What’s Up at ASLA?
To help keep ASLA members aware of how their Society works for them, LAND periodically brings readers up to date on accomplishments and initiatives of note. Here is the latest sampling.
Governance and Administration
ASLA hosted the Presidents Council meeting at the national office on January 24. The council is composed of the executive level leadership of ASLA, Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB), Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB), Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), and Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA). ASLA was represented by President Mark Focht, FASLA; President-Elect Dick Zweifel, FASLA; and EVP Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. Discussion topics included demographics and data on the profession as well as membership, diversity, program surveys, and licensure reciprocity.
EVP Somerville met last week with The Cultural Landscape Foundation President Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, to discuss collaboration opportunities. Birmbaum also hosted the foundation's Board of Trustees meeting January 23 in the headquarters conference room.
EVP Somerville recently participated in the CEO Summit, a meeting of design and construction industry association CEOs. The main focus of the meeting was development of a joint statement on resilience. Attendees also exchanged information on organizational and industry economic indicators, with the majority noting some positive trends and expressing cautious optimism.
A webinar on the Fellows nomination process was held last Wednesday, January 15. Panelists included Council of Fellows (COF) Chair Susan Jacobson, FASLA; COF Immediate Past Chair Pat Caughey, FASLA; Immediate Past COF Jury Chair Ken Bassett, FASLA; and Past Chair and President-Elect Zweifel, with 66 individuals participating. A recording of the webinar and the PowerPoint are posted on the COF website [https://www.asla.org/fellows.aspx]. For more information, contact Corporate Secretary Curt Millay.
Preparations for the winter ExCom meeting are proceeding. The meeting will be held at the national office February 21–22.
Staff and the Board Performance Task Force are preparing a postmeeting survey of board members. Results from the survey, which will be distributed later this week, will help the task force assess next steps and formulate recommendations.
ASLA ended 2013 in the black with an increase in net assets.
On January 17, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 3547, the Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which will fund the federal government and its programs through September 2014. Several programs important to ASLA members dodged the chopping block, and in some instances received funding increases under this measure. ASLA has prepared a breakdown of the allocations for federal programs important to landscape architects.
ASLA has joined with other members of the National Complete Streets Coalition in sending a letter to Republican members of the House urging them join in cosponsoring H.R. 2468, the Safe Streets Act. The letter is part of a strong effort initiated by the bill’s original sponsors, Representatives Matsui (CA) and Joyce (OH), to gain more bipartisan support for the measure.
ASLA has joined with members of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids (OAK) in sending a letter to the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation supporting the development of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC), and to urge President Obama to make 21CSC a highlighted presidential priority. OAK is a national strategic partnership of businesses and organizations with a common interest in expanding the number and quality of opportunities for children, youth, and families to connect with the outdoors.
Legislative Analyst Leighton Yates attended the first of many hearings of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee regarding the reauthorization of the Surface Transportation bill scheduled to expire in September 2014. The preliminary hearing broadly addressed funding, increasing global economic competitiveness, and the need for an improved and integrated infrastructure network. Chairman Bill Shuster (PA) stated his goal to pass the bill out of committee by late May to early June and on the floor for a chamber vote prior to the House’s August recess. This would leave enough time for conferees from both chambers to produce a bill for a final vote prior to the expiration of MAP-21 at the end of September.
Government Affairs Managing Director Julia Lent, Hon. ASLA, is participating in the January installment of CLARB's monthly In the Know webinar series, which will review the latest trends in professional regulation.
Federal Government Affairs Director Roxanne Blackwell attended the National Complete Streets Coalition’s 4th Annual Partners’ Dinner. This annual event brings together leaders working for Complete Streets across the country, including the coalition's national steering committee members, well-known corps of workshop instructors, and staff from partner organizations. This year, the featured guest speaker was Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities for Philadelphia.
ASLA was very excited to receive qualifications from 28 landscape architecture lead teams to be considered for the ASLA Chinatown Green Street Demonstration Project. Submittals are being reviewed by the ASLA Site Sustainability Task Force, and a shortlist will be selected by the end of January. Staff members were very impressed with the quality of the submissions.
Government Affairs Manager Kevin O’Hara attended the 2013 U.S. Department of the Interior Partners in Conservation Awards Ceremony. The Secretary's Partners in Conservation Award recognizes those who make exceptional contributions in achieving conservation goals through collaboration and partnering. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recognized 20 teams that demonstrated the power of collaboration in achieving notable conservation goals, including the Cienega Watershed Partnership, Cultural Resources Team of Southern Nevada, the Center for Land Based Learning, and Groundworks USA.
Government Affairs Manager O’Hara and Professional Practice Manager Debbie Steinberg attended D.C. Water’s Green Infrastructure Design Challenge Awards Ceremony featuring D.C. Water General Manager George Hawkins and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. Seven design teams won awards and will be eligible for the construction phase of the challenge. Winning teams included landscape architects Sharon Bradley, ASLA; Kevin Robert Perry, ASLA; Dina Dale, FASLA; and Jennifer Toole, ASLA.
Publishing and Resource Development
Advertising contracts for FY14 issues of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM) are growing at a record pace. Currently, contracts are in hand for 63 percent of the annual budget goal. Compared to last year, LAM is 10 percent ahead of sales for the same week of 2013, which was the best ad sales year in the Society’s history. Anecdotally, the sales team is reporting that advertisers are more confident about the economic outlook for the coming year.
EXPO and sponsorship sales are also selling well, with contracts for 54 percent of the annual meeting goal in hand. This is virtually even with 2013 pre-sales for the same number of weeks ahead of the annual meeting.
Following a Plan-Do-Check-Act process improvement methodology, Managing Director Ann Looper Pryor, Meetings Director Joyce DePass, Education Program Director Susan Apollonio, Marketing Manager Suzanne Lipscomb, and Associate Meetings Manager Tadesse Harris held meetings with four other departments last week to debrief from the 2013 annual meeting, discuss new ideas for 2014, and review budgets and deadlines. The discussions resulted in many new ideas—both macro and micro—for improving the annual meeting.
A new graphic design firm has been selected for the annual meeting from among the six firms responding to the Request for Proposals (RFP). RFPs for registration management and photography will be issued next week.
Member and Chapter Services
The online new member quarterly survey was distributed to the 680 members with valid emails who joined ASLA in the fourth quarter of 2013. The email also included an invitation to participate in the Make the Most of Your Membership webinar on February 3.
Email Reminders to Renew Your Membership were sent to the following open renewal periods with valid emails: 138 members with an October 31 expiration date (90-day grace period concludes on January 29) and 610 members with a January 31 expiration date. The Staying Connected email was sent to the 234 September 30 nonrenewals; their membership lapsed on December 29.
Chapter Presidents Council leadership, Kenn Bates, ASLA, and Haley Blakeman, ASLA, had their first planning call of the year. They discussed the CPC Annual Meeting survey results, brainstormed on the CPC Midyear Meeting agenda, and scheduled the CPC orientation conference call (January 29).
The chapter past presidents were contacted via email regarding the 2013 chapter annual reports, which included a template. Chapter annual reports are due on February 28.
The Student Chapter Presidents were sent a 2014–2015 Student Representative election candidate application deadline (January 31) reminder.
Public Relations and Communications
Web Content and Strategy Manager Jared Green was invited to become an associate member of the Internet Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), which runs the Webby awards. He was invited to judge this year’s Webbies.
Architect magazine is now featuring The Dirt posts in its daily news roundups.
World Landscape Architect, Architect, and Metropolis have featured the new interview with Marion Pressley, FASLA.
Metropolis reposted the interview with Thomas Balsley, FASLA.
ASLA’s Facebook page passed the 30,000 mark with “Likes” last week.
Based on a tip from the New York Chapter (NYC), staff have made contact with producers of the TODAY show regarding the plans by hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie to build a playground this year in an underserved neighborhood. Offers to connect them to landscape architects, similar projects, and play equipment suppliers were met with interest, but no commitment. Staff members are coordinating their approach with Jennifer Nitzsky, ASLA, NYC communications chair, and Kathy Shea, ASLA, NYC executive director, who have also made contact.
An RFQ was vetted with the PR and Communications Advisory Committee and distributed to targeted PR and communications agencies. The goal is to engage a firm to assist in national broadcast outreach.
Public Relations Manager Karen Grajales attended a meeting with the D.C. Environmental Education Consortium and U.S. Botanic Garden staff. A proposal to align DC Teacher Night 2014 with Next Generation Science Standards was presented to Maya M. Garcia with the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and James Rountree of D.C. Public Schools. The alignment would include identifying ASLA resources that could be used in teaching.
The ASLA 2014 Annual Meeting and EXPO Call for Presentations deadline to submit proposals is January 30. To date, there are more than 100 submissions in progress.
The Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES™) has 198 active providers, offering 836 courses. There are five applications pending review.
The ASLA Committee on Education (COE) will continue its STEM and Fall Program Survey work this year. Additionally, the COE will have further discussion next month about landscape architecture enrollment trends, the relationship between private practice and research, and starting an Academia PPN.
The ASLA Professional Practice Library and Research and Collections Analyst Brooke Hinrichs have moved to the lower level at ASLA headquarters. All library and archival materials are now in one consolidated space and with room to grow over the next few years.
An excerpt from Wayfinding: Principles and Practice, 2nd Edition, a LATIS report written by David Raphael, ASLA, updated in 2013, will be included in the February edition of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM). The full report can be accessed online, and the paper provides a possible 2.0 PDHs through LA CES. Other collaborative efforts to highlight content from LATIS reports in LAM are planned for 2014.
ASLA has engaged Digitell, Inc. to provide webinar services, e-commerce functions, and an online catalog for previous recordings, including the 2013 Online Learning presentations and selected sessions from the 2013 annual meeting. Plans for a branded online catalog are in development and should be completed in the next few weeks. Keep a lookout for the first ASLA Online Learning presentation in February.
A new survey on career paths in landscape architecture was sent to all PPN members. The responses will be collected and presented in LAND, within the “PPN News” section, over the course of the year. So far, more than 360 responses have been received, compared with 160 responses to last year’s survey.
In December, 28 PPN Online Learning tests were submitted, bringing the total number to 84.
Thirty-two LATIS exams were submitted in December, with 214 being taken in 2013.