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Events Celebrate 10 Years of the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program

This year, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is celebrating 10 years of the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program! Launched in 2008, the program is the premier leadership recognition program for landscape architecture students and now awards $64,000 annually. To date, the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program has recognized 634 rising designers, innovators, and change makers. To mark this milestone, LAF worked with program alumni to organize events across the country to celebrate, connect with one another, and engage with LAF’s New Landscape Declaration and other initiatives. Read on to learn about the events that took place throughout the year. The capstone event will be held at LAF’s 33rd Annual Benefit in Philadelphia on October 19, where we will toast the growing Olmsted Scholars community and host a private celebration for program alumni.

Seattle Design Charrette, February

Eight University of Washington students and faculty, including three past Olmsted Scholars, attended a design charrette for the university’s campus led by Sara Zwede and Leann Andrews.  The lively dialogue considered the New Landscape Declaration and the future of landscape architecture. Attendees used a whiteboard to formulate thoughts and ideas pertaining to the advancement of landscape architects. Students and staff were fully engaged and are looking forward to continued interaction with LAF.

Chicago Park Tour, June

Olmsted Scholars Jenn Engelke (2012) and Kim Dietzel (2015) led a bike tour of Chicago’s parks and open spaces. A visit to Olmsted World’s Fair site was a highlight of the tour, and the event finished with drinks and food to further discuss the places landscape architects can influence. Twenty-four emerging professionals, including six Olmsted Scholars, attended the event.

Washington, D.C. Welcome LA Interns and New Grads, July

An opportunity for newly arrived landscape architect interns and recent grads to converse and meet, this event, led by 2015 Olmsted Scholar Kendra Hyson, successfully brought together established leaders and the new generation of landscape architects. Members of ASLA’s Potomac chapter attended in addition to ten interns and recent grads. The group enjoyed chatting about the next steps these freshly minted grads had planned.

Boston Kayak Tour, September

A kayak trip down the Charles River to visit landscape sites of highly contested projects, Olmsted Scholar McKenzie Wilhelm (2013) led a group of Olmsted scholars to discuss how these sites could use better Landscape Architecture intervention. Even with rain and wind, all attendees appreciated the tour and afterward grabbed drinks and food to continue the talk.

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.