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American Society of Landscape Architects


April 2006 Issue

A Helping Hand for Communities
How the National Park Service can provide free design assistance for your town.

By Don Benson, ASLA, and Alexandra Stone, ASLA

A Helping Hand for Communities Deb Willis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A national partnership between a small federal technical-assistance program and ASLA delivers pro bono planning and design assistance to selected community projects dealing with rivers and trails. The federal program, the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program—better known as Rivers & Trails—can serve as a catalyst for projects such as trail systems, riverfront parks, greenways, water trails, and land and river conservation.

Based on the success of a seven-year collaboration with its Washington state program and the Washington State ASLA Chapter (WASLA), Rivers & Trails formalized a relationship with ASLA on the national level in 2000 and renewed it in 2005 for a second five-year term.

The partnership, which operates locally through ASLA chapters and Rivers & Trails regional and field offices, provides chapters with an easy, practical means to sponsor community service, offer professional development, mentor students in the field, and gain visibility for the profession at the community level. Yet many landscape architects and their rural and smaller municipal clients are not aware of the program.

Armed with information about the mutual benefits of Rivers & Trails partnerships, landscape architects can help educate their clients about the program and its opportunities.

…To read the entire article, subscribe to LAM!

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