Cheryl Corson Design L.L.C.

Maryland's Patuxent River"There are no small projects."

                 --client to Cheryl

"Do the small story, and it's not small if you do it well."

                      --Gay Talese


Philosophy & Qualifications

Cheryl Corson designs spaces that offer her clients a deep sense of comfort, security, and beauty. She knows that our outdoor environment powerfully influences our health and well being and can be improved more easily than we sometimes think. Cheryl launched her private practice in 2003. In 2013, Cheryl launched her online learning platform, Corson Learning where she teaches LARE Prep and related webinars.

Cheryl Corson Design, LLC is a Maryland and  U.S. Dep't. of Transportation certified minority business enterprise (MBE/DBE), specifically certified for landscape design and consulting (NAICS Code 541320), playground safety inspections (NAICS Code 541690), writing and journalism (NAICS Code 711510).  Cheryl is a licensed landscape architect in Maryland (#3734) and Maine (#4525), and has been a CPSI (Certified Playground Safety Inspector #30710-0418) since 2003. She welcomes opportunities to partner with other contractors and design professionals. Cheryl holds a 3-year Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and graduated with honors with a B.A. in Public Administration from the University of Maine.

About Sustainability

Cheryl Corson does what any good landscape architect has always done: keep water on site functionally and beautifully, favor plants that provide the greatest wildlife value, specify sutainable building materials and methods.

Legislation to restore the Chesapeake Bay Watershed provides incentives to quantify our goals and strategies. Practicing in the Chesapeake Bay area is exciting because rapidly evolving methods are being tested, evaluated, and systematized relative to stormwater management and other low impact development practices. We do better work when we learn from one another. Cheryl is proud to belong to this diverse professional community.

About Style

Beyond how a landscape looks is how it performs, no matter the style. Does circulation accommodate people, baby strollers, wheelchairs, and vehicles? Does water drain from walkways and buildings? Is there shade and sun where and when needed? When these and other questions are addressed, a good designer can make a space look contemporary, English, French, Asian, or any other way. Stylistic preferences should reflect the client's sensibilities, more than the designer's. 

Professional Background

Design has always been central in Cheryl Corson's career. In the 1980s, her company Acadia Design produced hand woven accessories sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's. Later, she became a public art administrator in Maine and Colorado, collaborating with artists, design professionals and community members. This work drew her to landscape architecture. 

Cheryl was Continuing Education Manager for the American Society of Landscape Architects in the mid-90s. She has been a guest critic at the University of Virginia, University of Maryland, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She has taught landscape design studios at the George Washington University and the University of Maryland. She taught a popular landscape design workshop series at the U.S. Botanic Garden from 2004-2011. Cheryl has written for national publication since 1989, and is a frequent public speaker for garden clubs, and other groups. She is a  garden columnist for the Hill Rag.


Cheryl lived in a Brooklyn apartment building until she was 17. Her earliest experiences of nature were at the beach in Coney Island, and her grandmother's "sleep-away" summer camp in the Catskills. After 5 years in lower Manhattan, she moved to Mount Desert Island, Maine, where she's cared for 1/4 acre of land (and a home) adjacent to Acadia National Park since 1984.

Fast forward...after 10 years in Washington, DC, she and her husband moved to a 5 acre property 20 miles away, near Maryland's Patuxent River. Caring for this land has given Cheryl and her husband invaluable experience in landscape restoration and management - and with heavy equipment. They grow hundreds of species of plants in this living laboratory, and astounding amounts of organic vegetables and fruit.

In 2013, Cheryl traveled in Guatemala, Belize, and Chiapas, Mexico, learning about Mayan culture and architecture, and cacao. Recently, she visited Costa Rica to learn more about sustainable agriculture and herbalism. She has also traveled widely in northern Europe, visiting French, German, Polish and Dutch gardens and landscapes.


Corson Learning

Cheryl Corson teaches effective, affordable webinars to help people pass Sections 3 and 4 of the LARE. On-demand video content and live Q&A sessions are presented with compassion and humor from someone who took the new format exams.

American Society of Landscape Architects
Cheryl is a full member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Maryland ASLA Chapter. She was secretary of the ASLA Potomac Chapter in the mid-90s, and also served on the ASLA national staff as Continuing Education Manager and editor of the Annual Meeting Proceedings.

Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council
Cheryl Corson Design is a business member of CCLC, a regional not-for-profit dedicated to improving the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay region by advocating and educating people about ecological design practices. She is included in the CCLC Eco-Pro Listing.

Montgomery County Rainscapes Program

Cheryl completed the RainScapes Program Contractor Training in 2012. She can advise Montgomery County, Maryland, homeowners, institutions and commercial establishments on how to incorporate stormwater management techniques into their landscapes to reduce pollution, and how to obtain County rebates ranging from $2,500 -$10,000.

Arlington StormwaterWise Landscapes Program

Cheryl Corson Design is on the contractor list for this Virginia County program that offers rebates to residents and business owners for implementing landscape best management practices to reduce stormwater pollution.

National Recreation & Park Association: CPSI

Cheryl has been an independent Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) certified through the National Recreation and Park Association since 2003.

Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards

CLARB manages the professional certfication for landscape architects in the U.S., and helps track their education, experience, and examination records. Cheryl is CLARB certified, which allows her to practice any any jurisdiction in the US and Canada (upon filing some paperwork and paying local fees).

Association of Professional Landscape Designers®
Cheryl was a member of the APLD and the  DC, Maryland and Virginia chapter from 2004 - 2010. She served on the chapter board as Communications Officer from 2008-2010, helping create the chapter website and supporting promotional publications.

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