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Southern California ASLA Chapter Report

by Angela Woodward, Chapter President, 2007

Todd Peter Bennitt, FASLA, told LASN: OI am most proud to be recognized amongst such an accomplished group of colleagues. I hope to continue many years of providing leadership and encouragement to younger professionals passionate about this rewarding profession.O

Mia Lehrer, FASLA, told LASN: OOne gets caught up in the whirlwind of professional activities and there is great satisfaction in being recognized by the ASLA. Many ASLA members have inspired me and motivated me. Landscape architecture is an immensely relevant profession as global warming issues become part of the mainstream conversation the work gains recognition.O

Joseph Yee, FASLA, told LASN: OI am honored to be recognized by this group of creative people. It is humbling to have been selected. As a Fellow, it urges me to continue with greater effort toward the pursuit of design excellence.O

The Southern California ASLA Chapter had a busy 2006-2007 year and a great 70th Anniversary! Our membership increased by 10 percent, growing to over 800 professionals and over 200 emerging professionals. The chapter remains the largest of the four California chapters and is the second largest chapter in the U.S. We are one of only three chapters than can boast of having three new distinguished Class of 2007 Fellows. They are Joe Yee, Todd Bennitt and Mia Lehrer.

Andy Bowden and I and began our terms as president-elect and president by traveling a few days early to the ASLA Annual 2006 Conference in Minneapolis where we attended the Chapter Presidents Council (CPC). ASLA conducted a presidents orientation and provided updates on national business, public relations, government affairs, continuing education credits and resources available supporting the chapters. Stephanie Landregan, in her second year of a three-year trustee term, also flew in early for the Board of Trustees meeting.

This yearOs programs were kicked off with an October reception and presentation titled OLandscape at the Getty VillaO by Matt Randolph, co-sponsored by UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture program and the chapter. Complementing the October presentation, Don Marquardt conducted a tour of the newly refurbished Getty Villa in Malibu during November. Numerous Roman historical highlights were provided by Don. Valley Crest Landscapes was also on hand and treated us to some behind the scenes construction anecdotes.

An Orange County Great Park Design Studio and city of Irvine panel discussion was featured at our January 2007 membership dinner held at Dave and BusterOs. Rick Hume, director on the OC Great Park Conservancy, was the moderator with Mia Lehrer leading the panel. Sponsored by Valley Crest Landscapes and Park West Landscape, this was one of our best attendance events with well over 150 members traveling from as far north as Ventura.

March and April were important ASLA legislative advocacy months. In early March, ASLA held its first in-district Lobby Day, targeting key local chapter legislators to discuss funding for the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) Initiative. Chapter members visited their legislators armed with HALS talking points and fact sheets. The fact sheets addressed the pressing need by the National Park Service for funding to effectively implement HALS. We would like to thank all who visited their local state legislators; Kim Rhodes, Kathy Cerra, Guillaume Lemoine, Emily Gabel Ludy, Randy Hlubick, Rich Krumwiede, Stephanie Landregan and Jeff Chamlee.

Continuing our legislative activity in late April, Stephanie Landregan, Andy Bowden, Anne Boyd and I traveled back to Washington D.C. for ASLAOs Traditional Lobby Day, Mid-Year Chapter Presidents Council and Board of Trustees meeting. We joined 220 other landscape architects in visiting congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. This year ASLA was lobbying for funding the Small Community Visioning Pilot Initiative and providing information on green roofs and sustainability. We were successful in getting the Small Community Visioning Improvement Act introduced as H.R. 3374.

One of the key facts we learned from ASLA advocacy training is the importance of using local examples when talking with our legislators. The Southern California Chapter has their first HALS fact sheet on the Baldwin Hills Village Green, researched and prepared by Noel Vernon. Andy Bowden and I were privileged to present the Southern California Chapter HALS project at the Mid-Year CPC meeting as a good local example documenting nationally significant landscapes.

April was an extremely busy month. The chapter participated in National Landscape Architecture Month with public outreach activities to help kids ODiscover Careers in Landscape Architecture,O which continued the ASLA theme from last year. Executive Director Vicki Phillipy and Board members Anne Jones, Jan Dyer, Don Marquardt and I participated in Beverly Hills Earth Day and Career Day at McFadden Middle School in Santa Ana. In addition, Stephanie Landregan, Jeff Hutchins and Kiku Kurahashi from Calvin AhbeOs office orchestrated and supervised 90 kids and parents during a clean up and construction project at Orville Wright Middle School in Los Angeles. For three weekends in April, the kids received hands on lessons in implementing their playground design.

Andy Bowden, Steve Lang, John Tikotsky and Vicki Phillipy prepared a 37-minute video entitled OFrederick Law Olmsted, the Father of the Profession.O Don Marquardt, UCLA Extension professor of history, portrayed Frederick Law Olmsted and narrated the video of OlmstedOs early life influence and the creation of New YorkOs Central Park. The video was completed just in time to be shown at Cal Poly PomonaOs 50th Anniversary celebration. Copies of the video DVD can be obtained from the Chapter Office for a small fee.

The Southern California Chapter was one of 11 chapters honored by ASLA for their exceptional work and enthusiastic promotion of our NLAM Chapter activities during April. In addition, the Los Angeles mayor and council issued a resolution declaring April 2007 Landscape Architecture Month in L.A.

Chapter Vice President of Programs Elizabeth Jordan and Executive Director Vicki Phillipy collaborated on many other programs during the reminder of 2007. Presentations by the ad hoc committee for the Los Angeles River on the LA River master plan were made and a joint reception and presentation with the American Institute of Architects titled OMaking Great StreetsO was held at the Los Angeles River Center. In Orange County, St. PatrickOs Day found us at Thompson Building SupplyOs show room with CLASS Fund who co-sponsored the event. Chapter and CLASS Fund members drank green beer, viewed ThompsonOs large selection of building products and were the recipients of many door prizes. We also thank John Lomeli, Southern California Illumination, for sponsoring two events, the Louis Kahn film about his life and times and Native Plant Panel featuring Tree of Life.

Every year the chapter and emerging professionals from Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly SLO and UCLA Extension collaborate on various awards and programs. Liaison to students, John Tikotsky, coordinated and served with fellow jurors, Andy Bowden, Steve Lang and Pieter Severynen on judging student work during the months of April, May and July. John and I also attended the UCLA Extension Student Show and graduation ceremonies where we presented the ASLA Honor and Merit Design Awards.

The chapter program survey results are compiled. With the information received, we are planning relevant programs to meet member needs. The 2007 Quality of Life Design Awards and 70th Anniversary Gala (see news item on page 94) were held December 6. The Chapter Annual Retreat will be on April 18-20 at the UCLA Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead, with an Orange County Water District presentation and an evening with the Fellows addressing design trends, to name a few highlights.

The Southern California Chapter began a new year at the ASLA 2007 Annual Conference in San Francisco in October. Andy Bowden will be assuming the chapter presidency. As past president, I will be a delegate on the California Council ASLA and addressing legislative issues.

I want extend my heart felt gratitude to the entire executive board thanking them for their generous support and volunteering their time and talents to serve the Southern California Chapter. Special thanks go to Vicki Phillipy, our Executive Director, who handles the day?to-day business operations and special events. We couldnOt manage the Chapter without her. I would also like to say thank you to all of the members who supported the programs and shared their time to make this a better profession. It has been a rewarding experience and exciting year to be a part of ASLA. I would encourage you all to become involved on local, State or National levels.

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December 14, 2019, 8:07 am PDT

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