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Update: The submission period for MRCA’s 2020 Statement of Qualifications is now closed. Results are posted on our Contracting Opportunities page. The next RFQ cycle for Professional Services will occur in 2023.

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) is inviting Statements of Qualifications from professional firms for services relative to capital improvement projects in our parks. Professional services shall consist of assistance to the MRCA during the design, permitting, and/or construction phase, and may include any of the following:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Topographic Surveying and Mapping
  • Environmental Consulting (CEQA/NEPA and Site Assessments)
  • Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineering
  • Construction Management and Estimating
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Architecture
  • Lighting Design
  • Structural Engineering
  • Irrigation Design and Auditing
  • Cultural and Historic Assessments

Photograph of Milton Park, Los Angeles

MRCA’s capital improvement projects frequently consist of grading, utilities, landscaping, paving, building renovation (interior and exterior), utility work, construction of small freestanding structures (e.g. picnic shelters, restrooms) and accessibility upgrades. The construction value of projects requiring professional design services ranges from $25,000 to $2,000,000, with the majority of projects under $500,000. Most projects are managed by our Park Development, Los Angeles River or Coastal Access teams and are built either with a Design-Bid-Build process or constructed with MRCA’s force account. Project sites and MRCA offices are at various locations throughout Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, California.  Learn more about MRCA.


Photograph of Vista Hermosa Natural Park, Los Angeles.

SubmittalsQualifications packages must be submitted by October 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm, uploaded via this link. Only electronic submittals will be accepted and files should be in PDF format. If submittal files exceed 10 Mb, use a file sharing app (such as Dropbox or Google Drive) and include your link in the comments section of the submittal form.

Questions: Submit questions below by October 14, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Please review the FAQ first in case your question is already covered. Responses to questions will be posted in the FAQ section below by October 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm and it is the respondent’s responsibility to review this information. Responses will not be sent out individually. MRCA will make every effort to adhere to the stated schedule but reserves the right to modify it as needed.

Submit questions here and register to be notified of updates:


    Photograph of Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park, Los Angeles.

    A select number of firms may be placed on a short list for future RFPs. These RFPs will be issued on a project-by-project basis when the scope of services needed exceeds any open on-call services agreements. Multiple firms may be asked for proposals. MRCA reserves the right to publicly advertise opportunities and/or invite firms outside the short list to meet project requirements. The short list from our 2017 SOQ can be viewed here (scroll down to the last section).


    Concept Design for Aliso Canyon Wash.

    A select number of firms may be chosen to enter into a contract for on-call services not to exceed $25,000 annually, for a 1-3 year term. The purpose of the on-call services contracts is to provide MRCA with quick access to technical knowledge, design experience, and problem-solving abilities, in situations that do not require comprehensive services or when schedule limitations do not allow for a proposal process. These are small, discrete tasks that may take only 10-20 hours of work and can be billed hourly.


    Photograph of Compton Creek Natural Park, Compton.

    All key personnel shall be flexible, creative thinkers able to come up with multiple solutions to a problem, and be knowledgeable of sustainable design, construction practices, accessibility standards, and permitting requirements. Qualified firms must be able to provide technical expertise/input and services involving plan review, analysis and preparation, feasibility studies, construction details, reports, permit processing, code compliance, accessibility review, and field observation. All consultants must be familiar with the California Building Code, have experience with California public works projects, and be licensed to practice in California (as applicable).

    Consultant Teams: MRCA is only soliciting qualifications from individual firms.


    Photograph of Anthony C. Beilenson Visitor Center.

    A complete qualifications package will include all of the following components:

    Section 1: Narrative

    1. Cover letter including the following information:

    • Name, address and contact information for firm and the primary contact person.
    • Location of office that will be responsible for the work.
    • Brief company history and background, including number of years in business, annual revenues, and current work commitments.
    • Note type of organization or company structure.
    • Certification that the firm is legally permitted to conduct business in the State of California.
    • Note any certifications as a disadvantaged business enterprise.
    • An individual who has the power to bind the firm contractually must sign the cover letter.

    2. Describe the firm’s approach to your work, including communication process, project management, and quality control.

    3. Name key project personnel–Project Executive, Project Manager, Job Captain, etc.

    4. Describe all prior participation with MRCA projects by the firm and/or key personnel, whether or not firm contracted directly with MRCA.

    Illustration of concept for renovation, Elysian Valley Gateway Park.

    Section 2: Qualifications and Background

    1. Provide resumes of key project personnel–Project Executive, Project Manager, Job Captain, etc. Indicate number of years each person has been employed by the firm. Resumes should highlight relevant qualifications for park projects. More than one individual may be listed for key positions. If applicable, provide a team organization chart. Note California licenses/registrations.

    2. Provide concise, 1-2 page descriptions of five (5) relevant projects completed within the last five (5) years for which the firm provided services. These descriptions should demonstrate the firm’s experience relevant to the scope, costs, conditions and type of projects undertaken by MRCA. List members of the proposed team who worked on the project(s) and their role.

    3. Provide information for each project listed:

    • Project name, location, size and date completed.
    • Owner’s name, reference contact person, phone number, and e-mail address.
    • Description of services performed.
    • Permitting agencies.

    4. Provide specific information on the firm’s litigation history, in the last five years, of termination for default, litigation by or against the firm, and judgments entered for or against the firm.

    Photograph of Stocker Corridor Trailhead. Lead Consultant: Alta Planning + Design..

    Section 3: Schedule of Rates

    Include a current schedule of hourly rates. The hourly billing rate shall include all local travel expenses and necessary equipment to support the activities such as personal computers, printer, fax, copier, scanner, phones, etc.


    Firms have the option of submitting up to five pages of additional, useful material.


    Illustration of pavilion concept.

    Proposals will be evaluated for the following criteria:

    • Demonstrated experience of the firm in relation to the services required and quality of performance on similar past projects. 25%
    • Demonstrated experience, technical competence and availability of key personnel in relation to the services required. 25%
    • Capability of the project team to provide the services desired. 20%
    • Value offered considering capabilities and experience of the project team. 15%
    • Recommendations of prior clients. 15%

    MRCA may contact any previous clients to verify the experience and performance of the prospective firm, key personnel, and sub-consultants, whether or not the client is listed as a reference. The information provided in response to the above requirements will be the basis for evaluation. Failure to provide this information or the inclusion of any conditions, limitations, or misrepresentations may adversely affect the evaluation of your proposal. The Executive Officer of the MRCA reserves the right not to award any contract.

    Illustration of new trailhead concept.

    Conflict of Interest Policy

    All respondents will be required to represent and warrant that they, he, she, or the officers, directors, and/or employees of bidder are not related by blood or marriage to any member of the governing boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, or any other joint powers authority for which the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is a constituent member, or to any officer, director or staff member with discretion over the contract of any of the aforesaid public agencies. “Related by blood or marriage” is defined as being a parent, child (including stepchildren), sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, spouse, domestic partner, father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law or brother-in-law.


    Photograph of Bosque del Rio Hondo.

    We previously were on your shortlist of qualified consultants. We would like to remain, do you need an updated Qualifications Package?

    Yes, you should submit an updated package.

    Can we bid on CEQA/NEPA only and exclude Site Assessment under Environmental Consulting?

    Yes, please indicate this in your cover letter.

    Are you accepting proposals for Natural Resources Services as well?

    Yes, to the extent that those services would relate to capital improvement projects in our parks. MRCA has staff with natural resources expertise, but occasionally we do supplement that with consultant contracts.

    Should our Statement of Qualifications include all disciplines to be considered part of our “Team” as the prime landscape architectural consultant, if we are not a multi-disciplinary firm? i.e Do we include civil, architectural, irrigation, etc. as part of our team, if a given project requires any of these other disciplines?

    We are not looking for pre-established teams so you may submit a proposal solely for your discipline. That said, please feel free to mention firms that you typically work with, and encourage them to submit their own qualifications.

    What is the email or street address that we’re supposed to submit our packages to?

    All responses should be submitted via this online form with files uploaded directly, or shared via file transfer app such as Dropbox. Include links for shared files in the comment section of the form.

    Where can I download a PDF of the SOQ solicitation?

    This is a paperless solicitation, so all the information is contained on this web page. There is nothing to download and no other documents to obtain.

    Our firm is multi-disciplinary. Do we need to submit separately for each type of service?

    No. Indicate in your cover letter which disciplines should be considered and include relevant information about each as needed.

    Is there a page limit for our qualifications package?

    No, there is no page limit, but please keep it to a minimum and include only the necessary information. Uploaded files may not exceed 10 Mb.

    Does MRCA provide any requirements or bid incentives for disadvantaged businesses such as woman, minority, service-disabled, etc?

    The MRCA has adopted a goal of 20% DBE participation across all contracts.

    If we are not selected for the short list or on-call contracts, would we be eligible for other MRCA projects?


    Is there a set number of firms that will be selected for each category?

    The number of firms selected for short list or on-call contracts has not been determined.

    Which disciplines are you doing on-call services for?

    The disciplines selected for on-call contracts has not been determined.  Previously MRCA has utilized as-needed contracts for construction management, geotechnical engineering, civil engineering, topographic surveying, and environmental site assessments. Structural engineering for discrete, hourly tasks is also needed on a regular basis.

    Our firm is not based in Southern California. Is there a local preference for this SOQ?

    There is no official local preference. A familiarity with Southern California’s natural landscapes can be an advantage for some projects, and most projects benefit from local permitting expertise.

    How are your projects funded?

    Projects are funded through various means including state and local bonds, federal grants, and self-generated revenue.

    Does MRCA use Design-Build?

    No, the government and contracting codes that MRCA operates under do not permit Design-Build contracts.

    Who do I contact with my questions?

    If your question is not answered here, submit it using the form above. Answers will be posted in this FAQ section.