On this International Women’s Day, ASLA’s Women in Landscape Architecture Professional Practice Network (WILA PPN) is thrilled to see landscape architects in the spotlight and taking the lead in a variety of ways, from ASLA National – with President Eugenia Martin, FASLA, President-Elect Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA, and Presidential Candidates SuLin Kotowicz, FASLA, and Pam Linn, FASLA—to ASLA 2019 Conference Keynote Speaker Kotchakorn Voraakhom, ASLA , being interviewed by The New York Times as part of their Special file Women and Leadership.
In the midst of Women’s History Month, we look back on highlights from WILA 2021, as well as ongoing initiatives, including a partnership with WxLA and the new Women of Color Licensure Advancement Program.
Last November at the ASLA Landscape Architecture Conference in Nashville, Women in Landscape Architecture PPN Co-Chairs Lara Moffat, ASLA, and Sahar Teymouri, ASLA, moderated a session on “From Mentorship to Sponsorship: friendship is the key!” explore how professional relationships contribute to a successful career.
The first part of this interactive campfire session asked participants, many of whom were students and emerging professionals looking for a mentor, what they were looking for when considering possible mentors and sponsors. Most agreed that the person should be:
- Open and honest
- Passionate about their work
- Able to provide a safe space
- Able to articulate advice in a positive manner, providing hope and assistance when faced with a challenge
Participants also shared how the experience of being a mentor, mentor or friend of a colleague has benefited them throughout their career journey. Among the many benefits and skills honed by these relationships:
- Learning values and strengthening organization and relational skills
- Listen and communicate
- Considering that there are many different paths in landscape architecture, from teaching to public practice to starting your own business
- How to build new relationships, including through your ASLA chapter, ASLA National, and related professions programs
- How to Become a Licensed Landscape Architect
The final day of the conference started early for the 70 attendees who joined the Tennessee Chapter for the Women in Landscape Architecture Walk. The outing covered spaces in downtown Nashville designed by, worked by, or featuring women, led by Sarah Newton, ASLA, and Lindsey Bradley, ASLA, and featuring speakers Mary Vavra, ASLA, Katie Rudowsky , ASLA, Kim Hawkins, ASLA, Jennifer Smith , Laura Schroeder, ASLA, and Carol Ashworth, ASLA. It was a favorite conference event (or favorite WILA walk, for regular attendees) for many who did.
Stops on the three and a half mile walk included: Noble Park, Frankie Pierce Park, the full run of Deaderick Street, Public Square and West Riverfront Park. From parks and plazas to streetscapes and amphitheaters, women have been involved in the design and realization of all these projects. Visit the conference website to learn more about WILA Walk 2021including photos of projects and a Google map with links to videos of the projects visited.
Now that you’re up to speed on WILA’s highlights from the past year, here’s what’s happening right now:
WxLA and ASLA are teaming up for Women’s History Month with a new series, WxLA Wednesday Marchesin which fierce female leaders in landscape architecture give instagram live tours of landscapes they have designed across the country. Signe Nielsen, FASLA, led the first march on March 2:
Here are the upcoming WxLA Wednesday marches:
March 9, 12 p.m. MST
Allison Colwell, ASLA, and Michelle Shelor, ASLA
Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture, Phoenix
March 16, 12 p.m. CST
Hana Ishikawa, AIA
Site Design Group, Chicago
March 23, 12 p.m. CST
Christine Ten Eyck, FASLA
Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Austin
March 30, 12 p.m. EST
Christine Hite, FASLA
Dix.Hite + Partners, Orlando
Building on one of the topics raised at the WILA PPN campfire session in Nashville – making the path to permitas well as the guidance and resources needed to do so – ASLA has also launched the Women of Color Licensure Advancement Programdesigned to support women of color in their pursuit of licensure and increase racial and gender diversity within the profession.
In its first year, the program will provide 10 women of color with a personalized two-year experience that includes up to $3,500 to cover the cost of sections of the Landscape Architecture Registration Examination (LARE), as well as funding and access to the exam. prep lessons and resources, and mentorship from a licensed landscape architect. The deadline to apply for the program is April 1, 2022.
Interested in learning more about ASLA’s Women in Landscape Architecture Professional Practice Network (WILA PPN)?
Or you don’t know if you are already a member? You can check by login to the ASLA website and see what is listed for your PPN(s), located under the Activities/Orders tab. If you are not currently in any PPN or wish to change PPN, you can do so by filling out this form.
If you are new to the WILA PPN, we encourage you to explore our webpagejoin our Facebook and or LinkedIn groups, and read our most recent posts for Field. A reminder for any aspiring writers or thought leaders: All ASLA members are encouraged to write for Field—submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
If you would like to be more involved with the WILA PPN on an ongoing basis, any PPN member can volunteer to join the PPN Leadership Team. The pledge would be a monthly Zoom meeting with like-minded professionals and volunteering to support one of the PPN resources. Learn more and register to become a PPN leader.