Monday, February 24, 2014

The Road to Becoming a Registered Landscape Architect

Why become a Registered Landscape Architect? A landscape designer does the same type of work, right? Wrong. If you make the decision to pursue a career in the landscape industry, becoming a Registered Landscape Architect (also referred to as licensed landscape architect) means getting to the head of your field. To become a Registered Landscape Architect (RLA), one must complete an accredited four-year college program. The national society, ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects), has a rigorous set of guidelines to decide which college programs become accredited. An accredited program is one in which theory, engineering, mathematics, spatial design, human behavior/interaction and construction details are taught in depth. This four-year educational background is the fundamental difference between a RLA and a landscape designer. A RLA is trained to design aesthetically pleasing landscapes while creating spaces that promote specific behaviors/activities and interactions among people while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Once a person graduates from an accredited program, they must work under a RLA for a minimum of two years. After two years, they are eligible to take the national exam. After you have passed the exam, paperwork must be filed with the state where the tester wants to be licensed. The state will then issue the Landscape Architect their stamp with their license number.

The road to become a RLA is a minimum of six years and both challenging and fun. Each project is different and allows for creative thought and design. Knowing you have a part in creating spaces that people use every day is rewarding, especially when you see them enjoying it.

Michael Seaman
Registered Landscape Architect
David J. Frank Landscaping

Monday, February 10, 2014

Things to do in Milwaukee (Winter Edition)

1. Eat at Martino’s on Layton, a family owned restaurant for over 30 years featuring the “best Chicago style hot dog in the country”. Find every topping possible for your dog; featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food”.

2. Drink (and Eat) at the tucked away Safehouse. A unique collection of spygear complete with hidden passages. Ladies, beware of Burt Reynolds. Password or shenanigans required for entrance!

3. Stargaze at UWM’s Planetarium on Friday nights for only $2. You can go to for a full list of events.

4. Laugh it up at the Comedy Café. Rated as one of the best in the country, it is located near the corner of Brady and Water Street.

5. Travel the world with Each collection of amazing pictures tells a story about a different region or culture of the world. Avid photographers can create accounts to display their talent.

6. Check out the historic North Point Lighthouse, located across the street from Bradford Beach on Lake Michigan. Original landscape design was done by Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central park and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.

7. Learn more about Frederick Law Olmsted, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and America’s first serial killer in Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City, book that is not easily put down.

8. Tour homegrown Sprecher Brewery. Known for their cultivation of old world brewing methods/flavor and gourmet sodas.

9. Shop at Mayfair & Bayshore malls. Not only does DJFLCI install beautiful annual flower plantings at both of these malls, but our holiday décor at Bayshore is not to be missed.  Stroll at night and admire the 50’ lit Christmas tree.  It will surely put you in the spirit.

10.  Take a tour through the Nationally recognized Pabst Mansion.

Tips by Anne Reyes
Client Service Rep.
David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc.

Monday, February 3, 2014

7 Ways to Alleviate Stress

We all deal with stress or anxiety during our daily lives, some more than others.  
However, do you ever wonder about certain people who just don’t seem to get stressed out? How do they do it? The following techniques may help you feel more comfortable when facing the challenges of your job, relationships, family matters or everyday life.

1. Communication 
A common problem for most of us is anxiety when dealing with communication.  The fear of speaking causes you to worry. Express your thoughts through other forms of communication – whether it is a phone call or e-mail.  No matter the outcome – you will feel better knowing that you have communicated, and now you can move forward.

2. Listen to Music 
I find music to be very therapeutic.  Music can make you forget your worries, lift your spirits and energize you.  When things get you down, turn on your favorite tunes and let the music carry you to your “happy place.”

3. Laughter 
This is a powerful tool to help fight stress.  Watching a comedic movie or TV show will make you smile and laugh resulting in a better state of mind.  

4. Massage Therapy
You will benefit from the relaxation of your mind and the stimulation to your body.  It can be a fun activity with a significant other. If you have never had a massage, go get one!

5. Don’t Procrastinate
One of my favorites.  Putting things off only to do them later in a rush often creates poor results.   Get ‘er done!!  You feel good when you finish what you started.

6. Exercise
A great way to make you feel better is to exercise.  This does not mean go run a marathon – 
a short walk or riding your bike can clear your head and give you inspiration to solve your problems.

7. Time Management / Planning 
When most of us think about stress, one main component is time.  You feel overloaded and become discouraged when you feel you don’t have enough time to complete your tasks.  Schedule time each day for planning and you may find yourself with less stress and more time.

“The truth is that stress doesn't come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health 
challenges, or other circumstances. Stress comes from how you approach and handle it.”