Discover the Twin Cities, and Beyond, at ASLA 2023

Coen+Partners’ Heart of the City project in Rochester, MN—recipient of the 2023 ASLA Professional Award of Excellence for Urban Design—is part of the field session Art, Community, Healing: Innovative Public Spaces for a Destination Medical Center. / image: Jasper Lazor Photography

Next month, thousands of landscape architects and allied professionals will converge on Minneapolis for the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, ready to learn from their peers, forge new connections, and explore the city—and one way to do all three simultaneously is through the conference’s field sessions. Six are already sold out, but there’s still a few openings on the 12 other field sessions. Get your tickets now to secure your spot!

Field sessions run on Friday, October 27, and Monday, October 30, with a variety of departure times and session lengths. Can’t commit to a full-day excursion? Not to worry—we’ve added more half-day field sessions if your availability is limited.

Looking to deep dive on a certain practice area, while being out and about in the Minneapolis area? Some field sessions are ideally situated to appeal to members of ASLA’s various Professional Practice Networks (PPNs). Campus Planning & Design PPN members should consider The Modernist Campus of St. John’s University and Monastery and Layering Mobility, Resilience, Community, and Cultural Resources at the University of Minnesota. Healthcare & Therapeutic Design PPN members, Art, Community, Healing: Innovative Public Spaces for a Destination Medical Center would be a great pick for you.

See the full field session lineup on the conference website, and consider grabbing a ticket to explore:

Twinning: A Photography Flex with Two Sites, Two Firms, And Two Photographers
Friday, October 27, 2023
8:30am – 5:00pm CT

Designers and photography enthusiasts work with professionals to enhance their landscape architecture photography. We will tour Historic Fort Snelling and Peavey Plaza, ending with a photo critique. Optional dawn shoot before the session begins. Photo assignments assist attendees in achieving professional photographic results. Images will be displayed at the EXPO.

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Parking(ing) Day Highlights from Washington, DC

Park(ing) Day scenes from September 15, 2023, in Washington, DC / image: Alexandra Hay

Park(ing) Day is an annual, “global experiment in remixing, reclaiming and reprogramming vehicular space for social exchange, recreation and artistic expression.” The focus of this year’s event is pollinators, so ASLA decided to buzz around town to see the parklets popping up around DC.

Our first stop was the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (HU-MS2), where National ASLA partnered with the school and Jeff Holzer, ASLA, from the Potomac Chapter, to host a week of activities, including a mini course on landscape architecture, a walking tour of the Howard University campus, designed by African American landscape architect David Williston, and a design charrette. Students sketched their ideas for a pollinator-themed parklet and then constructed a parklet on campus on September 15. The parklet included flowers, a gaming station, lemonade, and a sound station set to 500 Hz, a frequency that attracts pollinators.

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Richmond on the James: Stories of Landscape Transformation, in Review

by Rebecca Flemer, Affiliate ASLA

Virginia War Memorial / image: R. Flemer

Richmond on the James: Stories of Landscape Transformation
Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation Annual Meeting
Richmond, Virginia  |  May 24-27, 2023

This year’s Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation (AHLP) conference explored the rich history of a place which is home to one of the organization’s founders, Hugh Miller, Hon. ASLA. Along with Hugh, Tim Keller, Barbara Wyatt, FASLA, and Genevieve Keller, Hon. ASLA, organized the conference. From the homeland of the Powhattan and other tribes, to capital of the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War, to its industrial past, themes for presentations and tours during the conference strove to gain a deeper knowledge of Richmond’s history as seen through its changing landscape.

The conference kicked off Wednesday evening with a welcome reception hosted by Preservation Virginia at their headquarters, the Cole Digges House. Thursday’s presentations started with an overview of the conference and a conversion with Hugh Miller. Two sessions followed with themes of Equity and Social Justice in Urban and Rural Landscapes and Racialized and Culturally Distinct Contexts of the Historic Landscape. These discussions featured professional and academic projects including scholarship papers supported by the Alliance.

On Friday, Bill Martin, director of the Valentine Museum, led an all-day bus tour of Richmond neighborhoods and landscapes. We began at Shockoe Bottom—between the 1830s and the Civil War, the largest American slave-trading hub outside of New Orleans. Largely erased during urban renewal, the site is overshadowed by Route 95. It has recently been recognized as a threatened site important to the story of enslavement in Richmond.

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Performance-Based Plant Selection: Developing a Bioretention Plant Selection Tool

by Jeremy Person, PLA, ASLA, with co-authors Ann English, PLA, ASLA, Ted Shriro, Andy Szatko, John Watson, and Jim Cooper, ASLA

Lanark Way bioretention, Montgomery County, Maryland Department of Environmental Protection retrofit. Aromatic aster blooming. / image: reproduced with permission from Montgomery County, MD Department of Environmental Protection

In January of 2020, The Field published an article on Performance-Based Plant Selection for Bioretention that sought an approach for planting design that prioritizes the functional attributes that plants provide in bioretention stormwater treatment facilities. In 2021, the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange (the Exchange) awarded a Collaborative Grant to a multi-disciplinary team from Chicago, Maryland, Omaha, and Oregon to explore these questions further and complete a first phase towards building a Bioretention Plant Selection Tool (BPST). The effort was focused specifically on functions plants provide in bioretention and the vegetative attributes to optimize overall bioretention performance. Biohabitats, a multidisciplinary consulting firm specializing in ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design, was hired to survey stormwater professionals, complete a review of research on plant functions in bioretention installations, and develop an outline of how stormwater practitioners could evolve planting design to improve facility performance.

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Events & Opportunities Roundup

Cindy Crosby leads a group through the Schulenberg Prairie at The Morton Arboretum, the location for one of NDAL’s in-person fall events on ecology-based landscape practice. / image: The Morton Arboretum, courtesy of New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL)

There is a good chance that summer temperatures are still very much in effect where you are, but with the passage of Labor Day, many are ready to ramp up for fall by seeking distractions from your end-of-summertime sadness. Looking to fill a few despondent blank spots in your calendar, while listening to a few mid-career perspectives or getting ready for the revamped Landscape Architecture Registration Exam? ASLA has a full slate of virtual events taking place in September and October, nearly all free for ASLA members—check them all out right here.

For even more, see ASLA’s RFQs, Opportunities, and Events page for everything from calls for papers to competitions. Below, we highlight a few upcoming events and calls with deadlines coming up soon. And, one other deadline that is nearly upon us: advance rate registration for the ASLA 2023 Conference on Landscape Architecture ends September 12!

Anyone who would like to share an opportunity may submit information online.

Schoolyard Forest Design Lecture Series
September 7-December 7, 2023
This series, hosted by Green Schoolyards America, will provide technical, design-focused guidance for creating and stewarding high-quality green schoolyards and schoolyard forests. Sessions will feature presentations by subject-area experts including Green Schoolyards America staff, along with time for audience Q&A.

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