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Potomac ASLA Chapter

Report from Sarah Couchman, Secretary, Potomac Chapter ASLA




At the ASLA Annual Presidential Awards Dinner Oct. 1 in Phoenix, Potomac Chapter member Elizabeth Miller and her team was presented with ASLA's 2012 Community Service Honor Award for their work on the Calvin Coolidge High School Garden, Greenhouse, and accompanying guide. Accepting the award in Phoenix were Elizabeth Miller, Ann English, Liz Guthrie, Dena Kennett, Karen Kumm, Curt Millay, and Hilary Oat-Judge.


Once again the ASLA's Potomac Chapter had a busy and exciting year. Our 2011-2012 executive committee was put to the test almost immediately when the Commonwealth of Virginia threatened to deregulate landscape architecture in Virginia, just a few days before Thanksgiving. Through the hard work of the Potomac and Virginia chapters, landscape architecture was prevented from landing on the list of professions recommended for deregulation to the state legislature. That victory was the first of several events that made the past year memorable. Here are a few of the highlights:






The refurbishment of the 1938 Coolidge High School Greenhouse Garden was a result of the partnership between ASLA Potomac Chapter, Coolidge High School, ACE D.C., the Calvin Coolidge Alumni Association, and the Office of Public Education and Facility Management.



February 2012: The Potomac Chapter came together at ASLA headquarters in Washington, D.C. to honor two of its members elevated to Fellow at the 2011 ASLA Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA: Karen Kumm Morris of Arlington, VA, and Robert Snieckus of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Washington, D.C. Both individuals were honored for their leadership in the field of landscape architecture.

April 2012: The Potomac and Maryland Chapters held their annual awards gala at the District Architecture Center (DAC). The unique venue was the perfect place to celebrate creativity and innovation in design and recognize those who excel in their field. Thomas Tavella, ASLA president, served as the keynote speaker of the evening.






The Potomac Chapter representation on the 2012 ASLA Class of Fellows was Barbara Deutsch, executive director of the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and Rodney Mercer of the URS Group in Washington, D.C. Both chapter members were recognized in the leadership/management category.



Also in April, the Potomac Chapter also became a LACES-approved provider of continuing education for landscape architects. This recognition is an important step in the chapter's efforts to provide quality continuing education to its members.

September/October 2012: Potomac Chapter member and Legacy Project coordinator Elizabeth Miller attended the ASLA Annual Presidential Awards Dinner in Phoenix where she and her team were presented with ASLA's 2012 Community Service Honor Award for their work on the Calvin Coolidge High School Garden, Greenhouse, and accompanying guide.

The chapter partnered with the ACE (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) Mentoring Program of the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area (ACE DC) in the fall of 2009 to undertake the 2010 ASLA Legacy Project in conjunction with the ASLA National Convention in Washington, D.C. Over the course of 15 months, the volunteers worked with Coolidge High School of Washington, D.C., the Calvin Coolidge High School Alumni Association, and the community to prepare a campus beautification master plan and to design and build a greenhouse garden and outdoor classroom.

Among the work of the chapters members was facilitating a community-design charrette; preparing construction drawings; designing interpretative garden signs; soliciting donations from 37 landscape product vendors; leading community volunteers in three build-it-days; and preparing a 70-page Garden Guide to ensure long term care and maintenance of the garden.

For the Potomac Chapter, 2012 was a year marked by the battle against deregulation, efforts to expand chapter programming and offer more continuing education opportunities to members and numerous celebrations of the achievements of the chapter's devoted, innovative and inspiring professionals. We look forward to sharing more knowledge and creativity, camaraderie and achievement in 2013.

To view more chapter reports click here.




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