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Sandy Clinton, Founder of C+RLA, Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by MDASLA

“This award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of landscape architecture by our members.  They can be for lifetime achievement, service, knowledge, research or any other related subject the MDASLA executive committee chooses to honor.” – Maryland ASLA

Our founder Sandy Clinton was recently awarded a lifetime achievement award for her legacy and influence in the field of landscape architecture. This award is just one of the many testament to her work in the field of landscape architecture. Here’s a segment from Sandy's speech at the award ceremony.


“…The amazing experience of leading Clinton & Associates now CLINTON+RIES Landscape Architects for the last 24 years has been the most rewarding of all, to be allowed the opportunity to design and build almost every type of landscape, from waterfront parks to massive estates, memorials, golf and ski resorts, urban parks, wineries, shopping centers, mixed-use developments, private gardens, farmsteads, rooftops, and so much more, it is both a privilege and a huge responsibility. The ability to be creative every day, whether drawing and designing, discussing opportunities, working with teams, collaborating with our clients, selecting materials, searching for the best plants, or doing layouts in the field is extremely satisfying. And balancing the chores of running an office is just something that needs to be done. Like it or not. I thank all of my Clinton Ries colleagues, who are the hardest working group of people, and especially my business partner, Kate Ries. I couldn't be more pleased that a couple of years ago, she accepted my offer of partnership, and now ownership of our thriving firm. And not long from now, I imagine she'll be receiving awards from the same organization. Tonight, she's accepting this amazing award on my behalf for which I am grateful. And of course, I think my family, especially my patient and thoughtful husband, Bob Devlin, who upon hearing of this award promptly chimed in, gone, but not forgotten. And a huge thanks to my beautiful adult children who are always smarter than I am, Alex, Lyle and Tucker Clinton, all of whom have supported me throughout my career and allowed me the time and given me the fortitude to grow in my profession.

 Success, I believe, comes by a combination of things. First, be passionate about what you do, go through the good times and the hard times, and keep moving forward. Secondly, care for others. You can never be successful by yourself. A true leader is not only one who is always open and frank with others but the one who gets the best by developing other leaders. Thirdly, attitude. Be positive. Don't look at the ‘why not?’ Or the ‘I can't’. Always look for ‘how can I make it happen?’ and find a way to do it. And finally, grow and nurture relationships with your team, your clients, consultants, contractors, and vendors. It is this amazing group of supporters who help hold you up, have your back, and pass on the good word about you. And that my friends is priceless. Our field of landscape architecture has changed a good bit since I began my career in 1980, working at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. The focus has changed for the better, I believe, to more natural solutions, to protecting the environment, to using recycled and renewable resources, to a more researched approach guided by science and nature. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd be as successful today as I was in the past, life has gotten far more complicated. I'm happy to leave this legacy to all of you younger folks, to move us forward in an intelligent, mindful, and creative way. Gosh, maybe I am one of those old people now, once a landscape architect, always a landscape architect, it can be an absolute obsession, and it can be an incredibly rich, lifelong passion and career. It has been and continues to be both for me. Thank you for this tremendous honor and I'm very pleased and humbled.”

Sandy Clinton MDASLA Awards Banquet

We as a firm will continue to draw inspiration from Sandy and her contribution to the founding of our practice.


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