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APLD Landscape Design conference rolls into Motown.

First, what’s APLD?

The APLD (Association of Professional Landscape Designers) offers a certification program that confers professional recognition to landscape designers based on demonstrable skills, recognized training and established standards of excellence.

This unique and growing organization offers the only landscape design certification program in the US. APLD members typically have a minimum have 2 years of design experience and continue to develop their skills with ongoing CEU (Certified Educational Units) training and demonstrated proof of competency.

APLD membership and certification provides many benefits to landscape design professionals including:

  • affirmation of landscape design knowledge and skills
  • establishes credentials within the landscape community and with prospective customers
  • fosters and promotes professionalism and distinction
  • provides professional discounts on trade related landscape resources

A international conference on Landscape Design in Motown?

Detroit may sound like an atypical destination for a conference. And it has certanly changed a lot from it’s roots as the center of America’s auto industry. However, Detroit has now become one of the world’s centers of Urban Gardening. That’s right, the largest historic public market district and some of the most authentic urban farms are right in Detroit.

The 2013 International Conference themed, “Growing Green, Flowing Blue, Pushing Through!”, took place at the GM Renaissance Center, located on the International Riverfront. All presentations, seminars and workshops from Genesis 3, Anthony Archer-Wills and many more took place at this world-class venue that is rich with gardens and green public spaces.

APLD Int'l Conference Gardens

William G. Milliken State Park | Lafayette Greens | Dequindre Cut Greenway

Inspiration and landscape beauty in many forms.

Conference attendees had the opportunity to visit award winning landscape installations and projects over the course of 2 days, including:

  • Lafayette Greens | a productive vegetable garden and engaging public space in the heart of the downtown
  • DTE Energy’s Corporate Campus | over 11 acres transformed into open green space, plazas, fountains, walkways, scaled gardens, and multifunctional gathering spaces
  • Dequindre Cut Greenway |  a 30-year old abandoned rail corridor that had no discernible public benefit but now generates a sense of place and community pride
  • The RiverWalk | a $600+ million, three-mile stretch in downtown that has helped re-establish Detroit as a world-class, international riverfront
  • William G. Milliken State Park | restored wetlands intended to mimic the riverine wetlands that once bordered the Detroit River
  • Edsel and Eleanor Ford Estate | designed by Jens Jensen, one of America’s foremost landscape architects and conservationists

This video does a great job exposing the counterintuitive attraction of Detroit and what attendees experienced at the conference.


What was your experience?

APLD had a large turnout for the conference and it provided great opportunities for networking and sharing trade techniques and projects. Even better, attendees earned CED units to meet their annual education requirements.

If you attended the event, please share a review and what you experienced. We look forward to hearing from you!


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