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News & Events

LAF Olmsted Scholars: Ready to Act on the New Landscape Declaration, Part 4

Inspired by LAF’s 2016 Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future and the New Landscape Declaration, a group of ten Olmsted Scholars developed their own response focused on moving forward with deliberate actions to meet the ambitions set forth in the Declaration’s four calls to action.

Through a series of blog posts, we are showcasing their action plans. Over the course of the past few months, we’ve introduced Action 1Action 2, and Action 3. Today, we conclude with Action 4:

We will work to support research and champion new practices that result in design innovation and policy transformation.

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ACT NOW

  • Partner with an academic institution and a professional office to implement a research project.
  • Implement a short/medium-term demonstration project to create knowledge and showcase effectiveness for long-term change.
  • Experiment with innovative tools and technology.
  • Become your own client. Support in-office research to proactively identify issues that can be solved with landscape architectural services.

PLAN NOW

  • Establish metrics to prove the environmental and cultural value of ecosystem services.
  • Expand funding sources for cross-disciplinary knowledge-building in both academic and professional practice.
  • Require ecosystem services, environmental justice, and research experience as requirements for ASLA membership and/or licensure.
  • Advance the integration of sustainable techniques and culture in our practices. Divest from fossil fuels and offset CO2 footprints.
  • Evaluate existing project delivery methods and test new platforms.

You can download a PDF copy of the full The Olmsted Scholar Agenda: from Declaration to Action, which includes all four action plans and corresponding precedents for reference and inspiration. The document is a framework for a more detailed action strategy that can be used to inspire, direct, and hold us all accountable. It is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to be the beginning of a larger dialogue to address the concerns and hopes stated in the New Landscape Declaration.

As 2017 comes to a close, please take a few minutes to review and reflect on which calls to action resonate with you.

What is your action plan for 2018?

Thank you Olmsted Scholars for your leadership and inspiration! The Olmsted Scholars who contributed to this effort are: Leann Andrews (2013 National Olmsted Scholar), Andrew Bailey (2014 Olmsted Scholar), Zach Barker (2013 Olmsted Scholar Finalist), Marin Braco (2012 Olmsted Scholar Finalist), Nina Chase (2009 Olmsted Scholar), Kim Dietzel (2015 Olmsted Scholar), Karl Krause (2008 Olmsted Scholar), Tim Mollette-Parks (2009 Olmsted Scholar), Andrew Sargeant (2016 Olmsted Scholar), and Nate Wooten (2016 Olmsted Scholar).

LAF’s Olmsted Scholars Program recognizes and supports landscape architecture students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.

Thank You for a Remarkable Year!

laf-staff-275The small but mighty LAF staff

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) invests in research, scholarships, and leadership initiatives to spur the profession forward and cultivate the next generation of design leaders. As the year winds down, LAF would like to thank our many friends, partners, and donors for their indispensable support during this ambitious year.

In 2017, LAF continued to spread the bold aspirations in our New Landscape Declaration with conversations at over 60 firms, universities, and ASLA chapter events and the launch of a new book. The ideas from a powerhouse of leading designers and the resulting call to action have been called an “excellent way to define our commitment to the environment, ecology, and health” and “an eloquent call to action for the immediate and long future of our profession and our world.”

Generous support from donors allows LAF to strengthen and embolden the profession with innovative and influential initiatives like the New Landscape Declaration, as well as our transformative programs. Together, we accomplished the following in 2017:

  • Awarded $135,000 to students through scholarships, fellowships, and research assistantships.
  • Kicked off the new $25,000 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership with the first cohort of six recipients engaged in projects that address a range of issues — from homelessness to water resources in India to K-12 career discovery.
  • Recognized pioneers Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, OC and the U.S. National Park Service with the 2017 LAF Medal and Founders’ Award.
  • Funded landscape performance research to bolster non-profit organizations, community leaders, and advocates as they make a case for more sustainable practices and policies
  • Awarded the final round of mini-grants to faculty for a total of $50,000 invested in developing and testing coursework on landscape performance.

Thank you to all who devoted their time, thought leadership, and financial support to these efforts. LAF is honored to support this profession and help make our collective aspirations for change a reality.

Please consider investing in the Landscape Architecture Foundation in your year-end giving. Together we can increase our influence and impact at this important time when the services and talents of landscape architects are so vitally needed. Give online or learn more about the many ways to support LAF.

Our friends at IRONSMITH will match up to $10,000 of your donations made by Dec 31!

LAF is a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your charitable contribution is deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

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