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Peitree Yaoliang Eco Resort - PFS Studio

President’s Message: A message from Jane Welsh, OALA President

An auspicious moment: my first President’s Message in Ground, in an issue that celebrates national design excellence and OALA award winners as well as the unique theme of somatics. As Real Eguchi states in his Guest Message, this issue explores “the dynamic, integral links between mind, body, community, and environment.” With summer finally on its way, we have even more opportunities to think about this relationship and enjoy the grace and elegance of our natural and built environments—shaped by landscape architects.

Our continued work on the Practice Act has forced us to take stock of where the profession of landscape architecture sits amongst the design professions, and where we would like it to be. Our many conversations with politicians, other professionals, and people of influence have clarified our unique role and contribution in the shaping of urban and natural landscapes. As the need for climate change adaptation becomes more urgent in the years ahead, landscape architecture is uniquely positioned, as Colleen Mercer Clark pointed out in her keynote presentation at the World Design Summit in 2017, as “the profession most concerned with design, management, and stewardship of land and water” and the profession that can best tackle the complexities and connections between ecosystem functions and health, and human wellbeing.

Our collective work on the Practice Act has increased the profile of the profession of landscape architecture. The role each of us plays in this dialogue is vital—our conversations and working relationships bring increased respect and credibility to our profession.

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