President's Remarks

Main Events: 2016 marked the year that we decided to make both the conference and the awards annual events! The conference at the Lynnwood Convention Center and Awards Reception at the Januik Winery were huge hits!

Advocacy: Past-president Courtney Landoll, Trustee Curtis LaPierre, ASLA president-elect Vaughn Rinner, UW student Andrew Prindle, WSU student Jeremy Auer, and I traveled to Washington D.C. to advocate for landscape architecture related issue. While there, we fought the “roads not roses” legislation and advocated for reauthorization of the transportation bill which were both successful. Another topic which had huge support from or local representatives  was the NPS Centennial Challenge. While in D.C. we met with Senator Cantwell in person for a discussion. This is the third time in recent years that the Senator has taken time to meet with us personally. Outside of our annual Advocacy Day in D.C., we advocated for the continuation of the Land and Water Conservation Act as well as pushed for support for the listing of the mountain to sounds greenway as a National Heritage Area. Continuously, WASLA is diligently tracking any threats to our practice act and right to practice in Washington from any potential threats.

Sometimes advocacy isn't all politics. In 2016 Eastern Washington Member at Large Julia Culp and I traveled to Bellevue College to present on the wonderful world of landscape architecture for the Expanding Your Horizons event which shares STEAM professions to junior high and high school age girls. Lara Rose, our Western Washington Member at Large will continue WASLA's involvement this year!

World Landscape Architecture Month: During the month of April, WASLA promoted through social and traditional media as well as helped sponsor a special viewing at UW of “10 Parks that Changed America”. This viewing included a round table discussion with the producer and director, Dan Protess, landscape architect Richard Haag, and UW professor of landscape architecture Thaisa Way.

PARK(ing) Day: In Seattle, WASLA once again teamed with the Seattle Department of Transportation and Design in Public to bring  50 temporary spaces on PARK(ing) Day. SDOT provided an umbrella street-use permit for this event, resulting in the only cost for those interested being the required traffic mitigation signs and cones. WASLA reached out to Seattle-area landscape architecture firms who were able to donate enough to cover the cost of traffic mitigation devices for approximately 40 of these spaces. Spokane's effort doubled this year from one, to two parklets. The Spokane parklets gained support from Iron Age, Cost to Cost Turf, Clearwater Summit Group, and Maglin. NW Playgrounds also sponsored our PARK(ing) Day permit. A local young professional design organization, YES, also lent support in our parklet efforts by providing an interactive piece of art.

Social Media: Our social media is steadily increasing with Facebook likes just short of 1,000 and Twitter followers just over 1,000. In 2016 we launched Instagram as well. Social media is an important part of WASLA as it is a form of advocacy / advertising that comes at no cost to the chapter, as opposed to most traditional media. As an example, across the county there were 800 social media posts regarding PARK(ing) Day on the day of the event which reached 640,000 Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users. Make sure to follow WASLA via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @WashingtonASLA).

Member Support & Socials: WASLA loves to support our future leaders! This year we sent our Advocacy co-chair, Bryan Cole, to the Advocacy Summit and our PR chair, Lucas Vannice, to the Public Awareness summit. Student scholarships were given in the form of trips to Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. and to New Orleans for the ASLA National Meeting and Expo. This year's recipients to the ASLA Conference were UW students Darin Roselini and Jack Alderman.  Student support was also given in the form of WASLA's first Shadow Mentor Day in partnership with Spokane professionals from Environment West, Land Expressions, Bernardo Wills, Clearwater Summit Group, SPVV Landscape Architects, Michael Terrell PLLC, and the City of Spokane Parks Department along with WSU landscape architecture students.

Another fun way that we support our members is by providing socials! We have had an increase in social events and networking in both eastern and western WA. The Western Washington Social Events have all been sponsored by our generous chapter supporters (Maglin, NW Playgrounds, Sitelines, Terris Draheim, and Victor Stanley). Spokane had two of its three happy hours sponsored last year; one from Maglin in the summer and one from NW Playgrounds in the spring. We’ve had great turnouts and some fantastic venues this year. We’ve had diverse events with firm hosts and fun commercial locales as well.

2017: In addition to providing you all the wonderful services and programs as outlined above, this year our focus will be on K-12 outreach. Recent studies show that there have been a lower rate of admissions to landscape architecture programs in universities across the nation. The best way to reach student's interest in this profession is to approach them at a younger age. How many of you didn't even know about the profession until you were already enrolled in college? I'm guilty. Think about all the untapped minds that we can reach just by visiting local elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. By getting young students interested in nature, and design, and connectivity at the K-12 level, the presence of landscape architecture programs should grow. So, if you are interested in helping to advocated for our profession by increasing the exposure of landscape architecture to K-12 students, please reach out to me. If you have contacts to local schools in your area that you think could host a presentation or a hands on activity about landscape architecture, please contact me. None of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers and without your membership!  Peace, prosperity, and good health to you all in 2017!


Return to January Newsletter