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LAF Olmsted Scholars receive wide recognition and unique access to leaders in landscape architecture. Being an Olmsted Scholar also offers ongoing connections to a growing network of rising leaders and unparalleled opportunities to engage and participate with LAF. 

During the Nomination year


All nominees are recognized as LAF Olmsted Scholars and receive publicity through the foundation's communication channels, as well as announcements in landscape architecture publications and other media outreach.

  • The two jury-selected national winners receive financial awards ($25,000 for graduate, $15,000 for undergraduate) and the ongoing use of the title: “2019 LAF National Olmsted Scholar”.
  • The six jury-selected finalists receive financial awards ($5,000 for graduate, $3,000 for undergraduate) and the ongoing use of the title: “2019 LAF National Olmsted Scholar Finalist”.
  • All other nominees receive ongoing use of the title: “2019 LAF Olmsted Scholar”


The LAF Olmsted Scholars are recognized in person at events held in conjunction with the American Society of Landscape Architects annual Conference on Landscape Architecture. These provide opportunities for networking and engagement with leaders in the discipline:

  • Private luncheon and certificate ceremony with the 2019 Olmsted Scholars, LAF Board members, and program sponsors. The luncheon will be on Thursday, November 14, 2019 in San Diego.*
  • Leadership conversation led and facilitated by past members of the LAF Board of Directors. This will be held immediately following the luncheon.
  • Attendance and recognition at the LAF Annual Benefit with over 600 LAF friends and supporters. Each Olmsted Scholar receives 2 complimentary tickets for them and one guest. The Annual Benefit will be held the evening of Friday, November 15, 2019 in San Diego.*

*Attendance is required for the National Olmsted Scholars and Finalists.


As Past Olmsted Scholars

LAF Olmsted Scholars are encouraged to stay in touch with LAF and keep their contact information current to stay informed about upcoming opportunities. For more information, contact Heather Whitlow at hwhitlow [at]

Olmsted Scholars Network

All Olmsted Scholars become part of the growing LAF Olmsted Scholars Network. The network has private Facebook and LinkedIn groups to share job announcements, events, mentoring, and other opportunities. A small leadership committee convenes monthly to organize webinars, special events and other community-building activities. Past Olmsted Scholars are eligible to serve on this committee for two-year terms. LAF puts out a call of interest as committee slots become available.

LAF Board Service

The LAF Board of Directors is a diverse group of thought leaders from landscape architecture practice, academia, industry, allied professions, and the nonprofit sector. Two seats are reserved for LAF Olmsted Scholars who serve two-year staggered terms as members of this engaged and dynamic group. LAF covers travel expenses for attendance at the spring and fall board meetings and associated events. In the summer of each year, LAF puts out a call for Olmsted Scholars interested in the open board seat. Final selections are made by the LAF Nominating Committee.

LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership

Each year, LAF selects 6-7 participants for the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership, a year-long transformation program to develop ideas that have the potential to create positive and profound change in the profession, environment, and humanity. Two of these slots are reserved for recent LAF Olmsted Scholars, those who were named within the last 6 years. Olmsted Scholars participate alongside the Fellows and receive a $5,000 award. Application materials and guidance for Olmsted Scholars are posted when applications open each summer. The application deadline is September 15.


The significance of being an LAF Olmsted Scholar is widely recognized in the landscape architecture profession.

2018 LAF Olmsted Scholar Dominic Mack records main points during the leadership conversation

2018 Olmsted Scholar Leadership Conversation in Philadelphia

A collage of headshots from LAF Olmsted Scholars

LAF Olmsted Scholars recognized to date

The LAF Olmsted Scholars Program is made possible with support from our generous sponsors. Promotion support is provided by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Program Sponsors

  • The Toro Company logo
  • HOK logo
  • OLIN logo
  • Sasaki Associates logo
  • Ironsmith logo
  • LandDesign logo
  • Deeproot logo
  • Bill Main, Hon. ASLA
  • Steven G. King, FASLA
  • Thomas C. and Gerry D. Donnelly

Finalist Awards

Thanks to the generous support of LAF’s 50 & Forward Campaign donors, starting in 2018, the Olmsted Scholar finalist awards increased from $1,000 to $5,000 for graduate students and $3,000 for undergraduates.

See Campaign Donors