What's Up at ASLA?
To keep everyone fully informed about activities at ASLA, LAND is periodically running updates to highlight recent actions and accomplishments by topic area. Here are some highlights from the report that went out to leadership.
Governance and Administration
The call for 2014 ASLA committee service has been extgended through July 12, 2013. President-elect Mark Focht, FASLA, will be meeting with staff to review and finalize committee appointments later this summer. Please contact Secretary Curt Millay, ASLA, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
President Tom Tavella, FASLA, attended the announcement of REBUILD BY DESIGN, the Hurricane Sandy regional planning and design competition sponsored by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force established by President Obama. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Chair of the Task Force Shaun Donovan made the announcement. Tavella, who will serve on the jury, participated in a panel discussion following the announcement.
EVP Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, attended the One Water Management summit. The meeting, which focused on innovations and best practices, was attended by senior leaders from more than 30 national and regional organizations concerned with sustainable water management. Participating federal agencies included the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Council on Environmental Quality.
EVP Somerville; LAM Publisher Ann Looper, Hon. ASLA; and Professional Practice Manager Liz Guthrie, ASLA, met with the U.S. Composting Council (USCC) last week. The council’s new executive vice president was interested in discussing collaboration opportunities with ASLA, including continuing education programs/content. USCC has been an exhibitor at the annual meeting for the past several years and also participates in LA CES™.
The green roof was visited by two members, one from Maine, the other from Colorado. Both were interested in seeing the green roof firsthand due to its innovative design.
It’s been an extremely busy time on Capitol Hill for ASLA (see related stories in this issue of LAND). On June 18, Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH), and nine others introduced H.R. 2424, the Community Parks Revitalization Act. This bill provides assistance to local communities for the rehabilitation and construction of critical community parks infrastructure. ASLA, along with the National Recreation and Parks Association, issued a statement commending the introduction of the bill. An advocacy alert was also sent urging other members of Congress to become cosponsors. If you haven’t already done so, please weigh in and urge your member of Congress to become a sponsor of H.R. 2424.
On June 20, Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan measure the Safe Streets Act of 2013 (H.R. 2468). This bill would ensure that our nation’s roadways are built with all users in mind—including bicyclists, public transportation riders, motorists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. The Safe Streets Act of 2013 would call on states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations to implement a Complete Streets policy within two years that ensures all new federally funded transportation projects accommodate the safety and convenience of all users. ASLA will be working with individual ASLA chapters on targeted advocacy efforts to gain congressional cosponsors for the Safe Streets Act. If your chapter would like to volunteer for some in-district grassroots efforts on behalf of this measure, please contact ASLA Federal Government Affairs Director Roxanne Blackwell, email@example.com.
To coincide with the bill’s introduction, the National Complete Streets Coalition, of which ASLA is a steering committee member, and the Environment and Energy Study Institute held a congressional briefing titled “Complete Streets: Improving Safety and Choices for All.”
ASLA, as a member of the Outdoor Alliance for Kids, participated in events all week in D.C. that highlighted the importance of getting young people active and outside. Activists from around the country came to Capitol Hill to discuss critical outdoor issues. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, discussed the importance of getting kids outside, and Secretary Jewell headlined a walk on the National Mall to celebrate Great Outdoors Week.
On June 18, ASLA hosted an ASLA Site Sustainability Task Force kickoff webinar. The task force is charged with assisting ASLA with the Chinatown Green Streets Project and with ASLA headquarters site sustainability. Goals of the project are to build on the success of the green roof; reinforce the position of ASLA and landscape architects as leaders on green infrastructure and site sustainability; and demonstrate, through ongoing data gathering and related public education programs, the full potential and effectiveness of green infrastructure practices. The task force’s first assignment is to help prepare a Request for Qualifications for a lead landscape architecture firm for design development services for the green streets project and related ASLA site improvements.
The New York Chapter testified before the New York City Council yesterday in support of changes to its building code that will add definitions relating to landscape architecture. Currently, the code is silent on landscape architecture, which has resulted in the lack of authority of landscape architects to lead projects, even those that are primarily landscape architecture. Future changes will be necessary to fully address the problem. An advocacy alert was also issued to encourage New York landscape architects to contact their council members in support of the issue.
Member and Chapter Services
Today’s membership total is 15,644.
Two “Make the Most of Your Membership” webinars were held on June 18 and 19 for the first quarter 2013 new members. Attendees were provided an overview of ASLA benefits and services, including professional development opportunities, business tools and resources, member discounts, and more. The attendees were also encouraged to get involved in their chapters, submit a YPS2013 project, and participate in I Advocate (advocacy network). The webinar recording will be shared with all the 2013 first quarter new members.
Landscape Architecture Magazine
The July issue of LAM hit the streets, and it is all about fun and games! The cover piece explores the exuberant new Superkilen park in Copenhagen by Topotek 1, Bjarke Ingels Group, and Superflex, and the ways it wakes up one of the city’s harder neighborhoods with recreation and color. A story on the Dutch firm Carve shows the founders’ custom approach to playgrounds and how they integrate them into the centers of neighborhoods in the Netherlands. And a very exciting feature looks at the Adventure Playground in Berkeley, California, where for 30 years, kids have been able to play dangerously and build things with scrap wood, tools they earn from a tool library, and a lot of paint. And a humorous piece covers the sudden resurgence of bocce among young people in the United States.
Publishing and Resource Development
The number of registrants to date for the Annual Meeting and EXPO is nearly three times the number registered in the first seven weeks of the previous two meetings.
The student awards jury convened June 21–23 and selected 26 award recipients from the 391 submissions received. The winning entrants will be notified this week, and the awards will be announced in late September to coincide with the release of the October issue of LAM, which will feature the student and professional awards.
ASLA exhibited at the AIA Convention last week in Denver.
New comarketing agreements were finalized with Design New England magazine and westedge, a new design fair planned for October 3–6 in Santa Monica, California.
Marketing Manager Susan Lipscomb met with staff leaders from PLANET, the association for landscape construction and maintenance professionals, to explore ways to work together and comarket events that would be of interest to both memberships.
Public Relations and Communication
PR Manager Karen Trimbath attended the AIA meeting in Denver to build relationships with local media in anticipation of ASLA’s annual meeting there next year.
Director Terry Poltrack and Web Strategy and Content Manager Jared Green met with Carla Corbin, ASLA, and her landscape architecture department colleagues from Ball State University to advise them on the development of an online guide and app for D.C.’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It is to be created as a fall 2013/spring 2014 immersion-learning project involving a cross-disciplined student team. ASLA served as advisers this year on a similar effort at Ball State to develop a video game based on landscape architecture.
Public Awareness Summit attendance has been confirmed and travel and rooms booked for representatives from 48 of the 49 ASLA chapters. Also, 13 attendees—seven African American and six Latino/a—have been confirmed to take part in the 2013 Diversity Summit. The summits will be held July 12–14 in Alexandria, Virginia, in tandem with the ASLA Advocacy Summit.
Search on asla.org has been replaced with a new, Google-based search tool that significantly improves search results.
The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES™) has 194 active providers, offering 573 courses. Three applications are pending review.
Manager Dena Kennett is working with the authors of the LATIS reports published eight or more years ago to review the contents and determine what updates are needed to keep the reports relevant and current.
Professional practice staff has received the final draft of the Soils LATIS. Next steps will include final formatting and editing before beginning the process of reviewing to determine LA CES PDH credits. Release to members is anticipated by the end of the third quarter. Past Vice President Vaughn Rinner, ASLA, was at headquarters on June 7 to review the final draft with Manager Kennett.
On June 20, the PPNs hosted two new live webinars—A Case Study of the Rosecrance Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center's Healing Garden moderated by Steve Mitrione, ASLA, chair of the Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN, and Outdoor Learning and Play for School Age Children moderated by Ilisa Goldman, ASLA, Children’s Outdoor Environment PPN. Recordings will be available via the website later in the year.
Ten PPN members were recruited to read the updated Wayfinding: Principles and Practices LATIS paper to help determine the number of LA CES professional development hours. Following the LA CES guidelines, readers report how long they took to read the paper and the average time determines the number of PDHs. The volunteers have three weeks to read the paper. Once all times are submitted, the updated Wayfinding LATIS will be submitted to LA CES for approval and added to the LATIS page on the ASLA website.