The series will feature a variety of speakers exploring topics pertaining to the practice of landscape architecture.  Its goal is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas that support and enrich practitioners’ experience.


May 15, 2014

ILASLA Bartlett Seminars Presents: Surviving the Concrete Jungle: Strategies for Planting Trees in Confined Urban Spaces

May 15, 2014
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532

Join us for the first lecture in this year's Bartlett Series: The Underlying Elements of Landscape Architecture

$25.00 ILASLA Member

$40.00 Non Member
$10.00 Student Ticket

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Join us for the first lecture in this year's Bartlett Series:

The Underlying Elements of Landscape Architecture

Surviving the Concrete Jungle: Strategies for Planting Trees in Confined Urban Spaces

 Our first seminar coming up in May focuses on bio-engineered soils in the urban environment with Dr. Gary Watson,  Head of Research at The Morton Arboretum.

Registration Opens in late April.

1 CEU Available


Register Now



Bartlett Seminar


On November 5, 2013, ILASLA and The Bartlett Seminars hosted Leo Schlosberg who spoke on "Construction Administration: Efficiency in the the Studio and Success in the Field."

See past Bartlett Seminar Videos here:

Reducing Disputes in the Field

“Ask not what details you can draw but ask what those details can do for you,” was among the tips Leo Schlossberg gave at the last Bartlett Seminars presentation, “Construction Administration: Efficiency in the Studio and Success in the Field.” Mr. Schlossberg owns Cary Concrete Products and shared his insights from the field.

Many of his key points revolved around intent. Know what you intend, he said, and clearly convey it so that you get what you you’re looking for aesthetically, structurally, durability-wise and in measurable sustainability.

Other suggestions included:

  • Be consistent. If you show something more than once in a drawing, be sure to say the same thing. But first ask yourself, “What is the point of repeating this?” You may only need to say it once, and if so, think about the best place to say it.


  • If you don’t understand what you’re drawing, don’t show it. Or go learn about it. Guessing won’t do you any good.


  • Differentiate in your mind between performance and prescription. This is true for details and specs. Do you need a 3” concrete slab? Or does it need to take certain loads? Make it performance-based, and let the specialists figure it out.


  • If you’re not going to take responsibility for a design – a 3” slab, for instance – state who will be responsible. Then show as little as possible


He stressed that every design a landscape architect develops is a prototype, with site conditions, clients and contractors always varying. That impacts the amount of time you can spend on design. He contrasted that with automobile design, in which a company produces hundreds of thousands of vehicles and can “think deeply about door handles. No one here can take that much time to think about a design element,” he observed.

All the more reason to be clear on intent. “When you’re clear on your own intent, you can more effectively communicate to all who consume your drawings,” he said.

The Bartlett Seminars presentations are a professional enrichment series for landscapes architects sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts.



The Bartlett Seminars presents:  Sustainable Urban Greening - Macro to Micro

Wednesday, September 18, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Chicago Botanic Garden

It's one thing to plan and design a distinctive urban space. It's another to take steps to help ensure that it matures and thrives for years to come.



June 20, 2013
Wicker Park Bucktown: Communities Transforming


The Bartlett Seminars recently presented “Wicker Park Bucktown: Communities Transforming,” presented by Scott Page, of Interface Studio, and Erik Grossnickle, of Bartlett Tree Experts. Here’s a recap:

Urban designer and planner Scott Page sees himself as a communicator, conveying the planning process to excite stakeholders about what’s possible. Discussing Interface’s creative solutions to successful community buy-in, he shared case studies that included the award-winning Wicker Park Bucktown Master Plan, commissioned by the Wicker Park Bucktown Special Service Area (SSA) #33.

To engage residents in the planning process, the team relied on a variety of tools, from bus advertisements to t-shirts and special events. But the centerpiece for community engagement was an interactive exhibit about the plan and planning process in a vacant storefront on a busy but struggling section of Milwaukee Avenue.

The team held an open house for three consecutive Saturdays, with plenty of user-friendly ways for people to share their vision for, and concerns about, the community. When the space was closed, a storefront video installation created its own sort of buzz among residents.

His tips for conveying data gleaned from a planning process and encouraging citizen action: Tell a story with the data and create a brand identity for the plan.

For more information visit:

Progressive Urban Forest Management


Building on the momentum of the master plan, the green-minded Wicker Park Bucktown SSA next turned to Bartlett Tree Experts to develop a long-term management plan for its urban forest – the first known comprehensive tree-care plan developed by a Chicago community.

The first step was to create a digital database with more than two dozen observations about the condition and surroundings of each of Wicker Park Bucktown’s nearly 1,600 public trees. Using mapping-grade GPS data collectors and a minimum of four satellites, the arborists recorded the location of each tree to an accuracy of less than three feet.

With GIS software, they overlaid the data onto Google Maps images of the site to create a digital inventory and management plan. The plan establishes treatment priorities for all of Wicker Park Bucktown’s public trees, featuring color-coded aerial images to show what treatment needs to be done for each tree and when. That makes it a practical budgeting tool.

The plan is also a mechanism for building local appreciation and support for the community’s urban forest. It provides the estimate economic value and environmental services value of each tree.

For more information visit:


April 3, 2013

On April 3, Dave Snyder of the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP) presented the most recent installment of The Bartlett Seminars, sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts. The event was not only educational but charitable as well, raising $125 in support of the nonprofit CROP.

The CTA Blue Line runs right through the site. But as CROP’s Dave Snyder sees it, the highly visible intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Boulevard, in Logan Square, is the ideal place to plant the nonprofit’s first fruit orchard. All the foot traffic from the nearby farmer’s market will mean plenty of opportunities to educate residents about crop diversity.

If all goes as planned CROP and its partners will plant 70 fruit trees representing 30 varieties this fall. Before that will be construction of the site. The design, by Altamanu, features a plaza with a decorative timeline of the history of Logan Square and the site, a curved wooden sculptural fence that serves as a versatile backdrop for the plaza, curved wooden benches and more.

It will be years before the site produces fruit. But when it does half will go to local food pantries, schools, religious congregations and other nonprofits. The balance will be used for apple-based events and other outreach and educational programs.

Learn more about CROP at


November 15, 2012 

Photo caption: New parks will be access points to the Bloomingdale Trail.

The Bloomingdale: Tracking Progress on Chicago’s Next Great Park,” presented by Beth White, director of the Chicago Area Office of the Trust for Public Land, and Ben Helphand, president, Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail and executive director of NeighborSpace.  


June 28, 2012

Trees as a Legacy in Design & Development.” a symposium presented by the Chicago Botanic Garden, featured keynote speaker, Peter Walker, FASLA, that explored trees as a legacy in design and development.


April 12, 2012

Barbara Geiger author of Low-Key Genius: 
The Life and Work of Landscape-Gardener O.C. Simonds
We celebrated Landscape Architecture Month and learned how Chicago landscape-gardener—and early Cliff Dwellers member—O.C. Simonds (1855-1931) became a seminal figure in the naturalistic landscape movement as a designer, author, and teacher.


If you would like to learn more about these education seminars, please contact our Education Committee.