Launched in 2016 in conjunction with LAF’s 50th anniversary, the LAF Medal and Founders’ Award are annual awards that honor those who have made a significant and sustained contribution to LAF’s mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment. The LAF Medal is awarded to an impactful individual while the LAF Founders’ Award honors a firm, agency, or organization. The 2022 recipients will be recognized at the LAF Awards Dinner on June 2 in Washington, DC.
The LAF Medal is conveyed to a landscape architect for distinguished work over a career in applying the principles of sustainability to landscapes. Honorees come from private practice, academia, nonprofit and public sectors, exemplify the values of LAF, and have made a significant contribution to the advancement of the landscape architecture discipline. The 2022 LAF Medal goes to Elizabeth J. Kennedy, FASLA.
Elizabeth Kennedy’s work intersects cultural heritage and ecological sustainability. An exceptional leader, visionary, and entrepreneur, she has been an advocate for social change, a teacher, and a mentor for young professionals, women, and BIPOC designers throughout her career. Her collaborative design approach and built works demonstrate the power of landscape architecture to celebrate the narratives of underrepresented voices.
After working in landscape design, teaching, site construction, and affordable housing development, Elizabeth established Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect, PLLC, (EKLA) in 1994 — today the longest-operating Black woman-owned landscape architecture firm in the country. With an approach that leverages sustainable design for cultural preservation, EKLA serves public and non-profit clients throughout the country. Notable award-winning projects include the Weeksville Heritage Center, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Roof Farm, Harlem Stage Gatehouse, and the African Burial Ground National Monument in Lower Manhattan.
At the heart of EKLA’s culture and ability to use design to empower and reveal is a commitment to training emerging professionals through client service. In this way, Elizabeth has helped prepare and shape dozens of landscape architects—particularly designers of color, and she has been lauded equally for her contributions to landscape architecture and emerging professionals’ development.
LAF is honored to recognize Elizabeth’s distinguished career, commitment to social justice, and investment in the next generation of designers with the award of the 2022 LAF Medal.