Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The purpose of chapter awards, at face value, is to honor the outstanding work of landscape architects in Maryland. Often these awards will serve as the only widespread recognition selected projects will receive and the reason the awards are one of the biggest chapter events of the year. With that heightened importance also comes a flurry of planning. Over the years, that preparation has settled into a similar formula, one to be built upon and improved, but that has been tested and succeeded in the past. Enter 2020.
If you were not able to attend our recent Virtual Awards Gala then you unfortunately missed out on a decidedly new experience. In place of a cocktail bar and hors d'oeuvres were virtual meeting tables named "buffet line" and "coat check." Instead of finer clothes, attendees subbed in comfy pants and optional shoes. To liven up the proceedings, the committee presented videos and narrations of projects including remarks from winning teams. Challenge often begets innovation and I'm afraid that some of the new elements were so well received that I am going to find myself apologizing to next year's committee for the additional work they'll need to do.
This year, the bulk of the thanks goes to our awards committee led by Kevin Gaughan. They worked in uncharted waters to develop a platform, make it engaging, and mostly to differentiate the experience from "just another Zoom meeting." Our gratitude goes to them for their hard work.
2020 has been a tough road for many so it was great to take a moment to positively reflect on what can be accomplished by our members. Ours is a small community that, while sometimes in competition, can build upon each other's successes to raise the prominence of the profession. Thank you all for your continued support of the chapter. If you are interested in joining our board (we still need a treasurer for next year!) please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benjamin Boyd, PLA, ASLA
President - Maryland Chapter