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ASLA is Saving the World

Hassalo on Eighth 730Hassalo on Eighth | 2019 ASLA Honor Award | Photo Credit: Christian Columbres

As the professional society that serves all of you—landscape architects dedicated to being responsible stewards of our environment—the ASLA Team takes pride in our initiatives to help members address climate change.

Landscape architects lead by example. ASLA strives to do the same. And this last month, the Society was recognized for our efforts.

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) named ASLA one of the "100 Associations That Will Save the World" for our climate change initiatives in the category of "sustainability."

Here are just a few ways ASLA is saving the world:

1. We Created Smart Policies for a Changing Climate Report & Exhibition

ASLA convened a Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change & Resilience in 2017, which resulted in Smart Policies for a Changing Climate, lectures and conference educational sessions, and an exhibition at the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture.

Coastal Resilience Solutions for East Boston and Charlestown_Stoss Landscape Urbanism
Coastal Resilience Solutions for East Boston and Charlestown, Stoss Landscape Urbanism

2. We Created a Stand-Alone Climate Change Committee

The committee builds on ASLA's climate work by creating strategies for communicating the role of landscape architecture in mitigating climate change, holding events to address climate change issues most pressing to specific regions of the country, establishing a nationwide Climate Action Network, and more.

3. We Have a Top-10 LEED-Certified Building in D.C.

CP Executive Magazine named the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture one of the "Top Ten LEED-Certified Buildings in Washington, D.C."

Our building has a green roof that allows water flowing off it to be captured in a ground-floor, 700-gallon cistern used to irrigate the native plants and green walls of the outdoor patio space. The office also includes a rooftop skylight, which distributes natural light and reduces the use of artificial lighting.

ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture_Storefront 2 wo ppl_Photo by Halkin Mason Photography for Gensler
Photo by Halkin Mason Photography for Gensler

4. We Provide Resource Guides

We provide Resource Guides to members on mitigation, resilient design, sustainable residential design and urban development, green infrastructure, and more.

5. We Created ASLA Listens

The ASLA Listens forum gives student members a space to talk about the climate crisis and how it affects their lives, communities, and future practice.

6. ASLA's Government Affairs Team Has Been a Strong Advocate for Legislation That Makes Communities More Resilient to Climate Change

ASLA also advocates for climate-smart policies and regulations to a range of federal agencies. Current legislative priorities include: the Living Shorelines Act, Safeguarding America's Future and Environment (SAFE) Act, and the Environmental Justice Act.

On August 4, the president signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law, bringing years of advocacy by ASLA to a successful close.

ASLA also gives members and allied professionals the chance to take action through our grassroots iAdvocate Network.

LWCF Cane Creek Falls Fall Creek Falls TN State Park
Cane Creek Falls at Fall Creek Fall State Park / TN State Department of Environment and Conservation

7. We Provide Extensive Education on Climate-Related Design

This is provided through online learning and at events like the Conference on Landscape Architecture.

8. Signed the We Are Still In Declaration

More than 3,800 leaders from America’s city halls, state houses, boardrooms, and college campuses—representing more than 155 million Americans and $9 trillion of the U.S. economy—have signed the We Are Still In declaration. Signatories demonstrate America’s enduring commitment to delivering on the promise of the Paris Agreement and America’s contribution to it.

9. Built the Foundation of SITES

The material on which the SITES Rating System is based was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the ASLA Fund, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden.

Shoemaker Green, Philadelphia, PA. Andropogon Associates Ltd. | 2014 ASLA Professional Honor Award

10. Partnered with LAF on Superstudios

ASLA partnered with LAF and others to be part of a historic, national event to translate the core goals of the Green New Deal—decarbonization, justice, and jobs—into design and planning projects for their respective regions.

We're proud of the work from our team in Washington, D.C. and all the members who volunteer their time, expertise, and financial assistance to make this work possible.

Read more about ASLA's climate action initiatives >

Read more about the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture >

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