VA and Tudor Place in Washington D.C. When she was hired by Brookside Gardens, she worked for several years as a Visitor Services Supervisor, overseeing all educational programming, enterprise functions, the volunteer program and the library. In this capacity, she worked closely with Montgomery County Parks staff and outside contractors to develop a 15-phase master plan for the Gardens.

She was elevated to the position of Director in 2008, and oversaw completion of several master plan phases, including design and installation of a new entrance and parking garden and a new greenhouse facility. She is a strong advocate for sustainability, championing green choices in all Brookside Gardens projects. She promoted environmental education for children, as evidences in her work with the Children & Nature Network, and she has created a pipeline to employment in the green industry for all ages.

Emerging Professional Award


Gaëlle Gourmelon

Associate Designer, MKSK

This award recognizes and celebrates an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary passion and commitment to the profession of landscape architecture, the community, and/or a firm in the State of Maryland; in the early stage of their professional life.

Gaëlle was presented this award by last year's Emerging Professional Award Winner, Lauren Gray, Assoc. ASLA, who had the following to share about Gaëlle:

Gaëlle joined MKSK in 2020, after having attained an MLA from the University of Virginia, where as a student she won the departmental Award for Design Excellence, and the Landscape Architecture Foundation's Joe Lalli Scholarship.

Gaëlle's background in public health shapes her belief in the healing power of landscape architecture. She currently serves as Co-chair of MKSK's Staff Council, a volunteer staff advocacy position. Last year, she developed, implemented, and synthesized the results of a firm-wide employee engagement survey, yielding targeted focus workshops and moving as forward on staff empowerment.

Gaëlle is remarkable emerging professional of the landscape architecture community, participating in every avenue of practice. I, and many others, look forward to seeing how she continues in her career to innovate, and inspire.

Mid-Career Professional Award


Heidi Thomas, ASLA

Founding Principal at EnviroCollab

To recognize and celebrate an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary passion and commitment to the profession of landscape architecture, the community, and/or a firm in the State of Maryland; in the middle stage of their professional life.

Heidi was presented the award by last year's Mid-Career Award Winner Brian Reetz, ASLA, who had the following to share about Heidi:

Heidi Thomas, this year's recipient, has a graduate studies degree in Cultural Sustainability focused on the co-creation of environment, culture, and community in urban agricultural contexts - a theme which continues to serve as the cornerstone of her engagement and design approach across the breadth of her professional work.

She aspires to enhance the visibility of and increase access to the field of landscape architecture, particularly among women, minorities, and under-served communities. Her experiences as an adjunct instructor, a community advocate, and a neighborhood organizer for environmental projects in Baltimore have furthered this aim, while also helping to illuminate with others the correlation between social equity and access to nature.

Heidi has recently transitioned her firm from a sole proprietorship to a worker-owned cooperative. She is building and operating a company that is eager to explore beyond the traditionally hierarchical business model norm in our industry that enables leadership from the select few over the many, and has chosen to work toward converting to a more progressive business model that better represents the collective mission at EnviroCollab.

Lifetime Achievement Award


Deborah Schwab, ASLA

Owner, Deborah M. Schwab Landscape Architecture

Maryland ASLA's Lifetime Achievement Award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of landscape architecture by our long-standing and dedicated members. The award can be for service, knowledge, research or any other related subject that the MDASLA executive committee chooses to honor.

Deb was presented this award by longtime friend, colleague, and last year's MDASLA Award of Excellence winner, Vernon Hustead, ASLA. Here is what Vernon had to share about Deb:

Deb graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Natural Resources degree (They did not have a Landscape Architecture degree at the time). She went to work at her father's civil engineering office, and was one of the first Landscape Architects to become registered in the state of Rhode Island. She eventually left to become a sailboat captain, where she ferried boats to the Caribbean. Eventually she gravitated back to Landscape Architecture, met her husband Iver, moved to Annapolis, MD, and started her own firm.

Deb has worked on a wide range of projects including private residences, commercial and institutional projects, public parks and plazas. Deb is the go to person in Annapolis for civil engineers and architects to help with required landscape plans, critical area plans and forest conservation plans.

Deb has been involved with the Maryland Chapter of ASLA for many years, joining in the mid '90s, and becoming President in 2000. She remains involved with ASLA both locally and nationally, and is considered a mentor by many Landscape Architects - both new and not so new.

As a true testament to Deb's character, Vernon shares: 

"I met Deb early in the 1990s at a MDASLA event. Since I was a new person, she made sure to come over and introduce herself to me, to introduce me to others at the meeting and make me feel comfortable and like I belonged at the meeting. If I have done anything well in the MDASLA it has been because of Deb’s kindness, her mentoring and leadership."




Thank You to our Generous Sponsors




Division 32

Deporter, Dominick & Associates/ Philips/HADCO

NERI/Commercial Lighting Sales

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