NLAM Green Fire Screening

NLAM Green Fire Screening

The issues facing today’s youth can seem overwhelming whether it’s climate change, economic viability, health and safety, or disengaged communities. Yet all these issues are interconnected, and identifying the connecting threads can help pool limited resources and overcome these challenges. In mid April, for National Landscape Architecture Month, ASLA/NCC partnered with the US Forest Service to screen the documentary, Green Fire, at Vallejo High School. In 2013, Vallejo, CA was ranked as the most diverse city in the nation, and Vallejo High proved a viable location to engage in ASLA’s three action items for promoting diversity within the profession: Public Awareness, Early Exposure, and Mentorship.

Green Fire discusses Aldo Leopold’s most enduring idea, the “land ethic,” a moral responsibility of humans to the natural world and to each other. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic idea is arguably more relevant today than ever before. ASLA and the US Forest Service introduced this idea of a land ethic in an effort to connect an increasingly urban population with an increasingly threatened natural world, and introduced the profession of landscape architecture along with a variety of activities that touch on these issues. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the Forest Service will be commemorating this milestone on September 3-6, 2014 by hosting the Visions of the Wild Festival, a series of local events connecting nature, culture and community.

Green Fire was produced in partnership between the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Center for Humans and Nature, and the US Forest Service. The film provocatively examines Leopold’s thinking, renewing his idea of a land ethic for a population facing 21st century ecological challenges. Green Fire describes the formation of Leopold’s idea, exploring how it changed one man and later permeated through all arenas of conservation. The film draws on Leopold’s life and experiences to provide context and validity, and then explores the deep impact of his thinking on conservation projects around the world today. Through these examples, the film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land community.

In addition to the ASLA members organizing the event, the film’s director and editor were on hand to answer questions and speak on behalf of the Forest Service. The response from the students was quite impressive, as many of them were quite engaged with the subject matter and lingered after the event asking questions and collecting information.

Anita Bueno: Anita is a landscape architect with the US Forest Service and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). She serves on the national ASLA Diversity Committee and lives in Richmond, CA.

Robin Gyorgyfalvy: Robin is the Forest Service’s Regional Acting Deputy Director for Public Affairs & Communications. She was inducted into the ASLA Council of Fellows for her work developing and promoting scenic byways and her years of service in the community.

Steven Dunsky, Director and Ann Dunsky, Editor: Steve & Ann Dunsky have written, directed and edited films and videos for more than twenty years. As producers for the US Forest Service, their programs cover a wide range of conservation issues. They live and work in Vallejo, CA.

Annette Delos-Santos: Annette is an Equal Opportunity Specialist on the Civil Rights staff at the Forest Service in Vallejo, CA. She serves as an advisory committee member to the Vallejo High School Hospitality Academy. She continues to serve on the committee to assist teachers and students in a mentorship role and to support education objectives.

Heather Davis: Heather is the Forest Service’s event coordinator behind ‘Visions of the Wild.’ She has a graduate degree from Bard College in environmental policy and an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in landscape architecture.

ASLA NCC is currently scheduling a showing for members at the AIA in May or June – watch for an upcoming notification!

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