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From the editor:

Welcome to LASN's "Parks" issue. This issue comprises 246 pages, which is a lot of page turning, so just wanted to mention several park-related news items and other news of interest you'll find in this issue.

If you find this useful, let us know--see contact info below.

Some cities and states are looking at their budget deficits with an eye to turn some of their parks into cash. Detroit's mayor wants to unload 92 city "pocket" parks (Click here) to gnaw away at the $300 million city budget deficit. The only trouble is all those little pockets would only reap about $8 million, not even enough revenue to cover a settlement against the mayor by three former city employees.

Then there's Gov. Schwarzenegger's proposal that "Caleefornia" close 48 state parks and reduce lifeguard staffing at 16 state beaches. The monetary benefit would only be $13.3 million from a $16 billion state budget deficit (Click here). The governor also beefed up the landscape architecture law in Calif. late last year by signing AB937 (Click here).

Talk about neglected parks! Gladys Park in Los Angeles' Skid Row made news (Click here) when the Los Angeles Police Dept. declared it would "clear out" druggies and street persons once a week in the afternoon from the park to allow the neighborhood kids a chance to play there. Gladys Park is a stark contrast to the parks you'll see featured in this issue. To see what the kids in that part of L.A. have available to them quickly waters up the tear ducts.

On the Canadian front, Calgary is looking to further develop its historic founding site, Fort Calgary, into a key part of the downtown open space (Click here).

Cemeteries often exhibit park-like qualities. There is a memorial design competition underway for a historic "rediscovered" tract of land called Freedman's Contraband Cemetery in Alexandria, Va. (Click here). There are a number of Freedman's cemeteries around the country that were burial grounds for slaves. Contraband Cemetery is hardly park-like now, but we'll see what designers have in mind.

Also in the category "park-like" is the opening of the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, Liu Fang Yuan, the new Chinese garden at the Huntington Library Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif. (Click here). The garden was 10 years in the making, with craftsmen from Suzhou, China working alongside an American contingent.

Other news:

Legislation recently passed in California directs efforts to keep future home and commercial developments out of flood zones in the Central Valley without proper flood protection in place (Click here).

In the "you can't be serious" category, we read that Dallas doesn't have the money to pay its share to keep up median landscape maintenance along a 10-mile stretch of the Dallas Central Expressway. Texas DOT is paying its share, but warned the city it will not be replanting the median as needed (Click here).

California, Detroit and Dallas all look like they could take a few budget lessons from Brooklyn Park, Minn., which is putting money aside to fund city projects 50 years into the future (Click here).

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA are pushing wetland mitigation banks, but there are mounting concerns that the system is not working properly. It's an interesting story uncovered by environmental journalist (Click here).

After more than two years, Princeton University has just completed its most comprehensive campus plan in its history (Click here). The complete plan is online.

Colo. Gov. Bill Ritter, the man who signed the state's landscape architecture practice act last year, has just created the Colorado Forest Health Advisory Council to coordinate efforts to address the mountain pine beetle epidemic and other threats to Colorado's 22.6 million acres of forestland (Click here).

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has reversed its earlier position that landscape architects were not qualified to design stormwater BMPs (Click here).

The ASLA has outlined its climate change recommendations (Click here).

The Illinois ASLA Chapter recently presented its 2007 professional award winners (Click here).

The planning book, Visualizing Density, is winning awards and accolades (Click here).

The Iranian Association of Greenery Engineers has joined the International Federation of Landscape Architects (Click here).

And, finally, check out the big bugs at the Morton Arboretum (Click here).






Michael Browning, president of Michael Browning & Associates, Inc., Jackson, Ga., writes:

As a former principal with Roy Ashley Associates and a friend of Martin Haber, ASLA I would like to say I enjoyed reading about the firm's Coca Cola project in downtown Atlanta (Feb. issue). Roy's office continues to be engaged in signature projects that people love.






Randal Romie of Greensboro, N.C. also commented about "Coca Cola":

I like the logo with the two leaves and the negative space being the outline of the coke bottle. However, my first impression when I saw it was that it looked like a distorted Pepsi logo! How ironic is that?











The Highfield Discovery Garden near Cincinnati was a feature in the 2005 Parks issue.


Don Taft of Wilton Manors, Fla. writes re: "No Ordinary Walk in the Park"on landscapeonline.com.

Park looks beautiful, a very worthwhile creation. I have not been there since very early '60s. My grandparents' 19th century house was just a short ways up the drive from Springfield Pike and the intersection with Glendale Milford Rd. The Burchenal's cows used to reach through the fencing and nibble on her flowers. I have many happy memories of being there with my grandparents and I hope the house has been moved and rebuilt in another location. It was, I believe, of pre-Civil War construction.

Editor's note: Don't know about the house, but we like the image of the cow nibbling on the neighbor's flowers through the fence.





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November 19, 2019, 10:37 pm PDT

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