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Thank You to Our 2017 Scholarship Jurors

2017-scholarships-landing

Each year, the Landscape Architecture Foundation offers over $60,000 in awards through up to 11 different scholarships and fellowships, established by generous sponsors. The winners are chosen through a competitive application and selection process. LAF convenes juries to decide the winners of four awards, and we would like to extend a sincere thank you to this year’s jurors. We appreciate the energy you put in to the process and your commitment to supporting the next generation of designers!

LAF Honor Scholarship in Memory of Joe Lalli, FASLA Jury

Cheryl Barton, FASLA, FAAR, LEED AP
Founding Principal
Office of Cheryl Barton

Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, LEED AP
Principal
ParkerRodriguez, Inc

Doug Hoerr, FASLA
CEO and Senior Principal
Hoerr Schaudt

Mia Lehrer, FASLA
President
Mia Lehrer + Associates

Signe Nielsen, FASLA
Principal
MNLA

Gregg Sutton, PLA, ASLA
Principal
EDSA

Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden and Design Jury

Randall W. Mardis, ASLA, PLA
President
Landscape Technologies

Kevin Campion, ASLA
Principal
Campion Hruby

Julieta Sherk, PLA, ASLA
Associate Professor, College of Design
North Carolina State University

Landscape Forms Design for People Scholarship Jury

Scott Rykiel, FASLA, LEED AP
Executive Vice President
Mahan Rykiel Associates

Terry Guen, FASLA
Principal and Founder
Terry Guen Design Associates

Bill Burton, FASLA
Owner
Burton Studio

Steven G. King Play Environments Scholarship Jury

Kate Tooke, PLA, ASLA
Senior Associate
Sasaki

Julie Johnson, PLA, ASLA
Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
University of Washington

Sara Schuh, PLA, ASLA
Principal
SALT Design Studio

Rural Community Gardens: Cultivating Capacities

scholarships-elly-engle-530w-01Eastern Kentucky Holler

Last spring, Elyzabeth Engle received our 2016 Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design, an award sponsored by the Garden Club of America to support the examination of gardens and their unique place in our environment.

Elyzabeth is a PhD candidate in Rural Sociology and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment at the Pennsylvania State University and grew up in a Pennsylvania farming community. Her dissertation focuses on the community capacity-building processes and outcomes of community garden programs within the rural context of Central Appalachia, a topic that is both of personal interest and extremely pertinent to the social and environmental challenges faced by today’s rural communities.

According to the Grow Appalachia website, citing data from the Appalachian Regional Commission:

  • Unemployment is stuck well above 10% throughout the Appalachian region
  • Per capita income in Central Appalachia was just $18,722 in 2013, considerably lower than the national average.
  • An average of 18.3% of families in Appalachia fell under the poverty line in 2013, which is 4% more than the national average. In rural areas, poverty rates jump to 22.5%.
  • In the poorest parts of the region, poverty rates often approach 25-30%.

Central Appalachia gives a snapshot of how globalization and urbanization have impacted America’s rural communities, where extractive industries have left behind degraded and resource-depleted landscapes. Elyzabeth notes that the challenges typically identified as urban problems are also very relevant in our rural communities. Poverty, unemployment, lack of economic opportunity, environmental degradation, water contamination, and poor health are prevalent in these places with a rich agricultural past.

“These issues transcend urban and rural divides.”

scholarships-elly-engle-226w-02“There is a strong need for further research and practice towards sustainable development within rural, natural resource-dependent communities, particularly strategies that take a grassroots, place-based approach,” Elyzabeth emphasizes. This is where community garden programs can have a profound impact. Such programs could prove to be invaluable in fostering economic stability, resilience, and social capital for these neglected rural communities. While community garden programs are well established within the urban context, there is a dearth of knowledge, resources, and research about rural community gardens.

For her research in this area, Elyabeth is partnering with Grow Appalachia, a non-profit organization based in Berea, Kentucky, which manages and supports 30-40 garden sites in rural communities in Central Appalachia through funding, technical and physical assistance.

Elyzabeth asserts that there is so much room for collaboration and stresses the value of a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling the human, environmental, socio-cultural, and economic factors at play. “We have so much to learn about and from each other’s expertise.” Different perspectives make us push ourselves to think more deeply and critically about how we can combat ongoing challenges related to environmental and social equity.

Thank You to Our 2016 Scholarship Jurors

Throughout its 50-year history, the Landscape Architecture Foundation has awarded scholarships to deserving students. This year, the total amount available increased significantly with the establishment of two new awards — the $20,000 LAF Honor Scholarship in Memory of Joe Lalli, FASLA and the $5,000 ASLA-NY Designing in the Public Realm Scholarship. The now 11 different scholarships and fellowships were established and made possible by their respective sponsors.

Scholarship winners are chosen through a competitive application and selection process. LAF convenes juries to decide the winners of four awards. We would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s jurors — we appreciate your commitment to supporting the next generation of designers!

LAF Honor Scholarship in Memory of Joe Lalli, FASLA Jury

Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, LEED AP
Principal
ParkerRodriguez, Inc

Lucinda R. Sanders, FASLA
CEO and Partner
OLIN

Martha Schwartz, DSc, FASLA, Hon FRIBA, Hon RDI, RAAR
Principal
Martha Schwartz Partners

Gregg Sutton, PLA, ASLA
Principal
EDSA

Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden and Design Jury

Virginia L. Russell, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP, GRP
Associate Professor of Architecture, Horticulture Program Director
University of Cincinnati

Randall W. Mardis, ASLA, PLA
President / Landscape Architect
Landscape Technologies
 
Susan Olmsted, AIA, ASLA, LEED AP
Associate Principal
Mithun

Steven G. King Play Environments Scholarship Jury

Lisa Horne, PLA, LEED AP, ASLA
Project Manager
RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture

Kate Tooke, ASLA
Associate
Sasaki Associates

David Watts, PLA
Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Landscape Forms Design for People Scholarship Jury

James Burnett, FASLA
President
The Office of James Burnett

Dan Herman, ASLA
Principal
Rabben/Herman design office

Scott Rykiel, FASLA, LEED AP
Executive Vice President
Mahan Rykiel Associates

Thank You to Our 2015 Scholarship Jurors

2015-scholarships-newsletterEach year, the Landscape Architecture Foundation offers $40,000 in awards through nine different scholarships and fellowships, established by generous sponsors. The winners are chosen through a competitive application and selection process. LAF convenes juries to decide the winners of three awards. We would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s jurors, who lent their time and insights to the selection process. We appreciate your commitment to supporting the next generation of designers!

Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden and Design Jury

Gale Fulton, ASLA
Associate Professor & Chair, Graduate Landscape Architecture Program
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

David R. Gal, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP
Principal
SWA Group

Virginia L. Russell, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP, GRP
Associate Professor of Architecture, Horticulture Program Director
University of Cincinnati

Steven G. King Play Environments Scholarship Jury

Susan Herrington, PLA
Professor, Architecture and Landscape Architecture
University of British Columbia

Lisa Horne, PLA, LEED AP, ASLA
Project Manager
RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture

Joy Kuebler, PLA, ASLA
Owner
Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC

Landscape Forms Design for People Scholarship Jury

Brad Collett, PLA, LEED AP, ASLA
Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture Program
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Joe Geller, FASLA
Vice President
Stantec

Monte Wilson, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP
Principal
Jacobs Engineering

Heavy Metals in San Francisco Vegetable Gardens

By Jennifer Gorospe, 2010 Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship winner

1-sfgarden-500wThe summer of 2010 is one I will never forget — I visited 100 San Francisco vegetable gardens. There were community gardens with multi-million dollar views and an amazing assortment of backyard gardens. Some featured ponds, rainwater catch- ment, and greywater systems. Many incorporated terraces to take advantage of SF’s steep hillsides, with several “backyard” gardens actually on porches, patios and outdoor stairwells. Some gardens had bee hives or chickens, while others made creative use of whatever resources they had, including neighbor’s yards and broken Ikea furniture as planters. What they all had in common, though, were gardeners eager to know how safe it was to eat items grown there.

With support from the GCA/Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design and the California EPA’s Environmental Justice Small Grants program, I tested 100 vegetable gardens in San Francisco for 16 different heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Some of the findings were not a surprise (raised bed gardens tend to have less metals than in-ground gardens), but from an Environmental Justice standpoint, I was surprised to find that high levels of lead are more often found in predominately White neighborhoods. 

2-leadrace-500wThe Asian and African American neighborhoods studied had the lowest median metal concentrations even though these areas include an active superfund site, a California Department of Toxic Substances Control remediation cleanup, plus other known and suspected pollution sources. Also of note was that neighborhoods with older homes (like San Francisco’s famous Victorians) showed higher amounts of lead than areas with newer homes, pointing to a relationship between lead-based paint and garden soil lead concentrations.

3-voltagegarden-500wMost gardeners I encountered through this project did not know how to get their soil tested nor how to determine whether it is safe. I was not able to say what is definitely safe and what is not because in researching the current guidelines for “safe levels” of heavy metals in soil (for residential areas, brown- fields, and gardens), I found the information to be inconsistent, not easily accessible, and confusing to interpret. I believe that the EPA should consider updating its garden soil guidelines to reflect levels published by other agencies and utilize public health agencies to engage gardeners in a dialog about heavy metals and safe gardening practices.

Besides providing free soil testing to local gardeners, I wanted my project to engage the gardening community. To this end, I hosted community meetings, created educational pamphlets, and launched a website, all aimed at helping gardeners eat as safely as possible from their gardens. The website includes the pamphlets, results from the soil testing, and a list of published “safe levels”. It can be accessed at https://sites.google.com/site/healthygardeners.

Jennifer is a master’s degree candidate in Environmental Studies at San José State University, where she is works as a Project Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability.