The results are in! A few months ago, we conducted a membership survey to understand what you appreciate most about ASLA Oregon and what you’d like to see improved. With a strong response rate of more than 20% of our members, we are pleased to report some of the key findings and share our ideas for advancing the organization.
What we heard:
- You see us as strong advocates for the profession. When asked what you see as the primary function of ASLA Oregon, more than half of respondents mentioned advocacy for landscape architects and landscape architecture.
- Continuing education matters—and you want more of it. You ranked “access to professional development hours opportunities” as the most important member benefit, and you get your credits in a variety of places. However, nearly half of you said ASLA Oregon is not currently meeting your continuing education needs.
- You want us to better reach members outside of Portland, and to use technology to expand the reach of events. We heard from many of you that members outside of Portland feel they don’t have enough opportunities to engage with the organization. Also, many people mentioned that they’d appreciate more integration of technology to make events more accessible for people who can’t attend in person.
- The Design Awards could honor a wider range of projects. More than 60% of respondents indicated that they submit projects under the General Design category, but there is a desire for greater recognition of residential, pro bono, and transportation projects. We also heard that you’d like the Honor Awards that recognize individuals and organizations combined with the Design Awards at our Annual Soiree.
How we’re responding:
- Stronger advocacy: In addition to our annual trip to Washington DC to meet with Oregon’s Congressional delegation, this year we polled our members to decide how to respond to a recent threat to landscape contractor licensure in Oregon House Bill 3337. We took a position against the bill and sent letters to legislators in Salem, supporting efforts by our allies at the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association to successfully defeat the bill. Later this year, we’re sending a delegate to serve on a committee organized by the Oregon State Landscape Architect Board to examine potential rulemaking for providing guidance on the overlap between landscape architecture practice and landscape design work.
- Support for section leaders: To provide more continuing education opportunities for members outside of Portland, we are supporting our section chairs in the Eugene-Springfield region and in the Bend area in hosting events that offer PDH hours.
- Advancing technology: In response to your recommendations, we are looking into technologies such as Facebook Live and video conferencing to allow remote participation in events and meetings.
- Understanding continuing education needs: We want to make sure that our PDH offerings are meeting your needs and keeping you informed and engaged. We’re committed to learning more about how we can serve you better and will work with you and within the Executive Committee to deliver meaningful and relevant continuing education events. . We have partnered with allied organizations, like Design Week, in the past, and are currently working with allied professional groups to expand offerings for our members.
- New Design Award categories: In 2017, we modified the submission categories for the Design Awards. Now the General Design category has two construction budget tiers, and we added a second residential category and a new community service category. In 2018, we plan to combine the Design Awards and Honor Awards into one event.
The Executive Committee will continue to review the full results of the survey as we plan future events and develop new policies and programs. As always, we welcome additional feedback and participation, so please reach out to me with ideas or to get involved.
President-Elect, ASLA Oregon