As days are growing longer and harbingers of spring slowly emerge, winter’s end is on everyone’s mind, especially this year after a very long season of ice and snow for many across the US. The arrival of spring is wonderfully exciting no matter the region, and for many of us ignites the insatiable urge to dig, plant, and tidy up the garden. The very sight of the new green shoots renews and invigorates. I hope that everyone has an opportunity to “look in” on their favorite little plot to see what’s waking up!
With the passing of winter, it is time to take note of the enormous amount of work that our PPN members have accomplished over the winter.
First, here’s the spring 2008 newsletter! We thank all of our contributors for sharing their work, and extend special thanks to our member/editor Sally Shute, Associate ASLA, for sharing her time and expertise. We hope that our members find the articles informative, interesting and in keeping with the energy and spirit of this group!
The Therapeutic Landscape Research Initiative (TLRI) database is now available online. The HTD PPN was the first to receive a grant from ASLA’s PPN Initiative Program. The TLRI grant was awarded to support the development of an accessible compendium of current research on the topic of therapeutic landscape and garden design and begins to accomplish the earlier goal to provide research that “validate(s) intuition and motivate(s) policy change.” The database currently contains over 100 entries including the sources and abstracts. The project extends into late next fall and the plan is to maintain this resource indefinitely, adding new materials as they emerge. We thank Susan Erickson, ASLA, and her Iowa State University students for this fine work.
The e-Community has been launched.
Naomi Sachs, ASLA (past chair) and Angela Pappas, ASLA, (future chair) have been instrumental in launching and monitoring our new eCommunity. The eCommunity is wonderful new tool and has great potential to become an online meeting place for members and a place to ask questions and/or generate discussions. In part, this tool helps reduce the frequency of postings to the PPN’s listserv, saving time and unnecessary overloading of members’ email boxes. ASLA staff member Kasha Helget is sending out brief notices to alert members of new postings. If you have any questions or have had difficulties accessing the eCommunity please feel free to contact ASLA for assistance.
We are also pleased to report that members of our group continue to work with several ongoing initiatives including:
- veteran’s affairs projects,
- another PPN Landscape Initiatives Grant is in the works, centered on forging new interdisciplinary relationships,
- the development of a comprehensive list of courses and programs offered in therapeutic garden design, and
- broadening our reach into the international community of design and scholarship
So, opportunities for involvement abound!
It is indeed an exciting time for our group. We have grown to over 300 members and continue to grow in numbers, ideas and purpose. As we move through 2008, we encourage your involvement and ask that you share your thoughts and ideas. If you would like to be involved in any of the ongoing work mentioned or have ideas for new projects, initiative or articles please feel free to contact me.
Be on the lookout for signs of spring!
Photo Courtesy UGA
Marguerite Koepke, ASLA, is Professor Emerita at the University of Georgia. She is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia where she directs the Governor’s Teaching Fellows. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org