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Editorial Board Message

The publication of this issue marks my first as Editorial Board Chair. I couldn’t be more pleased by the result and am very happy to be part of the team that brought it to fruition.

It is easy to see stress as a negative—it is often portrayed as such—but there are many ways in which it is positive. A suspension bridge is fettered stress. We pre-stress concrete in compression to make it stronger. Stress in biology drives evolution and growth. At the core of stress is change.

While a student, 25 years ago, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the OALA,  I had the opportunity to attend LABash at the University of Guelph. There was great energy at the event and a burgeoning sense that the profession of landscape architecture could lead the way in providing solutions to problems that our world was finally waking up to. At the time, we had only a basic understanding of the forces behind climate change—the Kyoto Protocol was still four years off in the future. The week of LABash, Canadians were seeing a tragic and horrific video of Indigenous children’s lives in Davis Inlet, Labrador. Fast forward 25 years, and these same issues are even more acute, with more awareness in the general public but not enough progress.

The calls for action that I heard 25 years ago at LABash still resonate. Although we may now understand more, we are only beginning to understand the stresses we are facing. The Stress issue of Ground seeks to understand more and perhaps point to some solutions. But we still need more: more action more quickly than ever, more understanding, more voices.

In this issue and in issues to come, we will continue the tradition of looking outside and beyond the profession, listening to voices that can inform our actions. On the Editorial Board and within Ground’s pages, we continue to seek and include Indigenous voices that provide perspectives on the many issues that affect everyone. In terms of the past, we now have an archival catalogue of past Ground issues (no simple and easy feat) that can inform future topics. You can view this catalogue at www.groundmag.ca.

The hope and desire in our small but important corner of the profession is to provide deeper understanding by knowing where we came from, and listening to voices that help illuminate our path. Perhaps then we can in our practices confront with confidence the challenges and changes facing us, that we may understand stress and put it to work to build better, stronger bridges to the future.

Eric Klaver, OALA
Chair, Editorial Board
[email protected]