Landscape architects from across the U.S. got out of their offices and took to the streets Wednesday afternoon to bring awareness to their profession and their work.
Various chapters from the American Society of Landscape Architects, which organized and declared Aug. 17 National Landscape Architect Awareness Day, went out to numerous parks, trails, gardens, plazas, promenades and other various locations that have plants, walkways, artistic structures and water features.
“Our goal is to bring awareness to our landscape architects and to show how their work affects the community,” said Jim Lapides, spokesman for the American Society of Landscape Architects.
In San Diego County, eight separate groups of landscape architects and their staff took to Solana Beach, Chula Vista, Downtown San Diego, University Heights, Balboa Park, Mission Hills and Liberty Station to put up signs, talk to residents and stencil (via graffiti art) in their message, which said, “Designed by a landscape architect.”
The signs and graffiti art also have a quick response code that, when scanned with an app on a smartphone, will take participants to asla.org/design, which has more information on the landscape architect industry.
“These signs we are putting up and stencil graffiti art we are tagging into parks and trails are meant to bring awareness of who landscape architects are and how our work is helping shape communities,” said Glen Schmidt, principal and owner of Schmidt Design Group Inc.
Schmidt and two of his colleagues started their journey at the Park at the Park, inside Petco Park, moved west to the Convention Center, moved north along the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade, and ended up at the park in front of the Children’s Museum.
“Landscape architects designed these areas that have walkways, art and trees, and this helps provide for a better community,” said Schmidt, adding that a mature tree releases enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings.
“With walkways, people have more access to run and exercise outdoors, and with artistic features, these projects provide knowledge, culture and history,” Schmidt said.
This is the first year landscape architects have come together from around the country to do something to bring awareness to their industry, all in one day. According to Lapides, Aug. 17 was chosen because this time of year is usually the slowest for landscape architects.
In connection with this day, the American Society of Landscape Architects also created a Facebook page at facebook.com/TheUnderstory, where various chapters will be posting up pictures and information about Wednesday to develop a connection with the community about landscape architects.