BAC Students Participate in ASLA’s Advocacy Day

School of Landscape Architecture Students head to Washington DC for annual lobbying event

BAC students at ASLA's Advocacy Day 2015

BAC students at ASLA's Advocacy Day 2015

Erica Quigley and Judy Timpa, students in the BAC's School of Landscape Architecture, have been chosen to participate in this year's Advocacy Day, in Washington D.C. on May 20, to raise awareness of policy issues important to the landscape architecture profession. Each year, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) hosts Advocacy Day, an annual lobbying event on Capitol Hill. While in Washington D.C., advocates sent by ASLA from across the country work to raise the visibility of the profession and educate lawmakers about how landscape architects improve people's lives through design.

Erica and Judy, both Master of Landscape Architecture candidates at the BAC, will be spending a full day on Capitol Hill meeting with legislators and congressional staff. At this year's Advocacy Day, two congressional bills are on the agenda: one that secures future funding for park services and one that would discontinue the green support networks along federal highways. After much research and preparation, Judy and Erica will be helping to ensure the congresspeople from Massachusetts have the facts. They will be asking them to support the first bill that would provide funding for the National Parks and to reject the amendment that would prohibit federal funds from supporting green infrastructure on transportation projects.

"We are there to provide personal stories and case studies that back up our belief that landscape architecture can help communities," explained Erica. "Legislators and/or staffers might be willing to make a field trip when they're back in Massachusetts, so we can show off a local project. It could be an experience like this that helps a congressperson support sustainable design in the future."

ASLA's goal is to inform Congress what landscape architects do and encourage Congress to take advantage of landscape architects as a resource for research, design, creativity, and methods to improve public wellness and the environment.

"Advocacy Day is an opportunity for the ASLA to continue its efforts to let Congress know they can tap into landscape architects for expert advice and guidance for such things as ecological sustainability, revitalization of cities, and how to keep pace with today's and future transportation needs," said Judy. "On this visit to D.C., I look forward to learning how the ASLA works as a body. Working as a group rather than singularly, landscape architects become better advocates."