March 2013

This is a great time to be a landscape architect and I'm grateful to represent the Chapter as your President.  I've enjoyed traveling the state these past couple of months and meeting many of you, some for the first time. I've met with the NCDOT Roadside Environmental Unit Landscape Architects, several Town Managers and Town planners.  I've spoken to several groups and presented at conferences about Landscape Architecture.  I've also been representing our State Chapter serving on the APA-NC Great Places in North Carolina initiative.   
 
But even as I've enjoyed these different but related levels of professional collaboration, I was reminded about a story that heard back in 2009. It was at an NCASLA conference where Rodney Swink, FASLA was our Chapter President and addressed our Chapter.    
 
A group is gathered at Niagara Falls and one of the members from the group says,  

"Do you believe that I can string a wire and walk across the falls?"                          
No one believes he can; he does it.   

"Do you believe that I can push a wheelbarrow across the wire?"        
No one does; he does it.  

Do you believe that I can put a 200 lb. sack in the wheelbarrow and push it across?" They all do and he does it.  

"Are any of you willing to get in the wheelbarrow and let me push you across?"
No one is.
Belief ends when we have to get personally involved.

We all have an obligation to open our eyes to the changes taking place in our profession.  Are we doing our part to advance our line of work?  Those of us that are owners, principals, or who are in senior leadership positions; are we doing our part to enhance the ability of our staff to take part in NCASLA?  Are we recognizing the opportunities that present themselves everyday to engage those around us in the profession of Landscape Architecture?
 
Each of us has the opportunity to get personally involved. If we do, it will be a gift that we make to our profession and our profession needs us. Our profession needs the owners, principals, and those in senior leadership to teach our staff about ASLA and our state chapter.  Our chapter needs our skills and talents and most especially our passion.  It's time to get serious about our profession and our state chapter.   
 
Please give serious consideration to getting in the wheelbarrow and shaping the life of our profession and its future.  Who knows?  Maybe someday in the future, someone will be listening to your message and thanking you for the lasting gift of getting involved and preserving the character and importance of our profession.

Ways to get in the wheelbarrow:
 Annual Conference - In April 18 - 20, 2013, our State Chapter will come together for just one conference this year.   Raleigh will be the host city for our State Chapter conference.  We will start the conference with a breakfast with the Legislature.   Our Lt. Governor will be speaking as well as our National ASLA President.  We will have a 'Principals Bootcamp' from PSMJ Resources, Inc. Be sure to watch the NCASLA website for conference updates and information coming soon.  
Join the NCASLA Chapter.  Your membership dues don't just support the National ASLA, they support our state chapter. Your dues support our lobbyist, provide for our Annual State Chapter Conference, support our Universities and Community colleges as well as provide for Section CEU opportunities throughout the state.
Reach out to your Section Chairs and let them know your interests and passions.  
Mountain Section - Drake Fowler - DFowler@DesignWorkshop.com

Charlotte Section - Mike Askin - maskin@grid3consulting.com
Triad Section - Randal Romie - rsromieasla@aol.com

Triangle Section - Meredith Chandler -Meredith.Chandler@townofcary.org
Coastal Section - Tim Clark - timclark@laccintl.com  

Other announcements -  
The Triangle Greenways Council (TGC) was honored on December 2, 2012 in Durham, NC by Leadership Triangle for its regional cooperation and thinking. The Goodmon Award for Economic Development was presented to Bill Flournoy, FASLA, President of the TGC Board of Directors on behalf of the Triangle Greenways Council. For more information -  www.trianglegreenways.org      
As a profession we are often unaware of the designed landscapes of our predecessors.  We understand that not all landscapes are created equal, and should foster a dialog around important works of our predecessors.  Take the Village of Pinehurst, for example, an Olmsted-Manning design.  The Village of Pinehurst is moving ahead with plans for a parking lot in a portion of the Village Green. Shouldn't we be concerned when a master work is threatened, and recognize we have a role in entering into the discussion, as stewards of both environment and culture?  Glen Stach, RLA, who is a Landscape Architect in Asheville and Board member of the Cultural Landscape Foundation will be speaking more about rethinking landscape preservation at our Annual Conference in April.
 
We have a lot of opportunities to get in the wheelbarrow and be involved in our profession.  I look forward to seeing and meeting you in April at our State Chapter Conference, if not before.  Thank you for your support of our profession.
 
Warm regards,

Ed Johnson Signature
Ed Johnson, RLA, ASLA
NC Chapter President