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Notes: A miscellany of news and events

The OALA invites you to nominate your peers for the 2021 annual awards. The first deadline for nominations is November 30th, so if you have someone in mind who deserves recognition, make sure to put their name forward.

You can read about the various award categories and how to submit on our website.

Green buildings
This October’s 15th annual Green Building Festival, for which the OALA was an industry partner, explored topics that resonate with the work many of us do as landscape designers and architects to deeply integrate biology in urban developments.

The festival theme was “BIO: Ecological Principles in Buildings & Cities” and featured 10 visionary practitioners who are leveraging natural processes in design, materials, construction, and operations.

If you missed the festival but want to learn more about the best bioregional practices, “growing” building materials with negative carbon footprints, biodiversity, bioresources, bioeconomy, biomimicry, integrated project delivery, and the biomorphic future city, you can still register to watch the programming on-demand through the end of the year (http://gbf20.eventbrite.com/), or wait until 2021 when the videos will be posted to Sustainable Buildings Canada’s YouTube channel for free.

Biomorphic Cities. IMAGE/Courtesy of Peter Kindel

The American Society of Landscape Architects has a podcast, and it’s a great resource for both students and practicing professionals. The ASkLA Podcast’s goal is “to provide insight and perspective for students and emerging professionals by interviewing a variety of professionals in the field of landscape architecture.”

You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or your favourite podcatcher.

Park People has launched its second annual Canadian parks report, which examines data from 27 cities across Canada. In it, you’ll find information about biodiversity, creative park development, community engagement, and homelessness. You can read the full report here: ccpr.parkpeople.ca/.

In addition, Park People conducted a national survey on COVID-19 and parks in June. Over 1,600 residents and 51 municipalities shared their perspectives on how the pandemic has changed our perception and appreciation for parks, and the how the parks themselves have been impacted by COVID. Findings include increased use of park space, parks’ increasing role in mental health, strained operating budgets, and the need for public health amenities like washrooms. You can read the survey highlights here: parkpeople.ca/2020/07/16/covid-19-and-parks-highlights-from-our-national-surveys/.

Living building materials form an arch. IMAGE/Courtesy of Dr. Will Srubar
Rooftop garden. IMAGE/Courtesy of Liat Margolis

Reporting credits
All full members and associate members of seven years or more are required to obtain continuing education credits (CEC) for every three-year reporting period. The current full reporting period covers 2018 through 2020. By December 31st 2020, members should have 30 credits entered onto their accounts. The Mandatory Continuing Education Section of the Members’ Area includes documents to support members to complete their credits.

Parc Mont Royal, Montreal Quebec. IMAGE/Charles Olivier Bourque
Parc Mont Royal, Montreal Quebec. IMAGE/Charles Olivier Bourque
Parc Jarry, Montreal, Quebec. IMAGE/Charles Olivier Bourque

New coordinator
The Ground team is pleased to introduce the new OALA Coordinator for Communications and Marketing, Juleen Anderson.

Juleen started on August 4th and has quickly been learning about the Association and role. She already has some great new ideas to build engagement with OALA membership!

Her previous experience of coordinating meetings and events at The College of Family Physicians of Canada, and her education in Communications, Event Marketing and Management will be an asset to the team. If you’d like to reach out to Juleen, she can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].

Equity resources
In the hopes of promoting diversity, equity, and understanding, Ground will be sharing members’ favourite resources for supporting, encouraging, and celebrating racial justice in the landscape architecture field. Here are a few selections:

The Danger of a Single Story, TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“It is difficult to effectively implement inclusive and non-discriminatory policies in our organizations and practices without improving our understanding of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. The starting point of understanding a group of people or an individual is to know their story. Unfortunately, the stories of BIPOC are not validated unless told through a white or Western lens. In this Ted Talk, acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie urges us to listen to the whole story to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ‘other.’”
—Kaari Kitawi, OALA, Ground Editorial Board Member

Interview with Walter Hood: Black Landscapes Matter, by Jared Green for ASLA’s The Dirt.
“As landscape architects, we are taught how to read a landscape. Unfortunately, we aren’t taught to try on other people’s glasses when we do it—to see the landscape through other people’s eyes, from a different perspective. This piece with Walter Hood is so poignant, and underlines that, just as we can be taught to see site conditions or ecological characteristics, we can and must also be taught to see the diversity of cultural relationships with landscape so that we can respond accordingly.”
—Shannon Baker, OALA, Ground Editorial Board Member

If you’d like to go deeper, the CSLA is providing a Diversity & Equity Resources page on their website: www.csla-aapc.ca/mission-areas/diversity-equity-resources.

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and Ontario Association of Landscape Architects invite qualified experts to submit abstracts for concurrent sessions and panels to be made at the upcoming 2021 CSLA-OALA Congress scheduled to be held in Ottawa, Ontario, May 27-29, 2021.

While the future of the pandemic is still up in the air, the CSLA and OALA have been examining virtual or hybrid formats for the upcoming event, should it be necessary.

The theme of the congress is “A Green Recovery for a Great Recovery,” and the call is open until November 20th. Formats include Concurrent Sessions (20-minute oral presentations with a 5-10-minute question period), Panels (90-minute presentations with up to three participants plus a moderator), and Spark Sessions (15-minute pre-recorded and/or live video stream oral presentations presented at the Congress with an opportunity for moderated discussion).

For more information, look here: www.csla-aapc.ca/events/call-abstracts.

New members
The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new members to the Association:
Nick Assad *
Joshua Bernsen
Jason Bobowski
Erika Bullock
Amanda Cadger
Patrick Gauvreau
Ryan Herm
Shelley Long
Valerie Manica
Lindsey McCain *
Heather Pelz
Jonah Rannie *
Karen Shlemkevich *
Laurelin Svisdahl
Philip Wiersma *
Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members without the use of professional seal.