· Nominations for the ASLA Advocacy Awards are open. Each year, ASLA recognizes the extraordinary advocacy efforts of individuals and chapters with three awards: the ASLA Chapter of the Year Advocacy Award, ASLA Rising Star Advocacy Award, and the ASLA Advocacy Leadership Award. Please click here for more details about each award category, including eligibility and evaluation criteria. All nominations must be submitted by the chapter president using SurveyMonkey no later than February 28, 2019. For questions regarding the Advocacy Awards, please email the ASLA Government Affairs.
· Over the weekend, President Trump announced that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke would be resigning by the end of the year. Secretary Zinke’s nearly two-years leading the department has been tumultuous at best, including multiple spending scandals and a botched plan to raise the cost of admission to many national parks. The president is expected to name a successor this week who must then be confirmed by the Senate in early 2019. ASLA has sent a letter to President Trump urging him to nominate a Secretary of Interior who will protect and preserve the nation’s public lands and the people who work for the agency, including landscape architects.
· Last week, ASLA issued a statement opposing the Trump Administration’s proposed rule redefining “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) within the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would remove protections for many wetlands, ditches, streams, and dry runs and riverbeds making clean drinking water sources susceptible to pollutants. You can read the full statement here.
· Recently, Federal Government Affairs Manager Daniel Hart participated in a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) hearing held on Capitol Hill. The briefing was hosted jointly by ASLA, League of Conservation Voters, and United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force. Appearing on the panel were Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA), Donald McEachin (VA), and Nanette Barragan (CA), task force co-chairs. Incoming chair for the House Committee on Natural Resources, Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ), also attended and spoke briefly. The purpose of the hearing was to draw a corollary between LWCF and its importance to urban parks and environmental justice in our communities.
· On December 13, State Government Affairs Director Elizabeth Hebron and Government Affairs Manager Bradley Rawls attended a meeting of the Design Professions Work Group. Discussions centered around the role of non-governmental organizations such as the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislators in occupational licensing reform. The group also discussed the anticipated wave of legislation that would create licensure compacts and reforms to the licensure process for members of the military and their spouses.
Public Relations and Communications
· Submissions are now open for the ASLA 2019 Awards! Each year, the ASLA Professional Awards honor the best in landscape architecture from around the globe while the ASLA Student Awards give us a glimpse into the future of the profession. Award recipients receive featured coverage in Landscape Architecture Magazine, the magazine of ASLA, and in many other design and construction industry publications, as well in the general-interest media. ASLA will honor the award recipients, clients, and advisors at the awards presentation ceremony during the 2019 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego, November 15-18. For questions about the submission process, please email Honors and Awards.
· The 2019 ASLA Public Awareness Summit will take place in New Orleans from January 4-6. Representatives from all 49 chapters will discuss the public awareness needs of chapters and help shape ASLA’s communications initiatives for 2019.
Education and Marketing
· ASLA received collaborative support from STEMConnector, a network platform of over 200 organizations that engages leaders in both public and private sectors who collectively are re-envisioning the workforce. Each year, STEMConnector hosts the National Day of Design, an opportunity for middle school students to experience real-world problem-solving, teamwork, communication and STEM skills that will help them develop lifelong passion for STEM while learning the employability skills that will get them through college and careers. This year, the theme was Food Rescuers: STEM Innovations to Reduce Food Waste. The Day of Design Teacher Resource page highlighted a series of ASLA resources that addressed the exciting ways landscape architects design solutions to food waste.
· On December 11, ASLA joined over 200 STEM leaders and community partners in Washington, D.C., to inspire and prepare all D.C. youth to succeed, lead, and innovate in STEM fields at the 2018 DC STEM Summit. The goal of the annual DC STEM Network-STEM Summit is to increase access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities for students in the District of Columbia. Ten Potomac Chapter members volunteered at ASLA’s booth to exhibit landscape architecture resources and lead hands-on activities with local students and teachers.
· The Call for Presentations for the Conference on Landscape Architecture (formerly called the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO) in San Diego opened December 11 and will close January 23, 2019. To coordinate proposals and network with potential speakers, submitters are encouraged to use the Call for Presentations Google group. Since the call opened, over 70 potential submitters and speakers have joined the group.
· Education Programs Manager Whitney Mitchell finalized annual meeting session attendance reporting to the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES). Over 14,600 attendance records were submitted for 139 approved sessions.
· The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™) has 251 active providers offering 1,275 courses. There are three new provider applications pending review.
Information and Professional Practice
· ASLA published the latest Landscape Architecture Technical Information Series (LATIS), A Landscape Performance + Metrics Primer for Landscape Architects: Measuring Landscape Performance on the Ground, authored by Emily McCoy, ASLA, with contributions by Marin Braco, ASLA, and Lauren Mandel, ASLA. ASLA members can download the LATIS for free and can purchase and pass a self-study exam to earn 3.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW) / 3.0 SITES-specific GBCI CE (GBCI course ID 0920018252).