Conference Highlights and Other News
Every time I attend an ASLA annual meeting / conference I am inspired, awed and challenged. Recently, I am both thankful and reassured. I am inspired and awed by the work that is being done by our colleagues across the country. I am challenged by advancements in the profession and all of the things I have yet to learn. More recently, with my attendance at Chapter President's Council meetings, I am thankful for the state of the profession in North Carolina and reassured that NCASLA is moving in the right direction and doing the right things. The challenges that have been faced and are being faced by other state chapters make promoting and protecting the profession in North Carolina less daunting by comparison. That's not to say we don't have challenges, we certainly do. We need to remain politically active and continue to promote our work as a profession. Fortunately, we have a very engaged Executive Committee and managerial staff, a generous practice act, two fine institutions producing quality landscape architecture graduates, and the benefit of fabulous national leadership.
The Old North State was well represented at the conference led by President Susan Hatchell who has completed her term as National President, Robin Moore's induction as an honorary member of ASLA, and Larry Zucchino's induction into the Council of Fellows. In addition, Perry Howard, Director of the Landscape Architecture program at NC A&T, received the ASLA President's Medal from President Hatchell, "in recognition of the countless hours spent promoting the profession, especially with students, minorities, and those who are less likely to speak up for themselves. His quiet leadership style articulates a broad focus of the profession dealing with the mission and the greater good of our communities and our Society."
Other members of NCASLA involved in conference presentations included Mark Hough, Chuck Flink, and Barrett Kays. As well, Matt Tomasulo received recognition for his Guerilla Wayfinding project in Raleigh.
Susan's energy and passion for our profession is nurturing and limitless. Robin's contribution to our profession is undeniable and Larry's service to the profession and our state is impressive. Take the opportunity to thank Susan for her commitment and leadership and congratulate Robin, Larry, Perry and Matt on their achievements. They make North Carolina look pretty good.
One thread that ran throughout the conference was that of leadership. Not just in design, but leadership in our communities on issues that impact our well-being and that of the natural environment, with emerging technologies, and with emerging areas of professional endeavor. Our understanding of systems, both natural and behavioral, and our ability to engage community positions us uniquely to lead. We see the whole picture. Leadership was particularly evident at the Council of Fellows induction ceremony where the accomplishments of each recipient were outlined during the presentation. While I am always intrigued by the intersection of art and landscape, I was most impressed by the impact of landscape architects in their communities outside of designing a project. In addition, the leadership of Landscape Architects demonstrated by research and advancements in the areas of healing environments, urban agriculture, the repurposing of underutilized lands and other issues impacting our world was inspiring.
Relative to leadership and legislation, US Senator Kay Hagan introduced legislation supporting urban parks revitalization. The bill ( S3583 / Community Parks Revitalization Act ) is aimed at improving access to recreation facilities and creating jobs A companion to the House bill, H.R. 709, this legislation authorizes the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to establish and carry out an urban revitalization and livable communities program to provide Federal grants to urban areas for the rehabilitation of critically needed recreational areas and facilities and for the development of improved recreation programs. The CPRA will boost economic development and provide healthy options for at risk youth in America's inner cities.
"This legislation will not only provide for the rehabilitation of neglected recreation facilities and green spaces in our city centers, but it will also promote job creation and opportunities for safe and healthy activities in urban public sites," Hagan said. "Investment in parks and recreation attracts business, promotes conservation in a non-regulatory fashion and enhances quality of life for hard-working North Carolinians and their families."
The election for NCASLA Executive Committee positions is complete and I am pleased to announce that Keith Downing will serve as President Elect under President Ed Johnson for the upcoming year. The rest of the Executive Committee remains unchanged with the exception of Michael Askin who will assume duties as the Charlotte Section chair and Meredith Chandler who will chair the Triangle Section. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the Executive Committee for their efforts over the past year particularly Ed Johnson, who has planned two excellent conferences and Augustine Wong who will step down as Past President, a position I am looking forward to filling. Particularly, I look forward to working with the NC Board of Landscape Architects and working on the Spring 2013 Conference that will be in Raleigh in April.
Two public awareness events took place over the last two weeks in North Carolina. On September 21st, students of landscape architecture from NCSU commandeered several parking spaces on Fayetteville Street on National Parking Day. Students turned the spaces in to green space with seating and had information on the profession available for the public.
On the 27th, and as part of the 2012 public awareness campaign, NCASLA and the City of Raleigh recognized the Raleigh Greenway system by rededicating it along with the ribbon cutting for a new section of greenway. Susan Hatchell, FASLA and Paul Morris, FASLA both spoke at the event. These events helped raise public awareness of the landscape architecture profession and highlight the importance of green space and alternative transportation options to community health.
Fall Conference / Planning for the Next 50 Years
We hope to see you at the fall conference at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro on October 25/26. The conference will offer 7 hours of continuing educational opportunities and the NCASLA professional awards will be presented at lunch. The Executive Committee will meet on the 25th. Executive Committee meetings are open to the membership so please attend if you are interested in learning more about NCASLA or to let us know more about your interests and ideas. The conference will include a keynote address from Mitchell Silver, AICP Director of Planning for the City of Raleigh, a presentation by Chuck Flink FASLA on statewide pedestrian and bicycle planning and Lauren Blackburn, AICP on complete streets. In addition sessions will be held for students and emerging professionals. These sessions will include opportunities for resume / portfolio / interview reviews by seasoned professionals as well as a presentation by James Penrod, FASLA with CLARB on the new LARE format.
Thank you for supporting the mission of ASLA with your membership.
All the best.....
Brian H. Starkey, RLA / ASLA