Two great opportunities for LA’s to strut their stuff

Elizabeth & Nona Evans Restorative Garden. Image courtesy Dirtworks, PC

Have you designed or built a therapeutic landscape, or another type of landscape that facilitates health and wellness? If you’re a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), now’s your chance to be rewarded for your efforts. And we’ll all benefit because you will be raising awareness about landscapes for health.

Opportunity #1:
ASLA’s 2009 Call for Entries for their annual Professional Awards is now open – deadline is 2/5, so hurry up! Dirtworks, PC, David Kamp’s landscape architecture firm, won the 2006 Honor Award in General Design for the Elizabeth & Nona Evans Restorative Garden at the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, OH. This was a great way to put therapeutic landscapes in the spotlight. But 2006 was awhile ago, and people have short memories. The Therapeutic Landscapes Database won the Communications Award of Merit back in 2004, but no one can remember back that far (except the Therapeutic Landscapes Network and my parents, of course). 
So c’mon, designers, get your projects out there so we all can benefit.

Opportunity #2:
The Call for Presentations for ASLA’s 2009 Annual Meeting & Expo is now open. Have a project, or several projects, or an interesting subject, or a scintillating topic that you think your peers would like to know about (and can earn continuing education credits for)? Now’s your chance to submit your proposal for ASLA’s next meeting, to be held this year in September in Chicago, IL. 

Fellowship opportunity for LA students

The Landscape Architecture Foundation‘s Leadership in Landscape Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for its 2009 fellowship and scholarship opportunities. The deadline for the Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design fellowship is soon – January 15th – but if you miss this deadline, it looks like there’s another opportunity with a deadline of 2/15. But don’t take my word for it: See the LAF’s website for more info and the fine print: http://www.lafoundation.org/scholarships/scholarships.aspx. This award is given for research conducted by a graduate student at a leading institution. 

Thanks to Kathy at LAF for this information.

Like this blog? Show your support!

Prothonotary warbler, courtesy Henry Domke Fine Art

Ah, the lonely life of the long-distance blogger. We sit in our offices or houses or cafes, typing away, sending off missives that – we hope – others will read and be informed or amused or inspired by. For me, as Director of the Therapeutic Landscapes Network, blogging is a way to convey the most current information, research, and news about landscapes for health. The blog keeps things fresh. It also makes me feel more connected with the far-flung international community of designers, health and human service providers, scholars, and others interested in this exciting and rewarding field of therapeutic landscapes. There are quite a few of us, but we don’t get to talk or meet very often, and that in itself can make one feel isolated at times. I’ve received many emails over the years thanking the TLN for being there, like this one from a student in China: “The materials and information you offered encourage me a lot and I am not feeling lonely in what I am doing now.” I love getting these emails because they remind me that the Therapeutic Landscapes Network and Blog do, indeed, make a difference. 

So: Like this blog and want to show your support? Clap your virtual hands and let me know! 

Research has shown that in the healthcare setting, choice gives people a sense of control, and therefore reduces stress. With that in mind, here are three choices of how you can support this blog. Choose one, and/or two, and/or all three.  All of these options will let others know that you think this blog is important, and will let me know that you want me to keep blogging away. Bet you’re feeling less stressed already!

Here are your options, all located on the right-hand column of this blog:

1. Become a Follower (click on “Follow This Blog” just below the fern image): This shows other readers and the blogger (me) that you are following this blog (rather than just looking at it once and never coming back). You can follow publicly or anonymously. Click HERE to read more about how it works.

2. Subscribe to have blog updates emailed to your inbox (located just above the Followers) or sign up for RSS feed (scroll down for this). Click HERE for the best explanation I’ve found about RSS, or see this Wikipedia entry or What Is RSS?

3. Donate money! Every little bit helps (and a lot helps even more). Right now we’re raising funds to update our website; one of the first goals is to combine this blog and the Therapeutic Landscapes Database website under one virtual roof. Help us get there by clicking on HERE or on the “Donate” icon at the top of the left-hand column, or by sending a check, made out to TLRC, to P.O. Box 728, Beacon, NY, 12508.

Oh, and perhaps it’s time I put a face to the name:

Naomi Sachs, ASLA, Founder and Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network

Thank you, and keep in touch!

Thanksgiving comes to the Therapeutic Landscapes Resource Center

An enormous THANK YOU to those who have donated to our fundraising campaign so far–this bouquet of thyme and sage is for you!

TLRC fundraising campaign: See that button on the right, just below van Gogh’s irises? That’s where you click to support the Therapeutic Landscapes Resource Center. Big changes are afoot here, and your support makes it happen. For nine years, the Therapeutic Landscapes Database has been a free, online informational resource for anyone and everyone interested in landscapes for health. Did you know that the TLD and Blog get over 5,000 hits a month? This is a valuable resource, used by people all over the world. We are now working on some important improvements that will enable us to make even more of a difference, including: 

1. Combining website and blog under one virtual roof; 
2. Providing an online forum so that members of this vibrant community can communicate directly with each other; 
3. Adding search functions; and
4. Adding lots more information and images. 

We can’t do it without the support of generous people like Betsy and others who have donated to the campaign so far. And we’ve still got a ways to go; so click on that lovely green button and donate. And again, to those who’ve given so far, an armload of flowers for you!

Our mission: The Therapeutic Landscapes Resource Center provides information, education, and inspiration about healing gardens and other spaces that foster health and wellness through contact with nature. We serve a multidisciplinary community of designers, health and human service providers, scholars, and members of the general public, acting as a resource and a virtual gathering space where people can obtain and share information, inspire each other, and collaborate to design, build, fund, study, and benefit from therapeutic landscapes.

Sustainable Sites Initiative draft open for public comment

Image courtesy Sustainable Sites Initiative

If you haven’t yet checked out the Sustainable Sites Initiative, the website is worth a look. Note the Human Health & Well-being component of their mission. They’ve recently released a draft of their latest Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks, and are seeking public comment. Here’s your opportunity to weigh in. See below for more details:

The Sustainable Sites Initiative invites public comment on the new report titled Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks Draft 2008, the most comprehensive set of national guidelines yet developed for the sustainable design, construction and maintenance of landscapes. The report is available for download at www.sustainablesites.org, and an online feedback form has been created for users to help improve the guidelines.

These guidelines will enable built landscapes to support natural ecological functions by protecting existing ecosystems and regenerating ecological capacity where it has been lost. The report includes more than 50 prerequisites and credit options that cover everything from initial site selection to construction and maintenance. The report represents thousands of hours with input from 37 technical advisors in hydrology, vegetation, soils, materials and human health and well being. These credits were tailored to apply to any landscape, with our without buildings.

EDRA/Places Awards 2008 Call for Submissions – Deadline February 7

Places: Forum of Design for the Public Realm and the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) announce the eleventh annual EDRA/Places Awards for Place Design, Planning and Research — this year in cooperation with Metropolis Magazine. Unique in the ever-expanding universe of award programs, their concern is for good places and how people inhabit them.

“We seek entries of exemplary work, inviting participation from a range of design and research disciplines, recognizing projects whose significance extends beyond any one profession or field. Projects should emphasize a link between research and practice, demonstrating how an understanding of human interaction with place can inspire design.”

Click HERE for a pdf of the Call for Entries form.