September 23, 2008

American Society of Landscape Architects Selects 13 Honorary Members

Next week, the Board of Trustees of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will confer honorary membership to 13 individuals for their work in education, government, and environmental activism.

Honorary membership is among the highest honors ASLA may bestow upon non-landscape architects, recognizing those who have performed notable service to the profession. Since it's inception in 1899, ASLA has awarded only 124 honorary memberships.

The Hon. Jerry E. Abramson, Mayor of Louisville

Mayor Abramson's projects like Waterfront Park, Olmsted Conservancy, West Main Street and City of Parks, embody the best principles of the practice of landscape architecture: conservation and enhancement; stewardship; adding social and economic value to the community; and creativity and commitment.

The Hon. Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York

Mayor Bloomberg is one of the most environmentally active mayors in the country, continuing his commitment to stewardship of the land that began as an Eagle Scout decades ago. In the past five years, the city added 300 acres of new parkland. Recently, he allotted $4.6 million in new funds and 156 new staff specifically to forestry and horticulture maintenance in the city.

Jim and Betsy Chaffin, Founders, Spring Island, SC

The Chaffins are passionate environmental stewards. Mr. Chaffin has worked on a variety of leading development projects that took special care for the natural environment, including Spring Island and Sea Pines in South Carolina. The Chaffins also created the Spring Island Art Center and Mrs. Chaffin is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

Adele Chatfield-Taylor, President, American Academy in Rome

A past leader within the National Endowment of the Arts, Ms. Chatfield-Taylor has been President of the American Academy in Rome since December of 1988. Every year, the Academy awards up to 30 Rome Prize Fellowships on a variety of important fields of study, including landscape architecture. She is also a passionate advocate for sustainable design and has served on the jury for ASLA's professional awards.

Paul Farmer, FAICP, Executive Director/CEO, American Planning Association (APA)

Mr. Farmer's visionary leadership of the APA has greatly fortified the natural alliance between landscape architects and planners. The organizations share many public policy goals in common, and through him are continuously working together on initiatives that enhance the built and natural environments.

Steven N. Handel, Professor, Rutgers University

Dr. Handel is an internationally recognized plant and restoration ecologist with a long history of effective experience in restoration ecology research, education, and public outreach. In addition to his scientific work, he has participated in major landscape architecture projects, deepening the intersection between modern ecological science and landscape design.

The Hon. William Hudnut, Chair for Public Policy at the Urban Land Institute

Mr. Hudnut is best known for his sixteen-year tenure as Mayor of Indianapolis, from 1976 to 1991. A past president of the National League of Cities and the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, Mr. Hudnut spearheaded the formation of a public-private sector partnership that led to Indianapolis' emergence during the 1980s as a major American city.

William McDonough, FAIA, Architect

His writings, speeches, and work all speak to a profound concern for mankind and its ability to live in harmony with the planet. Co-author of Cradle to Grave: Remaking the Way We Make Things, Mr. McDonough continues to design some of the worlds leading sustainable projects, which have earned multiple ASLA awards at the state and national level. Additionally, TIME magazine recognized him as a "Hero for the Planet" in 1999.

The Hon. Greg Nickels, Mayor of Seattle

Mayor Nickels is a leading advocate for green infrastructure and sustainable design. As mayor, he helped in the adoption of major environmental initiatives through the Seattle Public Utilities and is working to create one of the country's most progressive transportation systems. A leader among his peers, Mayor Nickels, in 2005, led several other mayors in preparing the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol.

Robert Redford, Actor and Environmental Activist

A longtime environmental activist, Mr. Redford recently launched the Sundance Channel Green. The new channel will present original series and documentary premieres about the earth's ecology and concepts of green living that balance human needs with responsible environmental stewardship. The Sundance Channel also recently introduced the Eco-mmunity, a forum for sharing ideas, debating issues, and solving environmental problems.

Kristen Richards, Editor, ArchNewsNow

Ms. Richards has been extremely supportive of the landscape architecture profession and ASLA since the inception of ArchNewsNow. Not only does she cover the latest news and critical theory from the field, but she also has served as an informal liaison to the architecture profession as a whole.

The Hon. Allyson Schwartz, US Representative (PA-13)

Since 2004, Representative Schwartz has been one of the leading environmental advocates in Congress. In the past four years, she has secured millions of dollars for the environment and coauthored important legislation such as The Delaware River Protection Act and The Climate Stewardship Act.

About ASLA

Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 18,200 members in 48 professional chapters and 68 student chapters. Landscape architecture is a comprehensive discipline of land analysis, planning, design, management, preservation, and rehabilitation. ASLA promotes the landscape architecture profession and advances the practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. Members of the Society use their "ASLA" suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at