Articles

    U.S. Congress Passes The National Park Service Centennial Act

    ASLA is excited to announce that the U.S. Congress heard your voices and passed H.R. 4680, the National Park Service Centennial Act.

    The bipartisan legislation celebrates the National Park Service's 100th year of existence and provides tools and resources to safeguard America's iconic natural and historical treasures. The Centennial bill also establishes the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund to finance signature construction, maintenance, and educational projects by matching private contributions with federal dollars. The Fund will be essential to help protect and preserve America's national parks, which are facing incredible challenges.

    ASLA supports the mission of the NPS to preserve the natural and cultural treasures and the values of the national park enterprise for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of current and future generations. Landscape architects have a deep connection to our national parks and the profession played a key role in the passage of the National Park Service Organic Act, legislation that established the NPS in 1916.

    For the past two years, ASLA advocates have voiced strong support for passing NPS Centennial legislation, including sending thousands of messages to Congress and advocating for the issue during the annual ASLA Advocacy Days. Once again, your voice played an essential role to achieve this legislative accomplishment on behalf of NPS. Thank you for your unwavering advocacy efforts. 

    Wet or Electronic Stamp: Ethical Considerations

    Wet or Electronic Stamp: Ethical Considerations by Luther L. Liggett, Jr., Partner, Korhman Jackson & Krantz

    As technological advances race onward to achieve previously unimaginable computerized applications, design professional practice laws remain conservative in order to insure the highest level of professionalism and protection to the public.

    Before the age of computers, traditional practice and law required crimping or signing over a design professional seal, usually with colored ink to identify an original. But paper is a tool of the past, and today’s project owners develop construction documents on computers for ease of correction and transmittal.

    Ohio law accommodates electronic seals, provided that an Architect follows several different sets of rules promulgated for different purposes. This article will review those provisions of law.

    Click here to read the full article

    Press Release: Mayor Coleman and Partners break ground on the City’s first Urban Tree Nursery

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    September 15, 2015

     

    Contact

    Erin Miller, Mayor’s Office, 645-0815

    John Ivanic, Columbus City Council, 645-6798

    Web – Facebook – Twitter

     

    Mayor Coleman and Partners break ground on the City’s first Urban Tree Nursery

    Mayor Michael B. Coleman joined today with Columbus City Council President Andrew J. Ginther, the Weinland Park community and more than 20 non-profit organizations to announce a pilot program for an urban tree nursery and to unveil a community wide effort, Branch Out Columbus, whose goal is to plant 300,000 trees throughout the city by the year 2020.

    For the first time in the city’s history, a thorough Urban Tree Canopy Assessment was conducted. The study was led by the Columbus Recreation & Parks Division of Forestry and prepared by consultant, Plan-It-Geo.

    The study shows that the urban tree canopy in Columbus covers 22% of the land, at a total of 31,171 acres. These trees provide a multitude of economic, environmental, and social benefits, conservatively valued at more than $12.1 million annually.

    “The City of Columbus is committed to a 27% tree canopy by 2020, but we cannot do it alone. That is why we are branching out by creating the “Branch Out Columbus” campaign calling for community wide action,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

    An executive order will be prepared by Mayor Coleman to preserve and restore trees on all city led construction projects.  To help residents on private property, through our GreenSpot Backyard Conservation Program, the City will pay up to a $50 rebate to plant native trees on their property while supplies last (currently there are enough funds for approximately 400 trees).

    The city, through the Recreation & Parks Foundation, has set up a fund at the Columbus Foundation where businesses and residents can donate money towards the planting of trees in the community.

    “Trees are an important part of improving the quality of life in Columbus,” said Council President Ginther.  “From cleaning the air and water to improving property values and fighting greenhouse gases, trees make Columbus a great place to live and work.”

    Mayor Coleman and residents of the Weinland Park neighborhood also announced a pilot program for an urban tree nursery. The vacant land, owned by the City of Columbus’ Land Bank and Campus Partners, on 8th Avenue near 5th Avenue will be the city’s first Urban Tree Nursery. The vision is for the nursery to be a place where trees can grow to be planted in the neighborhood and where residents can learn about the importance of trees and how to properly care for them.

    The Mayor announced the goal is to have at least four urban tree nurseries established in our target neighborhoods by the year 2020.

    For more information about the Branch Out Columbus- 300,000 trees by 2020 campaign, and to see a copy of the Urban Tree Canopy Assessment, please visit www.columbus.gov/branchout .

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    GBCI Launches SITES, its Newly Acquired Rating System for Sustainable Landscapes

    GBCI Launches SITES, its Newly Acquired Rating System for Sustainable Landscapes

    Author: Marisa Long
    Published on: Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    SITES addresses global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and resource depletion through sustainable landscape design and management

    June 10, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) launched its newly acquired SITES rating system, the most comprehensive program and toolkit for developing sustainable landscapes.

    SITES was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden. The rating system can be applied to development projects located on sites with or without buildings - ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, streetscapes and homes, and much more. 

    “Landscapes knit together the fabric of our communities,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO, GBCI. “And sustainable landscapes are critical in their ability to reduce water demand, filter and reduce storm water runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, improve human health, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities. SITES is an important addition to our toolkit, and GBCI appreciates this opportunity to support this additional contribution to healthy, thriving communities and neighborhoods.”

    “It is exciting to see years of work developing and field testing SITES culminate with the availability of this rating system,” said Fritz Steiner, FASLA, dean of the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. “The depth and breadth of approaches that were implemented by pilot projects demonstrates how valuable SITES can become for revolutionizing our relationships with built landscapes.” 

    “Landscape architects and members of all the related design and planning fields know that the issues addressed in SITES are increasingly important to creating livable and resilient communities,” said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). “GBCI will take SITES to the next level and ensure its future growth and influence, and ASLA is pleased to provide continued education and communications support.”

    “SITES is a powerful tool for enhancing built landscapes precisely because it puts ecosystem services, the benefits humans derive from functional ecosystems, front and center,” said Ari Novy, executive director of the United States Botanic Garden. “This approach will help maximize our collective ability to create sustainable and healthy communities. Making SITES available through GBCI will be a great boon for the quality and resilience of our built landscapes.”

    The SITES rating system uses progressive industry standards for landscape design and incorporates additional recommendations from technical experts in the fields of soil science, botany and horticulture, hydrology, materials, and human health and well-being. Some of the credits for sustainable landscape performance have been developed in alignment with similar credits in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, the world’s most widely used green building program. 

    SITES, originally modeled after LEED, includes best practices in landscape architecture, ecological restoration and related fields as well as knowledge gained through peer-reviewed literature, case-study precedents and projects registered in the SITES pilot program.

    “Adding SITES to GBCI’s rapidly growing list of certification systems and credentials it supports not only expands GBCI’s capabilities, but it also helps us to further our mission to enact global sustainable change,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president, GBCI.

    SITES draws on the experience gained from a two-year pilot program involving more than 100 projects. Forty-six of these pilot projects have achieved certification, including landscape projects at corporate headquarters, national and city parks, academic campuses and private homes.

    Interested project teams can visit sustainablesites.org for more information and to register their projects and access the SITES v2: Rating System For Sustainable Land Design and Development, a guide that provides best practices, performance benchmarks and tools for creating ecologically resilient landscapes and rewards successful projects through certification.

    The Wildflower Center and ASLA will help GBCI create and implement SITES credentialing and certification offerings such as training project reviewers and will provide educational opportunities for pursuing SITES certification.

    GBCI Launches SITES, its Newly Acquired Rating System for Sustainable Landscapes

    Author: Marisa Long
    Published on: Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    SITES addresses global concerns such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and resource depletion through sustainable landscape design and management.

    June 10, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) launched its newly acquired SITES rating system, the most comprehensive program and toolkit for developing sustainable landscapes.

    SITES was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden. The rating system can be applied to development projects located on sites with or without buildings - ranging from national parks to corporate campuses, streetscapes and homes, and much more. 

    “Landscapes knit together the fabric of our communities,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO, GBCI. “And sustainable landscapes are critical in their ability to reduce water demand, filter and reduce storm water runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, improve human health, and increase outdoor recreation opportunities. SITES is an important addition to our toolkit, and GBCI appreciates this opportunity to support this additional contribution to healthy, thriving communities and neighborhoods.”

    “It is exciting to see years of work developing and field testing SITES culminate with the availability of this rating system,” said Fritz Steiner, FASLA, dean of the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. “The depth and breadth of approaches that were implemented by pilot projects demonstrates how valuable SITES can become for revolutionizing our relationships with built landscapes.” 

    “Landscape architects and members of all the related design and planning fields know that the issues addressed in SITES are increasingly important to creating livable and resilient communities,” said Nancy C. Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). “GBCI will take SITES to the next level and ensure its future growth and influence, and ASLA is pleased to provide continued education and communications support.”

    “SITES is a powerful tool for enhancing built landscapes precisely because it puts ecosystem services, the benefits humans derive from functional ecosystems, front and center,” said Ari Novy, executive director of the United States Botanic Garden. “This approach will help maximize our collective ability to create sustainable and healthy communities. Making SITES available through GBCI will be a great boon for the quality and resilience of our built landscapes.”

    The SITES rating system uses progressive industry standards for landscape design and incorporates additional recommendations from technical experts in the fields of soil science, botany and horticulture, hydrology, materials, and human health and well-being. Some of the credits for sustainable landscape performance have been developed in alignment with similar credits in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, the world’s most widely used green building program. 

    SITES, originally modeled after LEED, includes best practices in landscape architecture, ecological restoration and related fields as well as knowledge gained through peer-reviewed literature, case-study precedents and projects registered in the SITES pilot program.

    “Adding SITES to GBCI’s rapidly growing list of certification systems and credentials it supports not only expands GBCI’s capabilities, but it also helps us to further our mission to enact global sustainable change,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president, GBCI.

    SITES draws on the experience gained from a two-year pilot program involving more than 100 projects. Forty-six of these pilot projects have achieved certification, including landscape projects at corporate headquarters, national and city parks, academic campuses and private homes.

    Interested project teams can visit sustainablesites.org for more information and to register their projects and access the SITES v2: Rating System For Sustainable Land Design and Development, a guide that provides best practices, performance benchmarks and tools for creating ecologically resilient landscapes and rewards successful projects through certification.

    The Wildflower Center and ASLA will help GBCI create and implement SITES credentialing and certification offerings such as training project reviewers and will provide educational opportunities for pursuing SITES certification.