Are You Proud to Practice in Maine?
All of us grapple with the cost of ASLA membership and whether it has value for us as Landscape Architects with Maine-based practices. Paying into a Boston-based Chapter (Maine is a Section of the Boston ASLA Chapter), can be hard to justify. Probably the most often heard phrase about the cost of ASLA/BSLA membership is, “That is a lot of money for a magazine.” So that is why we are taking the time here to give you a peek at some of the ‘Maine’ reasons to join or renew your membership.
It was great to see many familiar faces at the informational kick-off meeting that took place at Peloton Labs— Portland, in early November! If you missed the first meeting, you still have an opportunity to participate! Competition entries will be presented at Peloton Labs on Thursday, December 7 from 6-8pm. Please RSVP
We continue to hear great feedback about the new MaineASLA website. The well-designed and vibrant website gives a platform for Maine LA’s to promote their work and the public to better understand the importance of our profession in the state.
One of the features on the homepage is the Calendar. We will be posting events of interest to Maine Landscape Architects, all over the state, and we hope that you will see this as YOUR opportunity to promote an event that you want your peers to know about. Are you leading a public community design charrette? Is there an interesting film, presentation or educational opportunity Maine LA’s should know about? Get it out there! Be loud and proud.
Email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. This promises to be a great resource and tool for engagement.
Jennifer Claster, ASLA, a Maine-Licensed Landscape Architect, and Maine Section member, serves on the board of the Wild Seed Project, a non-profit dedicated to returning native plants to the Maine landscape. The Wild Seed Project sells the seeds of Maine native species, teaches people how to propagate the plants, and provides information about how to use the plants in the landscape. It maintains an information-packed website, offers walks and talks around the state, and publishes an annual, advertising-free publication called Wild Seed magazine, which is on-sale at bookstores, nurseries, and other Maine retailers and online. This year, Jennifer was the magazine’s contributing editor and wrote or contributed to several articles, in addition to participating in editorial meetings and providing artwork and photography.
Because of habitat loss, climate change and competition from invasive species, Maine native plants are severely challenged. Maine’s native lupine, for example, as Bill Cullina points out in this year’s magazine, hasn’t been spotted for so long that it is considered to be functionally extinct. As we better understand species specialization and the co-evolutionary relationships between plants and animals, it is becoming increasingly clear how important native species are to the survival of our local fauna. The Wild Seed Project gives people the tools to grow wild-type Maine native plants, many of which are scarce in the nursery trade, and provides diverse examples highlighting how the plants can be used.
For landscape architects, who may not find it easy to source these plants, the Wild Seed Project offers a way to become more familiar with them and to learn about how they can contribute to designed landscapes. As we become more comfortable with the plants, landscape architects can create demand for them, hopefully influencing the nursery industry to offer more genetically diverse, wild type native species. This has happened in other parts of the country and could happen here. In addition, landscape architects can educate their clients about the plants and find more ways to use them in their designs, increasing their landscape presence. By becoming members of the Wild Seed Project, landscape architects can immediately make a contribution toward sharing information about native plants and supporting native seeds. Members receive a 20% discount on all seed orders, walks and workshops, and a current issue of Wild Seed magazine.
In addition to Bill Cullina’s article on Maine’s original lupine, the current issue of Wild Seed magazine features articles by Larry Weaner on the education of a wild landscape designer, Tom Wessels on biodiversity and climate change in Acadia, and Doug Tallamy on maples, moths and butterflies. Other stories focus on urban parks; pollinators on roadsides, farms, and gardens; controlling invasive plants; citizen science; animal/plant interactions; hickory nuts; and growing natives from seed.
This content was contributed by Jennifer Claster, ASLA, President of Claster, a landscape architecture and planning firm located in South Portland, Maine.
MaineASLA joined Milone + MacBroome (Regina Leonard, ASLA), Sebago Technics (Kylie Mason, ASLA) and TJD+A Landscape Architects with our own booth at the Build Maine conference in Lewiston on June 9th. All who attended called the conference a success. Here are some of the reasons why:
The MaineASLA booth displayed a large board featuring stunning images of ASLA member projects with the central theme, “This is Landscape Architecture”. Hand out materials included information on Equality in Practice for Licensed Landscape Architects as well as an informational visual downloaded from the ASLA website on the importance of green infrastructure and the role of landscape architects. Finally, we featured and promoted why Maine landscape architects are the best team members and project leaders for SITESv2 rating system projects in Maine.
- Ann Sussman’s cognitive architecture-based talk on design was thought provoking and sparked conversations on the applicability to landscape architectural design, project illustrations, promotional materials. Stay tuned, more on that and facial recognition software research to come!
Here are some paraphrased observations and standout quotes noted by your LA peers that attended the Build Maine talks:
- “Adapt your public process to the place just like you would design based on context”
- “Check out the OECD Forum’s designation titled: The 21st Century: The Age of Biology,“ good news for LA’s!
- “Man is man’s greatest joy” (referring to one reason why LA’s should strive to include people in our illustrations and project photographs).
- “Donald Shoup’s (Research Professor, UCLA) talk about how cities could strategically regulate parking to encourage desirable development made me think.”
- “I like Build Maine given the scale which encourages more personal/professional interactions. The people who attend Build Maine are committed to good design and community oriented solutions”.
Consider supporting Build Maine’s efforts throughout the year with a donation. Also there will be future opportunities to sponsor a company booth, booth, help out with MaineASLA’s booth, and attend in 2018. This is a great opportunity to help MaineASLA’s efforts to be “loud and proud” about landscape architecture, show your community design and collaboration successes, network!
Getting to Know the Maine ASLA website
We see the new Maine ASLA website and the power of other social media platforms as a surefire way to get the clients, municipalities and the general public hyper-aware of the full breadth of what Landscape Architects can do. The website is supported by Maine ASLA members through their dues, so ASLA firm names, images, news posts and other events presently feature only ASLA members (you can join here). Our secondary but still highly important mission is to support and advocate for the practice of Landscape Architecture in Maine which also benefits non-ASLA members.
So as part of the new website launch (and buzz), we are going to take some space in our newsletters to talk about each page feature and how the website and other social media platforms (including your own websites, professional and personal Facebook pages) can expand your own professional outreach circle. The platforms also provide opportunities to connect with other Maine Landscape Architects on issues, events and announcements that we should be aware of.
Let’s start with the “Find a Landscape Architect” tab on the MaineASLA Homepage. Potential clients, officials, related professionals, researchers, teachers and students from elementary through higher education will have a place to find ASLA member firms in the state with direct links to their websites. This is a key listing that will get updated as new members join and, given our other active updates on the website, the desired search engine optimization.
If you are an ASLA member and not on the list, let us know at email@example.com and we will work with you to get your name and website up quickly. If you are not a member, please consider joining ASLA and let us know!
We will be rolling out more ideas to educate the public, promote and sustain our profession. In the meantime please feel free to contact us with your comments.
Congratulations to Aceto Landscape Architects -- the winners of the Bayside Adapts Design Challenge!
We received five submissions for the design challenge, all of which presented innovative approaches to making Bayside a resilient neighborhood in the face of rising seas and increasing amounts of stormwater. The City of Portland sincerely thanks each of the design teams for their work on this project. All of the designs will inform the Bayside Adapts Working Group, City staff, and community members throughout Bayside Adapts, Phase I, which involves developing a better understanding of the existing infrastructure in the neighborhood and developing guiding principles for future adaptation work. The inspiring designs demonstrate that Bayside can become an even more vibrant neighborhood if we prepare thoughtfully for future challenges.
When: May 3
Where: Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library
3 PM: Judges view Design Challenge Submissions
4 PM: Public viewing of Design Challenge Submissions
6 PM: Bayside Adapts Public Forum -- Discussion of Design Challenge Submissions & Presentation by Julie Wormser of Boston Harbor Now on resiliency planning on the Boston waterfront
7:30: Announce the winner of the Design Challenge and present the $1000 prize.
Submitals to the Design Challenge - See documents below to view the entries
mbla + Canal 5 Studio
Aceto Landscape Architects
Soren Deniord Design Studio + Kaplan Thomspon Architects
Jeff Levine, Director of Planning and Urban Development, City of Portland
Julie Wormser, VP of Policy and Planning, Boston Harbor Now
Shafaq Choudry, Senior Associate, Center for City Solutions, National League of Cities
Addy Reiman, Portland Society for Architecture, Co-chair of the Advocacy Committee