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President's Letter: January 2024

Dear MDASLA Community,

Happy New Year!

‘Tis the season for new year’s resolutions (I know that I have a list a mile long). I’m sure you are all familiar with the usual suspects: getting more steps in, making it to the gym daily, being kinder, trying new recipes, less imbibing, more moisturizer, etc. but in this letter, I am going to outline my Top Ten Resolution Challenges to you, in no particular order.

Resolution One: More sketching… outside. With sketchbook and pen or pencil of your choice. This might sound simplistic, but it is too easy to put off ‘til another day, and oh so rewarding if you don’t.

Resolution Two: Design an award-worthy project… and submit it for an award. Our 2024 awards portal is open, and we are accepting submissions until February 16 at 5:00 PM.

Resolution Three: Convince your clients to go native or eco-friendly. It is our responsibility as Landscape Architects to educate and instruct.

Resolution Four: Sponsor a student. Any student. We are lucky to have three programs in Maryland, one BLA and two MLAs, which equals lots of worthy recipients. Please contact me at or Chris Ellis at for more information.

Resolution Five: Renew your MDASLA membership. This might just be the easiest on the list! You can email Patrick Whealton at

Resolution Six: Become a MDASLA sponsor. This might be the second easiest on the list! You can simply email Kevin Gaughan at

Resolution Seven: If you already are a sponsor (thank you!), consider ramping up your level… or join the Circle of Support. Again, email Kevin Gaughan for information.

Resolution Eight: Offer your mentorship to a student team submitting to the 2024 Climate Action Plan Challenge for the Chesapeake Bay. Stay tuned for more.

Resolution Nine: Support my goal of increasing the Baltimore City School children’s exposure to Landscape Architecture.

Resolution Ten: Take time to read a book. Here are some of my favorites to get you started (again, in no particular order): The Overstory (Richard Powers), Founding Gardeners (Andrea Wulf), Prodigal Summer (Barbara Kingsolver), The Baron in the Trees (Italo Calvino), State of Wonder (Ann Patchett), The Brother Gardeners (Andrea Wulf), Down the Garden Path (Beverley Nichols).

As your president, I promise that checking even just one of these resolutions off your list will bring you great joy and help the chapter, too.

Many thanks,

Sarah Trautvetter, ASLA

2024 MDASLA President


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