Oregon chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects launches

Oregon chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects launches

Cody McCullough

The Oregon chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has launched an outreach and education project, Pacific Northwest Style, in an effort to help define, recognize and promote the landscape architecture profession and the public.

According to ASLA Oregon President Dave Walters, the 15-month project is intended to showcase what is unique about the region’s approach to landscape design and the environment in general.

Our focus in the Pacific Northwest is all about sustainability, the environment and smart use of natural resources, Walters said. We enjoy a special sense of place. As Oregonians, we are known nationally for our land-use policies, urban planning, transportation and public involvement. We care about our homes, our public spaces and our lifestyle.

As part of the effort, landscape architecture students are competing this month to design the 2005 Festival of Flowers exhibit that will be held in Pioneer Courthouse Square June 17-26. The event, in its 21st year, draws thousands of visitors to kick off the summer season in downtown Portland.

The festival design competition is conducted by both the Oregon chapter of ASLA and the University of Oregon’s School of Landscape Architecture. The winning design will be selected this month and go into grower production on March 1.

In addition to the Festival of Flowers design competition, a lecture series discussing Pacific Northwest Style will begin on April 15. The April lecture will feature professor of landscape history, literature and theory Kenneth I. Helphand. Additionally, ASLA will honor the contributions of Robert Melnick, dean of the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts, at the event.

Continuing the 15-month project, on June 25 ASLA will host an evening banquet and auction. The event will be open to the public and is designed to raise $10,000 for the University of Oregon Landscape Architecture Scholarship Endowment.

The final event in the 15-month project will take place in the spring of 2006. The event will be a symposium dedicated to Pacific Northwest Style, including professional seminars and tours.

Our hope is these events over the coming months will bring positive regional values to light, Walters said, and, in time, enhance our sense of place, as well as the quality of our work as landscape advocates and designers.

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