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President's Message

For many of us these final months of 2022 will mark the beginning of the first holiday season where we are able to physically gather around the dinner table and share a meal with our families and loved ones. 

However, with the increased pressures of inflation, the cost of food is rising. “Eating local” is no longer affordable for many families, and the need to invest in local agricultural infrastructure has never been clearer. As landscape architects, we need to pay closer attention to how public spaces can be better designed for local food production. For example, farmers markets can bring a sense of wellness and community to urban areas—as well as ensure Ontarians have access to affordable and local produce. 

A successful conference in London 
One of the Association’s highlights this year is the success of the 2GETHER conference, in partnership with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, which took place in London, Ontario this past September. I had the opportunity to meet with NDP Economic Development Critic Terence Kernaghan, MPP (London North Centre), and London Mayor Ed Holder, who both engaged in a number of discussions with OALA representatives about building more equitable, accessible and sustainable communities. 

Looking forward, I am also particularly proud of three initiatives OALA is working hard on:

  • PROFESSIONAL RELATIONS: We continue to raise our profile with our allies such as architects, engineers, planners, and landscape designers to build inter-professional relationships. 
  • GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: We continue to engage with both municipal and provincial public office holders to promote a Landscape Architect Practice Act. 
  • MEDIA COVERAGE: We are raising the profile of the profession with amazing coverage in specialized media including Canadian Architect Magazine, Building Magazine, Canadian Consulting Engineer, Daily Commercial News, and Municipal World.

Municipal elections
This October, local municipal elections were held in 444 cities, towns, and villages across Ontario. I want to congratulate OALA members who took the time to engage in the election process and make their voices heard, as it is estimated only a third of residents actually take the time to vote in local elections.

Steve Barnhart, OALA, CSLA
OALA President
[email protected]