February 2014

February 2014 President's Message


What does your future hold?

Keith Downing, ASLA
President 2013-2014

It is both interesting and entertaining that as a Society, every February 2, better known as Groundhog Day, we depend on an animal to forecast future weather conditions.  Who will Landscape Architects depend on to predict the future?  Last month an article was sent to me stating:   “According to the 2010 Civic Health Index, North Carolina ranks 42nd in the nation for volunteering, 44th for participation in non-electoral policy activity (such as public meetings), and 39th for group affiliation/membership.” Article - Institute for Emerging Issues  Is this the future of NCASLA? As I stated in last month’s presidents message, NCASLA’s participation numbers are very parallel to the numbers stated above.  Will Landscape Architects rise to lead and set the tone for the future?  The choice is yours…

State Government

Marshy L. Wyly, PLA, ASLA, LEED-AP, has been appointed to “The Governor’s Advisory Council for Small and Historically Underutilized Businesses” created under executive order #24.  This Council is tasked to define barriers to small businesses in working with State Government and assist the Governor in correcting those barriers. Executive order 24 will give a 10% preference to ALL small business.  NCASLA will be sending out information in the near future asking for “your” assistance in helping to identify these barriers.  Please take a moment to respond when this information is sent out.

Community Assistance Team - CAT

Lynn Raker, PLA, ASLA is leading a CAT to help assist Davidson County with their planning efforts for the Wil-Cox Bridge.  NCDOT plans to transfer ownership of the bridge in  Spring 2014.  NCASLA, specifically the Charlotte and Triad Sections, lead by Lynn and will be collaborating with Davidson County Officials to assist with ideas on how to develop and enhance the pedestrian/bike access from a planned parking area to the bridge.

Tri-State ASLA - April 2-4

Please remember to mark your calendar to attend the Tri-State ASLA Conference, April 2-4 in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.  The Conference Agenda is being finalized and registration will be open soon! 

There is a record number of award submittals for both the North Carolina Awards and the Tri-State Awards.  Special thanks go out to the Ohio Chapter ASLA and Alabama Chapter ASLA for volunteering to Jury the awards.

We have over 30 vendors registered and sponsoring this event with room for more.  A special thank you to our Annual Sponsors Belgard and Pinehall Brick!  If you are a vendor and would like to register for this event -  Tri-State Vendor Registration

Executive Committee

This year’s Executive Committee is diversely composed of experienced and emerging professionals.  This committee is one of the most proactive and dedicated that the Society has seen.  Even though it is early in the year, I want to thank each one of the members for their efforts which have already made a huge impact moving our profession forward. 

Do you know you can attend an Executive Committee meeting?  You can attend any Executive Committee meeting, join the discussion and learn what is going on in your chapter.  Check the calendar and attend a meeting!

Getting Involved

If you are ready to make a difference and would like to get involved, reach out to your local section chair or myself, introduce yourself and ask how you can help.  Some areas of interest that you can get involved with are:  Membership, Communications, Public Relations, Advocacy, Awards, Conference Planning, etc.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Chapter Business

Membership - We are currently 432 members strong.  Membership has remained constant over the past few months.  The membership chair is working diligently to improve communicating with prospective, new and lapsed members.

Communication - A communications survey was released a couple of weeks ago to help us identify the best selection and use of today’s social media.  There was a record response to the survey.  Thank you to all that took the time to complete this survey.  We are continuing to find ways to update these communication tools efficiently and effectively.

Public Relations - National ASLA has set the tone for the 2014 Landscape Architecture Month. ASLA president Mark A. Focht has endorsed the theme of the 2014 National Landscape Architecture Month in April, and that is Career Discovery with a focus on Underrepresented Minorities.

Non Members - Support Lobbyist for your Profession Now

Many of you may not know that $40.00 of the $100.00 NCASLA membership fee goes directly to support our Lobbyist that help advocate Landscape Architecture and to alert us to any political or legal concerns that may concern the professional practice and/or title act of Landscape Architecture.  There are over ±700 licensed Landscape Architects in the State of North Carolina.  Among those ±700, 432 of them are ASLA members.

If you are a Non-Member, now you can join your colleagues and donate to the legislative support to protect your profession.  For the price of less than one tank of gas you can help protect and support the profession of Landscape Architecture in North Carolina.