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ASLA Proclaims April 19-27, 2003,
"National Landscape Architecture Week"

WASHINGTON – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has proclaimed April 19-27, 2003, as National Landscape Architecture Week in order to celebrate the important role of landscape architecture in creating the special places where we live, work, and play.

The week encompasses Earth Day (April 22) and the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted (April 27), long acknowledged as the founder of the American landscape architecture profession. Public events are being planned across the nation, including student competitions, tours of local landscape architecture sites, and community improvement projects.

The first National Landscape Architecture Week was held in 2002. "Landscape architecture is the most public of the arts, so we are inviting the public to join our celebration through their local chapters," said Paul F. Morris, FASLA, president of ASLA.

El Nino Lacks Luster, But Still Packs Punch

This satellite photo from the NOAA shows ocean temperatures as of February 23, 2003.

LONG BEACH, Ca. – For parched areas of southern California, lingering El Nino influences may bring some relief within the coming months. While the region has not seen the full distribution of precipitation associated with most El Nino episodes, its influence still remains.

At a news conference in February, at the American Meteorological Society's Annual Meeting in Long Beach, retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph. D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, said, "The dryness of this winter in southern California is a stark contrast to our vivid memories of the last El Nino, when relentless rains eroded hillsides, causing beach houses to collapse into the surf."

The latest NOAA Drought Monitor shows moderate-to-extreme drought across interior southern California. "El Nino usually flexes its muscles during late winter and spring in this area. This moderate El Nino didn't pack the punch of some previous versions. A moderate El Nino reduces the chance for above-normal rainfall in southern California, but it's too early to count it out as a significant rainmaker," Lautenbacher said. He added,"El Nino remains a phenomenon we need to learn more about. In 70 percent of the last 11 El Nino events, the region received above-normal rainfall from February through April. So far, this season has been an anomaly."

ANLA Urges Ag Secretary to Establish
Federal Quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer

The adult Emerald Ash Borer sits on the limb of a tree.

WASHINGTON – The American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) has urged U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman and the Department of Agriculture to move swiftly to establish a federal quarantine for the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), and to take all steps necessary to compensate ash tree nursery stock producers located in the quarantine zone as defined by a new federal regulation.

A male Emerald Ash Borer is displayed here.

ANLA informed Veneman that the emerald ash borer, which was discovered infesting roughly 2,000 square miles in southeastern Michigan, poses a grave threat to shade tree producers from coast to coast. The pest is from China and other parts of Asia. It likely arrived in Detroit infesting wood packaging. Unless management options are successfully developed, the pest will eliminate ash trees from production and landscape use. Ash is estimated to be the single most important shade and landscape tree in the northern United States. It is also an economically important forestry species, and a valued component of ecosystems across most of the U.S.

The larva of an Ash Borer beetle - a pest that poses an enormous threat to the widely used shade tree.

ANLA believes that a federal quarantine could set strong and uniform rules for slowing or containing the spread of the pest from southeastern Michigan; ensure adequate safeguards are in place for international trade with Canada, where the pest also has been detected; and facilitate public and private-sector research funding; ANLA also supports compensating a small number of nursery growers trapped in the quarantine area and unable to market their ash nursery stock. Compensation is warranted for these producers, since they have lost crops and sales without warning.

Looking to the Future of Lighting

NEW YORK – Lighting professionals presented the issues, technologies and opportunities affecting the industry to media representatives from the business, trade and consumer outlets at LIGHTCongress 2003, held early in February. Highlights included panel discussions on the future of light, light and the environment and what's new in lighting design. New product trends were presented, including the latest in LED and luminescent technology, compact and energy efficient products, and electronic controls. Discussions on light and the environment centered on new energy-efficient lamp and fixture products, light pollution, product recycling and the latest in environmentally friendly products.

LIGHTCongress 2003 was sponsored by LIGHTFAIR International 2003. According to Renee Gable, vice president of LIGHTFAIR International, LIGHTCongress 2003 provided a platform for show organizers and exhibitors to raise public awareness of light in our everyday lives.

For more information regarding LIGHTFAIR International 2003 (May 6-8), including advance registration, please visit

IAAPA Acquires Asian Amusement Expo

ALEXANDRIA, Va – In an effort to continuously provide additional benefits to its member facilities and suppliers, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has recently acquired sole ownership of the Asian Amusement Expo (AAE), having purchased from both Terrapinn and the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) their respective interests in the expo. Terrapinn will continue to manage the show on behalf of IAAPA (thus all contact and registration details remain the same), and AAMA will continue to endorse the show. "IAAPA has always valued its role as an integral part of this important exhibition," stated Clark Robinson, the association's president, "This move was just the logical next step in supporting our members involved in Asia by ensuring that the AAE remains the premier industry event in the region."

The exhibition is entering its twelfth year, and AAE 2003 will be held July 16-18 at the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Center. Inquiries regarding exhibit space should be directed to Linda Wan of Terrapinn, phone: 65-6322-2749; email:

Malama Learning Center – Design Competition

An aerial photo of the future site of The Malama Learning Center.

Kaoolei, Hi. – The Malama Learning Center Competition is an opportunity to enter an open, international contest for design.

Located on the island of O'ahu, competition organizers are looking for projects that consist of a unique structure that advances conservation and celebrates the natural and cultural heritage of Hawaii through the performing and visual arts. Registration begins March 21, 2003 with more than $40,000 in cash prizes.

The Competition at a Glance

The Program calls for a building of approximately 20,000 square feet on three acres of land positioned as the gateway to an educational corridor to the new Kapolei High and Middle schools.

The heart of the Malama Learning Center – an agora-like space – would accommodate a multitude of group functions. It will house exhibits about conservation activities and the visual arts. Classrooms will be divisible into smaller learning areas for meetings and workshops.

A performance and lecture hall seating 300 and an outdoor amphitheater for larger performances will be gathering places for conservation and arts activities. The facility will also house studios for "artists and scientists in residence," practice rooms, a sterile laboratory, tools and supplies for fieldwork, administrative offices, a small kitchen, and restrooms.

A native Hawaiian ethnobotanical garden and native plant nursery will be focal points of the landscaping, with areas where people can sit and enjoy the plants in ambient surroundings. Green, sustainable technology will be the running thread throughout the Malama Learning Center.

For more information on the competition visit: or call (808) 621-2008.

Mott Associates Open New Office

WESTMINSTER, Co. – Mott Associates, Inc. have opened a new office in Colorado. The office is designed to provide Business and Organiz-ational Management Consulting to Architectural, Engineering and Profess-ional Service firms nationwide.

Principal Consultant and President Eric P. Mott noted, "Mott Associates, Inc. was created to help, teach and lead Architects, Engineers and other professional service providers into profitable business strategies.

According to Mott, Architects like to design and Engineers like to figure out problems – these are their areas of expertise, not running a profitable business. For more information, contact Mott at

Senate Passes Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON – In late January the Senate passed an omnibus FY 03 appropriations bill that contains several environmental riders and more severe cuts in several agencies including the Department of the Interior, than the House bill.

Though there were no interim cuts to the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery program's FY 03 funding level, it is still lower at $10 million in the Senate Bill than the $30 million in the House Bill. The American Society of Landscape Architects Director of Governmental Affairs, Cara Woodson Welch said that efforts between the House and Senate to create a single bill will be even more difficult than previously thought.

The NPPS (National Program for Playground Safety) recommends that generally, 12 inches of uncompressed, loose-filled material should be used for equipment up to 8 feet tall.

Harvard Design School Explores Park Design

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard Design School will explore a variety of issues at the forefront of contemporary landscape practice-from sustainable design to the transformation of industrial wasteland s into parks-as well as future poentials for design in the conference and exhibition entitled Large Parks: New Perspectives.

The Exhibit runs through May 26, while the conference runs April 10-12.

"Due to their complex nature, large public landscapes are ideal environments for exploring some of the most significant issues of landscape practice today," said George Hargreaves, Chairman of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard Design School. "Large parks function as microcosms, reflecting the social, environmental and political issues that shape how we interact with the world around us."

Several speakers will be taking part in the event including: Michael Van Valkenburgh, John Beardsley, Peter Walker, Bill Wenk, Nina Marie Lister, and many others.

The exhibition is free; the conference fee for the general public is $100. For more information call 617-495-2784 or visit

Spiegelhalter to Join USC Faculty

LOS ANGELES – Following a two-year international search, Thomas Spiegelhalter has been selected to teach and conduct research in building technology at University of Southern California's School of Architecture. Prior to the USC appointment, Spiegelhalter was a professor of the School of Architecture, Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Cernegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a tenured, full-time professor at University of Hanover and University of Applied Science, Leipzig, both in Germany.

"Professor Spiegelhalter's extensive research in solar, zero-fossil energy; passive and low-energy buildings, sustainable re-development, and experimental solar architecture brings considerable expertise to the University of Southern California's research and teaching efforts and positions the School of Architecture as a significant center for green architecture," said School of Architecture Dean, Robert H. Timme.

Billboard Restrictions Upheld in MT

HELENA, Mont. – Local laws restricting billboards in Flathead County and Whitefish are constitutional because they fulfill legitimate government goals of reducing visual blight and traffic hazards, the Montana Supreme Court has ruled.

The decision was a defeat for Montana Media Inc., which owns and rents out billboards subject to the county and city regulations.

When the company was informed that some of its signs violated the ordinances, Montana Media sued the two governments. It contended the billboard regulations violated state law and both the federal and Montana Constitutions.

District Judge Stewart Stadler of Kalispell sided with the city and county. The company appealed, getting a court order that put his ruling on hold while the high court considered the case.

Before the Supreme Court, both sides agreed that the billboards represent a form of commercial speech protected by the Constitution, and that aesthetics and traffic safety are important government interests.

As for the county ordinance and its limits on sign sizes in certain areas, the court said that "it is within the county's discretion to prohibit billboards in areas where other commercial or noncommercial signs are permitted."

In the city's case, the ordinance requires issuance of a permit for a change of copy, design, size of illumination within 14 days so long as the change complies with city laws and regulations, the court said. City officials don't have "unfettered discretion" in making such decisions, it said.

The county's permit process doesn't even allow officials to consider a billboard's message, the court noted.

Have signage ordinances affected one of your projects? Find this article on and use the "Comments" link to let us know.

Ten Most Endangered National Parks Listed

Yellowstone National Park. PHOTO COURTESY OF EARTHMAN X

WASHINGTON – Air pollution, abusive use of motorized vehicles and other deficiencies have prompted the National Parks Conservation Association to list five new parks and five former listees on their Ten Most Endangered National Parks list.

"Designation as a national park alone doesn't protect our parks," said NPCA senior vice president Ronald J. Tipton. "Parks also need strong support from the president and Congress."

Parks on this year's list include: Big Thicket national Preserve in Texas; Denali national Park and Preserve in Alaska; Florida's Everglades National Park; Glacier national Park in Montana; Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina/Tennessee; Joshua Tree National Park in California; Ocmulgee National Monument in Georgia; Shenandoah National Park in Virginia; Virgin Islands National Park; and Yellowstone National Park in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Parks delisted this year include: Big Bend National Park in Texas; Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida; New York's Federal Hall National Memorial; Glacier bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska; Mojave National Preserve in California; and Pennsylvania's Valley Forge national Historical Park.

"The only way to preserve national parks is to address park threats," said NPCA president Thomas C. Kiernan.

Mahan Rykiel Associates
Win Maryland Highway Award

Ken Schmidt

Lydia Kimball

BALTIMORE – Mahan Rykiel Associates Inc., a landscape architectural firm in Hampden, Md., is the recipient of the Award of Excellence Award from the Maryland State Highway Administration. The awards represent outstand-ing design concepts and execution in transport-ation related projects. Mahan Rykiel Associates received an award for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Entrance Road because it exemplified the principles of "Thinking Beyond the Pavement". Ken Schmidt and Lydia Kimball, Associate Principals, led the design team.

UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program
Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Huntington Gardens will be hosting the 25th anniversary celebration of UCLA's Extension Landscape Architecture Program.

LOS ANGELES – Landscape architects and supporters of the profession are invited to join UCLA Extension in celebrating its quarter-century anniversary, "25 Years of Changing Lives and Changing Landscapes," on Saturday, May 3, at the beautiful Huntington Gardens in San Marino.

The event features a talk by renowned landscape architect Peter E. Walker, FASLA, known for his 40 years of experience in exploring the relationships among art, culture, and context, as he reformed the landscape and challenged traditional concepts of design.

Also included are presentations on the history of the program and recognition of key contributors, the premiere of the video "25 Years of Changing Lives and Changing Landscapes," an exhibition of program memorabilia, and a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception. The event offers an opportunity for alumni to reconnect and for all members of the profession to gather together in a celebration of the field.

Becoming a licensed landscape architect in California in the early 1970s required graduation from a daytime, degree-granting institution. At the urging of the California State Board of Landscape Architects and working together with the Southern California Chapter of ASLA, landscape architect Donald Roberts, a lecturer at UCLA, set out to change this. After a great deal of deliberation, it was determined to establish an alternative academic program at UCLA Extension.

This program would accomplish the California State Board's objectives of providing access to the profession to working individuals or those who could not otherwise pursue a full-time academic schedule.

In 1977, the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program was launched. This was the first program of its type in the United States. Over the ensuing UCLA decades, the program has evolved and matured dramatically, growing into a highly respected institution for professional education. Today, UCLA Extension offers a California State Certified curriculum that allows aspiring Landscape Architects to fulfill their education requirements and licensed Landscape Architects an opportunity to continue their education. The program requires 31 core curriculum courses and 12 units of electives, as well as offering numerous continuing education programs, study tours, and skill-enhancement studios.

"Our students have an extremely rich experience here," said program director and program graduate, Alexis Slafer. "They participate in student exhibitions, are active in the student chapter of ASLA, and many classes have been commissioned to design proposals that have been considered and/or implemented by government agencies." The event runs from 5pm to 9pm. Although The Huntington is closed to the public, the gardens will be open to attendees for strolling from 5pm to 6pm. For celebration and event information, please contact Slafer at (310) 825-9414 or email at

Southeast Asia's First Spray Park to Open

SINGAPORE – Jurong Birdpark in western Singapore is home to thousands of bird species, and a major tourist attraction in the area. This spring, it will also be the home to the first Spray park in Southeast Asia, as officials gather to open the new playground.

The Chairman of the birdpark, Kwa Soon Bee, thought of the initial concept, to convert the existing picnic grounds into something that both the old and the young can enjoy. The parents would have a comfortable place to sit and relax while the kids can play at the new and unique playground.

The idea of incorporating a spray park into the playground design was the brainchild of the park's Managing Director Dr. Wong. Dr. Wong engaged an architect to oversee the project, and six playground representatives in Singapore were invited to design the project in September 2002. The design that incorporated Gametime playground equipment with colorful spray park equipment – that includes one of Gametime's GTH2O water spray parks – all installed on the company's GT Impax poured in place rubber surfacing.

Ong Lee Leon created the equipment layout based on his own childhood memories.

"When I was a 5 years old, my dad took me to a playground and when it was time to go, I cried because I want to play just a little longer," Leon said. "My dad finally convinced me to go, with the promise that he will bring me back to this playground again. Based on this concept, I worked hard to create a playground that will invoke those same feelings in the children of Singapore today; that they will only want to leave with a promise that they may soon return."

LA City Hall Restoration

The unique historic character and civic heritage of Los Angeles City Hall has been maintained through the reinterpretation of the original exterior facade lighting design of the building. The lighting design was done by Los Angeles-based Horton Lees Brogden Lighting.

LOS ANGELES – Hailed as a uniquely American masterpiece of architecture and design in1928, the Los Angeles City Hall remains one of the most recognized buildings in the United States.

As a way to preserve the civic heritage of Los Angeles, it was the goal of Project Restore to pursue the monumental task of restoring the Los Angeles City Hall to its original splendor. Besides restoring architectural elements of the building, modern systems were incorporated to bring the structure up to current safety standards. One of these systems involved the lighting of the exterior facade.

Horton Lees Brogden Lighting located in Los Angeles, proposed a reinterpretation of the original exterior facade lighting design in an effort to maintain the unique historic character of the structure and to protect its civic heritage.

By utilizing modern day equivalent lighting technologies and energy efficient luminaries that incorporate long-life lamps, the lighting design approach provides a modern day equivalent to what was originally planned for the City Hall facade lighting but only utilizes one fourth of the power.

Light levels were balanced throughout to compensate for the higher ambient light levels inherent in a present day metropolis.


TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects' Executive Committee is interested in developing a Media Kit as it relates to the profession.

The kit would be used by Landscape Architects to take to school career days, to send to legislatures, at Municipal Meetings and other functions. So far suggestions have included a one page description of the profession; a contact list of Executive Committee and management consultant, HSBG; pictures and descriptions of examples of works of landscape architecture in the state; and a CD of the video "Putting a New Spin on the Earth."

Anybody interested in participating chould send comments to Vicky Drew at NJASLA Headquarters at

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