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Notes: A miscellany of news and events

James Dobbin, OALA full member–retired, has just published a book commissioned by The World Bank Group called Spacial Planning for Resilient Economic Diversification: La Guajira, Colombia, with co-authors Tatiana Márquez and Jennifer Rietbergen-McCracken. All authors are members of Dobbin International.

The book “describes how strategic spatial development planning can be used to gain new insights of opportunities and constraints for mining-dependent regions and to develop multi-sector development plans for resilient and sustainable economies.”

“The case in La Guajira is striking. The local economy is heavily dependent on the Cerrejón mine, one of the world’s largest coal mining operations, while most of the population rely on subsistence agriculture. With its high levels of poverty, harsh environment, and complex social dynamics, La Guajira faces enormous challenges. Yet the planning work reveals high potential opportunities in renewable energy, agricultural and forestry plantation development, tourism, and a variety of other sectors.”

To read the book, check out the World Bank Group’s Open Knowledge Repository.

Book cover. IMAGE/ Courtesy of James Dobbin

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:

The Bottom: The Emergence and Erasure of Black American Urban Landscapes, an essay by Ujijji Davis.

“‘The histories of Black Bottom and Seneca Village illustrate a significant message that requires more attention in the urban planning world today: Black American urban landscapes are especially susceptible to destruction because of the success of anti-Black sentiment that pollutes planning policy and thought. This culture creates a long history of governmental facilitation of—and planning for—displacing Blacks from the places they established. As a continuously socially and economically marginalized group, blacks and the spaces they occupy are vulnerable and often considered ripe for the taking.’

Ujijji Davis is a landscape architect living in Detroit. Her essay, published by The Avery Review, is an eye-opening depiction of the inherent racist values and practices that inform much of our city building frameworks. The essay is impassioned in its message about the importance of marginalized landscapes and their contributions to our cultural identities. Ujijji eloquently describes the imbalance of power between whites and marginalized Black populations and the resulting vulnerability their neighbourhoods confront.

Ujijji was also a guest on episode 20 of the Transforming Cities podcast, where she talks about a range of topics from how she became interested in landscape architecture to what inspired her to research and write her essay.”

— Mark Hillmer, OALA, Ground Editorial Board member

If you’d like to go deeper, the CSLA is providing a Diversity & Equality Resources page on their website.

As gratitude for the tireless work of frontline healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, a grassroots group called One Bench One Tree has embarked on a project to install a bench and a tree at every Canadian hospital. A place for the people who care for us to take a peaceful break in the shade, and experience a bit of nature.

The work is being done in partnership with suppliers Maglin Site Furniture for benches, Unilock for concrete slabs, and Maple Leaves Forever for trees; as well as associations like Landscape Ontario, the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation (OHTF), the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), and the OALA.

The first bench and tree (a sugar maple) was planted in June at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.

If you’d like to learn more, or make a donation to this cause, please visit this website.

The inaugural bench and tree at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto. IMAGE/ Everett Dejong
The inaugural bench and tree at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto. IMAGE/ Everett Dejong
The inaugural bench and tree at Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto. IMAGE/ Everett Dejong

in memoriam
Glenn David Harrington
The OALA is saddened to announce the passing of Glenn David Harrington on May 5, 2021. Glenn has been a full member of the OALA since March 1976. The Association was notified on May 10th 2021. This tribute was prepared by Glenn’s wife, Cheryl, and his partners at Harrington McAvan:

Glenn loved the land. He used his passion for conservation to build a remarkable career in restoration across Ontario. He was widely known for his innovative approach to environmental landscape design, and expertise in collaborating with grassroots citizen groups on local landscape rehabilitation projects.

After graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Toronto, Glenn became an instrumental member of the OALA and served the organization for nearly 50 years, including stints as Chair of the By-Law Review Committee and Examining Board. He was a proud Fellow of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. He represented the OALA as their delegate to the Conservation Council of Ontario for many years and served multiple terms as Council President and Chair of the Water Task Force. He also brought the OALA’s viewpoint to the board of the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) where he served as a Director as well as Chair of the Rehabilitation and Land Use committees.

Glenn’s projects were lauded for their quality. He was twice honoured by the Association as a recipient of the OALA Carl Borgstrom Award for Service to the Environment (2002) and the OALA Pinnacle Award for Landscape Architectural Excellence (2012).

He was instrumental in introducing soil bio-engineering techniques to Ontario as a viable option for bank and stream stabilization. He pioneered the use of dormant cuttings of hardy, native plant material to stabilize soil. His expertise contributed heavily to the development of planning standards for pits and quarries in Ontario with the preparation of Generic Site Plans for the Aggregate Resources Act.

Glenn was a Principal of Harrington McAvan Ltd. from the firm’s foundation in 1974 until his passing. Outside of his professional practice, Glenn passed on his knowledge through teaching and speaking engagements at Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education and at Trent University.

In recent years, Glenn’s pride-and-joy was a former gravel pit near Cannington, north-east of Toronto, where he worked to recreate lush pastures, rolling hills, and a deep, cold water lake. In three brutally short years, ALS crushed that dream but it could never crush Glenn’s spirit. Glenn left us as he lived, on his own terms; content with his family near and the taste of Scotch on his lips. He will be greatly missed and remembered forever with love by his sons Adam, Matthew, and Jesse, his wife Cheryl, daughters-in-law Sara and Teresa, grandchildren Ty and Maeve, sister-in-law Heather, nieces and nephew Alana, Bethany, and Brent, and by his partners Rich, April, and Bernie, as well as his many friends and colleagues.

There will be a celebration of life, post-COVID. Donations in Glenn’s memory may be made to the ALS Society of Canada.

Glenn David Harrington. IMAGE/Courtesy of Rich McAvan

new members
The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new members to the Association:
Jaysen Ariola *
Linzey Bedard
Emily Bernard
Bulent Cetin
Madison Dalley
Danielle Davis *
Danielle Dibbits
Mark Ryan Doram
Serge Gallant
Omid Laalkaei *
Meikang Li
Logan Littlefield
Patricia Lussier
Claire McLoughlin *
Marie-Eve Parent
Danielle Rancourt
Qiwei Song
Yi Zhou
Stacey Zonneveld *

Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members without the use of professional seal.