Landscape architects design and plan the various outdoor spaces in modern communities - neighborhood parks, soccer fields, school grounds, places of worship, office parks, shopping malls, cemeteries, and lakes - creating outdoor places that people will care about and want to visit.


  1. Go to a completed landscape project that a landscape architect has designed. Before you visit the site, obtain a plan of the design from the landscape architect if one is available.
  2. After completing requirement 1, discuss the following with your merit badge counselor:
    • Tell whether the design had separate spaces, a clear path system, and sun and shade variety.
    • Discuss how the designated seating, eating, or parking areas suited the overall design.
    • Explain how the design reflected consideration for the comfort, shelter, and security of the users.
    • Discuss how the choice of trees, shrubs, and ground covers used in the project contributed to its appeal and function.
  3. Identify five shrubs, five trees, and one ground cover, being sure that you select examples of different shapes, sizes, and textures. With the help of your counselor or a local nursery, choose plants that will grow in your area. Bring pictures of the different planting materials or, if possible, examples of their branches, leaves, or flowers to a group such as your troop or class at school. Be prepared to tell how you might use each in the design of a landscape.
  4. Look at and study a place of worship or school grounds to find the place where most people arrive by bus or car. Show you can do the following:
    • Using a measuring tape, measure and draw the entry and its nearby area using a scale of 1/8 inch equals 1 foot on an 11-by-17-inch piece of paper. Be sure to include the driveway and the wall and door where people enter the school or place of worship. Indicate any sidewalks, structures, trees, and plants within the study area. Make two copies of this plan to save the original, then do 4b and 4c using the copies.
    • On one copy, use directional arrows to indicate where the water drains across the site, where ditches occur, and where water stands for a longer period of time.
    • Decide how you can make the place safer and more comfortable for those using it. Redesign the area on another copy of the plan. You may want to include new walks, covered waiting areas, benches, space-defining plantings of trees and shrubs, and drainage structures.
  5. Find out about three career opportunities in landscape architecture. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.


Scouting Literature

Environmental Science, Forestry, Plant Science, and Soil and Water Conservation merit badge pamphlets


  • Blake, Peter. God's Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of America's Landscape. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.
  • Booth, Norman K. Basic Elements of Landscape Architecture Design. Waveland Press, 1990.
  • Booth, Norman K., and James E. Hiss. Residential Landscape Architecture: Design Process for the Private Residence. 3rd ed. Prentice Hall, 2002.
  • Church, Thomas D., Grace Hall, and Michael Laurie. Gardens Are for People. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill, 1983.
  • Dee, Catherine. Form and Fabric in Landscape Architecture: A Visual Introduction. Spon Press, 2001.
  • Douglas, William Lake, et al. Garden Design: History, Principles, Elements, Practice. Simon and Schuster, 1984.
  • Marsh, William M. Landscape Planning: Environmental Applications. Addison-Wesley, 1983.
  • McHarg, Ian L. Design with Nature. John Wiley and Sons, 1995.
  • Rybczynski, Witold. A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century. Scribner, 1999.
  • Simonds, John Ormsbee. Landscape Architecture: A Manual of Site Planning and Design. McGraw-Hill, 1983.
  • Whitaker, Ben, and Kenneth Browne. Parks for People. Seeley, 1971.