To: ASLA Florida Members
From: Adam McCollister, President
Date: March 24, 2020
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well during these extraordinary times. At ASLA Florida, we want you to know that we share your concerns that COVID-19 poses to your health and well-being, as well as your business.
Most importantly, we navigate these trying times, we want you to know that your association is here for YOU, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything we can do to help.
In the meantime, I also wanted to update you on what your Chapter has been doing...
In addition to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that we avoid groups of 10 or people, Governor Ron DeSantis issues an Executive Order on March 17th, closing a number of businesses for 30 days in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. Furthermore, local governments are continuing to take additional steps to protect the public. We will continue to closely monitor and heed the guidance of the experts, while we continue to adapt to our current limitations and support our profession.
Annual LARE Review Seminar
We successfully hosted another LARE Review Seminar in February with a fantastic turnout. In an effort to keep up with the times and make the training more accessible, we’ve started recording them in hopes of offering online webinars in the future. We actually began the filming last year and recorded another couple sections this year. It’s a tedious process of editing, but we’re hopeful that the project will be ready to launch in the next year or so and we’ll continue to update as content is revised from CLARB.
As it is with any policy, continual review is needed with occasional updates as well. When it comes to our bylaws, the process isn’t that simple and must be coordinated through National ASLA, so we don’t tend to make the effort until there’s enough needed to warrant the effort. Well, that time is now with things like our nominations and elections process and the refinement of our Section boundaries, and more. In regards to Sections, we’re also looking at the addition of a new “Panhandle Section” as it’s become more apparent lately that there is a significant demand for increased ASLA presence in that neck of the woods. Following our February Executive Committee (ExCom) meeting we formed a committee of volunteers to take these issues head on. More to come on this topic in the near future.
Per the usual, it’s been an active and roller coaster session on Capitol Hill in Tallahassee so far this year. Our lobbyist, Diana Ferguson, has done an amazing job as always in representing ASLA and landscape architecture in general every step of the way. All in all it looks like we’re going to come out of session pretty unscathed, but we’ll send out a more detailed e-mail blast on the topic in the coming weeks.
Design Awards + Awards Gala
The deadline for entries was a couple weeks ago and all things considered we had a good number of submissions. We understand that the earlier deadline for this year probably played a big role in why the number of entries is lower in comparison – but hopefully everyone understands that our hands were tied in terms of schedule due to our obligations as the host chapter for the 2020 national conference. We’ll be following up with the general membership to gather feedback on the overall process in hopes on continuing to improve our Design Awards program in the future.
The Awards Gala has been postponed due to the COVID-19 restrictions. We are currently working to reschedule it and will keep you posted on the new date, as soon as it is available.
It goes without saying that our Section Chairs are the real boots on the ground and do most of the heavy lifting in keeping our Chapter active. While in-person events have been cancelled for the time being, we are exploring new ways to bring you together during this challenging time. Please check with your Section Chair to make sure you’re up to date with all the current events and they’ll be sure to get you plugged in.
Also, if you’re in the Broward or Miami Section specifically, please stay tuned for opportunities to get involved in the 2020 National Conference on Landscape Architecture, which will be here before we know it: October 2nd–5th in Miami Beach.
All the best,
Adam McCollister, PLA, ASLA
2019-2020 Florida Chapter President
Leading, educating, and participating in the careful stewardship, wise planning, and artful design of our cultural and natural environments.
P.O. Box 841
Pensacola, FL 32591