06-24-20 | Association News

Recipients of ASLA's 2020 Honors Announced

10 Awards of the Association's Most Prestigious Awards Were Given

Eight medals and two awards account for ASLA's 10 honors.

ASLA announced the receipts of their 2020 honors. These are a collection of 10 different awards and medals bestowed upon professionals in the industry who have shown expectational work and accomplishments throughout their careers. The honors are awarded annually and are selected by the association's board of trustees. They are said to reflect the greatest recognition ASLA bestows each year.

The ASLA Medal recognizes "a landscape architect whose lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession have had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of the public and the environment." This year Anne Whiston Spirn, professor of landscape architecture and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received The ASLA Medal.

Martha Schwartz, senior partner of Martha Schwartz Partners, received The ASLA Design Medal. This medal is awarded "To recognize an individual landscape architect who has produced a body of exceptional design work at a sustained level for a period of at least ten years."

The Community Service Award was given to Glen Dake of DakeLuna Consultants. When asked by what his reaction to receiving the award, Dake said, "I'm honored to receive the award! Toiling in the vineyard is its own reward. I meet a lot of beautiful people, and that is my motivation." Dake is very clearly appreciative of winning the award, but he is also just as deserving of it with his long history of community service within the industry. He aided in founding the La Community Garden Council in 1998, in which he was a leader in building community gardens throughout the Los Angeles area.

The LaGasse Medal for a landscape architect professional "recognizes notable contributions by individuals to the management and conservancy of natural resources and public landscapes." This year's recipient is Dan Wenk, a 40-year professional with the National Park Service.

ASLA also awards The LaGasse Medal for a non-landscape architect professional. The medal was awarded to Tom O'Rouke, former executive director of The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission. O'Rouke explained to, "I was extremely humbled," receiving the award from the ASLA was more meaningful to him because of the standard they have set for the park and landscaping industries. He noted this was not an individual award but a team award. In response to being asked what work he was most proud of, he explained that the increase from 5,000 to 12,000 acres of land acquired was something he was particularly proud of. He explained that "we do everything we can with all the resources we can to buy as much land as possible" with the motivation that the land is "not just for today, but forever."

The Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal, awarded to Stephanie Rolley, head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning at Kansas State University. She encompassed, "an individual who has made a sustained and significant contribution to landscape architecture education."

James Corner Field Operations was the recipient of The Landscape Architecture Firm Award. "Field Operations is renowned for strong contemporary design across a variety of project types and scales, from large urban districts, master plans, and complex planning sites, to small well-crafted, detailed design projects," stated the press release announcing the winners.

Paul Bussee, founder and owner of Applied Imagination, received The Medal of Excellence as recognition for his "significant contributions to landscape architecture policy, research, education, project planning, and design, or a combination of these items."

The Olmstead Medal, awarded to the organization, program, or individual outside of the landscape architecture profession that best represents environmental leadership, vision, and stewardship, was given to The Garden Conservancy.

Last but not least, Diana Fernandez Bibeau received the Emerging Professional Medal. Bibeau was noted for her ability to think critically as a defining feature of her professional capabilities.

Furthermore, ASLA announced eight new honorary members described by the association as "among the greatest honors for non-landscape architecture professionals in recognition of notable service to the profession." The new honorary members are Vida Germano, Nancy Goldenberg, Briana Hensold, Zachary Chrisco, Connecticut state senator Chris Murphy, Judith Nitsch, Anne Hawley, and South Carolina state representative Kirkman Finlay III.

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