letter from the president
Greetings NMASLA! We’ve finally reached those beautiful summer days in New Mexico where the heat breaks a little and the clouds roll in in the evenings. Maybe, if we’re lucky, it’ll even rain a little.
As you may have seen, our NMASLA Executive Committee election is underway. Please check your email for the survey and take the time to vote.
I hope you were all able to renew your licenses easily enough. It’s nice not to have to worry about that for the next two years, but at the same time, it’s time to start accumulating continuing education credits for the next reporting period in 2019. More on that later.
A big thank you to Judith Wong, who put together a stellar Q2 event almost single handedly. As many of you know, our final continuing education event of the 2015-2017 reporting period was a tour of the Southside Wastewater Reclamation Plant followed by a series of presentations and tour of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. Thank you to our presenters from the ABCWUA, National Park Service, Bernalillo County, and Sites Southwest. Special thanks to our lunch sponsors Exerplay and Rain Bird.
Our next event is the 23rd annual Golf Outing and Vendor Expo on Friday, August 25th. We’ll be returning to the beautiful Arroyo del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque this year. Registration is live for single players, foursomes, or the lunch/expo, so get those teams together and sign up at NMASLA.org! We also have a number of sponsorship opportunities available, so if you are a vendor who would like to sponsor, please visit the sponsors page at NMASLA.org. The tournament is one of the highlights of the summer and we’re very happy to be returning to Arroyo del Oso.
Now that we’ve all renewed our licenses and reported our continuing education, it’s time to start acquiring credits for the next reporting period. As I’ve mentioned in previous letters, NMASLA’s Q4 event this year will be focused on pollinators. More details to come!
Finally, 2018 is a sunset year, meaning the law establishing landscape architecture licensure in New Mexico is up for review. NMASLA has begun to work with Erin Marshall, a friend of the profession and advocate, to identify and reach out to the appropriate representatives so they understand the importance of licensure from the local to national level. Things are just beginning to get rolling, but we anticipate a concerted advocacy push later this year and early next year.
Finally, New Mexico has been invited to attend the ASLA Advocacy Summit in Milwaukee in September where we hope to gain some insight from other states who have recently faced sunset reviews and/or licensure challenges.
We hope to see you all at the golf outing in August!
Q2 Event Recap
What would a trip to a sewage plant and a visit to a wildlife preserve have in common?
These were the pair of sites, almost adjacent to one another, the we visited for our annual Q2 field trip, and both of them are concerned with the quality of water that drains into the Rio Grande River.
On the morning of June 2, we arrived at the South Side Wastewater Treatment Plant which is run by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. We were greeted by Erin .... in a small auditorium where her funny and lively slide show centered on .... poop! And the critters that eat ... poop! We then had an extended tour outside where we walked the industrial catwalks and saw gigantic tanks that treat sewage - inky (and somewhat stinky) pitch black water that was transformed into clean, crystal clear water before it was discharged into the Rio Grande. Solids go into enormous 'digesters' and the sludge is used to supply up to 70% of the power for the plant. There were many other fascinating details, including how they deal with their own stormwater issues on site and how they plan to handle additional capacity in the future. If you missed this trip you can take one of their public tours, and based on the many delighted comments we received after the event, it will be well worth it!
Afterwards, a short drive south brought us to the Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge, the first national refuge created entirely from scratch. We gathered in the old adobe building that is serving as the temporary headquarters for the refuge, where NMASLA served a delicious lunch.
What followed was an extraordinarily in-depth examination of the creation of a new public amenity that will serve both humans and wildlife, while taking flows of water from the AMAFCA stormwater drainage system and cleansing it before it flows into the Rio Grande. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with local, state and federal agencies to make this refuge possible, and the presentations from these partners revealed rich and complex inter-relationships that mirror the many layers of meaning in the environment that we are familiar with as landscape architects.
Jennifer Owen-White, director of the Valle de Oro Wildlife Refuge, started us out with an introductory talk, followed by Lynn Mazur of AMAFCA, who talked about the stormwater system, and George Radnovich of Sites Southwest who described the challenges of working on a nearly flat site to bring the stormwater through a series of ponds (the 'treatment train'), working with MRGCD to allow the existing straight water course to be changed to allow the design of a more natural landscape, and the issues that must be worked through to accommodate both human and wildlife visitors. Another interesting talk was given by Paul, a hydrologist from the Fish and Wildlife Service, who described the wildly varying water table levels on this site and what that meant for the possible uses of different areas.
Our heads bursting with new information, we boarded the colorfully painted Refuge bus and drove through the site, and down to the ditch and the bosque where we imagined this old dairy farm as it will look someday, teeming with waterfowl and native plants. Then the mosquitoes started biting, and we called it a day!
STUDENT PROFESSIONAL MIXER
Our Student Professional Mixer is on September 8, 2017 at Consensus Planning and we need volunteers to be mentors! If you would like to be a mentor, please fill out the application form and return it to Jitka Dekojova. Mentorship pairs will be announced at the mixer.
For any questions, please contact Jitka Dekojova, ASLA.
3Rd Quarter Member Anniversaries
Russel Beatty, ASLA - 25 Years
Gregory Miller, FASLA - 20 Years
Aaron Zahm, ASLA - 10 Years
Sara Zahm, ASLA - 10 Years
Judith Wong, ASLA - 10 Years
Amy Bell, ASLA - 10 Years
Meredith Gresham, Associate ASLA - 5 Years
new member profile: meet MATT MOFFA!
I am originally from Massachusetts but moved to Southern California in high school. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2009 and then spent the next few years travelling and doing international agricultural development work, first as a volunteer in Guatemala and later as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia, where I spent two years doing agroforestry work on local farms and teaching HIV/AIDS education.
Coming home in the Spring of 2013 I had to work out what to do with the rest of my life and landed on landscape architecture, attracted by the connections to both environmental and social issues, and the potential for creative problem solving. I submitted a last-minute application to Cal Poly Pomona and started my MLA three weeks later. I loved the program. I developed an interest in urban rivers, and received a scholarship in my second year to travel through Europe studying urban riverscapes in Switzerland, France, and Germany. My final year at Cal Poly was spent working on my graduate project, a participatory design project in the City of Cudahy, California, culminating in the construction of a small urban plaza. The experience made me passionate about working directly with communities.
Following the completion of my MLA I worked for a design and planning firm in Southern California, primarily providing GIS assistance to city and county general plans, park needs assessments, large residential master plans, and environmental impact reports.
I moved to New Mexico with my wife in January of 2017 after she was hired to do public health work on pueblos throughout the southwest. I love it here. The mountains, the desert, the stuffed sopapillas... I was hired as a Landscape Designer by Consensus Planning in April. Working here is amazing. I get to work on a huge variety of projects that span planning and design. Short term goals include learning how to fly fish, improving my sketching skills, and getting involved in some community-based design work.
congratulations to the 2017 asla student honor and merit award recipients!
- Machenzie Greene-Powell: Honor Award
- Tess Houle: Merit Award
These 2017 UNM MLA Program graduates showed exemplary design and leadership skills in their presentations to a jury of NMASLA member landscape architects. NMASLA wishes them great success in their future careers!
CONGRATULATIONS DENNIS WILKINSON!
ASLA elevated Dennis C. Wilkinson, ASLA from Albuquerque’s MRWM Landscape Architects to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2017! He will join 22 other ASLA members to be formally recognized at the ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Los Angeles. Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge, and service.
Click here for the article.
SAVE THE DATE FOR Q4 - OCTOBER 27, 2017
- 23rd Annual Golf Tournament and Vender Expo - Friday, August 25th at Arroyo del Oso Golf Course. Click here for more information and to register!
Visit our events page for more info.