2014: Volume 8, Number 1
Michigan Chapter of the American Societ y
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Table of contents 2014: Volume 8, number 1
Michigan Chapter of the American Societ y oF Landscape
Letter from the president
As we are all awaiting the warmth, fresh breezes and thawing of spring (and have been for months now), we anticipate the annual unveiling of our built and natural spaces. We are especially fortunate to have an incredible wealth of vibrant Landscape Architect-designed projects in Michigan, such as the Quadrangle and Student Services Building at Lawrence Technological University, the site design for the Ann Arbor City Hall, and Thrune Park in Midland, which are featured in this issue of SITES. We continue to make great strides toward a renewed economy, most recently evidenced by the enacted FY 2014 Appropriations Bill that includes a $600 million authorization for National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER Discretionary Grants) through the US Department of Transportation. Michigan Landscape Architects continue to be at the forefront of issues like design for multi-use transportation corridors, placemaking, green infrastructure and stormwater management to protect water quality. I am pleased that this first quarter issue of our SITES publication showcases two dedicated movers and shakers in the field of Landscape Architecture here in Michigan. With collective decades of experience to draw
by Mark Hieber, ASLA, LEED AP Harley Ellis Devereaux
on, Mark Hieber, ASLA and Pam Blough, FASLA will showcase the significant expertise that landscape architects offer in many varied environments and roles. On March 27, landscape architects will convene in Lansing at the Capitol with our State Legislators as we continue to share our profession and specialized expertise with our elected officials for Lobby Day. The celebration of the profession of Landscape Architecture will continue into April, which is designated as National Landscape Architecture month. I encourage all in our great profession to renew your commitment to landscape architecture this spring; be a significant part of the positive change happening in our state. Remain active through mentoring, lobbying, community outreach and participation in Chapter events that support and promote our profession. For more information, please visit our website at www.michiganasla.org, or find us on Facebook or LinkedIn. SuLin Kotowicz, LLA, ASLA President, Michigan Chapter of ASLA
Collaborative Design: The Value of Landscape Architecture in Multidisciplinary Problem Solving
Landscape Architects Help Design the Way Forward Edited by Andy McDowell, ASLA, LLA Cardno JFNew
A Tribute to Pam Blough, FASLA: Michigan ASLA Landscape Architect Legacy Series By David L. Lycke, FASLA, PLA PMB/PLaCE Studios
events calendar APRIL is LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MONTH! September 10, 2014 MiASLA Annual Meeting Radisson Hotel, Kalamazoo, MI
Editorâ€™s notes ON THE COVER: The new campus Quadrangle in front of the new Student Services Center at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. The design incorporates
many sustainable elements including a green roof and a stormwater bioswale. Image courtesy of Harley Ellis Devereaux
Please remind your friends that SITES has gone digital. Send updated email addresses to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaborative Design: The Value of Landscape Architecture in Multidisciplinary Problem Solving by Mark Hieber, ASLA, LEED AP
I work in a multidisciplinary office of designers and engineers. My most challenging ‘clients’ are frequently within my office. Our collaborative atmosphere at Harley Ellis Devereaux allows for a vigorous dialogue about how design and engineering can seek and solve problems that can exceed our external client’s expectations and provide the best ‘fit’ for connecting the built and natural environments. This requires that I, as a landscape architect and the lead voice on the team for all aspects influencing and affecting the site, clearly communicate ideas that are both functional and beautiful. Function alone can be unattractive and unengaging. Beauty alone lacks strong purpose and frequently becomes the first thing thrifted out of tight budgets. Working in an interdisciplinary office allows the landscape architect to be involved at the very inception of a project. Proximity and familiarity builds trust in one another and provides space for contextual exploration, a consensus establishment of design principles, and ongoing refinement as the project ideas and program are developed. This integrated approach to design provides the greatest potential for finding innovative solutions where the site and building become a single idea. In this approach to design, the site is functional and beautiful rather than being treated as an afterthought to be ‘shrubbed up’. Landscape architects are uniquely positioned to lead complex projects because we are a profession that touches the edges of so many different disciplines. On any given project, the landscape architect must interact with Natural Systems (such as Ecology, Botany, Horticulture, Wildlife, Aquatic Sciences), Urban Systems (such as Transportation, Land Use Planning, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Construction), and Visual Arts (such as drawing, computer graphics, Art History, Sculpture). The ability to synthesize the requirements of each of these varied disciplines to develop the appropriate Design Form is what makes the Landscape Architect so valuable as a team LEFT: The Fountain Plaza design at Lawrence Technological University is a metaphor depicting the process of learning. Fog and light emanate from the Central Boulder representing new ideas from the mind of the Student. Image courtesy of Harley Ellis Devereaux
member and as crucial as our allied professional colleagues in architecture and engineering in ensuring public health, safety and welfare. A good example of this integrated, multidisciplinary design process is the Quadrangle and Student Services Building at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Southfield, Michigan. The project began with an investigation of context driven primarily by stormwater issues. Like many cities across the country, Southfield faces significant stormwater management issues. The abundance of sealed surfaces, pavements, and rooftops accompanying development over time contribute to stormwater and environmental problems that are prevalent in urban areas where pollution threatens native habitats and the aquatic environment. Like many property owners across the country, LTU had substantially surpassed its ability to detain stormwater, a result of campus growth over a series of years. Large areas of sealed surfaces (pavement and rooftops) on its campus and the unimpeded flow of stormwater were contributing to flash flood conditions, erosion, and sediment flow into the fragile ecosystems of the Rouge River. The City of Southfield stated that LTU’s approach to stormwater management was not good enough. The City made it clear that LTU would need to improve stormwater management before any new construction could proceed. In an effort to address the City’s mandates, and avoid the possibility of all development being placed on hold, LTU called in our design team to help develop a two-part solution. First, a Strategic Campus Master Plan for the 125-acre campus was developed. The team was led by the landscape architect and included strategic planners and engineers to align campus facilities, infrastructure, and the environment with the LTU’s academic and administrative plan, and capital planning processes and maintenance operations. Then, the landscape architect led a team of designers and civil engineers in the development of a stormwater master plan that focused on innovative stormwater infiltration strategies as part of the larger strategic enterprise. The Quadrangle and Student Services Building was further developed in a central campus area master plan refinement. continued on page 4 3
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Through a collaborative design process involving the landscape architect, architectural designer and client, the Quadrangle and Student Services Building were located at the physical heart of the campus, the symbolic ‘front door’. The result is a seamless integration of building and site in one unified composition. An uninviting concrete and grass “desert” with its unabated flow of stormwater was transformed into an interesting and inspiring place that is friendly to the environment. The visionary idea that the building and site could be leveraged as a learning opportunity in sustainable design – a “living lab” of landscape architecture, architecture, and engineering – also evolved with the plans. The design transcended pure function to become a visibly “green” and dynamic organism combining the theory and practice taught at the University.
Landscape architects are uniquely positioned to lead complex projects because we are a profession that... synthesizes so many different disciplines…in ensuring public health, safety and welfare. Working with LTU, the landscape architects, architects and engineers addressed the criteria of sustainable site development and construction, water and energy efficiency, recycled materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The 10,000 square feet vegetated roof and gray water cistern that recycle roof water and bioswale stormwater infiltration system are key features of this environmentally-friendly building and quadrangle. The roof is a visually undulating landscape composed of the natural flow and interaction of plants, an enhancement to the quadrangle and a powerful amenity contributing to LTU’s goals for recruitment and retention. The roof’s ‘riverine’ planting design is intended to serve as a metaphor for the flowing waters of the Rouge River that the green roof is protecting and enhancing. From the City’s perspective, the green roof is a “billboard” to viewers in surrounding buildings communicating the University’s forward-thinking leadership in sustainable design. Other green building elements include photovoltaic panels that power 88 bollard lights that visually represent the 4
geothermal field (88 wells) located beneath the quadrangle that heat and cool the building – all part of the larger sustainable system. Working in combination with the green roof to address stormwater management at LTU is a bioswale, ringing the perimeter of the ellipticalshaped quad center lawn. Receiving the surface water from the quadrangle, the bioswale consists of a series of stepped and landscaped weirs that seek to slow water down, infiltrating and cleansing it of nutrients and pollutants before it reaches the piped drainage system that discharges into one of two creeks that run through campus on their way to the Rouge River. The strategy contributes to the regional effort to control stormwater drainage and improve the water quality and biodiversity of this portion of the Rouge watershed. To further enhance stormwater infiltration, landscape subsoils were decompacted at the conclusion of building construction work, creating more porous soils that allow water to infiltrate into the ground while also benefiting the rooting needs of trees and shrubs. Through decompaction, soils are opened up to allow for the penetration of air as well as water. Harnessing synergies, the strategy results in improved soil for growing as well as infiltration of stormwater. The sustainable site elements of the bioswale, stormwater management strategies, cistern, and geothermal wells are integrated into the quadrangle improvements as a perpetual field trip – a visible, energy-efficient, “living laboratory,” providing an up-close view of a beautiful and functional real-world application of sustainable design and engineering for the benefit of students in architecture, design, engineering, and management, as well as to the Southfield community at large. Throughout the process of design and implementation of this project, the Landscape Architect provided the appropriate level of leadership and collaboration that provided for an excellent built work that enhances public health, safety and welfare while serving as a great recruitment and retention tool for the University. For more information contact: Mark Hieber, ASLA, LEED AP 248.233.0024 www.harleyellisdevereaux.com
Harley Ellis Devereaux email@example.com
ABOVE: The Strategic Framework Master Plan provides contextual guidance for organizing natural and urban systems with an academic business model. Image courtesy of Harley Ellis Devereaux LEFT: The stormwater bioswale at the Quad perimeter detains and infiltrates stormwater, thereby reducing flooding in the Rouge River watershed. Image courtesy of Harley Ellis Devereaux 5
Landscape Architects Help Design the Way Forward Edited by Andy McDowell, ASLA, LLA Excerpt reprinted with permission from National ASLA 6
Landscape architecture is a unique design profession on which many professional fields merge. Designers are problem solvers and there are many design professions, but what makes landscape architecture so very different from all others are the problems they set out to resolve. A professional landscape architect applies knowledge from numerous subject areas (including, but not limited to ecology, biology, sociology, urban planning, and visual art) of which can be categorized largely into two main categories: the natural environment and the built environment. Of the many challenges to overcome where the natural environment (landscape) meets the built environment (architecture), the management of water is a primary focus. It is here that the profession is able to utilize expertise in natural systems, development practices, and artful techniques. Living in a Great Lakes state, landscape architects have the prime opportunity to promote the best management and stewardship of one of our most precious resources: water. An approach toward implementing best management practices of stormwater is commonly known as green infrastructure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states “Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage water and create healthier urban environments.”1 As a profession which leads at the very convergence of natural processes and the developed environment, green infrastructure is the landscape architects domain. Fortunately, in Michigan we have many great examples of landscape architects leading green infrastructure projects as shared here and in previous issues of SITES. 1.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_what.cfm
LEFT: The engaging entry plaza to the Ann Arbor City Hall is an example of a green infrastructure project. Elements include permeable pavers, a green roof, rain chains, and a rain garden. This is one of several creative projects led by InSite Design Studio, Ann Arbor, MI Image courtesy of Andy McDowell, ASLA RIGHT: “Banking on Green” is a recent study released by American Rivers, Water Environment Federation, ASLA and ECONorthwest which demonstrates the value of green infrastructure projects. Image courtesy of National ASLA
continued on page 8 7
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Marshbank Park in West Bloomfield Township demonstrates how a collaborative effort between the landscape architect (Beckett & Raeder, Inc.) and other disciplines (Cooper Design, Inc. - the architect) can successfully implement green infrastructure. Green design practices include bioswales, pervious paving, roof water harvesting, geothermal heating for the Group Activity Building, and native plantings. Image courtesy of Beckett & Raeder, Inc. 8
Green infrastructure has many benefits as described in the subsequent excerpt from the American Society of Landscape Architecture’s website. http://www.asla.org/ Banking on Green A new report looks at the most cost-effective options for managing polluted runoff and protecting clean water, and finds that green infrastructure solutions save taxpayer money and provide community benefits by managing stormwater where it falls. Released by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), American Rivers, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), and ECONorthwest, Banking on Green: How Green Infrastructure Saves Municipalities Money and Provides Economic Benefits Community-wide, is a response to the need to further quantify the economic benefits of green infrastructure. “For many decades, landscape architects have been helping communities large and small manage their stormwater with innovative green infrastructure solutions such as green roofs, rain gardens, bioswales, and pervious pavements,” said Nancy Somerville, Executive Vice President of the American Society of Landscape Architects. “The case studies and the cost analysis in this white paper clearly demonstrate that green infrastructure techniques are proven and cost effective at managing stormwater, preventing flooding, improving water quality, and promoting public health. Landscape architects will continue to implement these projects in more and more neighborhoods across the country.” continued on page 10
RIGHT: Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan chose to integrate green infrasture into the Mark Jefferson Science Building in order to optimize the use of natural processes on site. Strategies include a green roof, which maximizes habitat and reduces stormwater runoff (TOP), in addition to native meadows in place of high maintenance lawns to minimize mowing and watering (BOTTOM). Landscape architects’ understanding of the natural and built environment enable them to masterfully produce sustainable designs. Image courtesy of Beckett & Raeder, Inc. 9
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The Banking on Green report’s top findings: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Not only does green infrastructure cost less, but these practices can further reduce costs of treating large amounts of polluted runoff. Green infrastructure can help municipalities reduce energy expenses. Green infrastructure can reduce flooding and related flood damage. Green infrastructure improves public health — it reduces bacteria and pollution in rivers and streams, preventing gastrointestinal illnesses in swimmers and boaters.
The report features case studies from cities saving money and enjoying the other benefits of green infrastructure. For example, New York City’s plan to reduce combined sewage overflows will save an estimated $1.5 billion over 20 years by incorporating green infrastructure rather than relying solely on traditional gray infrastructure like massive pipes. In Louisiana, a high school in Baton Rouge spent $110,000 on bioswales and a rain garden to reduce flooding rather than the $500,000 it would have cost to re-pipe the site. While green infrastructure is not a new practice, Michigan is strategically positioned to be the front runner for implementing and advancing techniques. Whom better to lead the charge than landscape architects?
LEFT: Easy Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan utilizes a permeable paver shoulder. This technique allows stormwater to infiltrate into an aggregate subbase where water is able to further drain into the subgrade. During large events, stormwater rises in the subbase, then slowly enters an underdrain which connects to the storm sewer. Reducing peak flows is one of the objectives achieved through green infrastructure. Image courtesy of Cardno JFNew/Conservation Design Forum
For more information contact: Andy McDowell, LLA, ASLA 734.476.6443 www.cardnojfnew.com 10
Cardno JFNew firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have something to share with the MiASLA Community? Publish an article in SITES! The Michigan Chapter would like each of its members to have an opportunity to use the chapter’s quarterly publication, SITES, to showcase an important study, project or trend. We are now planning for the 2015 calendar year. Articles should communicate landscape architecture in Michigan. If you or your organization is interested in writing an article for SITES, please email SITES Editor Andy McDowell at email@example.com to discuss article criteria and reservation deadlines. We look forward to working with you in our upcoming publications!
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A Tribute to Pam Blough: Michigan ASLA Landscape Architect Legacy Series
Pam Blough, FASLA, PLA PMB/PLaCE Studios Grand Haven, Michigan by David L. Lycke, FASLA, PLA
“Pam has not only touched every corner of the profession of landscape architecture through her public, private and academic practice, she has had a deep impact on countless individuals through her passion for and devotion to the professional society” - Thomas Tavella, FASLA, PLA Immediate Past President of ASLA
Pam’s thirty year professional journey has been full of passion, focus, and joy in sharing the profession of landscape architecture with those around her. Pam explains, “Landscape Architects bring design into the world to those around them, creating social, urban, and functional spaces which provide for healthier living, safer environments, and improved community welfare.” She has spread that passion for landscape architecture in many directions throughout her career by working in nearly every sector…public, private and academic…that the profession offers. And as if that wasn’t enough, she has been in a leadership role of ASLA for the better part of the last two decades. Pam has been a constant advocate for the profession of landscape architecture. In 1987, landscape architect Bob Ford asked Pam if she had heard of the efforts of the Michigan landscape architects to upgrade the title act to a practice act with the Michigan legislature. She had not, but from that point forward, she became a staunch advocate for protecting Michigan 12
residents for health, safety, and welfare through landscape architecture licensing and worked 22 years prior to seeing licensing become a reality in 2009. Pam was honored for her long standing leadership of the profession through her induction as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2010. She has served nationally as a Vice President of Finance on the Executive Committee, Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Leadership Development Committee, member of the Emerging Professionals Committee, Trustee, as well as past president and many-office-holder of the Michigan Chapter. She was instrumental in the development of a Michigan Student Scholarship to bring college students to Washington, D.C. as part of the annual ASLA Advocacy Day, a scholarship program which was modeled and adopted by ASLA nationally. Personally, Pam has attended over a dozen national advocacy days, always finding it to be a highlight to her year, and rarely misses the Michigan Advocacy Day. Pam has applied her skills as a landscape architect and a leader to numerous volunteer boards including the State of Michigan Urban and Community Forestry Council, Grand Haven Township Planning Commission, the City of Grand Haven Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, the Michigan Forestry and Parks Association Board of Directors, MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Board, the MSU Landscape Architecture Alumni Board, and various other committees and public leadership roles. Although she clearly leads by example, Pam continues to encourage all professionals to step up and make a positive difference in their own communities. â€œAs landscape architects we have unique skills to develop partnerships, encourage positive growth, and improve our communitiesâ€?
ABOVE: Pam worked with the City of Port Huron to create the new Lakeside Park Master Plan. The plan modernized and reinvigorated a beloved and older park located on Lake Huron. BELOW: Thrune Park in the City of Midland, MI is a creative play park focused for children 5 years of age and younger. Images courtesy of PMB/PLaCE Studios
The Path to Leadership Pam found her way to landscape architecture at sixteen when leafing through a career book for a high school assignment. Looking at a chart, she saw where studio art and natural science intersected was the career of landscape architecture. From that point on she focused on finding out more about this continued on page 14 13
A Tribute to Pam Blough, FASLA
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unique discipline and was admitted into the Michigan State University Landscape Architecture Program. Following in the footsteps of many other LAâ€™s at MSU, she developed skills and the confidence to significantly impact our profession. Upon graduating in 1983 and despite tough economic times, she set her sights on practicing in Michigan on Michigan projects. Beginning prior to graduation from MSU, Pam jumped right into a key role with the City of Lansing where her responsibilities quickly grew from landscape intern, to landscape architect, to project manager for the Cityâ€™s Parks and Recreation Department. This role included oversight of the first phases of the Lansing River Trail, accreditation and expansion of the Potter Park Zoo, redevelopment of several urban parks, and other notable projects. In particular she assisted in the voter approval of the bond and millage issues for park development in the City. In 1986, she gained her state registration, a day that is still one of her proudest personal days.
ABOVE: Thrune Park, City of Midland, MI Thrune Park is creative play park focused for children 5 years of age and younger. Water mists provide for gentle water play and exploration for young ages. Images courtesy of PMB/PLaCE Studios RIGHT: Pam lead the design of the 1970 Tunnel Explosion Memorial in Fort Gratiot County Park for the St. Clair County Parks and Recreation department. The memorial commemorates the construction accident that took the lives of 22 men working on the water intake of the Detroit Water and Sewer Board tunnel located beneath the park and out into Lake Huron. Funding and construction was completed by volunteers through the 1971 Water Tunnel Explosion Foundation to commemorate the 25 year anniversary of the tragedy. Images courtesy of PMB/PLaCE Studios 14
Pam soon found her way back to MSU and the MBA program complimenting her design and team building skills with expanded knowledge in project financing, marketing, and administration. These skills also led her to becoming a stronger leader. Pam immediately put this new skill set to work when she accepted a position with Capitol Consultants, now known as C2AE, as the Business Development Director, and later brought landscape architecture to the firm, also managing the landscape architecture division within the multidisciplinary firm. While at Capital Consultants, she remained active in design and project management, providing landscape architecture design for several downtowns, and played a significant project management role with the Lansing Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for the construction of the river walk in front of the Lansing Center, the Lugnuts Stadium and other downtown Lansing projects. In 1997, PM Blough, Inc. was formed with an emphasis on providing design to small and mid-sized communities, believing that all communities can be improved with strong simple designs that relate to their cultural fabric. Utilizing the new business model of the internet she developed a new firm model of working electronically for project development. This new firm type, developed
A Tribute to Pam Blough, FASLA
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through research, led to her becoming a desired speaker at ASLA and other venues promoting the development of new landscape architecture firms. After practicing landscape architecture in a public agency, for a multidisciplinary firm, and fifteen years in a small private practice, Pam sought to change things up once again. Three years ago, David Lycke, FASLA joined the firm as a partner, expanding their practice, PMB/PLaCE Studios, to include offices in Grand Haven, Michigan and Charleston, South Carolina. In each of her new ventures Pam has pushed the non-traditional roles of landscape architecture to new formats, integrating traditional design with modern business methods. The firm now practices in multiple states. Throughout the last fifteen years, Pam has shared her expertise and passion with Michigan State University landscape architecture students, teaching a variety of classes from public design, construction design and detailing, applied research, and professional practice. She reminds the students that “We are fortunate that we are given the opportunity to pursue our passion as a career.” In professional practice classes, she again stresses the need to advocate for our profession, as well as understand the professional responsibilities that we share for the health, safety, and welfare of the public. She will often say “We are the future of our profession and our world. We must all demonstrate our passion, give to our communities, and enjoy the world we live in.” Pam’s passion for landscape architecture is evident in every new challenge that she takes on. Her legacy is demonstrated simply in the way that she has shown; not only the importance of the profession itself, but how showing one’s passion, fighting for what is right and leading by example can influence many well beyond the boundaries of any profession.
For more information contact: Pamela Blough, FASLA, PLA 616.402.2398 www.pmblough.com 16
Principal, PMB/PLaCE Studios firstname.lastname@example.org
2014 MICHIGAN ASLA OFFICERS AND STAFF President SuLin Kotowicz, ASLA
Associate at Large Tina Fix, Associate ASLA
President Elect John McCann, ASLA
VP of Government Affairs Bill Sanders, ASLA
Immediate Past President Mark Robinson, ASLA
Executive Director Derek Dalling
Trustee Vanessa Warren, ASLA VP of Marketing, Craig Hondorp, ASLA VP of Education Joane Slusky, ASLA Treasurer Monica Schwanitz, ASLA Secretary Christy Summers, ASLA Member at Large Robert Gibbs, ASLA
MSU Student Representatives Ben Clone, Student ASLA U of M Student Representatives Rachel Visscher, Student ASLA Amy Motzny, Student ASLA SITES: Editor and Layout Andrew McDowell, ASLA email@example.com Advertising Sales Joane Slusky, Associate ASLA firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to get involved? MiASLA is always looking for chapter members to participate at a greater level. Please feel free to reach out to the Executive Committee or staff members: email@example.com (517) 485-4116 visit us at: www.michiganasla.org find us on: linkedin.com, facebook.com and twitter.com 1000 W. St. Joseph Hwy., Suite 200 Lansing, MI 48915
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1000 W. St. Joseph Hwy., Suite 200 Lansing, MI 48915 www.michiganasla.org