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New York ASLA Chapter
2015 ASLA Chapter Reports

ASLA-NY members attended a Rally for Parks at City Hall Park on May 27 and met with New York City District 7 Councilman Mark Levine (left). ASLA-NY Chapter members (left to right) President Jennifer Nitzky, ASLA; President-Elect Celine Armstrong, ASLA; and Past President Nette Compton, ASLA, advocated increased city funding for parks. Levine is chairman of the New York City Council Parks Committee. New Yorkers for Parks, other elected officials and more than 100 people expressed their support for the city's green spaces. Parks supporters from across the city called on the administration to fund key initiatives for public green spaces.

After celebrating 100 years in 2014, the New York Chapter of ASLA (ASLA-NY) has had a very successful 2015. The chapter has defined events and efforts based on themes of community engagement and advocating for urban parks and open space. ASLA-NY also honored several prominent members.

Community Engagement
The theme for the chapter's June conference was Community Engagement in the Design Process. The conference is an annual one-day interdisciplinary event jointly organized by ASLA-NY and the New York Metro chapters of the American Planning Association (APA-NY) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NY). Now in its third year, the 2015 conference explored the role community groups play in collaborative planning and design processes. It was a full day of engaging presenters and panelists, followed by a guided tour of the QueensWay, a 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway in Central Queens, N.Y., that is being transformed into a family-friendly linear park and greenway.


Seven firms won Honor Awards and eight firms won Merit Awards at the ASLA-NY Spring Party and Design Awards. One of the Merit Award winners was dlandstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture, the firm that produced the QueensWay Plan. Members of dlandstudio: (left to right) Erin Wythoff; Halina Steiner; Susannah Drake, FASLA; Ailyn Mendoza; and Nick Jabs. QueensWay is a 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned railway, in Central Queens, N.Y., that is being transformed into a family-friendly linear park and greenway.

Advocacy for Green Space
A key focus in 2015 has been advocating for the protection and improvement of urban parks and green spaces. The chapter is pleased with its successful effort, along with that of many others, to save the Russell Page Garden at the Frick. In April, ASLA-NY stood alongside District 7 Councilman Mark Levine to support increased city funding for parks. ASLA-NY also participated in advocacy efforts to protect the Elizabeth Street Garden and Teddy Roosevelt Park that are currently under threat. Chapter members also sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the city to conduct a comprehensive planning study for Penn Station, and that landscape architects should play a key role in this effort.


ASLA-NY honored five landscape architects at the Spring Party and Design Awards for their 50-plus years of chapter membership, including Howard Abel, FASLA (middle left); and M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA (middle right). Also in the photo: ASLA National President (2014-2015) Richard Zweifel, FASLA; and ASLA-NY President Jennifer Nitzky. Friedberg also received a National ASLA Medal, the highest honor the ASLA can bestow upon a landscape architect for his or her lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession.

Honors and Awards
In April, ASLA-NY kicked off Landscape Architecture Month with the Spring Party and Design Awards. ASLA National President Richard Zweifel spoke and encouraged members to advocate for landscape architectural issues. ASLA-NY honored five landscape architects for their 50-plus years of ASLA membership: Howard Abel, FASLA; M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA; James Curley, ASLA; Harold Gold, ASLA; and Maurice Wrangler, ASLA.


ASLA-NY Upstate and ASLA-NY Downstate representatives met with U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer on National ASLA Advocacy Day in April 2015. From left to right: NYUASLA President-elect Nick Schwartz; NYUASLA President Joy Kuebler; NYUASLA Trustee David Cutter; ASLA-NY Executive Director Kathy Shea; Senator Schumer; ASLA-NY President Jennifer Nitzky; and ASLA-NY Trustee Adrian Smith.

ASLA-NY received several National ASLA Medals and other honors. Paul Friedberg received an ASLA Medal. Tom Balsley was honored with an ASLA Design Medal. The Olmsted Medal went to the Design Trust for Public Space. The LaGasse Medal was presented to Gregory Long of the New York Botanical Garden.

ASLA-NY also has four new honorary ASLA members: Susan Chin, Charles McKinney, Warrie Price and Robert Yaro. Plus, the chapter has three new ASLA Fellows: Elena Brescia, Chris LaGuardia and Laura Starr. Nicholas Quennell, FASLA, was featured in The Cultural Landscape Foundation's Pioneers of American Landscape Design oral history series. The video was launched at a private cocktail reception in New York City.


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November 22, 2019, 12:07 pm PDT

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