Mississippi Landscape Architecture Community to Promote Active Living and Good Design to Students, Boy Scouts


Mississippi Governor Declares Landscape Architecture Week

Jackson, MS, April 13, 2005—The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has declared April 2005 as National Landscape Architecture Month. In honor of this, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour has proclaimed the week beginning April 24th as Mississippi Landscape Architecture Week. In celebration, the Mississippi Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (MSASLA) has scheduled several events across the state to raise public awareness of the value of landscape architecture to Mississippi communities.

  • Clinton: April 21, 8 A.M. to 12 P.M., Clinton Park Elementary School, 911 Old Vicksburg Road, Clinton, MS. Local landscape architects will work with students to design their own playground at Clinton Park Elementary School. Working with the professionals, students will draw and design their own ideal versions of a playground for the new school.

  • Starkville: Mississippi State University Student ASLA Chapter Walkability/Bikeability Surveys. The ASLA Student Chapter at Mississippi State University will be conducting surveys in the next few weeks with students at Starkville area schools to assess how safe the walking and biking routes are between their school and home. The results of this survey will be used to form a “report card” on the safety of pedestrian and biking routes in Starkville. Starkville in Motion, a local walking/biking advocacy group, will utilize the student surveys to plan and implement walking and biking trails near community schools.
  • Hattiesburg:
    • April 30, 12 Noon-4:00 pm, Landscape Architecture Merit Badge Workshop, Pine Burr Area Council Office, 6316 U.S. Highway 49, Hattiesburg, MS. Local landscape architects will present an afternoon workshop for Boy Scouts interested in earning their Landscape Architecture Merit Badges.
    • April 24-30, Hattiesburg Landscape Architecture Week. Mayor Johnny DuPree has declared the week of April 24 as Landscape Architecture Week in Hattiesburg.

  • Madison: Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler is the inaugural recipient of the 2005 Leadership Awards presented by the Mississippi Chapter of ASLA. MSASLA held a ceremony to present the Leadership Award to the Mayor and will donate a magnolia tree in commemoration to the Simmons Arboretum in Madison.

The Mississippi communities of Madison and Oxford have also made proclamations declaring a Landscape Architecture Week or Month during April.

The theme for National Landscape Architecture Month is Design for Active Living, highlighting ways community design affects 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.

“As landscape architects, working with public officials, developers, and residents, we can design active living components back into our communities,” said Michael Gammill, ASLA, president of the Mississippi chapter of the ASLA. "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. 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 in Mississippi to look at their communities during April and become advocates for an environment that is more exercise-friendly."

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 at or

For more information on supporting or participating in the Mississippi Chapter activities, please email Michael Gammill, Mississippi ASLA Chapter President, at, or call him at (601) 606-7719.


Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371