Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS)

2021 HALS Challenge: Historic Black Landscapes

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document our country’s significant landscapes. Much progress has been made in identifying cultural landscapes but more work is needed to document these designed and vernacular places.

For the 12th annual HALS Challenge, the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) invites you to document historic Black landscapes. Black people have built and shaped the American landscape in immeasurable ways. Examining these histories and spaces will expand our understanding of America’s past and future. From plantations to segregated cities, the nation’s landscapes retain the physical manifestations of our racist history. Yet historic Black landscapes also represent creative achievements and reflect Black culture, as seen in residential gardens, parks, and college campuses across this country. Documenting historic Black landscapes will reveal patterns of community that have been built over the course of four hundred years.

The HALS Short Format History guidelines and digital template may be downloaded from the National Park Service’s HALS website. Short format histories should be submitted by July 31, 2021.

For more information on the 2021 HALS Challenge, please see The Field. Each month between now and the July 31 HALS Challenge deadline, ASLA will be showcasing historic Black landscapes that have already been documented for HALS on The Field.  Please add the landscapes you plan to submit to the a spreadsheet in our Google drive, so people can keep track of what’s already planned for submission.  You can access that here.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 entries.

Good luck and thank you for helping to preserve American landscapes!

For further information contact:

HALS Landscape Architect Chris Stevens  (chris_stevens@nps.gov) or Potomac Chapter HALS Liaison Juliet Swanson (julietlswanson@gmail.com).