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What’s Up at ASLA?

As a new LAND feature, we will be sharing highlights of our bi-weekly E-Express communiques that are sent to leadership to keep them informed about accomplishments and works in progress. Here are some of the highlights from the most recent version. Make this feature regular reading to track your dues at work. 

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Governance and Administration
EVP Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Director of Federal Government Affairs Roxanne Blackwell, and Federal Government Affairs Manager Kevin O’Hara hosted more than 20 staff from the U.S. House of Representatives’ Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC). The coalition’s mission to advance policies that promote clean energy technology innovation and domestic manufacturing, develop renewable energy resources, and create green collar jobs throughout the product supply-chain led them to reach out to ASLA to learn more about the benefits of ASLA’s green roof. Somerville provided a presentation on the multiple benefits that well-designed green roofs and green infrastructure projects can provide.

President Susan Hatchell, FASLA, EVP Somerville, and Government Affairs Director Julia Lent, Hon. ASLA, attended the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) meeting in San Francisco last week. Hatchell provided an update on ASLA programs; Lent led a workshop on anti-regulatory challenges to licensure.

Government Affairs
Senator Kay Hagan (NC) plans to introduce the Community Parks Revitalization Act, a Senate companion bill to the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (H.R. 709), in September. Like the House bill, this legislation would serve as an updated version of the Urban Park Recreation Recovery (UPARR) program and would provide matching federal assistance grants to local governments in metropolitan areas. ASLA is working with members to reach out to their senators to urge them to become original co-sponsors.

Thanks to the efforts of ASLA activists and allied organizations, dozens of governors have indicated that they will continue to participate in the Recreational Trails program (RTP) in 2013. Under MAP-21, state governors had until September 1 to notify the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) if they would opt out of the program. According to recent reports, Florida and Kansas have decided to opt out of the program. ASLA will provide a final list of states participating in, and opting out of, the RTP when it is finalized by the USDOT.

Public Relations and Communications
Announcement of the 2012 Professional and Student Awards was broadcast broadly, as well as through 12 targeted hometown releases. The awards programs received strong media attention, including coverage in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Detroit Free Press, Columbus Business First, Money, Building, ArchNewsNow, Architects + Artisans, Architizer, Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Daily Commercial News and Construction Record, The Birmingham News, ASU News, and The Cool Hunter. See “Landscape Architecture in the News” in this issue.

Use of social media outreach in promoting the 2012 awards proved highly successful. Top mentions included Shorty Award winner and school garden advocate Mud Urban, urban planning blog Planetizen, the City of Toronto, and a tweet from Mayor Edwin Lee of San Francisco. Twitter reach for the awards release has passed 750,000 followers, and counting.

The 2012 Professional and Student Awards websites launched August 28. As of September 7, the Professional Awards site has received nearly 100,000 pageviews, with the Students Awards page another 34,000 pageviews. 

The Landscape Architect’s Guide to Washington, D.C., launch is scheduled for September 13. The online and mobile versions feature more than 75 sites, with tours hosted by 20 landscape architects.

ASLA’s blog, The Dirt, has passed another milestone: 1,200 posts and more than 1,300 comments over the past three years. Total pageviews have now surpassed 1.5 million.

Grist, The Dirt blog’s content partner, reposted a piece on the International Parks Conference. Grist gets some 16 million pageviews annually, making it one of the top environmental news sites. Other pick-ups: Planetizen picked up the post on lawn painting; and FreshKills Park blog picked up the post on the London Olympics landscape.

Publishing and Resource Development
Due to local demand, tickets for remaining Field Sessions, SITES Workshop, Gala, Fellows dinner, and the President’s Dinner at this year’s Annual Meeting and EXPO in Phoenix are now available for purchase without registering for the meeting.

More than 50 students participated in the Arizona Chapter’s design charrette for the ASLA/ACE Mentor Program Legacy Project at the end of August. Arizona Trustee Dean Chambers, ASLA, reports that this was a very successful event and noted that the level of participation shows strong commitment from parents and faculty as well as students, many of whom live far from the magnet school. This will be the fifth year for the ASLA/ACE Legacy Project and Arizona is setting a record for number of students participating. The chapter has also confirmed donations for all the products on its wish list, with the exception of the shade structure and the outdoor kitchen appliances. The sales team is working with the chapter to identify donors for those last items.

The 2012 professional and student awards were announced last week to great acclaim by members and the media. The awards will be presented at the annual meeting on Monday, October 1, at 12 Noon at the Phoenix Convention Center. Plans are already underway for 2013, with the Honors and Awards Advisory Committee to confirm the juries for 2013 and the call for entries print brochure design.

Professional Practice
There were 12,062 Professional Practice Network (PPN) members as of August 31, which includes individuals who belong to more than one PPN. There has been an increase of 340 PPN members since the beginning of the year.

ASLA recently donated 44 books and 266 journals to the Virginia Tech Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) Library in Alexandria, Virginia, as part of the ongoing ASLA/VA Tech inter-library program. Staff and members have access to the Virginia Tech WAAC library from 10:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please call or email ahead of a visit: 703-706-3039, or mkoenig@vt.edu. Many books were duplicates donated by publishers who contributed to the ASLA Professional Practice Library through Books by ASLA Members.



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