People. Purpose. Place.
Since 1974, The LA Group has helped to shape experiences through landscape architecture and engineering that creates space for life and community; family and friendship. Our staff of landscape architects, civil engineers and environmental scientists boasts a robust resume in public space and government projects, resort and commercial development and campus planning and design.
Strategic Design. Expert Integration.
Through practical creativity we blend history, culture and ecology, aligning what is best for the land with a skillful application of the intricate laws and regulations that govern development.
From our headquarters in Saratoga Springs and our office in Ithaca, New York, our impact extends from the Adirondack Park and New York State, throughout the Northeast and around the United States through extensive work with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and National Park Service.
George W. Childs Park, PA
Sustainable by Nature
The LA Group is a strong advocate of environmentally sensitive design and always works to strike a balance between program goals and the natural site. We have specialized expertise in all phases of natural resource compliance including SEQRA, NEPA, Clean Water Act, cultural resource protection rules, federal wetland regulations, and storm water management regulations.
We are an accomplished authority in green infrastructure and stormwater management and have significant experience creating project-specific, regional and large-scale environmental impact statements and visual impact assessments.
Understand What is Underfoot and Underground
Low Impact Design is simply a new phrase to describe the way The LA Group has always practiced. When landscapes and buildings are designed in harmony with the natural setting, disruption to water resources, habitats, indigenous species and soils are eliminated or minimized.
Our team of licensed Landscape Architects, Certified Environmental Planners, Environmental Scientists and Civil Engineers has been educated in site analysis and environmental sustainability, with LEED Certified Professionals in every studio. Through a collaborative approach, we bring a variety of viewpoints and skill sets to every project. The result is a quicker analysis of site feasibility and more balanced solutions.
Collaboration with other professionals also drives results. From architects to mechanical and plumbing engineers and facilities personnel, The LA Group helps teams to understand site environments and how to maintain a greener profile.
Stormwater Masterplanning and Design
A Soft Approach to Site Engineering
Stormwater planning is a fundamental part of the practice of landscape architecture and land development planning. Since our inception, The LA Group has employed dozens of landscape architecture solutions to naturally minimize stormwater runoff. Rain gardens and grass swales, green roofs and permeable pavement are but a few of the techniques integrated in our projects through our multi-disciplinary team approach.
All federal agencies are required to comply with the provisions of the Clean Water Act, which includes stormwater discharges. This has been further integrated into stormwater management as a result of the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Protection Agency Stormwater rules. These rules regulate construction activities, post-construction, operation of municipal separation storm sewer systems (MS4), and non-traditional MS4s (colleges, large campuses).
Permitting involves analysis of site conditions, inventory of stormwater management facilities, modeling of stormwater flows, and planning of treatment devices. Many of the preferred treatment devices involve wetland basins, rain gardens, and bio swales in order to polish the stormwater flow. These devices require detailed analysis of flow and knowledge of plant material in order to effectively treat stormwater.
As part of stormwater permitting, planning and phasing of development to meet disturbance limits is necessary. This frequently includes establishment of temporary construction sediment basins.
Planning for on-site management of stormwater discharges within the context of the downstream neighborhood is an issue that frequently has to be addressed by retrofitting discharge swales with rip-rap or other velocity control devices. Many other methods including wetland base treatment and extended detention basins are available to manage and improve the quality of stormwater.
Stormwater management standards are now regulated through federal and state guidelines. We walk projects seamlessly through these challenges, applying best practices that reduce runoff.
Malta Meditation Garden, Malta NY
Building with Nature
Less pavement. More plantings. Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils and natural processes to manage water and create healthier urban environments. The LA Group combines an understanding of environmental impacts and the engineering know-how to calculate successful outcomes. With a balanced approach that considers what an owner is prepared to build as well as committed to maintain, we weave a range of green infrastructure elements throughout our projects, including:
- Downspout Disconnection
- Rainwater Harvesting
- Rain Gardens
- Planter Boxes
- Permeable Pavements
- Green Alleys and Streets
- Green Parking
Green roofs present a unique opportunity to integrate the built environment with landscape features that increase usable acreage and space for site amenities while employing a number of green infrastructure techniques. Through intense collaboration with the entire building design team, we’ve achieved exciting results that incorporate gardens, plazas, and even a campus quad atop structures such as underground parking garages, downtown buildings and community housing complexes.
Our award-winning project at the SUNY Orange Campus in Newburgh, NY, provides an excellent example.
Green Infrastructure has also become a popular concept among those looking to tread lightly on the site. Our projects exemplify a number of approaches that minimize disruption and create inviting outdoor spaces.
Community involvement is the focus and foundation of our company culture. Our causes come from our core, the passions of our people, because a dedicated team makes the biggest difference.
We understand community – it’s our job. Without it we wouldn’t be here. Giving back isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s the most effective way to sustain the places we live in and love.
The LA Group has assisted nonprofits by providing design services, site studies and evaluations, fundraising support and staff volunteering since its foundation. It was also one of the first firms in Upstate New York to join The 1+ Program, launched by Public Architecture in 2005. Through the program, The LA Group has provided thousands of hours to nonprofit organizations in need of design assistance.
- Adirondack Research Consortium
- Adopt a US Soldier
- Ballston Spa Central School District
- Boy Scouts of the Twin Rivers Council
- Catholic Charities of Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties
- The Christopher Daily Foundation for Youth Sports
- City of Glens Falls Urban Renewal Agency
- Code Blue Saratoga
- Double H Ranch
- Franklin Community Center
- Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY
- High Rock Park 9/11 Memorial
- The Hyde Collection Art Museum
- Malta Memorial Meditation Garden
- National Museum of Racing
- The NYS Federation of Lakes
- Pitney Community Farm
- Presbyterian New England Congregational Church
- Salvation Army
- Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY
- Saratoga Bridges
- The Saratoga Center for the Family
- Saratoga County Planning Board
- Saratoga County E.O.C.
- Saratoga Economic Development Corporation
- Saratoga Hospital
- Saratoga Miss Softball
- Saratoga Regional YMCA
- Saratoga Springs City School District
- Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association
- Saratoga Springs Lions Club
- Saratoga Springs Open Space Advisory Committee
- Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation
- Saratoga Springs Rotary Club
- Scotia-Glenville Central School District
- Adalbert’s Church
- Clement’s Church
- SUNY ESF
- Town of Ballston Recreation Commission
- Town of Glenville
- Town of Wilton Recreation Commission
- Union College
- Wiawaka Holiday House
- The Wesley Community
- Yaddo Artist Retreat
- YMCA Camp Chingachgook
Balance beauty with science.
“The LA Group’s patience and concern for each voice in the APRAP process was remarkable.”
– Bradford G. Dake, Chairman of APRAP
“The LA Group was at the literal and figurative foundation of the project; without their insight and ability to share the vision – the project would not have realized the client’s dreams and expectations.”
– Equicurean Magazine 2010, Fasig-Tipton Saratoga