Besides celebrating Olmsted’s birthday on 04.26.12, all 48 chapters need to get back on the horse for some type of public outreach activity during our special month. If National Landscape Architecture Month activities were dinner then this article would be some version of Hamburger Helper – assuming you’re not a vegetarian.
Back in January Landscape Architecture magazine (LAM) was featured prominently in the magazine sections of 485 Barnes & Noble stores. Now hear this – LAM has also arranged for a front shelf promotion of its April issue in all 700 Barnes & Noble locations in recognition of National Landscape Architecture Month. The promotion starts 4/9 and ends 4/22.
What does all this mean? Your local store screams for you to come talk to the manager and set up a book talk about the profession. Ask them to pull all their books on Olmsted, the profession and even design and public health. Public health and landscape architecture is the theme this year! Maybe even ask if they’d be willing to set up a display all month long? Never hurts to ask. Talk about the community and its design. Point out the magazine and the books that the store has to learn more about landscape architecture. Think about how you can tie your discussion into the books that are available. You could do a panel. Or make it more of a discussion with the folks who attend. And most importantly tell them about your work and the types of solutions your profession offers the community.
Tips for success
1.) Work with the store to pick a date and time that will be busy and work for your chapter. Most likely an evening through the week.
2.) Promote, promote, promote! Pitch the local media to put it on the calendar of events or get them to write a story! Use National Landscape Architecture Month as your hook. Highlight a local project or community issues involving the profession.
3.) Don’t make this a chapter meeting. There should be less landscape architects sipping coffee and hearing you talk and more of the lay public. You get them by promoting the event. Ask Barnes and Noble for ideas. Remember – they benefit if you benefit (more book and magazines sales).
So there you have it. If your chapter is all out of ideas for National Landscape Architecture Month then approach a Barnes and Nobel. Remember you can do this really at any bookstore. Now go get started!