CHICAGO – Elizabeth Watson of Chestertown, MD, has achieved the planning profession’s highest honor by being named to the prestigious American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows for her outstanding achievements in urban and regional planning. Watson is the only planner from Maryland to be named FAICP this year. A lifelong innovator working to enhance rural communities and landscapes, Watson has devoted her career to educating non-planner stakeholders about the benefits of protecting heritage assets and to reinforcing communities’ capacity for effective action.
Fellowship is granted to planners who have achieved certification through the American Planning Association’s professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and have achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring, research, public and community service, and leadership. Invitations to join the College of Fellows come after a thorough nomination and review process, ensuring the candidate has had a positive, long-lasting impact on the planning profession.
“Individuals who make up the College of Fellows are the true leaders of the planning profession,” said past AICP President Valerie Hubbard, FAICP. “These individuals have made lasting contributions to the profession and have inspired generations of new planners. They are truly awe-inspiring.”
Watson co-authored Saving America’s Countryside, an award-winning guidebook and textbook published by Johns Hopkins University Press for the National Trust for Historic Preservation that inspired a generation of practitioners. Her work preceding that publication in a pilot community, Oley Township, PA, included the groundbreaking listing of 25 square miles (the entire jurisdiction) in the National Register of Historic Places.
She also wrote and co-produced the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s award-winning film, Chesapeake: Living Off the Land, used statewide in environmental education classes, about the impacts of land development on the bay’s water quality. The film was produced by Walkabout Productions of Annapolis.