Developed landscapes provide many benefits to the environment, global economy, and local communities. Unfortunately, professional landscape industry groups are often overlooked by officials. Reasons include budgetary issues, bureaucracy, and conflicting opinions on natural resource management. Policymakers need to understand the value that landscape professionals offer.
Regulatory agencies evaluate licensed professions, including landscape architects, regularly to decide whether licensure of the profession is good for the state. Some officials would like to see deregulation. They argue that landscape architecture is a redundancy of engineers and architects. Yet landscape architects are uniquely qualified to manage project challenges within a landscape. Sunsetting their licenses would lead to fewer qualified individuals available to make decisions. This could have negative long-term effects.
Irrigation professionals have the critical skills necessary to efficiently manage landscape watering. And they do so with great success. During water shortages, however, officials often invoke prescriptive measures to manage water. These actions can take the professionalism out of water management and devalue the industry.
So, what can you do to help?
Take part in advocacy efforts to ensure the livelihood of your industry. Educate local, state, and federal officials on the value of the landscape industry. Show them the expertise that professionals like you have to offer. Help them understand that our industry supports green infrastructure goals. Explain how it provides a path to the equitable development of green spaces. Outline how to design landscapes using the products that maximize their benefits.
Involve yourself in trade associations. Share the value of your profession and the solutions you offer communities. Develop partnerships with agencies and officials to help them meet their goals. Drive decision-making to invest in professional landscape industries.
Act today to ensure that landscape professionals like you can make our world a greener, healthier place tomorrow.