Section Updates

Urban Activism

Melissa Johnston
Southwest Section Secretary
Feb 8, 2020 Vancouver, WA

The SW section has a tradition of taking our networking events out to the community, rolling up our sleeves, and working together to build a healthier urban environment. We organize these volunteer networking events, called “Urban Activism” quarterly. For our first Urban Activism event of 2020, APA members joined in with non-profit Friends of Trees to plant trees throughout Vancouver, WA. In all, event volunteers planted 200+ street trees and yard trees throughout Vancouver neighborhoods. The benefits of trees in urban environments are numerous…cleaner air and stormwater, reduced urban heat island effect, calmer traffic, higher property values and much more! It was a fantastic day in the SW section!

Puget Sound Section Update – 2020 Revamp and Changes

Brandon Gonzalez, AICP
PSS President 2019–2021

On Saturday, February 1, the Puget Sound Section held a retreat to discuss goals for 2020.  As part of the retreat, our Board also discussed the purpose of the Puget Sound Section and how we can better connect with and serve our membership and other individuals interested in planning across Puget Sound.  Our theme for the retreat was “back to basics” which is a reflection of our board’s desire to recharge Washington State’s largest section. 

A few key items that I’m excited to report include:

  • A new Annual Party & Awards Ceremony:   We’ve all enjoyed the annual Holiday Party, but we also know that it falls during a time where everyone is busy.  This year, we will be hosting an Annual Party & Awards Ceremony in early November that will feature a “year in review,” scholarship awards, and a new awards program that will highlight great projects across Puget Sound. 
  • 2020 EPIC Conference:  This year, we will be focusing on a theme and our section will be reaching out to and finding appropriate speakers.   Our targeted theme is homelessness and transient populations – what are our ethical responsibilities as planners and what are cities across Puget Sound doing to support and find solutions on this complex topic.  
  • CM Credits:  We will be hosting more opportunities to receive CM Credits through a combination of PLACES events, partnerships with other groups, sponsor hosted events, and brownbags.
  • Volunteer Work:  We will be seeking opportunities that we as planning professionals can give back to our communities.  Stay tuned!
  • Communication:  We will be updating our PSS roster twice a year based on the membership list provided by Washington APA in order to keep our contact list current.  We will also be sending out periodic updates to the section on upcoming events, updates on past events, and ways to stay involved.

We are really excited abou.t 2020 and we hope that you’ll be joining us for many of the events we have in the works this year.  A few ideas we are pursuing include a tour of Payne Field, a historic preservation walk, a summer bike ride/tour, North Corridor of Sound Transit event, Denny Substation tour, and others!  Feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions.  And thanks to the PSS Board for giving up their Saturday morning to help make 2020 awesome!

Return to the January/February issue of the Washington Planner