Faculty, Students at UMass Amherst Win Recognition From Boston Society of Landscape Architects

AMHERST, Mass. - The work of several University of Massachusetts faculty and students will receive awards from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA) at the society’s annual awards banquet Feb. 11 in Boston. The BSLA is the regional branch of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Three separate projects by UMass faculty and students have been chosen for 1997 BSLA Professional Awards. They are:

* the redesign and renovation of the entrance courtyard at Bartlett Hall on campus, under the direction of Dean Cardasis, associate professor of landscape architecture and regional planning;

* "The Ecological City: Preserving and Restoring Urban Biodiversity," by Rutherford Platt, professor of geosciences, chief editor, and published by University of Massachusetts Press, with articles by Annaliese Bischoff and Jack Ahern, associate professors of landscape architecture and regional planning;

* "Chicopee: Visions for the 21st Century, Chicopee Center, MA.," an Urban Places Project/Urban Design Studio by UMass graduate students under the direction of Henry Lu, Patricia McGirr, and Ann Forsyth, assistant professors of landscape architecture and regional planning.

The Bartlett project will receive a Merit Award for Landscape Art and Earth Sculpture. The redesign, completed last spring, included the creation of a sunken area in front of Bartlett Hall, which houses a number of campus academic departments, and a new courtyard for the sculpture "Playfully Nodding to Its Fall," relocated from its original site near the Campus Pond. The project was a collaborative effort between many areas of the campus and was accomplished, in large part, with volunteer labor.

The BSLA will present a Merit Award for Research and Communication to "The Ecological City," a collection of original essays that examines the ecology of urban communities. The book explores issues of geography, ecology, landscape architecture, urban forestry, law, and environmental education. The essays include overviews of common problems as well as case studies of specific programs, from the reuse of an established urban park in Springfield, Mass., to a wetland restoration program in Illinois.

The Chicopee Center project will receive an Honor award in the Student Work category. Five different visions of downtown Chicopee, including master plans, detailed area designs, and sketches, were developed by UMass graduate students and presented to the city. The proposals were based on extensive analysis of the downtown area, as well as input from several sectors of the community.