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The past year has been challenging--but also very rewarding--for ASLA. The events of September 11, the cancellation of ASLA's 2001 annual meeting, and the recession were all unanticipated events. While those challenges required us to be flexible, to make changes, and to tighten budgets, what has not changed is our commitment to increasing the value of membership in ASLA, to being an effective advocate for the profession, and to continuing our focus on raising the visibility and influence of the profession. Just one example: On October 11, 2001, ASLA convened the Security Design Coalition to educate the public, professionals, and policymakers that good design and good security can go hand in hand. The security of public places, communities, and businesses is certainly not a new concern, but it became a much more urgent issue in the aftermath of September 11. To raise awareness, ASLA and its coalition partners are committed to three things: 1. Developing security design principles that enhance our public spaces, not isolate them. 2. Ensuring that design professionals and the public have a role in decisions and planning processes regarding security measures. 3. Advocating funding to implement appropriate security design projects in the National Capital region. Coalition members now include national organizations representing planners, architects, preservationists, and other members of the building industry, as well as security consultants and D.C. business groups. Security design is an issue that landscape architects are uniquely qualified to address. Just as ASLA is leading the coalition of groups advocating good security design, ASLA members and their firms are in the forefront of the effort to bring good design to bear on the security needs of the buildings and public spaces in the Nation's Capital and around the country. But we've been active on more than just this one issue over the last year. In 2002, ASLA has been active on federal legislative issues including: the Community Character Act; funding for the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance and the Urban Parks Recreation and Recovery programs; support for open space conservation initiatives; September 11 memorials; endorsement of invasive species legislation; and opposition to Arctic drilling. We are now gearing up for reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21), a critical piece of legislation, both because it has a tremendous impact on the shape and growth of our communities and because it opens up significant opportunities for landscape architects. Another key focus this past year has been strengthening our relationship with the federal agencies. Overall, I'm pleased to be able to report that ASLA's government affairs program has made tremendous strides and is creating a significant presence for the profession. At the state level, the most critical issue for the landscape architecture profession continues to be licensure. Last year, ASLA launched the 50 by 2010 licensure initiative to achieve practice licensure for landscape architects in all 50 states by the year 2010. The ASLA-hosted Licensure Summit, held in Monterey, CA, in November 2001, brought together leaders and licensing advocates from 46 chapters to share strategies and information that will help fuel state legislative campaigns. Planning is now underway for the second Licensure Summit, which will be held in Fort Worth, TX, on November 1-3, 2002. In all of its licensure activities, ASLA is working with its allies in the Partnership for the Advancement of Licensure--the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, and the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board. Through the combined efforts of these organizations and the energy and initiative of ASLA leaders in the states, we have made a good start toward the 50 by 2010 goal. The momentum from 2001--four new practice acts in Oregon, Texas, Mississippi, and Missouri--continued into 2002, with two new practice acts in Iowa and Ohio. The victory in Ohio was marked by a special bill-signing ceremony held by Governor Bob Taft during the inaugural celebration of National Landscape Architecture Week, a campaign created to focus attention on the profession and its contributions to society. During the 2002 National Landscape Architecture Week, 25 ASLA chapters conducted programs that highlighted the profession in their communities. Two very special events of the 2002 celebration were the gala awards dinner and professional awards presentation held in Washington, D.C., which included presentation of the 2001 professional awards and medals and investiture of the 2001 class of Fellows--all of which were originally scheduled to take place in Montreal. Another ongoing focus for ASLA is our commitment to providing the technical and professional information members need to support their practices. The ASLA Professional Practice Library debuted on ASLA Online in July. Made possible through the support of McGraw-Hill Construction, the Professional Practice Library brings together and makes accessible the professional practice, business, and industry reference and research tools available from ASLA. Online offerings include: the popular LATIS (Landscape Architecture Technical Information Series) reports, including the just-released "Geographic Information Systems: Using the Tools for Informed Growth"; ASLA's business indicators survey; the proceedings of ASLA's annual meetings; and Landscape Architecture Registration Examination: A Guide for Professional Development. The PPL also encompasses the hard copy informational materials and research support available through the ASLA library and archives, and an ASLA Librarian is now on staff. All of the resources of the Professional Practice Library are available free to ASLA members. As we have continued to improve and expand the resources available through ASLA Online, the use of the website has continued to grow--with monthly hits now averaging close to 6 million. Through ASLA Online, in addition to the Professional Practice Library, our members have access to ASLA's JobLink, continuing education resources, ASLA CADdetails, and other resources. The expanded, searchable ASLA Firm Finder is now online, and drawing almost 8,000 users per month. All of these initiatives are part of our effort to ensure that the value of ASLA membership continues to grow. Or, as ASLA's Vice President of Membership Stephen Carter, ASLA, would put it, "It doesn't pay not to be a member!" In the next years, we will continue to focus our resources to support and represent our members and strengthen the influence of the profession.

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June 18, 2019, 6:36 pm PDT

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