2007 was an exciting year. The Sustainable Design and Development Professional Practice Network (SDD PPN) membership grew to over 1200, we launched the e-communities network to facilitate discussion and information-sharing on your schedule and not in your email, we continued to participate in presentations about the Sustainable Sites Initiative, and we provided input about the Initiative through the steering committee of multiple stakeholders that includes ASLA.
While our mission remains strong, our goals have shifted slightly since the formalization of the Sustainable Sites Initiative. We are now focused on continuing our marketing for, and providing support and feedback to, the Initiative. In this endeavor, we strive to facilitate the communication to our members and others regarding sustainable strategies and goals that apply to landscape architecture and related fields. We are also exploring the possibility of developing educational opportunities for members about new information and practices.
Since the interest in the SDD PPN is growing and changing, we have re-assessed our structure, and firmed it up to ensure that there will be opportunities for interested members to become officers and encourage the constant flow of new ideas. In this new structure, officers commit to a year of service, and co-chairs commit to 2 years. That way an incoming co-chair is able to work with the existing co-chair for a year, and then with a new in-coming co-chair for a year, creating a seamless transition over time. The change of guard will happen at the Annual ASLA national conference. This last year, April Philips stepped down as chair after five years of leading our group. Deb Guenther had been co-chair with April for a year. Allegra Bukojemsky was nominated as incoming co-chair for the next two years. In addition, two of our officers resigned, and we conferred the commitment of three new officers Anna O’Connell, Hunter Beckham, and Ruth Stafford.
Ruth and Anna have worked with the PPN in the past, and both having tackled the idea of a LEED rating system for landscape architecture as a thesis project. Their research and resulting theses helped build the framework of the preliminary draft that led to the Sustainable Sites Initiative. Hunter has corresponded with us from the inception of the PPN and is an active member of the US Green Building Council as well as on the ASLA’s National Government Affairs Advisory Committee and the Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS).
In the future, we will send a call to our members for officer nominations when existing officers decide to step down. We hope you will consider a leadership role in the future.
We also encourage you to become active members of the SDD PPN by viewing and contributing to the online discussion on the e-communities page (see related article), as well as letting us know about interesting and pertinent events and other items to add to future newsletters and our main web page.