Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As fall approaches, it is hard to believe how unique and demanding the year has been so far. Design professionals continue to confront the effects of structural racism inherent in the work we do as well as the way we work. As a global pandemic spreads, the very foundations of society like school, work, and socializing are no longer (and may never) be the same. On top of that, a pivotal national election in the fall looks to be a referendum on the handing of these monumental challenges.
Change is everywhere around us and as designers, it is our mandate to react, evolve, and contribute to the idealized future that so many are fighting for and arguing about. Nothing will be resolved overnight, but let us be clear, nothing will ever be resolved at all if landscape architects stay quiet and do nothing.
In one bright spot, we were happy to learn that the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law a few days ago. This new law will permanently and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and provide funding to address the maintenance backlog in our national parks and other public lands. These parks, battlegrounds, seashores, and historic places are vital refuges for flora and fauna as well as economic generators in Maryland around the country. The LWCF also funds a myriad of projects for landscape architects.
Assateague Island National Seashore As for our chapter, after a long period of “wait-and-see” the board has decided to take our annual Awards Gala online. We are looking to do something special for each award winner as well as make the presentation as engaging and interactive as possible. Please save the date for October 8th from 5-7pm. We hope to see you online to celebrate the great work done in this chapter.
Lastly, maintaining a professional membership during these economically stressed times may admittedly not be your highest priority. I would like to thank those that have stayed with us through the year and would ask that those that have lapsed consider rejoining us. Our chapter and ASLA National are doing everything we can to provide resources and support despite this year’s issues. If you just forgot to renew, know that National is finally instituting automatic renewals if you choose. We are expecting roll out of that feature very soon. We encourage you to continue to support our mission of advancing landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship.
Benjamin Boyd, PLA, ASLA
President - Maryland Chapter