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Updates from ASLA

Professional Practice Network News

Each of ASLA's 20 Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) contributes to The Field, a blog that was created to give members who work in landscape architecture a place to exchange information, learn about recent work and research, and share their thoughts about current happenings. In LAND this year, we’ll be rounding up recent posts on The Field you may have missed. If you’d like to receive email notifications as soon as new posts are published, sign up to follow The Field—look for “The Field by Email” box on the right-hand side.

Two new posts are published on The Field each week. Here is what we’ve published since the last issue of LAND:

ASLA Celebrates Black History Month

From The Field

“With the conclusion of Black History Month, ASLA would like to highlight ways to stay engaged year round with our efforts to continue fostering diversity, equity and inclusion within our profession, membership, and leadership; mirror the communities we serve; welcome and serve all people and communities; and treat them fairly and equitably.”

Swings: All Ages and All Fun

PPN: Children’s Outdoor Environments
by Amy Wagenfeld, Affil. ASLA, PhD, OTR/L, SCEM, FAOTA

“I have been thinking about swings lately, weighing the risk factors now associated with their installation in playspaces with the benefits they provide to motor and sensory development. I have also been wondering what others think about them. As a Professional Practice Network, we reached out to readers via ASLA, the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, the American Occupational Therapy Association’s social media sites, and to friends to gather some insights.

What about swings? They can provide therapeutic benefit for some children (and adults). The sensory systems most activated when swinging, gliding, or rocking include the vestibular, proprioceptive, and to a lesser extent the tactile. Here is how they contribute to overall sensory enrichment...”

Nature, Healing, and Creativity

PPN: Healthcare and Therapeutic
by Siyi He, Associate ASLA

Landscape architects and designers know that nature has powerful potential to heal people’s bodies, minds, and spirits. Therapeutic garden design in healthcare facilities is creating functional spaces where people can access the healing power of nature in hospitals. The 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting’s Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network Meeting was held in Philadelphia on October 20 to discuss the topic of nature, healing, and creativity in healing garden design. The meeting was hosted by PPN Co-Chair Siyi He, Associate ASLA, and began with a description of PPN’s mission and the introduction of two invited landscape architect speakers, Geoff Anderson, ASLA, and Adam E. Anderson, ASLA. PPN Officer and Past Co-Chair Melody Tapia, Student ASLA, made the closing statement for the meeting. Melody and Siyi enthusiastically introduced the PPN leadership team and encouraged attendees to join our PPN. (Four of the attendees signed up for the leadership team right there! All ASLA members are welcome to get involved).

Building a Low-Allergen Plant Palette

PPN: Planting Design
by Michele Richmond, PLA, ASLA, SITES AP, LEED Green Associate

“Can you plant a site with species that cause little to no allergies in patients? That was the specific request from our client for a site comprised of a community healthcare clinic and workforce and affordable housing. Many of our client’s patients are traumatized children with asthma and allergies. The goal of the building and landscape design was to create a safe place allowing for positive experiences for children coming to the clinic. In this context, a single allergy attack removes children from this safe space and can set back their recovery. So, what to plant?

In choosing our low-allergen plants, we worked from the top down. At a city level, we worked with Seattle’s Urban Forestry Commission to choose trees that fit their species diversity goals in addition to our low-allergen goals. Across the site, our core tree palette includes: Amelanchier laevis, Ginkgo biloba (females only of the Ginkgo have been specified on our site), Halesia monticola, Maackia amurensis, Nyssa sinensis, and Stewartia pseudocamellia—a mix of native and adaptive species that are ideally located to grow best on our site.”

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