Greetings! Hope everyone is doing well and continuing to stay safe. With the vaccination in the works, I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. So, hang in there and please stay safe.
This year has been very exciting at ASLA. Our new CEO is a great leader and is already heading some major initiatives. I am sure you have received the survey requests from ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen. I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your busy schedules and fill out the survey. This will provide ASLA with most current thoughts from members and guide them in making some positive changes.
Lots of things are happening, and as always, I like to keep you informed on the highlights from National ASLA. Due to limited space availability, I can only share a select few.
In celebration of Black History Month, ASLA launched Design Excellence by Black Landscape Architects, a social media campaign celebrating Black landscape architects and their valuable contributions to the profession each day throughout Black History Month. The campaign has gained coverage from high-profile reporters such as Michael Kimmelman, the architectural critic for the New York Times.
ASLA hosted its latest diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) webinar “On-the-Ground: Acting on Research, Studio and Design” on February 5. Led by landscape architects, design professionals and educators came together to address racial injustice and equity in the places they teach and the communities they serve. The recording is available on ASLA’s DEI webinars.
The new Community and Mentorship platform for students was launched on February 16. There are twelve communities focusing on special-interest items, chapter regions, and a student representative corner. The mentorship platform was populated with all current mentors and mentees. There are currently 140 successful matches consisting of 155 mentees and 187 mentors. For more information or to sign up to be a mentor, visit https://connect.asla.org/mentoring. Please signup and educate the next generation of Landscape Architects!
On March 30, ASLA will host, “Stretching Our Muscles: Expanding the Influence of the Profession in Non-Traditional Careers,” a webinar with Steven Spears, FASLA, AICP, Whitney Tidd, ASLA, and Dean Hill, ASLA. The webinar will explore the paths of three landscape architects who are using their design training in non-traditional ways, shedding light on the profession and its breadth of opportunities. Hope you can attend!
ASLA’s Career Discovery and Diversity released ASLA’s latest Virtual Career Day Center video recording featuring Scott Fulford, ASLA, Director of Special Projects and Faculty at Boston Architectural College who moderates a session with three recent graduates of the Masters in Landscape Architecture Program. The Virtual Career Day Center allows students to hear from innovative landscape architects around the world who love their careers, have amazing hobbies, and love to travel.
ASLA co-hosted the “STEM 101” Congressional Briefing sponsored by the STEM Education Coalition. The webinar highlighted the implications of K–12, higher education, CTE, informal and afterschool, diversity and workforce issues on STEM education. It also highlighted the work of the 117th Congress.
Pledges continued to come into the ASLA Fund for the construction of the Center. If you already are a contributor, Thank you for your support! If you want to know more about the ASLA Fund or donate to a good cause, please visit us at https://www.asla.org/donate.aspx or contact ASLA Development Coordinator Judy Mehlman if you have any questions about pledges.
It’s been a tough year for some, and we understand if you had to let your memberships lapse. Please know that there are special considerations for lapsed memberships, so please contact us to know more about it. We hope you will join back as soon as the time is right and continue to support ASLA. For those who were able to continue your memberships, I would like to thank you all for the continued support to your chapter. We cannot do this without you, and we strive hard to live up to your expectations and serve you all. Last but not least, we are still looking for a treasurer, so If you want to be part our team and contribute to the profession, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take care and my best wishes to all of you!
Om Khurjekar, PLA, ASLA