For nearly 40 years, Don Ganje has dedicated his time and talents to beautifying the public spaces of Minnesota’s capital city. He will be honored for his admirable career when he joins the Council of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) at the 2012 Annual Meeting & Expo, September 28–October 1 in Phoenix.
The evolution of Don’s interest in outdoor design grew from his studies in Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota. In 1972 he began the first two years of his career in the local office of a large Chicago-based planning and engineering firm. An opportunity to develop a recently approved master plan for Saint Paul’s Phalen Park led Don to take a temporary position in the design and construction division of the Saint Paul Parks Department.“Don Ganje’s vision and design expertise have led to some of Saint Paul’s most treasured outdoor spaces such as Como and Mears Parks, Raspberry Island and Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “He has designed bustling urban parks, a restored refuge and a tranquil respite along the Mississippi River.”
Don’s temporary position evolved into a 38-year career with the City of Saint Paul and the privilege of being directly responsible for the design and development of a significant portion of the city’s 4,600 acre park system. He has won dozens of awards for his ground-breaking and sustainability-focused creations for the city, such as the ASLA Centennial Medallion in 1999 for his work on Como and Mears parks, and the 2008 Award of Design Excellence from the Minnesota Parks and Recreation Association for the Bruce Vento Regional Trail.
Don will be granted Fellowship from the ASLA for his impeccable work on Saint Paul’s most beloved outdoor spaces. This is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows, based on an individual’s works, leadership and management, knowledge, and service.