The American Society of Landscape Architects has bestowed their highest honors to a distinguished group of landscape architects, practices, and organizations in recognition of their influential contributions to the profession. This year's ASLA Award recipients include Cultural Landscape Foundation founder Charles Birnbaum for the honorable ASLA Medal, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol for the Landscape Architecture Firm Award, and the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies for the Community Service Award, to name a few.
Winners will be honored at the president's dinner on October 23, during the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Los Angeles. Read on for more.
ASLA Medal: Charles Birnbaum - “Over the years, Birnbaum has methodically dedicated himself to the task of preserving designed landscapes and the narratives and individuals responsible for their creation. As the CEO and founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), he has developed a powerful vehicle that is an important advocate for the profession and has grown tremendously in influence.”
The Landscape Architecture Firm Award: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol - “GGN was founded in 1999 by Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA, Shannon Nichol, FASLA, and Kathryn Gustafson, FASLA. As a collaborative firm deeply committed to the creation of landscapes that are beautiful, responsible, functional and innovative, GGN has produced a body of work that defines the best of the landscape architecture profession. Projects include Lurie Garden in Chicago, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.”
ASLA Design Medal: Gary Hilderbrand - “The projects Hilderbrand has designed with his partner Doug Reed and their Reed Hilderbrand staff are memorable and moving, fitting and unexpected. Hilderbrand has successfully realized the highest level of craftsmanship, design excellence and responsible sustainability across a broad spectrum of project types including public and private gardens, campuses, museums and urban spaces. Projects under his design leadership include Arnold Arboretum Leventritt Garden in Boston, Long Dock Park in Beacon, N.Y., and Clark Institute in Williamstown, Mass.”
Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal: Elizabeth K. Meyer - for significant and sustained excellence in landscape architecture education. “Meyer is a renowned teacher whose critical thinking, student mentoring and inspiration have catalyzed outstanding practitioners across generations. Meyer began teaching at the University of Virginia in 1993 after positions at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, George Washington University and Cornell University. At the University of Virginia, she has not only demonstrated a tireless commitment to advancing pedagogy but also served as chair of Landscape Architecture three times and currently as Dean of the School of Architecture.”
LaGasse Medal – Non-Landscape Professional: Janette Sadik-Khan, Hon. ASLA - for contributions to the management and conservation of natural resources and public landscapes. “As commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation from 2007 to 2013, Sadik-Khan led one of the greatest transformation efforts within the public realm of New York City in over 50 years. Today, she has become an influential voice for making bicyclists and pedestrians a priority with the urban environment and transportation network. As chair of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), and other influential organizations, Sadik-Khan continues to advocate and share her vision for making urban spaces better for all.”
LaGasse Medal – Landscape Professional: Kenneth Bahlinger - for contributions to the management and conservation of natural resources and public landscapes. “Bahlinger is an award-winning landscape architect who has worked for the state of Louisiana restoring coastal wetlands for 26 years. Through his professional work, he has made significant contributions to the management and conservation of natural resources through work he has done and leadership he has provided on the Coast Vegetative Planting Program, the Christmas Tree Program, as the landscape of record on vegetation plantings on state restoration projects, and more recently as a senior project manager of multiple large-scale restoration projects.”
Olmsted Medal: Atlanta BeltLine Inc. and Atlanta BeltLine Partnership - for environmental leadership, vision and stewardship. “Both [organizations] are a very effective team in the advancement and implementation of the Atlanta Beltline project, which is connecting a green 'beltline' around Atlanta through the creation of 22 miles of streetcars, 33 miles of multi-use trails and 2,000 acres of parks on old rail corridors. As the largest public project in the country, the Beltline and its leadership have proven the transformative role this project has played, and will continue to play, in the future of Atlanta.”
Medal of Excellence: Central Park Conservancy - for significant contributions to landscape architecture policy, research, education, project planning and design, or a combination of these items. “The mission of the CPC is to restore, manage and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public. The Conservancy strives to build a great organization that sets the standard for and spreads the principles of world-class park management—emphasizing environmental excellence—to improve the quality of open space for the enjoyment of all. The CPC is committed to sustaining this operating model to provide a legacy for future generations of park users.”
Community Service Award – Organization: John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies - for providing sustained, pro bono service demonstrating the sound principles or values of landscape architecture. “The Lyle Center has been a force in facilitating community change, community education and community action since its construction on the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona campus in 1994. It was the life’s work of Cal Poly Pomona emeritus professor of landscape architecture, John T. Lyle, FASLA (1934-1998). Thousands of visitors tour the facility each year, learning about sustainable principles, and the center places students into communities to help organize and empower social and landscape change.”
2017 Honorary Members - presented to non-landscape architects for notable service to the profession: Eric Garcetti, Mayor of the City of Los Angeles; Robin Karson, founder of the Library of American Landscape History; Andy Lipkis, Tree People founder; Michael O’Brien, chief financial officer of the American Society of Landscape Architects; Mitchell Silver, commissioner of NYC Department of Parks and Recreation; Emma Skalka, VP of sales + marketing at Victor Stanley Inc.; Fred Stanback Jr., landscape conservation advocate
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