ASLA Oregon LANDbytes MARCH 2012 Feature:
Get Ready! National Landscape Architecture Month is Coming!
By Rebecca Wahlstrom
April has been set aside by the ASLA as a month when activities happen nationwide to celebrate and promote the profession of landscape architecture. The focus of this month’s activities is “Public Health and Active Living 2012”, showing how we are addressing the major problems of obesity and chronic health problems due to lack of exercise by designing healthy community structures. This topic is a great fit for our active state – what a perfect chance to show people how we promote healthy lifestyles. Are there playgrounds or trail systems where you can show people how landscape architecture has been part of its creation? How about plaza’s where farmers markets happen or places where people wait to catch the MAX or bus? Can you get out there and let people know who designed that space? Now is the time to celebrate all you have done and promote the future of landscape architecture.
You might be asking, “what can I do?” Glad you asked! ASLA has put forward a whole webpage of ideas for activities along with detailed instructions and tips (and has a picture of Portland’s Mt. Tabor Middle School rain garden design). The below is just a sampling of what the website provides on the ‘Career Discovery Activities’ page. http://www.aslaoregon.org/updates/articles/national-landscape-architecture-month. Boy Scout troops can learn about plants and earn a badge during your time with them; Connect with middle and high-school students and design a rain garden or reading garden; Are you a native plant expert? Visit your local high school and show them how essential native plants are to our landscape.
One doesn’t need to be hampered by this list – create your own activity that will appeal to you and the audience you wish to reach. Back on 8.17.11, the first roll-out of the Understory, the Bend folks led a design charrette, people in Springfield did a workplace information blast to enlighten their co-workers on what their department had accomplished, and Portland canvassed downtown parks. http://www.aslaoregon.org/blog/2011/9/14/dues-increase-effective-january-2012 What will Oregon do this time to celebrate landscape architecture? I believe our fit and active state is primed and ready to show off all that we have done to promote physical activity and public health to the general public and to the nation. Be creative – have fun – and be sure to let people know about landscape architecture in April!