Faculty, Students at UMass Amherst Bring Recognition to Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning

AMHERST, Mass. - A professor in the department of landscape architecture and regional planning (LARP) at the University of Massachusetts has been named to a prestigious fellowship and the achievements of several other faculty members and students in the department are also being recognized.

* John Mullin is one of the first certified planners in North America to be elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

* Dean Cardasis, associate professor, will receive a Centennial Medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects for his work with the James Rose Center for Landscape Architecture Research and Design, of Ridgewood, N.J.

* The Urban Places Project, a collaborative effort between faculty members Ann Forsyth, Patricia McGirr, and Henry Lu, has received an Honor Award in Communication from the Boston Society for Landscape Architecture (BSLA) for its YouthPower Guide.

* The BSLA has also presented a Merit Award to the Amherst Greenway Design Studio, a 1997 graduate-level project under the direction of Julius G. Fabos, professor emeritus of LARP.

Mullin will become a member of the AICP College of Fellows, which assists planners new to the profession, offers presentations and workshops, and helps manage endowment and philanthropic programs. AICP is the professional institute of the American Planning Association. This is the first year the designation of Fellow is being offered, according to Sue Schwartz, AICP commissioner, who says "This recognition elevates the Fellow before the public and the profession as a model planner who has made significant contributions to planning and society." Mullin will be honored during the 1999 National Planning Conference April 24 in Seattle, Wash.

Cardasis co-founded and is currently director of the James Rose Center, which offers symposia, lectures, and other resources for professionals in the field of landscape architecture. The Centennial Medallion, which will be awarded to one landscape architect in each of the 50 states in the U.S., is being presented by the ASLA in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of landscape architecture. According to the award notification letter, the medallion recognizes "important works of landscape architecture which are well-known and popular and contribute to the community''s quality of life." Cardasis will receive the medallion at the ASLA''s centennial celebration next September in Boston.

The Boston Society of Landscape Architects, a chapter of the ASLA which represents Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, presented its annual awards at ceremonies late last month.

The YouthPower Guide was developed by the Urban Places Project in collaboration with YouthPower, an initiative of El Arco Iris, a community-based program in South Holyoke that works to encourage young people to become involved in planning and building a better neighborhood. The YouthPower Guide describes many of the organization''s most successful design and planning activities and explains how others can apply them in their own neighborhoods. The guide is written for use by young people aged 10 to 19 and by individuals who work with them. The Urban Places Project integrates teaching, research, and service by providing urban design and neighborhood planning services to low-income, central neighborhoods in mid-sized cities. The YouthPower Guide also recently won the 1998 Social Advocacy Award from the Massachusetts chapter of the American Planning Association.

The Greenway Design Studio was aimed at creating a town-wide greenway network for Amherst. Greenways are conservation lands or areas used for recreational or cultural purposes. A greenway network is formed when such areas are linked together. The goals of the project were to connect every house in Amherst to the greenway; to provide improved corridors for wildlife and greater ecological diversity; and to increase economic benefits through tourism. "The students'' vision of ''backyard connections'' ensures that the enjoyment of the town''s scenic and recreational resources are available to everyone and that access to the greenway network is always close by," says Fabos. The project was outlined in presentations before the Amherst Conservation Commission, to the Amherst Planning Department at public meetings, and to local and community groups.