January 22, 2008
Many of us knew Marion Clark as a dedicated colleague, committed to pioneering the transformation of our neighborhoods into green communities. Some knew her as the expert author and passionate co-creator of the Sustainable Landscapes curriculum at GW, launched in 2007. Still others knew her as a very active member of American Society of Landscape Architects, both the North Carolina and Potomac Chapters, the latter of which she served as president from 2000 to 2001.
On September 12, 2008, Marion was diagnosed with an aggressive type of cancer that is usually not detected until the later stages. After a brave and intense battle with this disease, Marion passed away on Thanksgiving Day.
On November 19, 2008, the Maryland — National Park & Planning Commission, where Marion worked as a planner coordinator, passed a resolution commending her excellent career, service to community, and education of students. It cited Marion’s passionate advocacy for the integration of transportation, environment, and urban design to achieve sustainable development. She established and managed Montgomery County’s Going Green At Home program, and she was instrumental in bringing pedestrian-oriented green urbanism to master plans. Marion raised awareness of urban environmental issues like “urban heat island effect,” lobbied for the use of pervious paving and vegetated roofs to mitigate stormwater runoff; and helped establish realistic pervious and tree canopy targets for compact urban areas. In short, Marion was a leader and an innovator in the sustainable design movement.
It is with deep appreciation for Marion’s contributions and a desire to keep her memory alive that we are launching the Marion Clark Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Landscape Design.
During her illness, Marion expressed to me her wish to create a scholarship for students in GW's Sustainable Landscapes program, which she worked so diligently to author and launch. I can think of no better way to remember Marion’s enthusiasm or to celebrate her hard work and dedication than to honor her wish in this way and to make sure that her name will live on at GW in perpetuity.
Our ambitious goal is to raise $100,000 to create a permanent, endowed scholarship fund in Marion’s name that will provide tuition support for students in the Sustainable Landscapes program. The ASLA Potomac Chapter has pledged a gift of $1,000 to the scholarship fund. Will you join us in making a gift to the Marion Clark Memorial Scholarship? Together, we can celebrate the life and legacy of our colleague, mentor and friend, as well as the cause so important to her: the building of a better, greener and healthier world.
With many thanks for your generosity,
Adele Ashkar, ASLA
Director, Landscape Design Program