APLDWA DEI Committee History
In the midst of renewed demands for racial justice and the global pandemic’s exposure of systemic inequities, Members of the Washington chapter called for the organization to promote Equity, Justice and Inclusion. The WA Chapter Board of Directors created an official committee to address these efforts in the summer of 2020.

Mission Statement
Enrich the diversity of perspectives reflected within our organization in order to strengthen the work of our profession and ensure our relevance and positive impact in our practice. Leverage APLDWA’s collective skills and resources to become a more just, equitable and inclusive organization and contribute to greater justice and equity in the world around us.


  • Explore the current state of the organization’s membership, leadership, clientele and design influences with an understanding that diverse perspectives and aesthetics enhance the work of our discipline
  • Identify barriers to inclusion for members of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities in the profession of landscape design and our organization
  • Examine implicit and explicit biases that contribute to these barriers
  • Develop and continually refine best practices for our organization to challenge our biases, foster diversity in our membership and leadership, and advance a culture of inclusion
  • Engage with educational and community groups to raise awareness of the profession and organization among communities that have been historically excluded
  • Leverage APLDWA scholarship funds to promote diversity in the feeder population

APLD NATIONAL Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

APLD Washington Chapter Land Acknowledgement

APLD Washington Chapter acknowledges that the place where our members collectively practice, Washington State, overlays the ancestral, traditional and contemporary homelands of a rich diversity of indigenous groups. These cultures formed over millennia in reciprocity with the unique landscapes of their territories. We are honored and grateful to live and work today on the historic lands of so many original people. We offer thanks for their stewardship, past and present, and strive to honor and learn respectfully from their examples.

Resources for DEI Learning & Action
The following is a list of articles, websites, books and podcasts compiled to help members develop some understanding of the forces that cause and perpetuate bias and inequity and how we may begin to dismantle them. This is not a perfect, nor exhaustive list. We invite you to help it evolve.

Links to explore:

native-land.ca Indigenous Territories Map

nps.gov/subjects/tek/index.htm National Parks Service Website for Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) learning

yehawshow.com Indigenous Creatives Collective in South Seattle, WA

conquerthesoil.com Abra Lee on Black Americans in Gardens & Horticulture

Black Botany: The Nature of Black Experience Digitally Archived Exhibit, New York Botanical Garden

blacklanetwork.org The Black Landscape Architect Network

terremoto.la/land-and-labor Terremoto’s Land and Labor Initiative

buildingallies.org Active Allyship: Awareness, Action, Integration

blackstarfarmers.org Seattle BIPOC Food Sovereignty Organization

ada.gov The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

disabilityvisibilityproject.com The Disability Visibility Project

ASLA's Principle of Accessible Design

Anti-AAPI History of Washington State Tacoma Community College Library

WxLA Advocacy organization for gender equity in landscape architecture

BIPOC HORT amplifying diverse voices in horticulture

Inclusive Gardens in Unconventional Spaces 2020 Garden Conservancy Webinar

The Many Benefits of Community Gardens

Gardening May Help Reduce Cancer Risk and Boost Mental Health

Articles & Books to read:

The Reconciliation Manifesto book by Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants book by Robin Wall Kimmerer

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack essay by Peggy McIntosh

Queer Ecology essay by Priya Supperwal

Why We Need Queer Urbanism article by Aaron Greiner

Racism Is Killing the Planet article by Hop Hopkins

Asian Hate Didn't Start with the Pandemic; It Will Not End with It Either Unless Everyone Acts article by Yujia Wang

APLDWA Scholarship Program:

Each year, the chapter raises donations from its members to support students of local landscape horticulture/design programs. Under the stewardship of the DEI Committee, the scholarship is evolving to prioritize support for students from marginalized identities and populations underrepresented in the landscape design profession.


Historically the scholarship program consisted of a collection at the annual chapter holiday party. A check for the total collection would be sent to one of a rotating list of landscape horticulture/design programs at Edmonds College, South Seattle College and Lake Washington Technical College, major feeders of membership for our organization.

As of 2001, the DEI Committee has begun re-envisioning and administering the program with the goal of harnessing it as a tool to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within our organization.


Your donation is combined with those of others to help students enrolled in local certificate and degree programs in landscape design and horticulture. Anyone can donate to the scholarship fund and there is no minimum amount required. All donations go directly to the award fund and are not used by APLDWA for administrative purposes. Please help us make this exciting profession accessible to the next generation of designers.


While not exclusive, we encourage applications by students from populations that have historically been excluded from power and representation in the profession of Landscape Design. The scholarship is currently being awarded to a landscape horticulture or design student (or students) enrolled in the following programs on a rotating annual basis:

  • Edmonds College
  • South Seattle College
  • Lake Washington Technical College

At present, APLDWA scholarships are awarded through the financial aid office of the individual schools. In the future, we hope to be able to solicit applications and administer funding directly with students, thereby making a greater number of students eligible each year. Note: if helping us grow this effort interests you, please contact us.

Have questions about the scholarship? Please contact the DEI Committee Chair, Sarah Van Sanden at sarah@svslandscapedesign.com.