- The 2000 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, scheduled for October 27-31, at America's Center, 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, Missouri, will bring together thousands of landscape architects and other professionals in the Society's first member-wide gathering of the new millennium.
"This is a great opportunity for us to join together in appreciating the past and planning for the future. I'm particularly looking forward to unveiling changes we're making to transform our Society into an e-association for the 21st century," said ASLA President Janice Cervelli Schach, FASLA.
Also looking to the future, noted smart growth leader, Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening, will speak on livability issues. His state's "Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation" program is the nation's first comprehensive, incentive-based effort to address the issue. This year, as Chairman of the National Governors Association, Glendening launched a national, yearlong initiative aimed at helping all states develop strategies to address growth and quality-of-life issues.
"Rapid growth and sprawl are destroying the fabric of our communities, creating congestion and costing taxpayers billions of dollars," said Glendening. "Governors must seize this opportunity to develop aggressive and innovative strategies to protect and improve our quality of life."
The annual meeting's theme, "Gateway to Discovery: Confluence of Environment, Heritage and Community," reflects St. Louis' history as the gateway to the West as well as its position at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
In the meeting's keynote address, Daniel Botkin, a noted environmental scientist, will discuss both the role of Lewis and Clark as natural historians and contemporary issues related to man-made changes to the Missouri River and its surrounding environments. Botkin is best known for authoring Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century, an influential book helping to change our view of environmental issues. In a more recent publication, Our Natural History: The Lessons of Lewis and Clark, Botkin uses these explorers' adventures to demonstrate that change is essential in the natural world.
Dr. Peter Raven, one of the world's leading botanists, will give the closing address on how landscape architects can promote biodiversity and sustainable design principles. Raven is director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a leader in botanical research in North and Latin America, Africa and Asia.
This year's 63 education sessions will follow eight tracks: construction technology; history/historic preservation; parks recreation/greenway;/byway planning; practice management; regional/rural landscape planning; urban/community design; workshops; and LandTech (focusing on cutting-edge technology). Most sessions cover technical topics such as play area accessibility, GIS applications and traffic calming. Others provide practitioners with more general business knowledge such as time/stress management and media training.
The EXPO will showcase more than 500 booths, offering attendees the opportunity to evaluate products and services from a variety of leading manufacturers and suppliers. Landscape architects purchase or specify more than $45 billion worth of products and services every year.
While the convention center is located in the heart of downtown St. Louis near many local attractions, attendees can go further afield by joining one of the pre- or post-meeting guided tours into outlying areas. Tours include a bike ride on Missouri's KATY Trail State Park-America's longest rails-to-trails project, a garden tour through some of the most expensive and opulent residences in the country and a visit to Missouri's Wine Country with its many historic villages.
Immediately before the meeting, on October 27, attendees can also choose to attend one of the three all-day meetings: a therapeutic gardens forum; a historic preservation mobile workshop; or a review for the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE).
The American Society of Landscape Architects, founded in 1899, represents more than 13,000 members nationwide. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation. Typical projects include site design and planning, town and urban planning, regional planning, preparation of environmental impact plans, garden design, historic preservation, and parks/recreation design and planning. Landscape architects hold undergraduate or graduate degrees. They are licensed to practice in 47 states and are required to pass a rigorous national three-day examination. For more information, visit our Web site at www.asla.org.
Editors Note: Press are welcome to attend addresses and educational sessions. For credentials, contact Martha Montague, (202) 216-2328.