Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

2017 Award: Excellence in Service Learning – Junior Level

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

Vaike Haas

2017 CELA Excellence in Service Learning – Junior Level


Vaike Haas is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at West Virginia University. Her current research and design interests include greenspace planning within Appalachia’s wooded and riparian areas. From 2014-2017 she worked on producing a master plan for WVU’s new 94-acre Falling Run Greenspace.

Her nomination letter stated: “Her community engagement and service learning efforts move well beyond the classroom. Her efforts have educated communities on the value of nature, public space, and alternative transportation corridor development to provide accessible movement through environments.

An appreciation letter referencing the Falling Run Project stated:she and her students embarked on what is likely to be the biggest green space expansion project since our Rail-Trail in 1990’s.

Haas and students, working with representatives from the city, university, local organizations and stakeholders, developed a multi-phase plan that encouraged ‘buy-in’ and resulted in the construction of trails and related infrastructure that linked Falling Run to the university and surrounding neighborhoods providing recreational activities and an alternative transportation corridor.