ASLA Joins Efforts to Connect Communities to Urban Waters

Urban waterways affect large populations that fall adjacent, upstream and downstream to them. Robust and accessible urban waters have been shown to bolster local businesses and improve the many learning, recreational, and social opportunities which rely so heavily on them. Additionally, these waters, which usually provide our drinking water, have the potential to become tainted through stormwater runoff from roads, parking lots, and industrial sources. Protecting waterways can provide a positive ripple effect through their surrounding urban communities across the nation.

Recently, the American Society of Landscape Architects signed on to support the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) – a collection of twenty-eight nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and fourteen federal agencies working together to reconnect urban communities with their waterways. In addition to ASLA, other allied partners include the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), Trust for Public Land (TPL), American Rivers, American Planning Association (APA), and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).

“The American Society of Landscape Architects is excited to be a partner in this initiative to invest in our nation’s urban waterways. ASLA applauds the Partnership’s efforts to restore and preserve our natural environments while reconnecting these resources to underserved communities,” said Nancy C. Somerville, Hon. ALSA, Executive Vice President and CEO.

Launched in the summer of 2011, the partnership touts that it will strive to: (1) Break down federal program silos to promote more efficient and effective use of federal resources through better coordination and targeting of federal investments; (2) recognize and build on local efforts and leadership, by engaging and serving community partners; (3) work with local officials and effective community-based organizations to leverage area resources and stimulate local economies to create local jobs; and (4) learn from early and visible victories to fuel long-term action. The Partnership also parallel’s President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative to urge federal agencies to support innovative community efforts to provide safe, healthy and accessible outdoor spaces.

ASLA will continue to advocate for and encourage the conservation and protection of water resources and related ecosystems and the elimination of water pollution. The Society looks forward to contributing to the federal agency partners with outreach and communications to support urban waters restoration.


Kevin Fry
Director, PR and

JR Taylor
PR Coordinator