camping boom The pandemic has made most travel and vacations inadvisable, or even impossible. It’s no surprise, then, booking for Ontario Provincial Parks sites doubled between January 1 and February 5, as compared to last year.
Ideally, this is the beginning of a surge in appreciation for these provincial treasures, a greater desire to connect with nature, and stronger feelings of stewardship for Ontario’s diverse natural habitats. Although, it’s worth noting, Ontario Parks is asking people to only visit parks and conservation reserves “close to home,” as the pandemic continues, and so-called variants of concern threaten a third wave of infections.
congress The 2021 CSLA-OALA Congress is going virtual for the first time in the history of the event. Due to the climate crisis, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this spring, you’ll be able to attend the congress from the comfort of your own home.
The accessible online program will offer education, engagement, award shows and networking opportunities with landscape architects from across the country.
This year’s theme will be Nature-Based Solutions: The Green Recovery that Ensures a Great Recovery, with keynote speakers Martha Schwartz and Maude Barlow.
new members The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new members to the Association: Helio Araujo Zeynep Benk * Karen Lui * Milana Malesevich * Christina Vannelli
Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members without the use of professional seal.
Defaulted and Resigned Full Members for 2020 Nine former members defaulted in 2020: Mark Ambtman Roy Averill Michael K Pui Chan Barry Day Stan Fung Ian Hampson Kendra Kryszak James Sampa Moira Wilson
Thirteen Full Members resigned in 2020: Elena Brescia Victoria Lister Carley Michael Clement William Montague Samuel Ng Tim O’Brien Christina Schmoll Tracey Schwets Maria Smith Jordan Vander Klok Jeffrey Waring Peter Windolf Kyle Yakimovitch
books Readers might be interested in a new book from UBC Press which examines the intersection of iconic landscape and public infrastructure. In Fixing Niagara Falls: Environment, Energy, and Engineers at the World’s Most Famous Waterfall, author Daniel Macfarlane explores the multinational engineering project that both harnesses the power of the falls for hydroelectric power generation, while preserving its outward, tourist appeal as one of the world’s great natural wonders. But at what level of human intervention can this iconic landscape withstand and still be “natural?”
equity resources In the hopes of promoting diversity, equity, and understanding, Ground will be sharing resources for supporting, encouraging, and celebrating racial justice in the landscape architecture field. Here are a few selections:
“What are we taught about landscape architecture — which theories, histories, and case studies inform our understanding both of our profession, historically, and how we work in the present? Which landscapes do we choose to exalt, and which are obscured from broader collective memory and recognition? Building on the underlying motivations of the BLM movement ‘to be seen, to live with dignity, and to be connected,’ Kofi Boone challenges us to reconsider landscape architecture to include Black landscapes and landscape architects as a way of strengthening and diversifying both the history, and the future, of the profession.” — Nadja Pausch, OALA, Ground Editorial, Board Chair
“Conversations surrounding climate change and environmental justice often exclude Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, despite the longstanding and intimate relationship between environmental justice and racial justice movements. Climate In Colour is an online educational platform that ‘stands at the intersection of climate science and social justice and is making climate conversations more accessible and diverse.’ Climate in Colour provides useful resources to learn more about the link between the environment and racism, including an interactive online course, The Colonial History of Climate, which explores the connection between climate, science, and European Imperialism, and how this connection translates to today’s climate crisis.” — Saira Abdulrehman, one of the founders and principal designers at The  Design Collective, a POC and women-led design studio, and Ground editorial board member
covid escapes Last summer, in response to the pandemic, many municipalities looked for ways people could get outside and enjoy their cities and towns, while maintaining safe social distance and practicing public health safety. With another summer approaching, these municipalities are looking to repeat, perfect, or even expand their COVID-safe interventions. As well, Toronto is looking to bring back its ActiveTO weekend road closures program for pedestrians and cyclist, although construction may prevent the use of Lakeshore Boulevard West for that purpose.