Earlier this week in LAND, you read about two ASLA chapter programs launched to address the need to expand the diversity of the profession and to spark interest in landscape architecture as a career in young minds. Today, we are highlighting two career discovery activity examples from Professional Practice Network (PPN) leaders. We hope these initiatives, along with everything else happening for this World Landscape Architecture Month, might inspire you to share your passion for the field with the next generation.
From Subhashini (Subi) Gamagedara, ASLA, LEED AP, Park Planner for OKC Parks and a Women in Landscape Architecture PPN leader:
I recently had the opportunity to be the guest critic at a Spring Camp conducted by the Science Museum Oklahoma. The Spring Camp was themed Parkitecture and was focused on providing an enriching hands-on design experience on parks to participants aged 8-12. At the end of the week-long camp, they had created 3D models of a variety of parks, which they had to present to their class.
I was blown away by the creativity, empathy, and the level of critical thinking that these “young designers” demonstrated. Their work was outstanding. Through the presentations and the discussions that followed, we explored how intricate and muti-faceted park projects are in the real world. It was also a golden opportunity to talk about the benefits, expectations, responsibilities, and challenges associated with public parks.
Additionally, the students were excited to hear about the profession of landscape architecture and its application in park planning at the municipal level. I walked away with renewed enthusiasm for my work in bringing play, discovery, and growth to communities Oklahoma City-wide.
And from Matt Boehner, ASLA, Senior Planner for Columbia Parks and Recreation (whose Gans Creek Cross Country Course just won a Merit Award in Park, Recreation & Open Space Design, announced at the ASLA Central States Conference this week, by the way!) in Missouri and a Parks & Recreation PPN leader:
I started this a few years ago: donating old LAM issues to Little Free Libraries around town that accepted periodicals. More recently, two books have come out that are much more catering to kids. Both are great introductions to profession and historical content.
In addition to the books Sam the Landscape Architect, by Shannon Gapp, ASLA, and Parks for the People, by Elizabeth Partridge, there are more career discovery resources available on ASLA’s website.