Jun 29, 2023

Kas Kinkead is Awarded the A4LE 2023 Al Beck Award!

Kas Kinkead accepting the Al Beck Award at the A4LE Washington Chapter May Tour and Dinner event.

On May 23, 2023, the Washington Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), presented this year’s Al Beck Award to Kas Kinkead. In memory of Al Beck, considered one of the founding fathers of A4LE in the Pacific Northwest, this award honors a Washington State member who exemplifies the principles of service that were so diligently represented by his contributions to the organization.

Kas is a recognized leader in the profession of landscape architecture in the City of Seattle, at the state level, and at the national level. She has brought the role of the profession to the table for sustainable building, green infrastructure/LID, and public K-12 educational facilities – elevating the conversation with her diplomacy, technical expertise, and conviction. Kas has dedicated her professional career to the public realm. Her commitment to the profession is evidenced by her stature as a Fellow in ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects).

For 37 years, she has been an invaluable part of several organizations that focus on promoting women in design, championing the role of landscape architects in the design of our public schools, developing low-impact-development strategies, and strengthening communities. Her approach to her work is grounded in the philosophy that the quality of our public environment defines the quality of who we are as a culture; few public environments are more important than those that house this nation’s children.

At Kas’ first national A4LE (formerly CEPFI) conference in 2000, two A4LE members asked her, “As the only landscape architect here, what do you think of our award-winning projects?” Kas responded that she was dismayed and deeply concerned that there was no thought given to the site. In response they challenged her to get involved.

And get involved she did! Her dedication to A4LE has spanned over 20 years. From her early days contributing to conference planning on the program committee to transitioning to the Chapter Board, where she organized dinner events. Followed by three years on the Conference Committee as Co-Chair. And most recently, back for a repeat performance on the Chapter Board, where she again has been helping to plan programs and dinners. Next year, Kas is heading up the committee that will bring another year of great programs and tasty dinners at some very fun venues around the region – stay tuned!

Originally, Kas was the only landscape architect attending A4LE events. However, today there are many landscape architects in attendance who she has inspired to get involved. Her presence in the room reminds other members that beyond the lawn and trees, great learning opportunities abound on every site.

Thank you to all of the past Al Beck awardees, including Ed Peters (Highwood Learning Environments), Brian Carter (Integrus), Stephen Murakami (Hutteball + Oremus Architecture), Phillip Riedel (NAC), Shannon Brush (Hargis), Michael McGavock (McGranahan), Cheri Hendricks (Broadview Associates), Kelly Tanner, Greg Hepp, and many others.

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