Washington, D.C., July
13, 2012 – For back-to-school stories, consider the following ideas
from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). For more information,
contact Karen Trimbath at 202-216-2371 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Create a mini-green roof using a shoebox. Design and build a
rain garden or bioswale to manage stormwater. These are some of the projects
offered by ASLA to teach kids and teens about sustainability, ecological
issues, and the technical aspects of landscape architecture.
Landscape architecture encompasses the analysis, planning,
design, management, and stewardship of natural and built environments. Here are
nine activities, created for landscape architects to use in their local
schools, that can be adapted by teachers
or involve a local landscape architect that let students in grades K-12 explore
landscape architecture and sustainable landscape design:
The ASLA Career Discovery Program activities correlate to
the national standards created by the Mid-Continent Research for Education and
Learning (McREL). McREL is a nationally recognized, private, nonprofit
organization dedicated to improving education.
Landscapes Educational Resources
What's it like to work as landscape architect and how do you
become one? One special place to start is with the Designing Our Future:
Sustainable Landscapes pages created by ASLA. They offer 30 case
studies in easily understood terms that demonstrate how landscape architects beautify
your world while also protecting and working with nature. You can also view and
download animations that show sustainable landscape design in
action. And another public education site provides
an interactive introduction to the profession.
The free site also provides many educational
resource guides aimed at K-12 students. Topics include recycling, outdoor
recreation, transportation, and more. The guides provide hundreds of vetted games,
videos, classroom activities, and curriculum organized by age groups (K-5, 6-8,
Getting a Lesson
in Green Roofs
The Roof is Growing! is the
number-one-ranked classroom program developed by ASLA to engage and educate
middle school students about green roofs and their environmental benefits. A
green roof is a roof substantially covered with vegetation.
Students investigate how green roofs can make a difference in four key
- Reducing stormwater runoff
- Alleviating the urban heat island effect
- Improving air quality
- Providing habitat for wildlife
Using an online, interactive program and a workbook, students gather
facts about green roofs. They then apply their knowledge by preparing a
proposal for building a green roof on the Frederick Law Olmsted School
auditorium. Click here
for teacher resources.
The Roof Is Growing! program is based on Grade Level 6-8 mathematics,
science, and geography national standards and benchmarks created by the
Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL).
Begin the journey!
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional
association for landscape architects, representing roughly 16,000 members in 48
professional chapters and 76 student chapters. The Society's mission is to
lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning
and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the
Society use their “ASLA” suffix
after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest
ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture
online at www.asla.org.