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Bill Gates' back yard to sports fields are fair game in this profession
Even though landscape architects play a key role in many high-profile real estate projects - from the opulent mansion Bill Gates is building in Medina to the environmentally friendly Sleeping Lady Lodge in Leavenworth - most people don't know much about these professionals.
"We're often referred to as landscapers, which is not a term we like," says Charles Anderson, a principal in Seattle's Anderson & Ray, whose projects include multifamily housing, resort development and ecological interpretations.
In the future, though, the role landscape architects play may become more visible and thus better understood. That's because the Puget Sound-area public puts a premium on environmental values, and on preserving open spaces and natural areas.
"All this requires good landscape and design, "says Thomas Berger, a principal in Seattle's The Berger Partnership P.S., one of Washington's largest firms of landscape architects.
According to the Washington Department of Licensing, as of January, the state had 438 landscape architects with active licenses, 14 more than the year before.
Obtaining this license isn't easy. A difficult, several-part …