Support the Landscape Architecture Department

The Landscape Architecture Department at Cal Poly prepares students for professional careers dedicated to planning, designing, and managing landscapes essential to a healthy and safe society, while balancing these needs with the natural environment. 

Your support and involvement can have a powerful impact on students. As valued contributors to the Cal Poly family, our professional partners offer office visits, conduct field visits to project sites, and engage classes in real-world projects. These all provide valued mentorship for students. Hiring a summer intern provides a student with professional opportunities that they cannot obtain on campus. Attending a design critique or coming to campus as a guest speaker can provide additional leadership to the program.  

Invest in our students. They are your future employees, partners, and leaders.  



Your gift to this discretionary fund will be used as needed to support expenditures such as student and faculty travel, materials and supplies, and outreach to prospective students. To put Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy into practice, our students have completed two design-build projects on campus. With financial support from donors like you, the Landscape Architecture department hopes to develop more design-build projects that will empower the next generation of environmental leaders. 

Design-build Projects

Student Leadership in Green Infrastructure (SLGI) Rain Garden 
From Fall 2019 to Fall 2022, landscape architecture and plant science students designed and installed a rain garden on campus, advised by professors Joe Ragsdale and Ellen Burke of the Landscape Architecture department. This project was developed as part of the Student Leadership in Green Infrastructure (SLGI) network and initially funded by a Baker-Koob grant. Students were able to see this project through from site analysis to final installation. This project's performance will continue to be monitored with support from faculty member Bret Betnar. Funding for specialized equipment is important to build this into a sustainable, multi-year opportunity for student engagement with landscape performance.

Advanced Landscape Construction Arboretum Fountain Project 
In Spring 2022, Professor Joseph Ragsdale and 17 students in LA 350, a design-build elective, worked to enhance the formal garden in the Leaning Pine Arboretum. The class split into four groups– retaining wall, arbor, benches, and mosaic/planting– each group worked together from the beginning to the end of the design-build process. Your support can fund numerous opportunities for continuing design-build projects at Leaning pine Arboretum and the Cal Poly Plant Conservatory. 

Amount what it can support
$100 Purchase of safety equipment (e.g. gloves and eyewear) 
$500 Purchase of plants and construction materials 
$1,000 Purchase of tools and monitoring equipment 
$5,000 Second-year student construction projects 
$10,000 Full installation of a new green infrastructure project or built element on campus 
$25,000 Full installation and multi-year monitoring of a landscape performance project on campus 

Course or Lab Sponsorships

Courses, labs, and studios are where our students gain valuable Learn by Doing experience. Your support helps keep these courses updated and relevant, and keeps the labs state of the art, allowing us to stay on track with new innovations and trends in technologies. 

amount sponsorship what it can support
$25,000 over five years Course professional development opportunities for students; transportation and lodging for travel to project sites, conferences, or competitions; equipment, supplies, and materials  
$50,000 over five years Lab new furniture, computers, and printing capabilities 
$75,000 over five years Technology computers and upgrades, digital fabrication equipment, smart rooms, GIS, software licenses, and 3D and color printers; lecture space projectors and smart boards 



Scholarship support is a critical part of student success. Your donation not only provides financial support to the recipients, but it also enriches their academic experience. Join our industry, foundation, and family scholarship supporters by contributing to an existing scholarship or, for a minimum of $5,000, start your own today! 

International Education

One of the most enriching and life-changing experiences for a student is the opportunity to study abroad. Off-campus study broadens a student’s perspective and illuminates their future role in contributing to humanity and the field of landscape architecture. It provides the opportunity to explore and experience unique study options, approaches, landscapes, and cultures. The department encourages every student to participate in off-campus study opportunities to enhance professional education and development and heighten personal growth and awareness.  

Your support will ensure students who cannot afford the expense of travel the opportunity to be included. 

Learn more about our off-campus programs here.

Landscape Architecture Cal Poly Scholars

The Cal Poly Scholars program aims to recruit and retain high-achieving students with financial need from California high schools and community colleges. The program provides an annual scholarship for duration of program participation; a two year living-learning community for incoming freshmen; intentional workshops and advising to support student development and retention; and credit towards a personal technology package.

Faculty Support

Attracting and retaining outstanding faculty ensures the ongoing quality of our program. Faculty support funds sustain teaching excellence by providing valuable opportunities, such as:

  • Sponsor field trips and community engagement projects that enhance Learn by Doing.
  • Support visiting experts and speakers who engage with our students and collaborate with our faculty.
  • Contribute to the Walt Tryon Endowment fund that supports faculty development.
  • Establish an endowed lectureship that will expand and enrich our faculty.

For more information contact Department Head Beverly Bass at 805-756-1319 or


Matching Gifts: Will your company match your gift? Learn more at or contact (805) 756-2713. 

Planned Gifts: Make a legacy gift to the department, the college or the university by recording your intent in your estate plans. Visit for more information.

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