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City of Manhattan News

Posted on: October 29, 2020

Park Planner Earns Professional Landscape Architect License


(MANHATTAN, KS – October 28, 2020) After completing professional licensure standards set forth by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, Alfonso Leyva, City of Manhattan Park Planner, was licensed as a Professional Landscape Architect (PLA). Leyva is the third person on city staff to earn that designation.

Not many people are familiar with the important role landscape architects play in shaping a city. Their work to analyze, plan, design, manage, and nurture the built and natural environments has a significant impact on quality of life. They design parks, campuses, streetscapes, trails, plazas, and other projects that help define a community.

“The idea of being a steward of the land means a lot to me,” said Alfonso Leyva, Park Planner. “Many generations of my family were involved in agriculture and farmed land both in the U.S. and in Mexico. My goal is always to honor the environment and design with nature, while making sure to give people high-quality spaces so they can enjoy being outside.”

Leyva earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Kansas State University in May of 2016. He began working with the City of Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department in 2017, returning to Manhattan after starting his professional career at a private firm in Denver.

“I knew I belonged in Kansas and was grateful for the opportunity to return to Manhattan,” said Leyva.

As Park Planner with the City of Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department, Leyva supports and leads planning, design, and management of capital improvement projects for the parks, recreation, and zoo divisions. He is responsible for community engagement; preparation of conceptual plans, construction documents, master plans, reports, and cost estimates.

“I work closely with the Assistant Director of Parks and Rec, Park Superintendent, Park Supervisor, and 30 full-time employees who maintain 29 parks and 31 miles of trail within the City of Manhattan, Kansas,” said Leyva.

Manhattan Parks and Recreation Assistant Director, Wyatt Thompson, and City of Manhattan Public Works Stormwater Manager Leon Brown are also certified Professional Landscape Architects.

The mission of Manhattan Parks & Rec is to build a healthy community through people, parks, and programs. More information is available at, or by calling the Parks & Recreation office at 785-587-2757 during regular business hours. Follow Manhattan Parks & Rec on Facebook at ManhattanParksandRec or on Twitter, @ManhattanPRD.

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