January 2013

Happy New Year!
In elementary school, I remember learning that Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, holds about 5% of the earth’s total fresh water supply.  But more recently I learned that when the lake’s temperature hits about 40 degrees, the cold water on top sinks and the warmer water underneath it rises, so that the lake “turns over”, in a sense, sending nutrients to the bottom and redistributing oxygen throughout the lake.  This makes the entire Lake Superior ecosystem healthy and able to sustain all life that lives in and around it.

The beginning of a New Year can afford us an opportunity to ‘turn over the waters’ and continue to develop our sustainability as a strong leading profession in our state. As we reflect on the year’s past and develop a vision for this new year, our collective voices can be stronger than ever about the value of Landscape Architecture to the state of North Carolina and our local communities.

However, this means that we must stay diligent with the task at hand in promoting our profession at every chance we get. We can proud of what we have accomplished together in 2012 and we can look forward to what is to come.

As I listen out my window at work to the sounds of the grand stands being built for the Governors inauguration this month, I think about our state turning over its waters. We as a profession can stay sustainable and healthy; we as participants in our professions noble goals can provide substance for years to come; especially as we navigate through this change.

Some announcements for the upcoming season:

  • Annual Meeting - In April 18 – 20, 2013, our State Chapter will come together for just one meeting this year. Raleigh will be the host city for our State Chapter meeting and it’s planning out to be a great one. Be sure to watch the NCASLA Web site for  conference updates and information.      
  • ASLA 2013 Awards  Programs Call for Entries  – If we are to celebrate our profession and all that we have accomplished and have been charged to accomplish, then we should be rewarded for it as  well. For more information, see the ASLA web site.
  • Executive Committee Meetings – These will be  happening throughout the upcoming year. Please be in touch with our Association Manager, Debora Steenson or myself for more information, especially if you see yourself able to contribute to our chapter and its various committees.
  • Community Parks Revitalization Act - Senator Hagan has been promoting the Community Parks Revitalization Act. This legislation would provide federal grants, via the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD), to eligible  local governments for the revitalization of community parks.
  • Dix Park - In December 2012 North Carolina seized  its opportunity to join other great cities in having a Destination Park  for generations to come. Through creative master planning and execution, Dix Park will deliver millions of visitors to experience what Dorothea Dix herself espoused, “There is power in nature.” Be on the lookout for more information  in the coming year.
  • Be sure to share the benefits of our profession as you talk with other professionals about all that ASLA has to offer, not just on the state level but also on the national level.          

May you start the New Year in peace and health; my best wishes for a joy filled New Year!

Blessings and Peace,
Ed Johnson, RLA, ASLA
North Carolina ASLA Chapter President