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President's Letter: March 2024

Dear MD ASLA Community,


A letter of thanks…


We held a very successful inaugural event to celebrate and thank our Circle of Support members on February 22 at the Center for Architecture and Design. It was wonderful to have everyone gathered in such a cool and central venue in the heart of Baltimore. We were given the additional pleasure of learning about Audrey Seiz’s fellowship project, which gathered scientific data to give credence to what we, as landscape architects, have always held true: the emotional and physical value of well-designed spaces. Thank you, Audrey! And as always, thank you to all our supporters – new and old.


Thank you to Lauren Reed Gray and Cynthia Fraser for stepping up and volunteering to serve as co-chairs for the ASLA National Conference Legacy Project Committee and the PR/Marketing Committee, respectively. Having you both act in such important roles for the conference in October just increases Maryland’s presence at the national level.


Thank you to all the individuals and firms who submitted field sessions and panels for the national conference. Again, this involvement ensures national visibility for our chapter and state next October.


And a final thanks to all of you who submitted projects to the MD ASLA awards this year – we had a record turnout, and I am looking forward to seeing the results at the gala in May.


Some events and reminders going forward into Spring… Plans for the Awards Gala are coming together thanks to a very hard-working committee. They have secured a beautiful venue – Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD, and have an inspiring keynote speaker lined up. Stay tuned for more….


Please remember that the AIA lecture series held at MICA each Spring is supported by your MD ASLA dues. This year you will receive 1.0 LACES credits at the first lecture, and a member discount at all lectures. Lecture dates for Spring 2024 are April 4th, 10th, 17th, and 25th.  The lecture on April 4th is landscape-themed with Matt Urbanski from Michael Van Valkenburg Associates, Inc. presenting. More information will be forthcoming.


I am thrilled to report that we received twelve submissions to the first Climate Action Plan Challenge for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The letters of intent came from a variety of schools, and I am sure that the work will be thoughtful and intriguing. Our committee is in the process of finalizing a jury made up of equal-part practitioners and academics. Final projects are due on May 31 and winners will be announced in August. Thank you to all students who are participating and to all of you who have been instrumental in getting this fledgling effort off the ground!


Lastly, we have lots of great LACES opportunities happening in the next month or so. I am particularly pleased to highlight the next lecture of the Morgan State University SA+P 2024 Spring Lecture Series: Kona Gray, FASLA, and ASLA President-elect. Kona Gray will present “Grounded Landscapes” on Tuesday, March 26, at 4:00 PM (via ZOOM). It would be wonderful to get as large an audience for this lecture as possible.


And best of all… Spring is just around the corner!


Many thanks,

Sarah Trautvetter, ASLA

2024 MDASLA President


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