ASLA’s mission is is to lead, to educate, and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. It is a professional peer association that operates on two levels-national and local. As such, your exposure to resources, and the benefits you can take advantage of by being a member, is essentially doubled. You can tap into the vast source of information and assistance of the National organization which is available to you mainly, but not solely, through the ASLA website. You can also find professional information and expertise relevant to you regionally through events, announcements, and most importantly, through personal connections at your local Chapter.
The most important role ASLA takes on for you as a landscape architect or designer, is legal advocacy for the profession on the federal (National) and state (local Chapter) levels. ASLA is doing a lot of work behind the scenes, whether you know it or not, that directly affects you and your livelihood. Without ASLA’s persistent, timely and unwavering effort, landscape architecture as we know and practice it, would not be able to stand up to recurring state sunset laws and federal restrictions.
At the end of last year, thanks to a massive ASLA campaign, the Senate rejected amendments to gut the Transportation Enhancements bill; in May congress introduced the Safe and Complete Streets Act; and in 2010, ASLA achieved licensure in all 50 states for the first time in the history of the profession.
It is unfortunate, but we, landscape architecture professionals, constantly need to defend our passion and our means of making a living. It is most effectively done in an organized way, and ASLA is the perfect forum for us. By being an ASLA member you support this effort. By being a member you also have a chance to participate in this effort actively… ..it is not an obligation, it is a great opportunity.
The second most important endeavor ASLA carries out for you is public awareness of Landscape Architecture. Aren’t you tired of being called a Landscaper? Does it not aggravate you when an architect asks you to put some “growies” around the building? Don’t you feel awkward when, upon learning your line of work, your neighbor’s friend asks if you would clip their hedge? Apparently, as professionals, we have not been doing enough to tell the world what we do, what we are capable of doing. We have not explained clearly enough the breadth of expertise our work encompasses. As professionals, we have not established our credentials strongly enough, or began to outline the important role we play in people’s public and private lives. ASLA is currently orchestrating a massive grassroots public awareness campaign, that is giving the profession more visibility and recognition. ASLA is the vehicle to set our status right; you are the fuel.