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Press Release

Contact: Steven Strohmeier, Program Associate, (202) 543-6200, ext. 18

 

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Scenic Summit:
 Action for America’s Communities,
Countryside, and Public Lands

April 21-24, 2002, Adam’s Mark Hotel, Denver, CO

    (Washington, DC) – Scenic America* and EDAW, Inc.** today announced joint sponsorship of a groundbreaking national conference to accelerate efforts to protect America’s natural beauty and distinctive community character in the early 21st century.  Speakers include nationally known experts in their fields.  (Subsequent press releases will announce these speakers as we confirm them.) Participants will include citizens and professionals who care about the future of America’s landscape: political leaders, educators, community activists, landscape architects, business leaders, environmental psychologists, land managers, city/county planners, public agency administrators, Native American environmental leaders, researchers, artists, writers, and travel and tourism officials.

    “America the Beautiful is disappearing,” said Meg Maguire, President of Scenic America.  “Sprawling subdivisions, towering billboards, look-alike strip malls and franchises, cluttered signs, unscreened junkyards, invasive power lines, and poorly sited wireless communications towers destroy the intrinsic character of our towns, neighborhoods, and public lands.”

    Craig Taggart of EDAW, Inc. underscored that the principal purpose of the conference is to frame an action agenda to guide citizens and professionals as they work closely to build an activist movement to reverse this loss.

     “The beginning of a new century offers an opportunity to protect the beauty of America’s landscapes and to set a national agenda for scenic conservation.  We must build on the craft and creativity of past conservationists by actively engaging those with the talent and commitment needed to reclaim the rich scenic heritage that is America the Beautiful.  As a nation we have the resources, tools, and expertise to protect, restore, and beautify our surroundings while accomplishing many useful and productive purposes on the land.  Now is a fitting time to bring these resources, and public attention, to bear on the health of our national landscape,” said Taggart.

    The Scenic Summit: Action for America’s Communities, Countryside, and Public Lands will draw on leading experts to address how to turn best practices into common practice.  Before the conference, a panel of nationally recognized experts, citizen activists, and business representatives will prepare a draft Scenic Action Agenda.  At the conference, Scenic Summit participants will debate and revise the Scenic Action Agenda to create a collaborative “living document” to guide scenic conservation efforts in the 21st century.

 The Scenic Action Agenda will detail specific strategies and recommendations to:
 


    “The Scenic Summit is an opportunity for those concerned with the future of America’s scenic environment to come together and set a national agenda for scenic conservation to truly make a difference in the way we plan, the way we make decisions, and the way we care for our communities, countryside, and public lands,” said Maguire.

Scenic Summit participants will learn about and discuss a wide range of topics including:
 


    Early Scenic Summit financial supporters include the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Federal Highway Administration (U. S. Department of Transportation), the National Park Service (U. S. Department of the Interior), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (U. S. Department of Agriculture).

    Conference brochures and registration materials will be available in fall 2001.  Check now for updated information on the Scenic Summit website at www.scenicsummit.org.

NOTE: The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government.  Mention of trade names of commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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    Scenic America is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to protecting natural beauty and distinctive community character.   We provide technical assistance across the nation and through nine state affiliates (CA, FL, KY, MI, MO, NC, TX, TN, VA) on scenic byways, billboard and sign control, context-sensitive highway design, wireless telecommunications tower location, transportation enhancements, and other scenic conservation issues.  We advance our #1 goal, to build a citizen movement for scenic conservation, through education, site-specific projects in various states, grassroots organization, and publications on preserving scenic beauty, open space, and quality of life.

    EDAW, Inc.  Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, EDAW is a global land and community-based consulting firm. Comprehensive and far-reaching professional service providers in the fields of design and environmental science, the 710 people of EDAW integrate community planning, urban design, landscape architecture, environmental planning and natural resource management from 25 offices around the world.

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Steven Strohmeier
Program Associate
Scenic America
801 Pennsylvania Ave.  SE
Suite 300
Washington, DC  20009
Tel: 202-543-6200 ext.18
Fax: 202-543-9130
www.scenic.org

* * Get ready for the Scenic Summit in Denver in April 2002!* *
              for more information see www.scenicsummit.org