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Arkansas Landscape Architecture organization honors alumni, professor

By: 13 December 2011 No Comment

The Arkansas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects honored several landscape architecture alumni and a faculty member from the Fay Jones School of Architecture earlier this fall.

The 2011 Arkansas Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects Professional Awards were presented at a banquet at the Fayetteville Town Center. Projects were judged by members of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

John Crone, professor of landscape architecture, won the Arkansas Pioneer Award. This award, given periodically by the state chapter, acknowledges a person who has given a body of lifetime work to the profession of landscape architecture in the state. The chapter’s Executive Committee nominated Crone for this award. It is only the fourth Pioneer Award given since the early 1990s.

In his 31 years with the school, Crone has served as both program director and as a faculty adviser for Sigma Lambda Alpha, landscape architecture’s national honor society. While serving on the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Roster of Visiting Evaluators, he headed a number of national accreditation visits to departments of landscape architecture and horticulture. Crone has a broad understanding of design — from small-scale to ecological and regional planning — and has assisted the faculty in direction of the program’s professional curriculum. In that time, he has also maintained a commitment to research, which he has presented through conferences and journals.

His most significant legacy to landscape architecture just might have been his interaction with Verna Cook Garvan, the primary benefactress of the university’s department of landscape architecture and Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, which is also a part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture. Crone secured grants to research the potential garden and produced theoretical papers on the subject. He also helped Garvan organize a board of directors for the garden in its early stages.

Most recently, Crone has produced a body of research regarding Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Farm Resettlement Communities in Arkansas. “John’s appreciation that the vast farmland be conserved in some way has helped to bring attention to the economic and cultural plight of this important segment of Arkansas’ citizens,” Judy Brittenum, associate professor of landscape architecture, said in her nomination letter.

Also at the awards banquet, Brent Vinson and Christopher Suneson won an honor award in the design category for the Arvest Bank in Fayetteville. This category recognizes both built and unbuilt works of landscape architecture.

Vinson is a 1993 graduate of the school, and Suneson is a 2001 graduate. Both are members of the school’s professional advisory board.

The jury said this project employed a “good use of all aspects of sustainable design practices,” as well as “brilliant educational components.” Jury members also commended the designers’ “well executed plans and graphics.”

A design team that included Suneson; Conway+Schulte Architects; Oslund and Associates; and the University of Arkansas Community Design Center won an honor award in the planning and urban design category for the MacArthur Park District Master Plan in Little Rock. This category recognizes the wide variety of professional activities that lead to, guide or evaluate landscape architectural design.

Jury members noted that the design used “simple yet effective graphics and verbal descriptions (and) reads very well.” They also said it showed a “great use of all aspects of sustainable design practices. Brilliant ideas on such a large scale. Bravo.”

In addition, Dave Roberts and Julie Luther of Crafton Tull won a merit award in the planning and urban design category for the Chaffee Crossing Redevelopment Plan in Fort Smith. Luther is a 1997 graduate and member of the school’s advisory board. Roberts is a 1989 graduate, former member of the advisory board, and the landscape architect of record for the school’s current project to renovate and expand Vol Walker Hall.

Also, Susan Jasan, of Landscape Creations by S. Jasan, won a merit award in the residential design category for the Whaley Residence in Rogers, Ark. In 1998 Jasan completed her Master of Science degree with an emphasis on urban horticulture and residential design in the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture. This category recognizes site-specific works of landscape architecture for residential use. Entries are encouraged in all scales of design, from small gardens to large private landholdings.

This press release was provided by the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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