Even if you haven’t heard of landscape architects before, you’ve probably benefitted from their work. These professionals design and create parks, gardens, playgrounds, and more—and many are members of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). ASLA is a national organization with about 15,000 members. Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2024, ASLA is responding to member feedback and doubling down on its commitment to communities, especially through local partners. That's where the connection with ReStore comes in.
“When we were researching organizations to partner with in the Twin Cities area, ReStore just made sense based on the mission to upcycle items and build homes,” said Michelle Mobley, ASLA Exhibits Manager. “Many of our members are involved in designing solutions to combat climate change. Our members and our organization are committed to doing as much we can, especially in the communities in which our members work."
Manny Gonzalez, Director of Communications and Marketing at ASLA, explained that the society's members are closely connected with their communities. In addition to membership, ASLA also offers a fund to support community-based organizations in the areas where members live and work. For example, ASLA’s 2023 Legacy Project will bring a new schoolyard to Maxfield Elementary in the Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul. “Our members keep a close eye on us and make sure materials don’t go to waste. Having reliable partners is essential,” he said.
After its annual conference was hosted in Minneapolis in 2023, ASLA donated 290,500 pounds of materials from vendors and exhibitors. Donations from the organization and exhibitors included pavers, shrubs, street furniture, playground equipment, shrubs, and more. The ReStore team worked with ASLA to find new homes and new uses for the donations.
ASLA 2023 conference in Minneapolis. Photos from ASLA.
“The ReStore team was wonderful to work with. They guaranteed they’d find a new home for what we donated. It’s a natural fit. And as ReStore grows, our industry partners are excited about donating. We hope this is the beginning of a long-term partnership,” said Michelle.
Whether it’s through building parks or building homes, both ASLA and ReStore are making a difference for people and the environment. “Our members take pride in designing solutions to enhance health, safety, and welfare. I can’t think of a better alignment,” said Manny. “At the end of the day, it’s about bettering communities.”