The year has raced by quickly and we are upon another Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting provides a great gathering to see and to hear about all the great projects and work underway by colleagues, thereby extending our personal and professional networks. The incoming co-chairs, Margret Mori, FASLA, and Chris Patillo, ASLA, have been active with preservation in California. I met Margaret during my first Annual Meeting in San Diego, and Chris this past year in Minneapolis.
By extending our voice and perspective to closely aligned groups of professionals such as engineers, architects, archaeologists, and geologists, we extend our network as preservationists and our unique perspectives on landscape history and design. My other goal is to provide a document to provide baseline guidance and important dates and must-do functions for the many busy people that will follow me as chair—something I would have liked.
At this past annual conference, the Historic Preservation PPN gave out its Unsung Hero Award for Cultural Landscape Preservation to the River Towers Condominiums Resident Association in downtown Minneapolis for its recent courtyard renovation. Designed by Sasaki Walker and Associates in 1964, this wonderful space was recently renovated by Close Landscape Architecture. This is truly a great example of a sensitive renovation of a significant modernist landscape in the Twin Cities.
Efforts to fund and advance the HALS program are being continued by Susan Crook, ASLA, LLA, LEED, ASLA coordinator of the HALS Chapter Liaisons and the Historic Preservation PPN. We are planning to get together for a briefing and strategy session at the 2007 ASLA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. And mark your calendars for the education session on Saturday at 3:15, “Implementing the Historic American Landscape Survey.” HALS is continuing to garner support for Congressional funding, but we are at the mercy of political winds and technicalities. HALS funding was put on the back burner at the mid-year ASLA Lobby Day because the Interior Appropriations bill was dealt with in a continuing resolution for FY 2008. However, this year’s in-district lobbying has already laid the groundwork for the coming budget cycle. Representative Russ Carnahan is committed to sponsoring a letter of support for HALS funding in FY 2009. Over two dozen other state representatives called his office to pledge their support on hearing of his “dear colleague” letter this year.
While we are looking toward FY 2009 for HALS funding, our ASLA government affairs staff are keeping close watch on the 2008 Interior Appropriations Bill to test the winds in preparation for next year. To aid this effort, keep working with your state HALS chapter representative to develop examples. For questions or comments of general interest or to obtain a list of state liaisons, email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 435-773-7920.
My other task as chair is yet unfulfilled—to cultivate member interest to assist in ensuring historic preservation is part of the 2008 ASLA annual meeting in Pennsylvania. We are still seeking the upcoming chairperson(s). A quick description of the role of the chairperson(s) is in order. Each year, a local ASLA member of the Historic Preservation PPN serves as the upcoming chairperson(s), currently Chris Pattillo, ASLA, and Margret Mori, FASLA, both located in the general San Francisco area. The upcoming chair coordinates and encourages preservation activities with the host chapter for the annual meeting. Typically, this involves encouraging Historic Preservation PPN members to submit preservation-focused mobile workshops, tours, and education sessions for presentation at the conference. It also involves working with the state chapter to ensure preservation issues are represented in the program. The upcoming chair then assists in coordination and getting the word out for preservation activities and awarding an “Unsung Hero Award.” The unsung hero award is given each year to a local individual, group, agency, or client that has provided outstanding stewardship of a historic landscape.
After serving this role for one year, you serve as chairperson to facilitate the activities of the group. Such activities may include coordination of the newsletter production, necessary web updates to ASLA National, facilitating discussions on the listserv, presiding at a meeting of the group at the annual meeting, and recruiting the upcoming chairperson(s). Please provide any names of interested ASLA members in the Pennsylvania area. Involvement with the group is professionally rewarding.
With that, the gavel will be turned over to Chris and Margaret for a great new year!
Chad Moffett, ASLA email@example.com