Public Awareness Summit Held to Draft Action Plan for 2016

Summit attendees broke into working groups to capture and report out ideas for the year.

The American Society of Landscape Architects hosted its fifth public awareness summit January 8 through 10, 2016, in Charleston, South Carolina, convening representatives from all of ASLA’s 49 chapters to discuss public awareness opportunities and tactics for 2016. The summit's goals arethem  to equip summit attendees with skills and resources to help raise the level of awareness of the profession locally.

Terry Poltrack, ASLA director of public relations and communication, started the summit by reporting the results of the public awareness campaign to date (it launched in 2011) and a highly successful 2015.

Karen Trimbath Grajales, manager of public relations, also discussed the basics of public relations and ASLA’s involvement with D.C.’s Adopt-A-School program. Additionally, J.R. Taylor, public relations and communications coordinator, gave a presentation on how chapters can use social media and also highlighted the resources ASLA has for its chapters.

Over two days, four chapter representatives presented case studies of successful public awareness efforts as well. Lisa DuRussel, ASLA, New York Chapter of ASLA, discussed Sketch Out/Loud, a collaboration between the New York and New Jersey Chapters and Urban Sketchers during April 2015. Lucas Vannice, Associate ASLA, Washington Chapter, reported the results of his chapter's organization of PARK(ing) Day in Seattle and provided tips on working with a city’s Department of Transportation.

Audra Lofton, Affiliate ASLA, Georgia Chapter, shared her experiences working with University of Georgia Students to create successful PARK(ing) Day installations. And Matthew Wilkins, Associate ASLA, California San Diego Chapter, detailed the redevelopment process of his chapter’s website and its subsequent increase in traffic.

Summiteers also participated in two group discussions. The first focused on how to build on the success of World Landscape Architecture Month in 2015 this year, and the second documented what resources chapters need from ASLA for more effective public awareness efforts. National staff will now draft an action plan for the year based on the chapter feedback.

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