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Landscape Architects are Heading to Capitol Hill

Parks, active transportation corridors, stormwater management, and sustainable outdoor spaces are planned, designed, and maintained by landscape architects – and often paid for with public money.

This week, a group of landscape architects are heading to Washington, D.C. to take part in ASLA Advocacy Day 2019. They'll walk across grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, into the offices of their elected representatives, and advocate for policies that enable landscape architects to do their job for the public good.

This year's Advocacy Day will focus on infrastructure issues before Congress including restoring parks, water quality protection, and transportation.

  • Restore Our Parks Act: Landscape architects work with the National Park Service (NPS) to design and maintain the infrastructure of our national parks. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding, NPS has deferred park maintenance and improvement projects for years, accumulating a nearly $12 billion backlog. ASLA Advocates will ask their elected officials to support S. 500, the Restore Our Parks Act and H.R. 1225, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act to secure funding for these much-needed infrastructure projects. Learn more.
  • Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act: The Clean Water Act (CWA) became law in 1972 to protect our most vital resource – water. In order to help states better implement the law, Congress created the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) to provide funding for the construction and maintenance of wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The Environmental Protection Agency prioritizes the use of green infrastructure in CWSRF funded projects. Yet the fund has not been reauthorized in 30 years. ASLA Advocates will ask their elected representatives to support H.R. 1497, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act, which will reauthorize CWSRF for five years and provide funding. Learn more.
  • Transportation Alternatives Enhancement Act: The demand for active transportation projects such as bicycle, pedestrian, and trail projects is increasing in communities across the country. The Transportation Alternatives (TA) program is a program within the Federal Highway Administration that provides funding for states and other entities to plan, design, and construct these smaller-scale transportation projects – accounting for nearly half of all federal funding for bicycle and walking projects. As it stands today, TA is drastically underfunded, meeting only half of the current demand. ASLA Advocates will ask their elected representatives to support S. 1098, the Transportation Alternatives Enhancement Act, to provide additional funding for TA. Learn more.

You don't have to make the trip to Capitol Hill to advocate. You can be an ASLA Advocate right from home. Visit the ASLA website to learn more about the issues. Go to our ASLA Advocate page to see how you can get involved. You can also reach out to your elected representatives on social media (be sure to include #ASLAAdvocates).

 

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