Seven years after the millennium, past Vice President Al Gore received a Nobel Prize for his leadership on the environment and global warming. As a result, this year has become a placeholder in time for the landscape architecture profession. A record number of 6,700 attended the ASLA National Conference in San Francisco in October, and 25,000 people attended Greenbuild in Chicago.
The importance of building green and valuing the natural and man-made landscape has refocused the contribution landscape architects make in the preservation and construction of the environment. The student, professional, and public recognition awards portrayed in this 2007 Folio represent the excellence of service contributed by landscape architects. 2007 was the year of outreach and collaboration of ILASLA:
Our Marketing Committee undertook initiatives in supporting public education and awareness of the profession by sponsoring educational programs, brochures, and traveling exhibit panels celebrating the profession.
ILASLA shared the annual meeting venue with the Illinois American Planning Association (ILAPA) by participating in and contributing to educational sessions at the Peoria, Illinois ILAPA/ILASLA annual meeting last October. This collaboration has historic roots and will continue with next year's 2008 annual meeting.We are also engaged with the American Institute of Architects in their Chicago Architectural Foundation educational series as well as being a partner with both professions in celebrating the Burnham Centennial in 2009.
ILASLA offers many opportunities for members of the Chapter to become involved. The upcoming national meetings held in Chicago in 2009 celebrating the Burnham Centennial and the ASLA National Conference are just two of many ILASLA activities to participate in throughout next year. Five Executive Committee subcommittees are currently calling for additional participants. Participation strengthens the chapter, gives individuals experience and contacts, and fosters future leadership roles as Chapter and national officers.
The quest for practice licensure continues drawing closer to success as we enter 2008. It is essential for Illinois to join the other 41 states using practicing licensure. The public is demanding knowledge and accountability that can best be met by clearly defining levels of competence, requiring continuing education of licensed practitioners and establishing national standards of knowledge most identifiable through practice licensing laws.
In his 1971 book, Design On the Land, Norman T. Newton describes among many attributes of a landscape architect that, "He must have a compelling interest in, and sensitivity to, the environment as a whole. This requires of him a total view of ecology: a deep and abiding grasp of the natural world as an ongoing process of which humans are an integral part...His mission insists on a creative urge and a dedicated search for excellence". This year's awards recognize this "search for excellence" in the Public Recognition Awards and the Design Award recipients.
The ILASLA asks you to join us in the "search for excellence" as we continue to set the highest standards for professional landscape architects, their projects, and their ability to serve clients and society.
Jim Gamble, ASLA
The Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects