American Society of Landscape Architects

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Landscape Architecture MagazineLandscape Architecture Magazine

Landscape Architecture Magazine September 2017

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Society of Landscape Architects
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

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inside

CONTRIBUTORS Many ASLA Awards hopefuls encounter CAROLYN MITCHELL, Honors and Awards Specialist, in her role as the patient godparent of the entry process. Carolyn begins each year fielding the questions by entrants, checks every detail of the entries, and stays close to the honorees right up to the presentation of the awards at ASLA’s Annual Meeting. She has been our colleague since 2004. “ I never know what my day is going to bring, fielding questions from someone as close as Maryland or someone as far away as China, talking to students, advisers, or even a parent. When the day of the ceremony arrives, knowing I helped put that burst of pride on their faces makes it all worthwhile.” TERENCE POLTRACK is familiar to most people as ASLA’s director of communications, having joined…

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who is susan combs?

Susan Combs will be back for the goldencheeked warbler. Combs is a former Texas state comptroller, agriculture commissioner, and state representative who has been nominated by President Trump to run the policy and budget section of the U.S. Department of Interior. The job will put her in charge of all things related to the Endangered Species Act, under which the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) is listed as being at risk of extinction. She “has an aesthetic interest in the golden-cheeked warbler and seeks to conserve the warbler and its habitat within Texas,” according to a petition she signed in June 2015 to have the bird taken off the federal Endangered Species list. But “Combs believes that local and state conservation efforts would be of greater benefit to the warbler and…

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critical lifting

The crane whined, the cable tightened, the tree swayed, and the crowd murmured. But Tree B5, an 80-year-old, 85-foot-tall, 15-ton Quercus palustris, did not budge from its place in the Brookings allée. Earlier, a crew used high-pressure hydro-excavation tools and a giant vacuum to daylight the oak’s filigree of roots, and arborists jumared up with four cable slings to steady the crown. The audience in front of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in Saint Louis was transfixed by this massive marionette, anticipating the moment the formidable machine might pluck it like a weed. After the failure of the initial tug, the crew phoned the crane supervisor to ply more tension, and yet some grounding force would not let go. B5 was defiantly planted. Choreographing this potent— and…

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these robots know their plants

In a cornfield in Missouri, two robots, one stacked on top of the other, file down the narrow rows. As they move, they collect information about the plants using various sensors —enough to create a 4-D graphic model on a computer. By building these models, scientists can show how plants react and adapt to their surrounding conditions. Someday, more robots like these might toil in cities and forests as well, helping humans determine how a plant species is responding to climate change. “We wanted these robots to investigate different species of plants,” says Gui DeSouza, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Missouri’s Vision-Guided and Intelligent Robotics Laboratory. “One plant may respond better to flood conditions, another to extreme heat. We’re essentially trying to correlate…

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best in show

BY NOW, you’ve probably seen photos of the fountain at Toronto’s Berczy Park. Three-tiered, castiron, and quasi-Victorian in style, it’s the centerpiece of Claude Cormier + Associés’s makeover for the downtown park. What’s made it particularly Instagramworthy are its 27 dogs, including a ring of a dozen pugs, all with jets of water spouting from their mouths. Adorning the fountain are more pugs, set among a grid of dog-collar-like studs, while a single cat perches on the edge, gazing toward a pair of Canadian warblers on a light pole. The cast-iron canines are a nod to the increasing presence of dogs in urban Toronto—until recently, Berczy Park hosted a dog festival called Woofstock—but also a way to bring together residents, workers, and tourists of all ages, says Claude Cormier, ASLA. When…

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saving america’s amazon

The drought hit Alabama in fall 2016. By November, as the flow of water into Mobile Bay slowed to a trickle, saltwater species like blue crabs were observed more than 40 miles upstream. Some waterways dried up completely, including Alabama’s iconic Little River Falls. “It’s personal to me because the stream that my kids play in actually was dewatered,” says Mitch Reid, a program director at the Alabama Rivers Alliance. “Everything that was in it—fish, snails, mussels—died. There were even dead snakes in the middle of the streambeds, withering away. It kind of felt like Armageddon.” It was not, of course, the end of the world but rather the by-product of a lack of planning on the part of the state. Reid says that unlike a vast majority of states, Alabama…

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