HOORAY, we have launched a new website! A lot of time and effort went into the planning of this, so a great big thank you to our Executive Director, Vicki Phillipy; our Chapter President Elect, Duane Border; and to our Treasurer Alan Clarke for serving on the Website Task Force. Thank you also to the Web Team of Sarit + State Creative Studio in San Diego for their efforts and working to expedite the process so we were able to roll out our new site in time for the Chapter’s Design Awards. We hope you will all agree that our website will prove to be a much better place to go to get information; and that you’ll find the new site easy to navigate through. We welcome your feedback; so if you have a suggestion, we’d love to hear from you.

It’s summertime in Southern California, and things are starting to ‘heat up’…., and not just temperature wise! A lot is going on right now, and it’s keeping the Chapter Executive Committee busy trying to keep up.

First off, let me say that the long anticipated 2016 Quality of Life Awards Call for Submissions is now open! The theme of this year’s awards is “Celebrating the Evolving Vision of California Landscapes”. The submission deadline is Friday, August 26, 2016, so start getting your submittals written and your photos taken. This is an excellent opportunity to get your projects and your firm recognized. The jurying will take place on Saturday, September 17th. The awards presentation and gala will be held on October 6, 2016 at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim. Invitations for this will go out under separate cover.

The Chapter Presidents Meeting was held in Washington DC May 18 through May 21st. Duane Border and I were very proud to be able to bring along with us two of our Student Chapter Presidents, Brandon Cornejo from Cal Poly SLO and Alexis SantaRamona from UCLA. They joined us for our Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill when we met with the staff of U.S. Senators Boxer and Feinstein for the continued funding for our National Parks, and as we lobbied for maintaining funding for transportation enhancements within the Transportation Bill. The students joined us also for our mid-year Chapter Presidents meeting, and, when asked questions regarding how to get more of the emerging professionals involved, we were very proud to have them speak to this issue! For those members who may not be aware, an annual priority for the Chapter Executive Committee every year is taking at least one student to Washington DC and Advocacy Day in the Spring every year.

Over the Spring months, we were very pleased to present the 2016 Student Honor and Merit Awards to all four schools that are within our region. Through the efforts of Vice President Liaison to Students, Kim Rhodes of David Evans Associates and Carlos Flores, a landscape designer at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and part-time graphics instructor with Cal Poly Pomona; and all of our members who served as jurors for each of our four schools, the Southern California Chapter awarded the following students:

Cal Poly Pomona
1. Jeremy Munns – Honor Award
2. Seth van der Linden – Honor Award
3. Nicole Nguyen – Honor Award
4. Billy Guarino – Merit Award
5. Chris Anderson – Merit Award
6. Matthew Wild – Merit Award

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
1. Grace Michelle Cain – Honor Award
2. Wayne A. Nemec – Honor Award
3. Nathaniel M. Abrea – Honor Award
4. Michael Ryan Freitag – Merit Award
5. Kathryn Marie Cannon – Merit Award
6. Thuy Michelle Tran – Merit Award

1. Helaleh Behbahani – Honor Award
2. Richard Emery – Honor Award
3. Alexis SantaRomana – Merit Award
4. Ronald Ruiz- Merit Award

1. Sherida Jeffrey – Honor Award
2. Tianyi Hao – Honor Award
3. Molly Fancier – Merit Award
4. Talitta Reitz – Merit Award

On June 23rd, Baxter Miller Landscape Architecture (BMLA) hosted a chapter barbecue and mixer to kick off the summer. 80 members, friends and colleagues attended and enjoyed a feast of BMLA’s famous BBQ Tri-Tip and other summer BBQ cuisine. We want to thank event sponsors for this night which included Ewing, Coast Recreation, Rainbird, and USA Shade. Proceeds from the annual BBQ will help fund our Advocacy Day efforts with our ASLA students.

More events have been planned, so please take time to read the weekly broadcast sent from our Communication’s Committee, as all upcoming events and other member news will appear in the weekly broadcasts, as well as on our new website.

Under the leadership of our HALS Chair, Alison Terry, our Historic American Landscape Survey Committee (HALS) completed a white paper and accompanying graphics on Laguna Beach and the part that it played in the early history of coastal towns in Orange County. The committee’s report (Laguna Beach HALS CA-123) has been submitted to the Library of Congress where it will be made available for future generations of landscape architects and scholars from around the world to read and understand the importance Laguna Beach had to this area.

The Executive Committee Board elections are upon us and we have a great slate of candidates again this year. The Chapter is always looking for dedicated individuals to run for an elected position. With a chapter as large as ours, we encourage and need new leaders. There are only two types of people in this world; those who complain about what they see as the lack of things getting done, and those who take lead and get the things done. We hope that you’ll consider running for an elected position in the future, or serving on one of our many committees.

The big news, of course, is that the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting will be held here in Los Angeles next October! We will be asking all ASLA members to serve on annual meeting committees and assist with the planning of the many Host Chapter tasks associated with the Annual Meeting. ASLA National staff will be coming to Los Angeles in December to make a presentation to the Executive Committee and National Meeting Committee members. This will be open to all members in our Chapter to attend. We will announce the date once it is firmed up. We are all very excited about being selected by ASLA National to be the host chapter for this Annual Meeting. The last time the Annual Meeting was held in Los Angeles was in 1996, 20 years ago. A lot has happened within our Chapter since then, and we’re looking to showcase new and exciting projects, attractions, and parks that will show the world that Southern California is ‘where it’s at’!

This is probably my last opportunity to address you as your Chapter President. I can’t tell you what an honor it has been to represent you at the Chapter Presidents Council meetings both in Chicago and in Washington DC, and as your voice to ASLA National. Our membership in the Chapter has increased this past year, and we have accomplished many good things. It’s never an easy task to please everyone, especially in a chapter as large as ours. (I believe that we’re still the 2nd largest chapter in the entire country!). We’re all volunteers, doing our best to try and make things happen, and get things done. I think that it was best stated by John Lyngate, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time…, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” But we do try……

I hope to see many of you at the 2016 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, and ALL of you at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. If you happen to see me, come up and introduce yourself and say “Hello”, as I’d love to meet you.

Best Regards-

Andy Bowden, PLA, ASLA

Chapter President
Southern California Chapter, ASLA