Windsor’s Fediuk new Ontario Association of Landscape Architects president

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City of Windsor landscape architect Stefan Fediuk has become the first Windsor native to be elected as president of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects.

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Fediuk has been employed by the city for the past 15 years and had previously worked as a landscape architect for the City of Winnipeg for a decade.

“What makes it even more significant is, this term, for both the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and the Ontario Association of Architects, the presidents are from Windsor,” said Fediuk, who holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Environmental Science.

“There’s a lot of momentum in the City of Windsor, to have those accolades put upon members of this community.”

Archon Architects Inc. co-owner Settimo Vilardi was named president of the Ontario Association of Architects in January.

The OALA is a self-regulating professional association representing over 2,000 landscape architects in Ontario. The organization maintains standards of professional practice and conduct, consistent with the need to serve and protect public interest.

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Fediuk said the work landscape architects do is increasingly important to the province with climate change adding new challenges.

In his term, Fediuk said the OALA will continue to push for new legislation to regulate the profession in terms of safety, standards, environmental protections and qualifications.

Since the OALA’s founding in 1968, the profession has operated under the Name Act legislation, but it’s felt more definitive legal guidelines are required to address the evolving profession.

“The agency right now is in the process of seeking Practice Act legislation,” Fediuk.

“We have been in contact with a lot of members of provincial government and we’ve been in talking to all of the other affiliate associations to express our concern that we are part of the professional community that does provide services for the health and safety of the community. When we got our Name Act legislation in the early ’80s, we always had the intention to have a Practice Act.

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“Now, as things are starting to move forward, things that we’ve always said, such as the flooding situation, stormwater management, climate change, we feel the time is now that we do get recognized for that kind of work.”

Fediuk has served on the OALA council for seven years, including two as vice-president, and was acclaimed as a councillor at the association’s April 27 annual general meeting and then elected by the council to the president’s position. He’s also been a member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects for the past 22 years.

In addition, Fediuk has also worked extensively in the private sector. He served for nearly 15 years, until 2014, as the chief horticultural director for Northscaping Inc.

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Northscaping is a supplier of plant data available on the online plant database NetPS, a leading on-line plant search and online plant catalogue for North American garden centres.

Among his most recent local accomplishments is leading efforts to build the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) Centennial Plaza on the riverfront.

Fediuk also helped prepare the parks master plan with the City of Windsor’s parks department, which proposed the Ojibway National Urban Park, and paved the way for UNESCO Heritage designation of the Detroit River.

Fediuk has also been published in the horticultural industry and is an active member of several OALA Committees.

He was one of three recipients of the David Erb Memorial Award for outstanding volunteerism last year.

“I’m very grateful to be chosen for the role of president,” Fediuk said.

“The work landscape architects do for our province is incredibly valuable and we will continue to strongly promote our work during my tenure.”

With files from Taylor Campbell

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