2015 Mid-Year Trustee Report (Part 1 of 2)

2015 Mid-Year Trustee Report: Stephen Ibendahl, ASLA
Greetings from Washington DC! I was excited and ready to go to ASLA Mid-year this year!  Not only had I studied our advocacy materials, I caught up on 'House of Cards' to make sure I knew the ins and outs of DC (I did stay further away from the Metro platform edge). There's so much to report from ASLA mid-year, this will be a two part Trustee report.

Advocacy
We had a great day on the Hill talking with our Congressional delegation.  Our three topics this year were:  TAP (Transportation Alternative Program), Land Water and Conservation Fund (LWCF) renewal, and support of the National Parks Service centennial. We were able to share great local examples of work where TAP and LWCF benefit the St. Louis region. We were able to meet with Senator McCaskill directly, and had good meetings with staff from the offices of Blunt, Wagner, Clay, and Shimkus.  The cumulative effect of ASLA's work makes a huge impact and plays a crucial role for funding for programs such as TAP, which is only 2% of the overall transportation bill. 

Center for Landscape Architecture
I'm excited to report that the Center for Landscape Architecture continues to make great progress.  Schematic design has been completed and fundraising has been strong.  ASLA members and firms have already pledged over 80% of the initial goal. With the strong fundraising, the board of trustees authorized an increase in our fundraising goal.  With fundraising, in-kind vendor donations, and a new mortgage, we will be investing $6 million dollars into the renovation and upgrades of our headquarters. I gave an update and overview of our headquarters becoming the 'Center for Landscape Architecture' at the winter awards party in February. Look for additional details from ASLA this spring and summer. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or would like more details. Also, thanks again to those St. Louis members and firms who have already pledge contributions. 

Trustees Beat Chapter Presidents in First ASLA Kickball Game
We took a short break to have a good-natured rivalry of kickball between Chapter Presidents and Trustees on the National Mall. I happy to report that the Trustees pitched (or rolled) a shutout over the Chapter Presidents 3-0! And luckily no one got hurt, especially some of the older Trustees who took tumbles.  It was a fun way to for some additional team building. Click here to view some photos of the game. 

Sneak Peak of Part 2
Look for the final wrap-up the ASLA midyear trustee meeting in part 2 including:  focus on emerging professionals, special recognition for St. Louis, and a sneak peak of the ASLA convention in Chicago.

Thank you for the privilege to represent St. Louis as your Trustee. You can always reach me at 314-265-3178 or by email at stephen.ibendahl@thei5group.com.

Stephen

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