Celebrating Landscape Architecture

Is it just me or does anyone else have a difficult time believing it is already the middle of April?

With taxes due in just a few days, I am reminded that we are nearing the end of the first quarter of 2012 and this year is flying by. It seems like just a few days ago we were celebrating the start of the New Year. Now I sit at my desk writing this and reflecting on the events of the last few months and I wonder where the time has gone.

I always look forward to the month of April. With the start of Spring, April reminds me of new beginnings and fresh starts. The shrubs and trees are alive with new color and flowers adorn planting beds almost everywhere I look.

April is also National Landscape Architecture Month, and many ASLA chapters have filled their calendars with exciting events.

One of the highlights of most every chapter is the annual awards program. Here in Arizona, we had our state awards gala the Saturday before last, and it was a huge success.

It is always a great opportunity to celebrate the work of our colleagues and recognize each other’s efforts. I enjoy our awards gala every year because it allows me the opportunity to catch up with some landscape architects I don’t see very often and see what others are working on.

In Arizona, we don’t have continuing education requirements. However, many of our members are registered in other states that do require continuing education credits, so we offer a few educational sessions earlier in the day. These classes offer a great opportunity to learn and network prior to the gala.

Last week, I had the great fortune to give a presentation about social media and the ways it can be used in the public involvement process to members of the State of Texas’ ASLA chapter.

I was flattered to be invited to present, and the hospitality of the Texas chapter was incredible. The two-day conference was held in Grapevine, Texas, just outside of Dallas, and was very well attended.

Due to work obligations, I didn’t have the opportunity to stay for both days, but I really enjoyed my time there. It was great to meet so many people and network with those I didn’t know.

While I was there I had the opportunity to see their awards presentation and was quite pleased at the number of entries and the quality of work that was submitted. It appears the economy is doing better in Texas than it is in Arizona, and most of the people I talked with throughout the conference said they were staying quite busy.

One of the other highlights of the Texas ASLA conference was the EXPO. It was great to see a giant ballroom filled with vendors and supporters of the landscape industry. My personal favorite was the Landscape Forms Booth with the “tweet seat”--it was great to see people sitting on the bench and posting tweets to Twitter.

As April continues to pass, I hope that you’ll take a few moments and celebrate Landscape Architecture Month in your own way.

Whether you participate in a landscape architecture event, attend a state conference, or just visit an old project, I hope that you will recognize the brilliance of our industry and celebrate those who have paved the way for us today.

Do you have plans to participate in National Landscape Architecture Month? If so, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on twitter at @CDGLA or email: bcoleman001@gmail.com.