ASLA Declares April 2005
National Landscape Architecture Month
Michigan ASLA Chapter Plans School
LANSING, MI, April 5, 2005—The American Society
of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has declared April 2005 as
National Landscape Architecture Month. In recognition of the
theme, Design for Active Living, Michigan landscape architects
will join walkability audits being conducted by eight elementary
schools around the state in conjunction with the Governor’s
Council on Physical Fitness as part of the statewide Safe
Routes to School initiative.
”Years ago, we all used to walk to school, to the store,
to the park, or to a friend’s house, but now we often
are unable to walk or bike anywhere safely, because our communities
are designed mainly for car travel,” said Doug Schultz,
ASLA, vice president of communications for the ASLA Michigan
Chapter. "The change from a pedestrian to a commuter
lifestyle has fueled an epidemic of obesity in the U.S., particularly
among children. We want to encourage everyone to look at their
communities during April and become advocates for an environment
that is more exercise-friendly. As landscape architects, working
with public officials, developers, and residents, we can design
active living components back into our communities."
The theme, Design for Active Living, highlights how community
design effects residents’ daily activity levels and,
in turn, their overall health. Studies show that access to
resources such as parks, recreational facilities, bicycle
paths, walking trails, and sidewalks can increase physical
activity among residents, lowering obesity and improving health.
Safe Routes to School, funded by the Michigan Department
of Transportation with additional support from the Michigan
Department of Community Health, is a statewide movement to
make walking and biking to school safe, efficient, and fun.
The Michigan initiative is completing a two-year pilot project,
culminating in a Safe Routes to School Toolkit that will be
available to all Michigan elementary schools in August 2005.
“Safe Routes to School (SR2S) is a perfect fit for
landscape architects because they have the expertise and dedication
needed to assess and improve walking and biking routes. I
am so pleased that the Michigan Chapter of the American Society
of Landscape Architects has been such an active partner in
our statewide effort and that individual members will join
local walking audits,” said Marilyn Lieber, president
and CEO of the Michigan Fitness Foundation/Governor’s
Council on Physical Fitness.
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association
for landscape architects representing more than 15,000 members.
Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land
analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and
rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession
and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication,
and fellowship. Learn more about landscape architecture online
and at www.michiganasla.org.
For more information on supporting or participating in the
Michigan ASLA Chapter activities, please contact Doug Schultz,
For an up-to-date schedule of SR2S walking audit locations,
dates and times, contact the Michigan Fitness Foundation at
800 434-8642 or Candance Lee Kokinakis, firstname.lastname@example.org.