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con'text Magazine of The Conway School


Faculty Ken Byrne Academic Coordination; Humanities

Administration Bruce Stedman ’78 Administration + Development

Kate Cholakis ’11 Academic Coordination; Landscape Planning + Design, Digital Design

Adrian Dahlin Admissions + Marketing

Molly Babize ’84 Planning + Design Myrna Breitbart Humanities Anne Capra ’00 Planning Kim Erslev Landscape Design, Site Engineering, Graphics CJ Lammers Planning Bill Lattrell Ecology Rachel Loeffler Site Engineering + Landscape Design

John Baldwin Business + Finance Nancy Braxton Genevieve Lawler ’10 Rachel Lindsay ’15 Priscilla Novitt ’07 Kristin Thomas ’11 Dave Weber ’15 Elaine Williamson ’11 Administrative, Development, + Communications Support Board of Trustees Keith Ross, Chair LandVest Warwick, MA Stephen Thor Johnson, Vice Chair; Sage Advisors Lincoln, MA

Glenn Motzkin Ecology

Susan Rosenberg ’95, Clerk Canopy Palo Alto, CA

Jono Neiger ’03 Regenerative Design

Timothy A. Umbach, Treasurer Northampton, MA

Keith Zaltzberg Digital Design

Richard C. Andriole South Deerfield, MA

Master Teachers Michael Ben-Eli Sustainability Walt Cudnohufsky Design Process Edwina von Gal Landscape Architecture David Jacke ’84 Permaculture Erik van Lennep ’83 Sustainability John O’Keefe Ecology Keith Ross Conservation Innovation Joel Russell Conservation Law Dana Tomlin GIS Greg Watson Food Systems The Conway School of Landscape Design 322 S. Deerfield Road PO Box 179 Conway, MA 01341-0179 (413) 369-4044 180 Pleasant St. Studio 211 Easthampton, MA 01027 (413) 459-0980 www.csld.edu Nicholas T. Lasoff ’05 Editor Rachel Lindsay ’15 Project Manager Adrian Dahlin Content Editor Lilly Pereira, Murre Creative Kristen Winstead, Sund Studio Design John Baldwin Janet Curtis ’00 Bruce Stedman ’78 Contributing writers

Mitch Anthony Clarity Northampton, MA Michael Cavanagh ’02 Cavanagh Landscape Design LLC Saunderstown, RI Janet Curtis ’00 Union of Concerned Scientists Cambridge, MA Nicholas Filler Conway, MA Carol Franklin Andropogon Associates Philadelphia, PA Bob Pura Greenfield Community College Greenfield, MA Dolores Root Center for Creative Solutions Brattleboro, VT

In their final design, Rachel Lindsay ’15 and Beth Batchelder ’15 proposed the conversion of a brownfield site in Chicopee, Massachusetts to a public park that highlights both natural and historical features of the site. Read about this and other recent student projects on page 16.

William B. Sayre Wm. B. Sayre, Inc. Williamsburg, MA Emeritus Trustees David Bird (d. 2007) Gordon H. Shaw ’89 Bruce Stedman ’78 Past Directors Walter Cudnohufsky Founder, Director (1972–1992) Donald Walker ’79 Director (1992–2005) Paul Cawood Hellmund Director (2005–2015)

© 2016. con'text is published by The Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc. All rights reserved.


Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

ConwaySchool The mission of the Conway School is to explore, develop, practice, and teach design of the land that is ecologically and socially sustainable. The Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc., a Massachusetts non-profit corporation organized under Chapter 180 of the General Laws, is a school of sustainable landscape design and land use planning. As an equal opportunity institution, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital or veteran status in the administration of educational, admissions, employment, or loan policies, or in any other school-administered program.

con'text Magazine of The Conway School



04 People and Place A dynamic partnership that demands resilient design solutions to address ecological and social change.

08 Sustainable Farming in Fiji For her David Bird International Service Fellowship, Rachel Jackson ’12 introduces ecological land management practices to a family in Fiji.

11 Fifty Shades of Green Dean Cycon on bringing ecological and social values to the world through his organic coffee company.


ON THE COVER For her fall project, Molly Burhans ’15 included a rain garden in a design for an abandoned lot owned by Gardening the Community in Springfield, Massachusetts (see p. 16). In a collaborative effort, the garden was installed in October, 2016 by volunteers, including several members of the Conway School class of 2016. The detail design, workshop and implementation were funded as part of the Springfield Rain Garden Project, administered by Patty Gambarini at PVPC and funded by Clean Water Action. PHOTO: THE REGENERATIVE DESIGN GROUP. “Molly Burhans worked with GTC to help us develop a plan for our new Walnut St. site. The finished project plan she created has been central to our work on the site this year. The extensive design and detailed recommendations that Molly put together provided a platform we have used to strengthen our visibility and promote urban agriculture in the city and state. This has raised GTC’s profile in the city, region and state . . . and also helped people see the strengths and productivity of our neighborhood. —Anne Richmond and Ibrahim Ali, co-directors of Gardening the Community

Printed on Rolland Environment 100 Satin, an uncoated 100% post-consumer reycled paper that is processed chlorine free, EcoLogo and FSC® Certified, and is manufactured using biogas energy. Printed by Hadley Printing, Holyoke, Massachusetts.

02 From the Chair

14 Class of 2015

Keith Ross on institutional transformation, new partnerships, and community engagement.

Embracing spontaneity, social justice, and emerging diamondback terrapins.

16 Portfolio 03 Perspectives A recent graduate works with the Catholic church to incorporate Pope Francis’s message into land management practices.

Student projects focus on watershed management, productive landscapes, public spaces, and more.

22 Conway Currents News of and from the school.

08 Perspectives Amy Klippenstein ’95 on applying deep observation and analysis to farming.

26 Annual Report A summary of operations for the 2015 fiscal year.

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A Time of Transformation

“Right now Conway is undergoing a period of significant change— a transformation of our institution.”

The landscape around us is in a

engagement from within our community.

constant state of change. There are

The board of trustees, faculty, staff, and

moments when this change is barely

alums have stepped up together to make

perceptible, when one emerges from

the necessary decisions about how the

the New England woods on a hike to

school will move forward.

an outlook over a forested valley and

As you will see reflected in this issue

feels the gravity of an old and revered

of con’text, Conway is alive and well. We

landscape. But there are also times

have 22 students enrolled at two cam-

when this change is powerfully felt,

puses, and as of the end of 2015 we had

when in the early spring one can watch

reached 56 percent of our annual fund-

new leaves emerging over the course

raising goal (see the annual report, p.26).

of one day, or when the first rain after

Most important, we have an energetic

a wildfire rapidly transforms a desolate

corps of alums who are actively creat-

area with a sheen of green growth.

ing a healthier and more sustainable

Right now the Conway School is

world in diverse ways. Graduates are

undergoing a period of significant

starting new initiatives to address sus-

change—a transformation of our

tainability on a global scale, like a new

institution that is very perceptible. An

collaborative project with the Catholic

initiative that began three years ago to

Church started by recent graduate Molly

expand our educational opportunities to

Burhans ’15 (p. 3). Others, including

urban communities has come to fruition

2015 Bird Fellow Rachel Jackson ’12 (p.

with the opening of the Easthampton

8) and Amy Klippenstein ’96 (p. 10) are

campus. During the process, many new

working in depth with communities to

partnerships have formed. Additional

produce both quality food and healthy

professionals have


Send a note to Keith at:

ross@ csld.edu

ecosystems. This fall Kate Cholakis ’11

joined the faculty

and Ken Botnick ’79 joined forces and

(see p. 22), and we

their expertise to teach the first group of

are collaborating with

students in Easthampton (p. 7).

local municipalities to generate more student

As we take on this next phase for Conway, we invite you to contribute

projects as meaningful as the ones

your ideas, support our efforts to make

featured in the 2015 portfolio (pp. 16–21).

Conway available to a diverse student

We have strengthened our relationships

body, and come visit us—in Conway or

with alums and donors who have sup-

Easthampton. We look forward to hear-

ported us in these endeavors.

ing from you.

As one of these changes, Conway’s president and director, Paul Hellmund, stepped down in November after ten years of leadership and teaching at the school (p. 23). His departure has opened space


for strategic thinking about the school’s

Chair, Board of Trustees

future and spurred an impressive level of

2 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

Perspectives Report from a Recent Conway Graduate

Laudato Si’ and Ecological Design BY M O L LY B U RH ANS ’15

Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, makes addressing climate change a moral imperative for the 1.2 billion Catholics in this world. It is sobering and hopeful. Some Catholics are taking the pope’s message more seriously than previous calls to climate action; and when that is “some” of 1.2 billion people, the potential impact is global. The Catholic Church is one of the largest landholders in the world and is affiliated with the world’s largest international education and health care systems. If only a small fraction of that Molly Burhans land were ecologically managed, it could have a profound impact. In his public address, Pope Francis acknowledges the “cry of the poor” and vulnerable in the face of human-driven climate change. It is a cry that I heard in the Sahel region of Mali while working on a Conway project (see p. 21). A cry of a people who brace for yet another devastating typhoon. A cry from victims of violence caused by climate-escalated conflicts relating to resource distribution. A cry that says, “if there is no rain, we die.” These are the struggles of our age, and the potential impact of the Catholic Church—with its massive landholdings, large population, and organized structures—all uniting to address climate change inspires hope. For me, that hope means considering the lives of the most vulnerable at the forefront of discussions about planning and design.

We have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. —Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ paragraph 49

Shortly before the release of the pope’s encyclical I found myself inspired to deepen the relationship between my faith and my education at Conway. The encyclical helped me grasp how good design becomes a form of charity through its long-term benefits to communities and ecosystems. As a Catholic, I am one of many taking the message of Laudato Si’ seriously. After graduating in June 2015, I founded the GoodLand Project. The project’s goals include mapping Read about the Church’s interthe GoodLand national landholdProject at www.goodland ings, and helping project.org the Church and its affiliates implement Catholic social justice teachings through ecological land management that is sensitive to human ecology, economic realities, and the environment. I am working with Church leaders, biologists, business people, and design professionals from around the world who work to care for our common home with the hope that we can create a better future for all by thoughtfully managing the land we use and love.


Molly’s experiences in Mali applying both ecological and social approaches to design—including engaging with community members and using GIS—continue to inform her current work with the GoodLand Project. Left to right: Chief Segou Tounkar, Molly Burhans ’15, Chris Hendershot ’15, Jonathon Ellison ’94, and Modibo Fofana. PHOTO: CHRIS HENDERSHOT ’15

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Landscape is an association of people and place. A dynamic partnership. A mutual shaping. ANNE WHISTON SPIRN, 2010 COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER AND HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT

People & Place A Dynamic Partnership

Ecological designers are embracing the reality of change. Almost half a century ago, it became apparent that design could not continue to be driven solely by short-term anthropocentric needs and aesthetics, but needed to address environmental issues directly. Ian McHarg’s book Design with Nature launched the field of ecological design by developing a methodology for incorporating environmental understanding into design. At the heart of this movement was the desire to minimize destructive impacts to the environment and contribute to the conservation, preservation, and restoration of ecological communities. For some, concepts such as preservation and restoration can incorrectly imply the return to a previous, static state of being, while ecological theory today recognizes the inevitability of change. A deeper understanding of the dynamics of climate change now drives an urgent demand for planners and designers to incorporate environmental and social change in design solutions. Ecological design recognizes the dynamic nature of the landscape. By embracing this quality, ecological designers do not strive toward a specific condition or end-state, but rather a resilient system that can adapt to changing ecological and social dynamics. Design solutions must embrace the full range of impacts on a landscape, from seasonal and physical changes, including the effects of climate change, to shifts in policies that affect the relationship of whole communities to their landscape.

Glenn Motzkin, a botanist and ecologist, leads classes at Conway on topics ranging from the geological impacts of the ice age to cultural landscapes formed by agricultural activities within the last century. He sees ecological understanding as a fundamental tool for the designer: A fundamental understanding of ecological systems and how they change over time may help to shift the field of design toward finding dynamic solutions. Ecological understanding won’t tell you whether a specific design choice is “right” or “wrong.” Instead, it helps to inform a range of possible actions, introduces a sense of dynamics and change as real and central aspects of design, and gives us the tools to work with long-term change. This includes applying ecological understanding to new climate change models that strive to predict what our landscape will look like in the future. In Keene, New Hampshire, students Janice Schmidt ’15 and Aitan Mizrahi ’15 explored removing part of the concrete side of the channelized Beaver Brook to reduce the intensity of flooding (see p. 19). Restoring the meandering flow of the brook allows the waterway to resume a state of constant change—an inherent aspect of waterways

Left: Mill 180 in Easthampton, Massachusetts offers the school opportunities to explore the intersection of heavily built industrial areas and wildlife habitat in the adjacent wetlands. PHOTO: DAVE WEBER ’15.


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Ecology professor Glenn Motzkin, right, and members of the class of 2015 investigate the ecology of the Lower Mill Pond Watershed surrounding Mill 180. PHOTO: JANICE SCHMIDT ’15

constricted in many places by channelization. Providing space for urban rivers to change course is an approach to restoring wildlife habitat and reducing the risk of flooding that is gaining acceptance. Recent designs explore the restoration of widened floodplains for urban sections of major rivers such as the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, and the Isar River in Munich. A shifting river course is only one element in our environment that changes constantly. Our relationship to the environment also shifts as our understanding of the role we play in ecosystem dynamics changes. Engaging all elements of the landscape during the design process requires not only consideration of the full dynamics of ecological functions, but also requires a deeper understanding of the people living on and shaping the land. At any given time, there are differences among the cultural values of the people affected by a design project, and over time those cultural values evolve. The design process is strengthened by and better able to address these dynamics by increasing the exposure of designers to a diversity of people and environments. Inclusionary social practices and collaborations among diverse professional and residential groups are paramount to creating resilient, longterm design solutions. Honorary degree recipient and 2010 commencement speaker Anne Whiston Spirn’s project, “The Urban Watershed,” combined learning, community development, and water resource management with middle school students in Mill Creek, Philadelphia. She applied the principle of design with, not for to empower residents of the inner city neighborhood to participate in developing design solutions for their neighborhood. Her work illustrates the power—and necessity—for design and planning projects to deeply address the understanding and values of the community members by including a diverse group of people in the process.

Conway winter and spring projects integrate community participation into the design process. For some student teams, the ability to incorporate a deep understanding of the stakeholders forms a crucial aspect of their project. Mariko McNamara ’16 and Ryan Corrigan ’16 are working on a project in Aquinnah, Massachusetts, on the southwestern tip of Martha’s Vineyard, that involves negotiating a long history of tribal and town relations (see p. 23). They are working in an area vulnerable to coastal changes due to sea level rise and with a community that is actively reconciling differing cultural attachments to the land. Proficiency in engaging with diverse communities is as important to the success of this project as an understanding of coastal ecology. In the project featured on the cover of this issue of con’text, Molly Burhans ’15 worked on an urban farm design in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her design proposed physical changes to the urban landscape by increasing the ability of the site to absorb stormwater. She also addressed the shifting cultural values of community members by offering a flexible space that could accommodate educational activities, food production, and green space. The implementation of this project testifies to its inclusive approach—in less than a year, a collaborative effort to construct a rain garden brought together a local design firm, three community organizations that had participated in the design process, and members of the Conway class of 2016 (see p. 1). The Conway School has the responsibility not only to provide graduates with the tools they need to design for ecological and social change, but also to apply those principles to the school’s own functions. The opening of the Easthampton campus is an example of self-transformation and adaptation to changes in the environment, the field of design, and growing cities. Although the school has always incorporated a range of urban and rural projects, the new location makes Conway’s unique approach accessible to a wider audience. Just as the strength and stability of an ecosystem is measured by its biodiversity, a signature strength of Conway’s program lies in the diversity of individuals that commit to teaching and studying at Conway. As Ken Botnick ’79 and Kate Cholakis ’11 describe on the following page, the new Conway community at Mill 180 draws together a diverse group of students and faculty who are working together to respond to the demands of our changing environment. Ecological designers have a responsibility to consider the changing needs of the land and the people who live on it. A deep understanding of ecological processes offers designers a set of tools, but ultimately the success of a plan lies in its acceptance by the people involved in the project. The more that designers reflect the communities they work in, the more effective their work will be. The choices Conway makes are grounded in a commitment to engage actively with the shaping of our landscape and its increasingly complex systems of interactions. By reaching out to diverse groups of individuals and expanding to new places, the school is applying best practices in design and planning to its own curriculum—offering an educational program that can embrace changes in our environment and society.

6 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

Our Growing Community in Easthampton BY KEN BOTNICK ’79 AND KATE CHOLAKIS ’11

The Conway School’s Easthampton campus is quickly becoming all that could be hoped for in its urban setting. Students commute daily from a variety of locations in the Pioneer Valley—even from as far away as Hartford, Connecticut. Participation in lectures at local universities, exhibitions, and critiques at venues in the Valley is easier by virtue of proximity, and we have benefitted from the diversity of professionals working nearby. At the beginning of the semester, Emily Holmberg, from Holmberg and Howe Inc., a land surveying and civil engineering firm in Easthampton, stopped by to help students troubleshoot surveying equipment. Our new siteengineering instructor, landscape architect Rachel Loeffler, works primarily at Berkshire Design Group in Northampton. The campus also welcomed visits from professionals living farther afield, such as landscape architect Sue Reed ’87 from Shelburne Falls, conservation activist Edwina von Gal from East Hampton, New York, and landscape designer Maria Lopez Ibanez from North Carolina. Part of the initial vision for the Easthampton campus was to take advantage of the many lessons of urban community and ecology just outside our door, and this has proved successful. Ecologist Richard Forman came to Easthampton for a day in the fall, and after a presentation to students, he led an enlightening walking tour through the surrounding neighborhood. Richard’s insights into plant communities, built infrastructure, and human use patterns raised awareness of the complexity of the interrelated systems surrounding us. Conway’s founder, Walt Cudnohufsky, returned to the school as an instructor for the first time after many years.

Walt began his workshop in the immediate neighborhood facing the Mill building. On fast-paced walks, Walt’s proficiency in using a design vocabulary to explore the environment was eye opening. Along the way, we introduced ourselves to our Cambodian neighbors, who graciously opened the gate to their property that had been turned into a productive and inviting urban farm. Walt continued up the street to the Catholic church and school, where he led a two-day workshop in his low-tech method for creating a base plan by pacing off the property, making educated guesses about sizes and location, and sketching it up on a legal pad. Chuck Schnell ’01 and Mollie Babize ’84 from Walt Cudnohufsky Associates have brought incredibly helpful perspectives in the studio. On Fridays, field trips have taken the class far afield. One memorable trip was to neighboring Mount Tom, to meet with geologist Richard Little, historian Robert Schwobe, and Bill Finn of the Mount Tom State Reservation Advocacy Group to learn about the complexities of managing the mountain we are fortunate to look at from the kitchen window of the Mill 180 building. From Mount Tom’s Goat Peak, students observed the transition from Easthampton’s urban post-industrial landscape to the rural, rolling hills beyond (see p. 25). Although we are in an urban location, students are taught to understand natural systems across the whole rural–urban transect. All of these experiences have brought the surrounding landscape and urban community to life in ways that have enriched our experience of looking at, thinking about, and designing for the environment.

Landscape architect Edwina von Gal consults with Ryan Corrigan ’16 in the Mill 180 studio.

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Bird Fellow Report Sustainable Farming in Fiji STO RY A N D PH OTOS BY RAC H E L JACKS O N ’ 1 2

Members of the Savou family weaving a pandanus floor mat

It is not easy to get to Narogiovoce Farm in Fiji, but it is worth the effort. Sixteen hours in a plane, seven hours on three buses, a hike across three rickety bridges, and twenty minutes in a rowboat will take you from Boston to the lush ancestral land that the Savou family farms. As the 2015 David Bird Fellow, I spent five and a half weeks in Fiji working with the Savou family to incorporate sustainable practices into their farm. To someone who lives in the tropics, Fiji feels both foreign and familiar. Many of the same crops and ornamentals are grown in both Fiji and Costa Rica, where I live, and the towns share a similar concrete architecture. With no browsing mammals, Fijian plants never developed defensive spines, so people can and frequently do walk barefoot through the fields and forest. What I first thought were hawks were actually giant flying fox bats gliding overhead, and I was astonished to see mudskipper fish walk on land. Native Fijians share a rich communal culture based on family and clan systems. Land ownership in Fiji is very different than any other place I’ve been. Eighty-two percent of land is held in communal trust for indigenous Fijians and managed by individual Esther Savou and 2015 Bird Fellow Rachel Jackson at Narogiovoce Farm clans and the iTaukei Land Trust Board. Access to

8 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

land is based on ancestral claims from the 1800s and smaller family groups like the Savous can lease land from their clan. Currently Ratu Jone Savou, his two sons Jo and Waqa, Jo’s wife Sera and their daughter Esther are living at the farm, which has a comfortable oneroom house and outdoor kitchen, but no electricity or running water. Narogiovoce (the sound of paddles in water) Farm is 100 acres of rich sloping land surrounded on two sides by a mangrove estuary. The Savous have been farming for five years, cultivating taro, cassava, sweet potato, eggplants, and tomatoes for personal consumption and to sell in the capital city Suva. This past year they planted five acres of ginger for export. Before I arrived in Fiji, Jo and Waqa had cleared land and dug two acres of ginger by hand and were


excitedly awaiting the arrival of a small roto-tiller. Labor is a limiting factor on the farm, and the family is stretched thin managing the acreage. Much of the land had been abandoned for a decade or more and is covered in African tulip trees (Spathodea campanulata), an invasive and difficult to remove species. With three meters of rain annually and steep slopes, erosion is a primary challenge at the farm and throughout Fiji, where topsoil loss through runoff containing herbicides, pesticides, and artificial fertilizers is not only depleting fertility, but also threatening Fiji’s fragile coral reefs. A range of designs can address these problems while maintaining profitability: contour planting, alley cropping, and mulching are valuable techniques that could protect delicate topsoil and have an immediate impact on the land. These could be incorporated into the commercial ginger growing to increase productivity in the long term without lowering production. On the land is a 25-acre coconut plantation, left over from a previous tenant. The family takes only one or two sacks of coconuts to the market at a time, due to the difficulty of transport. The family has been exploring Learn more the idea of making about Rachel’s experience, past virgin coconut oil on Bird Fellows, and site, a value-added how to apply at csld.edu/bird product that would be easier to transport. Another way to utilize the coconut plantation would be to add understory crops. Annuals such as ginger, taro, sweet potato, and cassava could be rotated through the spaces beneath the trees. High value perennials such as cacao, kava, and black pepper would thrive in this protected microclimate. Sandalwood (Santalum album), a semi-parasitic understory tree with valuable heartwood, can be planted under the coconut as a long-term investment to be harvested in 15–20 years. Nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs should be planted as well, adding fertility and a source for mulch. The land provides for the family well beyond what they cultivate. Wild species such as ivi (Inocarpus fagifer), a native nut tree, ota (Diplazium proliferum), a type of fiddlehead fern and

Left: Jone Savou, center, and his sons Jo, left, and Waqa, right. Right: Sera Nayacalevu walks over the village bridge at low tide.

rourou (Colocasia esculenta), an edible taro leaf, are major components of the family’s diet and command a premium at the market. The mangroves produce a bounty of shrimp, mud crab, and small fish for the dinner table. These native foods (usually served with coconut milk) were my favorite things to eat. During my time in Fiji, I experienced a true exchange of knowledge and skills. I was able to visit research stations, another farm project, and speak with officials at the Ministry of Agriculture. Besides working on an agricultural plan,

I taught the family how to make ginger beer, homemade chocolate, and fish fertilizer. They taught me how to make coconut milk, catch crabs, and weave the intricate pandanus mats that Fijians use to cover their floors. We worked side by side planting ginger and sharing our stories and experiences. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about a different culture and share the skills I gained at Conway. Vinaka (thank you) to the Savou family for hosting me and vinaka to the Conway School and the Bird family!


Integrating understory crops into the already existing coconut plantation would protect the soil from erosion and provide additional sources of income for the Savou family.

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Perspectives From the Field of Farming

Deep Observation and Analysis BY AMY KLIPPENSTEIN ’95

“It’s amazing how many skills from Conway are applicable to farming. . . . Farming is about deep observation and analysis.”

The herd at Sidehill moves to fresh pasture twice a day. Carefully managed grazing encourages the grasses to shed older root material regularly and build soil by increasing the nutrients available for earthworms, micro-organisms, and bacteria. PHOTO: AMY KLIPPENSTEIN ’95

Amy Klippenstein ’95 and her husband Paul Lacinski co-manage Sidehill Farm, 225 acres of certified organic pasture, hayfields, and forest in Hawley, Massachusetts. Their Normande and Jersey cows produce raw milk, yogurt, and beef. In 2015, Sidehill Farm won the Green Pastures Award, an annual, regional award honoring an outstanding dairy farm. After college, I worked on a residential landscaping crew in Washington state. When I began looking at landscape architecture programs, Conway’s approach to theory and practice completely resonated with me. It wasn’t until after I graduated and was working for Walt Cudnohufsky on land use projects with agricultural organizations that I felt I was getting closer to what I really wanted to do, and I started a vegetable and dairy farm in Ashfield. It is amazing how many skills from Conway are applicable to farming. From Don Walker, we learned to break systems down and put them back together. I was an analysis geek, and these techniques are so helpful to me now, from reading patterns of animal behavior and changes in soil over time, to solving access and circulation issues at our farm store. Farming is about deep observation and analysis. We select for plants and animals that balance productivity with ruggedness and adaptability. We work with and foster the various microclimates found on our farm. We select and develop technologies that respect natural systems and use energy efficiently. Our grass is much more than just grass—a botanist walking through our pastures would find more than 100 species of grasses, legumes, forbs, and other sundry

10 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

seedlings of trees, shrubs, and annuals. I am continually surprised at the role that large animals can play in soil conservation. If you manage animals in the right way, they improve the quality of the soil and keep it from eroding. Recently we moved to a former potato farm that had been plowed annually. Potatoes draw a lot of nutrients out of the soil, and three years after establishing our pasture the differences are visible. We have our hay and baleage tested every year, and the nutrient qualities steadily improve. Rotational grazing emulates the system when wild bison ran across the prairie, eating and trampling the grass, and then leaving for months. This is part of the natural system that built the prairies before we plowed them up. When we farm, we take land from its natural state and use it for raising food, but you can still observe natural systems and learn how things work best—and learning from nature is what organic agriculture is supposed to be about.

Paul Lacinski, Amy Klippenstein, and their dairy herd work together to manage healthy pasture and produce high-quality dairy products for local markets. PHOTO: PAUL SHOUL

Fifty Shades of Green Maintaining Ecological Values in a Corporate World 2015 COMMENCEMENT SPEECH BY D E A N CYCO N

In Peru, Dean Cycon participates in a children’s soccer game. PHOTO: DEAN’S BEANS

What do you say to the graduate who has everything? You have brains, you have heart, you have courage . . . wait, that was actually The Wizard of Oz. All I can offer you are some thoughts that come from my experiences. I hope they are applicable to what you are about to embark on, because frankly, the world needs you now—desperately. When I graduated from Williams College in 1975, I was engaged in environmental activism and indigenous rights, but there was no place to go professionally with this work. That has changed dramatically. People graduating today with ecological design degrees or anything having to do with the environment or systems thinking have places to go. We are on the cusp of massive change because this kind of thinking has started to become institutionalized. You are graduating at a time when fantastic opportunities are available, even though

you have to search for them, because there is not yet an ecological design category in The New York Times for jobs. Today I am going to share what I consider to be the deep dynamics of design. I wanted to call it “intelligent design,” but someone already trademarked that. I. Spiritual awakening in an elevator. At Williams College, I studied the great religions of the world and found a consistent theme of creation and destruction in most of them. Creation leads to destruction, which has within it the seeds of creation, which has within it the seeds of its own destruction, and so on. It is not linear. In Hindu mythology, it is a dance between creative and destructive forces—one leads to the other. Judaism is an agricultural tradition, so the metaphor is agricultural. Creation is the spark in Kabbalah. As soon as that spark is created, it is

captured, and encapsulated by a husk. The job of the Kabbalist is to liberate the spark from the husk. But as soon as it is liberated, it gets captured again. I was in an elevator listening to Revolution by the Beatles played by the Boston Pops, and it hit me: that was it. That was capture. The Beatles came out with this incredible song about change and revolution, and as soon as it was out there, wham—it got captured by mainstream music and turned into elevator Muzak. I see it all the time. A great idea gets captured by mainstream forces, and all of a sudden you say, “What happened to this creativity? What happened to this brilliant idea?” It is probably the biggest struggle I face, whether it is with cooperatives in the global south, or fair trade organic regulatory agencies here— creativity, capture, destruction. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created so that we could have some

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/ G R A D UAT I O N /

control over environmental devastation, but over time the agency itself becomes captured by the regulated entities who supply the information to the regulator. It is up to us again—constantly—to challenge, challenge, challenge the EPA, FDA, and the World Bank in the creation of those systems that really destroy the things we are trying to change. The dance goes on. II. The myth of value neutrality. There is no real value neutrality. Nothing is without values. People create the systems, and their values become embedded in the system that is created. A perfect example in organizational decision-making is the World Bank. In 1970 they created the Office of the Environmental Advisor to incorporate environmental values into their decision-making. Perfect. But here is where this concept of values sneaks in. The World Bank didn’t really value the environment, so they stuck the Office of the Environmental Advisor at the end of the

Your job as a creative person, as a person involved in social change or ecological evolution, is to liberate sparks of creativity. Then, after they get captured, keep fighting to liberate them again. decision-making pipeline. What does that mean? First, governments decide they are going to build a dam. Then, engineers create the engineering for the dam. They get financing for the dam, and then they take it to the Office of the Environmental Advisor. By that time, there’s a freight train going down the decision-making line, and there is nothing that is going to stop it from becoming manifest. Even though the World Bank created the office specifically to control environmental decisionmaking and make sure it is part of all bank decisions, in reality it was not a part of those decisions and, frankly in my estimation, still is not. Structurally,

DEAN CYCON JOINS DISTINGUISHED LIST OF CONWAY HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS “For four decades as a lawyer, indigenous rights activist, community organizer, co-founder of Coffee Kids, and founder/CEO of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, you have fought for the protection of cultures and environments around the world. You have challenged corporate values by successfully creating a business model governed by human values. Your integrated, progressive trade system is a laudable vehicle for social change. In recognition of your many contributions, the Conway School, with respect and admiration, presents you this Honorary Doctorate.” Dean Cycon, center, with former Chair of the Board of Trustees Ginny Sullivan ’86 and Paul Hellmund at commencement.

you can take a value base and throw it out the window by the way the organization is structured. III. Style of inquiry Are meetings with community groups really participatory, or just another hierarchy coming in? The EPA, for example, will organize a public hearing. They may know what they are going to decide, but the law requires them to have a public hearing. They allow twenty people to speak for five minutes, and then say, “Thank you, public comment is closed. Now we can go back and make by and large the decision we were going to make anyway.” The EPA doesn’t value public participation unless it is overwhelming—millions of comments—and when that happens they may back off. When we make decisions on ecological or social issues, especially in international work, we come in with our set of values, and other people at the table have their own set of values. How can there be some harmonious meeting of the two, as opposed to an imposition or total ignoring of the value of the other? If you actually let people have input into decision-making through participatory decision-making, or appreciative inquiry, it can be meaningful. IV. The Godfather, Breaking Bad, and the power of culture. How many people here have seen any of the Godfather movies or Breaking Bad? How can these people, who are hugging their kids in

12 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

See a complete list of honorary degree recipients: csld.edu/conway-honorees

the garden and taking them to school, be such decent family people, and then go out and commit murder? Or, in our context, how can people wake up in the morning and put on a suit and tie, go to an office, and have a completely different set of values from those they have with their family? I was invited to the first post-revolutionary workshop on corporate social responsibility in Tunisia. I gave out two sets of identical value sheets and asked everyone to fill out one with their personal values, and the second with their values for their company. Then we compared them, and they were completely different. My business is predicated on the idea that we should have our value set 24/7. The Dean I am today, and the

Don Nyaco, a coffee farmer in Peru, tends his own nursery of native hardwood trees. The varieties of trees grown are selected by the community for their value as providers of wildlife habitat, nuts or fruit for food, and shade. PHOTO: DEAN’S BEANS


Go out and make a contribution and participate in meaningful social change. It is not easy—but it is meaningful. Hold fast to your visions and your values. Don’t give them up. Don’t put them off until later. Dean I am with you, and the Dean I am in Peru with the farmers—it is the same Dean. We don’t set up a different set of values in working with the farmers, and yet, that is the business culture that lives out there in the world. The more complex the system, the harder it is for us to see what it values. We often find that we engage in sets of values that we don’t believe in, because we don’t see them. Coffee is an example. Your purchase of a bag of coffee represents a certain set of values right down to how the farmer is being treated. You say, “I don’t destroy the environment. I love migratory birds!” But what if the coffee you are buying is destroying migratory bird habitat in Costa Rica? The system may be so complex between us and the farmer that we don’t realize the values that are being played out in our names. What age are we living in now? I posit that we are living in the Age of Quantification. People in the future are going to look back, and say, “Yeah—that sorry time when morality and ethics as decision-making tools were supplanted by quantification.” If you can’t quantify it, it has no value. Cost-benefit analysis is not just a tool; it is the paradigm. That is why we need you and your values more than ever. V. Fifty Shades of Green. You now have to take what you learned here at Conway into the wider world to find ways to address the big problems of the world today, both here and abroad. What do I mean by shades of green? It is the degree to which ecological and ethical values are applied to these areas. For example, take reforestation. On the shades of green scale, you can have the dominant paradigm of reforestation,

An agroecology system in Nicaragua shows that it is possible to grow shade-grown coffee while also creating lush wildlife habitat. PHOTO: DEAN’S BEANS

which is large-scale mono-cropping. Monoculture plantations around the world are making money these days, because they are tied into carbon credits and climate change. Companies can plant huge monocultures, sell the wood and carbon credits, kick indigenous populations off the land, and ruin the water—all in the name of ecological design. On the other end of the green spectrum, Dean’s Beans has a program in Peru called “Restoring the Sacred,” a community-based reforestation project. The indigenous people, the Ashaninkas, are working in a series of valleys that were denuded by a large-scale US-AID program in the ’70s. The Ashaninkas choose to reforest with varieties they call the “grandfather trees,” that anchor the ecosystem, and they establish nurseries to recreate an ecological version of what was there before, not a monoculture. When we started, we planted 1,000 trees. Now, there are about 250,000 trees planted. Food security is supposed to ensure the availability and adequacy of nutritional food for people. But “food security” also has shades of green. It has become another aid program where our government funds another government to buy our surplus crops from our food processors. Your tax dollars go right back to those companies, so they can supply food, like white bread, to different

countries. In the short term, for food emergencies, that’s not a bad thing, but for the long run it is devastating. The introduction of new crops into certain areas destroys the local food system and changes land use and land ownership patterns, so that small land holdings disappear. Former landowners become sharecroppers or farm workers. This has been happening since the 1990s all over Africa under the guise of food security. On the other end of the spectrum there is a counter-movement called food sovereignty, that asks “What do the communities in that climate need to grow, and how can they create local markets to support themselves and raise alternative income?” That is the right fight. In conclusion, graduates, go out and make a contribution and participate in meaningful social change. It is not easy— but it is meaningful. Be aware of the larger context within which you work: the cultural context, the values context. Hold fast to your visions and your values. Don’t give them up. Don’t put them off until later. Look very very deep when you are challenged or when you start to be engaged in systems of work to ensure that you are participating in the liberation of creativity, rather than its capture and destruction. With that, I wish you best of luck. We need you desperately. Congratulations, Class of 2015.

//2016// con’text 13

Class of 2015 Conway’s Forty-Third Class

Earnest Work BY R AC H E L L I NDSAY ’15

The class of 2015 gathered for their graduation ceremony: left to right, Chris Hendershot, Molly Burhans, Aitan Mizrahi, Hillary Collins, Jillian Ferguson, Jeff Frisch, Jenny Bergeron, Jordan Clark, Ben Fairbank, Rachel Lindsay, Alex Krofta, Janice Schmidt, Dave Weber, Beth Batchelder, Cary White, Kate O’Brien, Russell Wallack.

On a breezy September afternoon on Cape Cod, the class of 2015 climbed out of the vans to meet with Bob Prescott, director of the Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Midway through an orientation trip that crossed three states, the visit to the restored salt marsh continued a theme of riparian and coastal land management. As we walked through tall native grasses, Bob pointed out small mesh cages partially buried in the sand. Volunteers install and monitor hundreds of these cages to protect the nests of diamondback terrapin turtles (Malaclemys terrapin), a threatened species that was hunted to near extinction in the early 1900s. As we examined one cage, we noticed a movement—a tiny, newly hatched terrapin. A lesson in coastal restoration and invasive species management spontaneously turned into an impromptu volunteer brigade as Hillary Collins captured this image of everyone helped dig out a nest of hatchlings to be an emerging diamondback terrapin turtle, held by a local volunteer. counted, examined, and released.

14 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

At Conway, many spontaneous moments become memorable learning opportunities. In early September, some of us organized a last-minute trip to New York City to join the largest climate-change march in history. Later, when snow deterred us from ascending the driveway to school, we held virtual classes from our homes using live-streaming video software. Below-freezing temperatures caused Bill Lattrell to cancel one of our ecology field trips, but we rescued the afternoon’s activities by convincing him to lead a shorter snow-shoe hike in the Conway woods. Our varied talents added to the diversity of learning experiences:


1. Following Conway tradition, Janice Schmidt gives fellow-graduate Russell Wallack his diploma at graduation. 2. Left to right, Jinny St. Goar and Madame Bintou Sissoko of Mali Nyeta: The Foundation for Education in Mali, with students Chris Hendershot and Molly Burhans, who travelled to Mali as part of their spring project. 3. Students braved the cold to explore a 13-acre beaver pond with ecology professor Bill Lattrell. 4. Ample snow provided a prime opportunity for winter plant identification and wildlife tracking lessons. 5. Jeff Frisch and Beth Batchelder display the Conway School banner at the Climate March in New York City.







Jordan introduced every one of his Wednesday morning fall presentations with a different dinosaur reference, Kate built an impressive threedimensional model of her final design at formals, and Dave’s deep knowledge of local history and wildlife greatly enriched all of our field trips. When a Monday evening speaker failed to arrive, Aitan organized a large and rowdy Pictionary game, where our graphic communication skills were put to the test. In the spring, Jordan and Aitan accepted an extracurricular challenge to design a pop-up pocket park for a festival in Easthampton, the new home for Conway’s second campus. The project momentarily transformed an asphalt parking lot into a grassy, shady spot to cool off and socialize. In class, we were taught that design solutions should respond not just to the site in question, but also to its greater environmental and social context. In

light of the Charleston church massacre and other sobering current events, we realized that at this moment in time, we have the collective responsibility to design for equality and justice. Our class gift will be put toward expanding the selection of books in the library that address the potential for design to combat systems of racism and inequality. Ten months, thirty projects, and 251 presentations after helping that nest of hatching turtles into the world, we emerged as a graduating class—the second class to receive a Master of Science in Ecological Design. At our graduation ceremony, Paul Hellmund described our projects as examples of earnest work—sincere, full of conviction, and with a promise of what is to come in the future. He characterized our completed projects as earnest payment for what we can now offer the world as designers: increased wildlife and pollinator habitat; better protected

open land for recreational use; thoughtful designs for the future of rural towns, historic farms, and public parks; and strategically placed green infrastructure for improving See projects by the class water quality. In our of 2015 on projects, we strove to page 16. balance the needs of ecosystems and diverse communities across New England and as far away as Colorado, Costa Rica, and Mali. Often, unexpected information or changes from our clients demanded that we respond quickly with higher levels of creativity. In each project, the final plans and recommendations considered the unique social, environmental, and design challenges of the moment. Armed with the classic Conway skills of using careful observation and analyses to formulate ecological design solutions, we are now ready to respond to the unexpected challenges the world hands us.


//2016// con’text 15

Portfolio Students’ Projects: 2014–2015

Cultivating More than Just Food Food production is as much a process of cultural expression and discovery as it is a means of sustenance. Ecological and social contexts may dictate very different crops, and growing them provides a wealth of learning opportunities for people of all ages. This year, Conway students explored the potential for the cultivation of plants to bring food, income, and learning experiences to people in diverse contexts: local nonprofits working with inner-city youth and immigrants, a rural elementary school, water-scarce Colorado, and a city-wide plan to increase habitat for the pollinators that are essential to our future. Orchard


Forest Garden

Two fall projects in the urban core of Farmer Plots

western Massachusetts worked with nonprofits to provide growing space Community Space

for local residents. New Lands Farm in West Springfield, run by Ascentria Care Alliance, provides farmland for over 40 immigrant and refugee families from as far away as Bhutan, Burundi, and Vietnam. Cary White’s design for the 12-acre farm

Rerouted Entrance

No-till Perennial Crops

incorporates water conservation methods,

Rainwater catchment systems reduce the cost and dependency on city water.

introduces perennial crops for increased productivity, and creates a community space to host public events. // In the heart of Springfield, nonprofit Gardening the

Working with Contours and Culture The final design reroutes the entrance of New Lands Farm to create welcoming views of the farm, while on-contour rows of perennial crops ensure the protection and improvement of the site’s most vulnerable soils. Communal and individual plots are arranged for maximum water and soil conservation as well as equitable land distribution for the refugee farmers.

Community has been working with at-risk youth to address pressing food and social justice issues through urban farming for 12 years. Molly Burhans’ vision transforms a recently acquired abandoned lot into vibrant, productive learning space. The plans include a farm stand, hoop house, raised beds, and outdoor gathering spaces for workshops and classes.

Real projects for real clients form the core of Conway’s intensive ten-month curriculum. In the fall, each student is assigned an individual project for a small, often residential site. Teams in the winter tackle land-planning projects at a regional or town-wide scale. The spring’s team projects focus on an intermediate and detailed community scale. As often happens, common themes emerge which a number of projects explore. This is a selection of 2014–2015 projects; find complete projects online at: csld.edu/projects

Accessible Urban Growing Space Gardening the Community’s new urban lot is transformed into a productive educational space with accessible raised beds, a hoop house, and a farmers market and café building.

16 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design



In 2014, the Hawlemont Regional School became the first public school in the commonwealth to adopt an agricultural-based curriculum. They asked Rachel Lindsay to design an educational farm for their nine-acre property. In addition to integrating perennial and annual crops that can be harvested during the school year, the final design creates a farmyard and outdoor classroom spaces for community events and outdoor learning. Rain gardens and a green roof help to mitigate stormwater. The sixth-grade class even learned to use an A-level to measure the slope of the land and help design terraced beds.

Creative Play and Production What is now primarily asphalt and grass becomes a busy farmyard center, where play areas, a small orchard, gardens, and a pasture create a vibrant learning environment.


Pollinators play a key role in the health of our ecosystems by enabling the reproduction and diversity of the majority of the world’s plants. Plants and their pollinators have evolved to produce robust ecosystems that clean the planet’s air and water and provide us with food. In recent years, researchers have begun documenting the collapse of many pollinator populations around the globe. The Wild Seed Project, an organization working to promote the cultivation of native plants that provide habitat where pollinators can thrive, collaborated with Conway students Beth Batchelder, Molly Burhans, and Cary White to propose a system of habitat patches and corridors to facilitate the proliferation of pollinators.

Strategic Water Conservation Water is a highly valuable and scarce resource in Colorado. A gated dam allows a farm manager to fill up off-contour swales selectively. Once full, these swales will infiltrate water and can be dammed to flood downslope crops.


When Brigette Schabdach and Joel Proctor purchased 125 acres to establish 4Winds Farm in a valley in northwestern Colorado, they also purchased the rights to use four cubic feet per second of water from an open irrigation ditch. In a plan for their healing and education center, students Russell Wallack and Cary White designed a system of off-contour swales that builds soil, harvests water, and sequesters carbon dioxide. Pasture, medicinal herbs, and perennial edibles mimic the native ecosystem and provide products Cultivating Green Space and Habitat The team used GIS modeling to identify the most promising opportunities in the urban environment for conserving and enhancing native pollinator habitat. They created a portfolio of design recommendations to increase the native plants in diverse areas of the city. The rendering above envisions a downtown city street in a residential area that has been landscaped with native pollinator habitat.

for an herbal apothecary and educational courses. A series of irrigation ditches, gated dams, and drip irrigation help to conserve water in the arid environment.

//2016// con’text 17


Working with Water The hydrology of a site can radically impact its use and design. Wetlands and waterbodies are home to unique plant and wildlife communities that provide valuable ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and water filtration. Anticipated increased precipitation and flooding caused by climate change pose a threat to both the ecological function and human use of areas near rivers, ponds, and wetlands. Several students’ projects looked in depth at the water dynamics at both site and municipal scales to increase the quality of waterbodies, resilience to climate change, and public awareness of valuable hydrological resources.

Watershed Analysis One strategy for improving the health of a watershed is to restore the natural flow and infiltration of rainwater and snowmelt, mitigating the stormwater’s impact on water quality and reducing the pollutants entering waterbodies. The team’s analysis identified four levels of soil-infiltration capacity within the Lower Mill Pond watershed. Sitespecific recommendations depended on the capacity of the area to either store or infiltrate stormwater. A prototype for a public school with high infiltration capacity increases the permeable surfaces from 15 percent to 63 percent. Tree cover increases from less than 3 percent to 23 percent, absorbing stormwater while shading the playground and the parking lot.

Asphalt parking lot

School Permeable pavement

Teaching garden

Recessed play area holds water for infiltration

Playground with permeable mulch.

Rain barrels capture rooftop runoff to supply water for gardens.


Easthampton’s Lower Mill Pond was created in 1859 to power

Elimination System (NPDES) regulations and restore it as a

mill factories, and for over a century it contributed to the

viable recreational and ecological resource. The final report

industrial and economic growth of Easthampton. Even though

presents strategies to improve the quality of the water in the

most of the contaminating activities from this once-booming

pond, enhance recreational opportunities, and increase the

industrial town ceased decades ago, non-point source pollu-

green space and green infrastructure in the densely developed

tion and stormwater runoff are major threats to the pond. Ben

neighborhoods surrounding the pond. The prototypes include

Fairbank, Alex Krofta, and Janice Schmidt worked with a city

physical modifications based on site characteristics such as

engineer and city planner from the Town of Easthampton to

soil infiltration rates as well as programmatic recommenda-

recommend management strategies for the pond’s water-

tions to engage the citizens of Easthampton in understanding

shed to comply with federal National Pollution Discharge

the importance of stormwater management.

18 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design


100 Year Flood Mean High Water

Connecticut River

Buried Steam Plant

Sunny Areas with Dense Understory

Floodplain Forest

Mowed Road Dike Grass

Former Moore Drop Forge Plant and Underground Oil Tanks

Railroad and Underpass

Highway I-391



Located at the confluence of the Chicopee and Connecticut Rivers, 60 percent of Delta Park floods annually, and the entire site lies within the 100-year floodplain. This creates a challenge for planners at the Town of Chicopee Planning Department, who would like to open the brownfield site for public recreation and improve the ecological integrity of the 40-acre forested parcel. Students Beth Batchelder and Rachel Lindsay designed a system of floodable trails and boardwalks that allow the former industrial site to accommodate public recreation year round. The final plans include wetland sedge and grass meadow restoration, increased native migratory bird habitat, and a canoe launch to encourage Chicopee residents to learn about and enjoy their local water resources.


Fisherville Pond

Industrial Elements A former steam plant at Delta Park used water from the Connecticut River to generate electricity. Here, the remains of the factory intake are converted to a lookout with panels explaining the history of the site.

Former Fisherville Mill Site


Surrounded by a pond, a canal, and a Bla

river, one of the greatest assets of the


Fisherville Mill industrial brownfield

n sto eR

site is the Living Systems Laboratory,

ive r

a biological system that uses mycoreactors and other systems of plants to clean water contaminants from the Blackstone Canal. Owner Eugene Bernat asked students Hillary Collins, Living Systems Laboratory

Jillian Ferguson, and Jeff Frisch, Jr.


to create a comprehensive plan for the 13.5-acre site that will teach visitors


along trails and at interpretive nodes


about the site’s industrial history and



Public Interaction + Ecosystem Protection Proposed trails highlight the site’s unique features and destinations of interest, including Fisherville Pond, the Blackstone Canal, the Blackstone River, and the Living Systems Laboratory. Interpretive panels educate visitors about the different historical and natural features on the site. Boardwalks and raised observation decks protect the fragile wetland soils from compaction and erosion.





Can rugby be played underwater? Team members who regularly use Carpenter

In the first half of a master plan for

Street Field don’t think so, and they forgo their games when the adjacent Beaver

the Town of Bernardston, Hillary

Brook floods the field. The City of Keene worked with Aitan Mizrahi and Janice

Collins, Rachel Lindsay, and Kate

Schmidt to explore the potential for the field to provide flood storage for water

O’Brien examined the complex issues

from the urban brook and improve drainage to return it to a functional playing

surrounding development and waste-

Beaver Brook

Reduced Bank Overflow

Buried Drain Pipe

field after a large storm event. The

water treatment for a rural village with

final plan proposes daylighting a

no septic system and a 20-acre wet-

buried drain pipe and regrading the

land in the center of town. The team

field to restore a natural curve to

completed chapters on watershed pro-

the previously straightened brook,

tection, natural and cultural resources,

and cutting the steep bank back

and land use with planning recommen-

an average of 80 feet to create a

dations for the next 20 years. In 2016, a

gentle, vegetated slope that can

second team of students will complete

accommodate additional floodwater.

the remaining four chapters.

//2016// con’text 19

/ P O R T FO LIO /

Creating Healthy Public Spaces Whether in a forested state park or a downtown center, carefully designed spaces for transportation and recreation foster healthy relationships between people and the land. Safety, universal access, and the celebration of historical uses of public land are themes from several student projects that strive to improve the relationships of people and the land.



The Hopkinton Upper Charles Trail Committee’s task is to bring to fruition the Hopkinton portion of a 26-mile bikeable and walkable trail that will link five Massachusetts towns. In the 2015 winter term, Jordan Clark, Jillian Ferguson, and Russell Wallack addressed the challenges of private ownership, wetlands, and narrow busy roads to create alternative visions for the trail. In the process of evaluation, Main Street emerged as a possible stretch to connect the northern and southern sections of the trail. Jordan Clark and Alex Krofta continued working in the 2015 spring term with the trail committee, taking advantage of an already-in-process major reconstruction project in downtown Hopkinton to develop detailed plans for a separated bike path along busy Main Street. They used extensive sketchup modeling (shown above) and AutoCAD to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating a trail into the downtown. The study creates not just a link in the Upper Charles Trail, but also incorporates stormwater management, street trees, and narrowed lanes for a greener, safer, and more enjoyable downtown Hopkinton.




Millions of years ago, dinosaurs visited a lake near present-day Holyoke,

Publicly accessible open space provides

Massachusetts and left muddy footprints that solidified into fossils.

recreational and ecological services for towns.

Jordan Clark created an inspired plan for Trustees of Reservation with

Two teams of students created Open Space and

trails through ferns and prehistoric vegetation. In more recent history,

Recreation Plans: Jennie Bergeron and Chris

acclaimed poet Emily Dickinson was inspired by the view from her

Hendershot worked with the Town of Ayer,

Amherst, Massachusetts house. Kate O’Brien worked with the Emily

Massachusetts; and Jeff Frisch Jr., Aitan Mizrahi,

Dickinson Museum to re-imagine the landscape and design a new visitors

and Dave Weber worked with the Town of

center honoring the poet and her relationship to the land. The Town of

Kingston. The teams assessed the needs of the

Boxborough, Massachusetts asked Jennie Bergeron and Ben Fairbank to

communities to create long-term strategies for

create a management plan that supports wildlife habitat, agricultural

open land preservation and increase the health

production, and recreation at the well-loved historic town Steele Farm.

of the towns’ residents and ecosystems.

20 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design


Understanding People and Places The principles of ecological design apply to people of all cultures and places in all climates. Four students traveled abroad to two distinct tropical climates to work with projects that address meeting the needs of people and their immediate environments. In Costa Rica, intense rainy seasons create a challenge for educational groups to access a coastal wildlife refuge on steep terrain. In Mali, two rural villages struggle with the opposite extreme—increasing droughts and water shortages that call for new approaches to water management and agriculture. AGRICULTURAL STRATEGIES + WATER MANAGEMENT DJA N G O U L A K ITA AND DJANGO U LA FO U LALA , MA LI

After nonprofit Mali Nyeta established a school for over 150 youth from two villages in the Sahel of western Mali, south of the Sahara desert, they realized that there are much larger challenges to providing education than constructing a building and providing a teacher. Living in the fifth-poorest country in the world, many residents of Mali suffer from malnutrition, and there are high rates of infant mortality. Water-related illnesses and the need to assist with irrigating family farms keep many children from receiving a formal education, and the increased severity of droughts from climate change exacerbates sanitary issues and food shortages.

Growing for Sustenance The vast majority of food consumed is produced in the villages. Here, Mali Nyeta founder and executive director Madame Bintou Sissoko, left, oversees a village lunch. PHOTO: CHRIS HENDERSHOT ’15

In June 2015, students Molly Burhans and Chris Hendershot traveled to Africa to better understand the challenges the 3,000 villagers face and explore improved water management, irrigation techniques, and agriculture strategies. Their final project includes a framework for addressing sustainable development, an environmental inventory and analysis of the villages, and selected technologies and methods for improving land and water management. The villages will have the opportunity to put several recommendations into practice in a new women’s communal garden. It is Conway’s hope that this project will lay the foundation for future work with Mali Nyeta and sustainable rural development in Mali. Community Engagement Translator Modibo, left, assists Chris Hendershot at a community meeting. PHOTO: JONATHON ELLISON ’94

Rolling Contour Trail



When this old tropical cattle farm became a protected wildlife refuge, the former tractor-access roads and cattle paths became trails for tourists and students learning about tropical ecology. Many of these paths go directly up and down steep slopes, making for Grade Reversal

uncomfortable walking and exacerbating erosion during the rainy season, when deluges create rushing streams that wash out the paths and threaten the existing vegetation. Kate O’Brien and Dave Weber braved tropical bugs, life in a rancho, and extreme heat to hike

Natural Obstacle

Rolling with the Landscape A rolling contour trail is a highly erosionresistant trail that traverses along sideslopes, crossing contours with grade reversals. Changes in the path’s slope from uphill to downhill add to the feeling that a trail is part of a landscape rather than a gash across it.

through the wildlife refuge and meet with the staff of nonprofit Centro de Investigacion de Recursos Naturales y Sociales (Center for the Investigation of Natural and Social Resources) to develop a plan to increase durability, minimize environmental impact, and reduce necessary maintenance of trails. They created a logical framework for assessing and improving the trails system, with recommendations including cross-contour trails, grade reversals, and raised walkways in sensitive wetlands.

//2016// con’text 21

Conway Currents News of and from the School construction documentation of Exxon Mobil’s new sustainable headquarters in Texas. Rachel integrates her extensive professional experience with systems thinking, information graphics, and sustainability to help students be competitive in today’s professional environment. Mollie Babize ’84 has returned to teach planning and design. Since 1984 she has worked with Walt Cudnohufsky as a design associate on a wide range of private and public projects, as well as a land use planner for the town of Amherst, Massachusetts and a consultant on open See a full list space plans, town masof faculty ter plans, and townincluding new master teachers wide visioning forums. at: csld.edu/ Mollie has served why-conway/ faculty many roles at Conway, including administrative director (1992–1998) and associate director of admissions (2011–2013). Myrna Breitbart, professor of geography and urban studies at Hampshire College, is teaching humanities. Myrna has an AB and PhD from Clark University. Her teaching and research interests focus on the gender, race, and class dimensions of built environments and planning over time; struggles over urban public space; and urban community development. She has extensive experience with participatory action research, especially involving young people in local planning, and has long been involved with community-based organizations in Holyoke, Massachusetts. CJ Lammers served as a critic in winter 2015 and joins the faculty to teach planning. She has worked as a planner with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, is the former director of Urban Forestry in Fairfax County, Virginia, and was one of the founding faculty for George Washington University’s Sustainable Landscapes Program. For 28 years she has worked with citizens, state, and local governments on tree and forest preservation, small and large landscape conservation, and environmental land use policies and strategies.


From left, Walt Cudnohufsky, Ginny Sullivan ’86, Mayor Karen Cadieux, and developer Michael Michon cut the ribbon to officially open the Conway School’s new campus. PHOTO: MARY SERREZE



Easthampton Campus Inaugurated

New Faculty

On Friday, October 2, 2015, the second-floor lobby of Mill 180 filled with alums, trustees, friends, and two cohorts of current students for a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Easthampton campus of the Conway School. Mayor Karen Cadieux welcomed the school to Easthampton and expressed her appreciation not only for the expansion of the school to a newly revitalized industrial area, but also for two recent collaborations between the school and the city: a winter 2015 project creating a neighborhood strategy for improving the Lower Mill Pond watershed (see p. 19), and a fall 2015 design for a new public park on the grounds of a former elementary school. She was joined by Conway School Founder Walt Cudnohufsky, Michael Michon, Mill 180 owner, and outgoing Board Chair Ginny Sullivan ’86 as the group cut a ceremonial ribbon to inaugurate the new space.

This year Conway welcomes a group of diverse and talented professionals to the faculty. Landscape designer and writer Kate Cholakis ’11 heads the core faculty at the Easthampton campus. Since graduating from Conway, Kate founded her own business, taught at Smith College, and worked at Nitsch Engineering. In 2014, she was a member of a team awarded the D.C. Water Green Infrastructure Challenge. With diverse training and experience, Kate brings a strong command of the interdisciplinary design process from concept development to implementation. Rachel Loeffler, practicing landscape architect at the Berkshire Design Group, has joined Conway as a site-engineering instructor. Rachel has an MLA from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a BA in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, magna cum laude. Some of her signature projects included the Children’s Hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Virginia; and

22 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design



New Partnerships and Clients Partnerships with municipalities and other governmental entities benefit clients and Conway by providing continuity and the opportunity to develop larger projects over time. Currently, the school has two multi-year project agreements with local municipalities. Students are working with the Town of Bernardston to complete the second half of a two-year project to update the town’s master plan begun by a team from the class of 2015 (see p. 19). This project was developed in partnership with John Lepore ’11. Thanks to a U.S. Forest Service grant and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, students will create green street designs for neighborhoods in three nearby western Massachusetts cities over the next two years. The overall goals include reducing stormwater and combined sewer overflow runoff, and increasing the urban tree canopy in the region. Students will work with municipal planners and public works personnel in Springfield in 2016, and in Chicopee and Holyoke in 2017. In the Berkshires, students are helping assemble an open land

conservation plan for the City of Pittsfield. The project includes exploring ways to better engage people in the landscape, identifying locations and strategies for future land acquisition, and siting community gardens. On Martha’s Vineyard, students are working with the Town of Aquinnah to develop a master plan for Aquinnah Circle, the historic site of the Gay Head Have an idea Lighthouse and for a student Wampanoag Cultural project? Contact Community Center. The project Project includes analyses Coordinator Kristin Thomas of pedestrian and at projects@ vehicular traffic flow, csld.edu determining a location for a new lighthouse museum, and identifying ways to preserve the natural coastal landscape. The Mill River passes through nine municipalities in Western Massachusetts, from Goshen to Northampton. To create a regional master plan for the greenway, students are working with the Mill River Greenway Initiative, a group of local citizens that aims to protect the Mill River watershed, enhance its biological health, and encourage recreational activity.


Ten Years of Service To The Conway School Paul Cawood Hellmund announced his resignation as director in November, 2015 and is returning to his private practice in Colorado after ten years in New England. A landscape architect, conservation planner, and co-author of Designing Greenways: Sustainable Landscapes for Nature and People (Island Press, 2006), Paul brought vision and creativity to his teaching and leadership at Conway. During his tenure, Conway opened a second campus in Easthampton, Massachusetts; changed the degree awarded to Master of Science in Ecological Design; increased the profile of the school nationally and internationally; and elevated the institution’s development efforts. When Conway celebrated 40 years as an independent graduate school, Paul led the effort called “Conway 4.0” to forecast what the next 40 years would look like, recognizing the significant impact and challenges posed by climate change. We are grateful for Paul’s vision and leadership as we continue the momentum toward the Conway 4.0 goals.

“With this fall’s successful opening of Conway’s new satellite urban campus, I realized that it was time for me to move on and allow new leadership—with different skills— to guide the next steps in Conway’s advancement and for me to return to professional practice, which I have sorely missed. The “Conway movement” will continue to move—and each of us has a role to play to ensure that the Conway School continues to lead, creating a more sustainable world—one design, one plan at a time.” —PAUL CAWOOD HELLMUND

Ecology professor Bill Lattrell, left, leads members of the class of 2015 in an examination of the wetlands and drainage issues in downtown Bernardston, Massachusetts. The town’s master plan process, started by a student project in 2015, was finished by members of the class of 2016. PHOTO: RACHEL LINDSAY ’15

//2016// con'text 23



OUR UNDERWRITERS Thank you to the following alums and affiliated companies for their support in underwriting this issue of con’text.

CO L L I N S E N T E R P R I S E S , L LC is a third-generation, private real estate company nationally recognized for owning and developing properties in strategic locations such as urban waterfronts, emerging downtowns, and brownfield sites. www.Collins-LLC.com

R I C H T E R & C E G A N is recognized for the highest quality site planning and design, and completing significant projects for downtowns, schools, parks, riverwalks, transportation, housing, and cultural sectors. We focus on meeting budgets for creative, unique places. www.richtercegan.com

S U STA I N A B L E D E S I G N G R O U P, L LC ( S D G ) is a woman-owned Alaskan design firm offering innovative land architecture and environmental solutions. Our specialized process provides high quality, efficient services that integrate cultural and sustainable design. www.sdg-ak.com

T I M OT H Y S . TAY LO R , ’ 8 3 c/o Parsons PO Box 5498, Abu Dhabi, UAE Timothy.Taylor@parsons.com

WA LT E R C U D N O H U F S KY A SS O C I AT E S is a full service community planning and landscape architecture firm 26 years young. We work regionally on civic, land, and housing planning as well as institutional and residential master planning. www.wcala.com

W I L K I N S O N E CO LO G I C A L D E S I G N is New England’s premier ecological restoration firm dedicated to superior design, management and implementation of complex ecological and bioengineering projects. www.wilkinsonecological.com

The year 2015 brought many new developments to the school. In addition to the opening of the new Easthampton campus and ongoing revisions to the strategic development plan of the school, the board of trustees supported the process of accreditation review with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The board welcomes Nicholas Filler, attorney and recently retired president of Argotec, Inc., who is an adjunct instructor at the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management. Nick is a resident and the town moderator of Conway, Massachusetts, and serves on the boards of several businesses and nonprofits. He brings a high level of expertise in business, educational administration, teaching, and finance to the board. After serving as a board member since 2006, including three years as chair, Virginia Sullivan ’86 stepped down in 2015. Ginny is a landscape designer, early childhood educator with advanced degrees in both ecological landscape design and curriculum development, and principal in the firm Learning by the Yard, which specializes in school grounds. She assumed the role of chair as Conway was nearing its 40th year and led the board through the process of celebration and revisioning that followed. She is succeeded as chair by board member Keith Ross. The board also thanks outgoing members Rachel Bird Anderson, Kerri Culhane ’10, Carla Oleska, and Seth Wilkinson ’99 for their years of service on the board of trustees. STAFF UPDATES As they move on to new endeavors, Conway thanks Nina Antonetti, director of advancement, and David Nordstrom ’04, administrative director, for their service to the school and community. Their time and support have greatly contributed to the school’s advancement, expansion, and meaningful relationships with alums and the greater community, and we wish them much success in the future.

24 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

Bruce Stedman ’78 joins us as the school’s interim administrator. He has more than 30 years’ experience in nonprofit executive and administrative management with skills in development, board relations, communications, and budgeting. Bruce also has a long history with Conway as a student, instructor, advisor, trustee, and the coordinator for the 1987 Campus Future Study. Trained at MIT and Conway, he has directed NGOs and consultancies and taught academic courses in dispute resolution, environmental affairs, and conservation biology at Harvard, MIT, Tufts, and Western Washington Universities. John Baldwin joins us as interim financial director. He has worked as a business manager in independent schools for over 26 years, including 19 years at the Academy at Charlemont. In 2015, he founded the business “Stepping Stone Accounts” to serve small businesses and nonprofits in the area. Adrian Dahlin is in his third year as admissions and marketing director. Nancy Braxton, Kristin Thomas ’10, Genevieve Lawlor ’11, Elaine Williamson ’11, Dave Weber ’15, and Rachel Lindsay ’15 have joined Priscilla Novitt ’07 as part-time administrators for alum relations, project outreach, development, and communications. We are grateful to so many alums for lending their time and talents to the school. ALUM UPDATES Thank you to all who filled out the 2015 Alum Survey! The more than 150 responses helped us to fulfill the requirements for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation process, and allowed us to see some of our impact in See a summary of the survey the field: from among responses the survey particiand submit an update at: pants, 42 percent own csld.edu/ their own business alum-news and 86 percent are working as designers, planners, or in a related field. Have you published a book this year? Organized a gathering of alums in your area? Let us know, so we can include it in an expanded digital publication of your news.



Conway’s Forty-Fourth Class: 2016 CONWAY CAMPUS Most of the six men and four women of the Conway campus on the hill have worked on farms, travelled or worked overseas, taken permaculture courses, and lived in cities. Four have backgrounds in the sciences, and two in art. A number have taught outdoor education to children and teens or have taught permaculture courses. Seven are native or transplanted New Englanders. They care about controlling rural and urban gentrification, building community, mitigating climate change, cleaning stormwater, and supporting food justice. They enjoy playing Back row, left to right, Susan Schen, Faren Worthington, Warren Lee, Oliver Osnoss, Grant Kokernak, Mike Conover; front row: Max Ehrman-Shapiro, Allison Gramolini, Max Madalinski, Helmi Hunin, and Frodo

music and eating together, and they talk openly and without shame about their passion for very bad movies.

EASTHAMPTON CAMPUS Twelve students arrived at the Easthampton, Mill 180 campus in

Mill 180

August from locations across the country. Most students live in Easthampton and Northampton, and many walk or bike to class when the weather is favorable. This cohort of students entered the year knowing that the Easthampton campus was a new venture for Conway. They have taken ownership and responsibility for their education, and their feedback continues to shape how the Conway program is being applied in a new setting. The photo (left) was taken on a field trip to the top of Mount Back row, left to right, Mariko McNamara, Ryan Corrigan, Eric DePalo; front row, Doug Serrill, Margot Halpin, Breyonne Golding, Lucy Conley, Kelly Corbin; seated, Miranda Feldmann, Armi Macaballug, Corrin Meise-Munns; not pictured, Tia Novak

Tom, where the class observed the urban to rural transect of Easthampton, including the revitalized mill where they study.

Two Campuses, One School For the 2015–2016 academic year,


students at the two campuses work


primarily in parallel. Each campus offers core classes with some shared faculty. The groups come together for

Conway Amherst

joint lectures and events, and in the winter and spring attend each other’s


formal presentations. Each location offers the opportunity to learn from projects and field trips in the sur-


rounding farmland, post-industrial cities, quintessential New England towns, and diverse ecosystems. SKETCH: KIM ERSLEV


//2016// con'text 25

/ A N N UA L R EP O RT /

Annual Report Fiscal year 2015

A New Generation For over four decades, formal project presentations have been a benchmark of the fall term at Conway. Students publicly present their first designs to an audience of professional critics, faculty, staff, alums, and community members. This year there was a marked change in the event: for the first time, there were twice as many critics, simultaneous

We are tackling more design and planning projects this year than ever before— bringing essential ecological design services to both urban and rural communities.

presentations at two campuses, and two

Student Scholarships: Investing in the Future “Thanks to the Sustainable Communities Initiative Fellowship, I have the opportunity to learn how to improve landscapes with a focus on increasing sustainability

groups of talented students to congratu-

To ensure that Conway continues its

and building strong communities

late at the end of the day.

educational reach and service to com-

in an urban setting. For my fall

munities and landscapes, your renewed

term project I assisted Ebony

In some ways, little at the Conway

support and involvement is critical. I invite

Horsewomen Incorporated, the only

School has changed. Whether students

you to refer potential clients to the school,

urban equestrian and agriculture

ascend the winding driveway up to the

sponsor a student project in your commu-

center in Connecticut, in designing

Conway campus, or bike to Mill 180 in

nity, or host a regional event to connect

a site which serves inner-city youth,

Easthampton, their days are filled with

with fellow alums. In addition, your financial

provides quality care for horses,

site analyses, ecology field trips, and

support is integral to the Conway School’s

and offers a place of retreat for

guest lectures. Like their predecessors,

success. Your annual gifts and feedback are

the local community.”

they design solutions for real problems

important. If you have other ideas for how

— Breyonne Golding ’16

on real sites. Thanks to the steadfast

you would like to contribute, let us know.

support of alums and friends, we continue to offer an invaluable experiential

In the months and years ahead, we will

place of learning and collaboration for

continue to look to you—the alums and

the next generation of landscape design-

friends of Conway—to inform and help

ers and planners.

shape the school’s vision for exceptional ecological design instruction, whole

Your dedication and encouragement has

systems thinking, and a more just and

made it possible for the Conway School

sustainable world.

to grow in ways we barely imagined possible just a few years ago. With our

Thank you for your generosity and

expanded class of 2016, we are tackling

commitment to the Conway School.

more design and planning projects this year than ever before—bringing essential ecological design services to both urban and rural communities. WILLIAM SAYRE Chair, Development Committee Board of Trustees

26 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

Breyonne Golding ’16, of Hartford, Connecticut, pictured, and Tia Novak ’16, of Easthampton, Massachusetts, were awarded Sustainable Community Initiative Fellowships for the 2015–2016 academic year.


WE ARE PLEASED TO RECOGNIZE DONORS who support the Conway School by way of annual gifts; contributions to the Student Grants fund, the David Bird International Service Fellowship, and the Sustainable Communities Initiative; and in-kind gifts. Your support is critical to our continued success, and your generosity ensures that we can continue to prepare graduates to make important contributions to ecological landscape planning and design, across many scales and around the world. The 2015 Annual Fund includes gifts made to the Conway School from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. We make every effort to ensure its accuracy, and ask you to bring any errors or omissions to our attention by contacting Bruce Stedman at development@csld.edu or 413-369-4044 x3. DONORS TO THE 2014–2015 ANNUAL FUND Betsy Abert ’87 Susanna Adams ’78 Jennifer Allcock ’89 Richard C. Andriole Anonymous (4) Mitch Anthony Antonetti Family George Anzuoni P’88, in memory of Helen C. Anzuoni ’88 Henry Warren Art Mollie Babize ’84 & Mary Quigley Ben Baldwin ’92 John Barbour Charles Sumner Bird Charitable Foundation Rachel Bird Anderson Ken Botnick ’79 Nancy Braxton Larissa Brown ’94 Richard K. Brown & Anita Loose-Brown Karla and David Buchanan ’00 Kenneth Byrne Ralph A. Caputo Michael Cavanagh ’02 Madeleine Charney ’03 Tracey and Josh Clague ’04 Russell A. Cohen Kathy Cole David B. Coleman ’78 Art Collings ’95 Arthur Collins II ’79, P’15 Joan Merrill Collins P’79, GP’15 Paul & Kathleen Connolly ’10 Jill Ker Conway Glenn Cooper ’78 Betsy Corner ’75 Clémence Corriveau ’02 David Cox ’76 Miyaca Dawn Coyote Susan Crimmins ’97 Phyllis Croce ’83, in honor of Don Walker Kerri Culhane ’10 Candace Currie ’97 Janet Curtis ’00 Ruth B. Cutler ’85 D. Alex Damman ’95 Esther Danielson ’94 Anya Darrow ’99 Mimi Darrow Robert Dashevsky ’79 Russell Davis Freda Eisenberg ’94 Donna Eldridge ’86 & Bob Cleaver Marlene Eldridge Jon & Barbara Elkow Paul G. Esswein ’99

Elizabeth Eustis Lila Fendrick ’79 Cynthia Fine ’09 Catherine Fitzsimons ’90 Elizabeth French Fribush ’81 Jesse Froehlich ’08 Fundación Cosmos Mary Garrett Wilson ’81 Nat Goodhue ’91 Asheley Griffith & Marcia Curtis John Hamilton ’82 James S. Hardigg Monica Haviland Nancy Hazard Paul & Joan Cawood Hellmund Brian Higgins ’98 Alex & Sarah Hoffmeier ’09 David & Kathleen Hogan Knisely ’76 David Holden ’76 Pamela Hurtado ’08 IBM Corporation Faith Ingulsrud ’82 Erik Johnson ’09 Cynthia Knauf ’89 Nancy Knox ’85 Claudia Kopkowski ’88 Elsie H. Landstrom Robert Lemire Charles Leopold John C. Lepore ’11 Ahron Lerman ’11 in honor of Aitan Mizrahi ’15, Aiden Lerman, & Lily Lerman Barbara Mackey ’88 Carrie Makover ’86 Ann Georgia McCaffray ’78 Sierra McCartney ’13 Kathleen McCormick ’08 Tim Michel ’73 Robert J. & Gladys T. Miner P’07 Melody & William Montgomery ’91 Andrea Morgante ’76 Andrea Morris ’02 in honor of Class of 2002 Darrel G. Morrison James C. Mourkas Melissa Mourkas ’94 David Nordstrom ’04 Adam & Priscilla Novitt ’07 John O’Keefe Carla Oleska Tehmi & Nitin Patel Erin Flather Pearson ’05 Darlene & Mark Peters Martha Petersen ’94 Roger Plourde ’97 Robert Pura Frederick & Peg Read Weiss ’79 Walter Reynolds Design Assoc., Ltd.

Alan Rice Christopher I. Rice ’95 Sally & William Richter ’77 Jason & Laura Rissolo ’11 Melissa Robin ’92 & Michael Caplan Dolores Root P’10 Susan Rosenberg ’95 Keith Ross & Louise Doud Allen & Selina Rossiter P’02 Clarissa Rowe ’74 Nicko Rubin ’07 Joel Russell Pamela & David Sand Tom & Barbara Delaney Sargent ’79 Sheafe Satterthwaite William B. Sayre & Lisa Bertoldi Aaron Schlechter ’01 Katherine Schreiber ’80 Annie Scott ’07 Jane Sexton Hemmingsen ’84 Mary Shaffer Silicon Valley Community Foundation Angela Sisson ’04 Robert Small ’93 Andrew & Nancy Smith Dorothy Smith Kimberly Smith ’13 Catherine Snyder ’10 Richard Snyder, Esq. P ’90 in honor of Lauren Snyder Lautner ’90 Laura Stack ’89 Bruce Stedman ’78 John A. Steele ’84 Lesya Struz ’01 in memory of Joris Naiman Virginia Sullivan ’86 & Brown Williams Cindy Tavernise ’99 Richard W. Thomas ’73 Judith F. Thompson ’99 Michael Thornton ’86 Kate Tompkins ’11 Timothy & Linda Umbach M. E. Van Buren P’82 Peter & Susan Van Buren ’82 Liz Vizza ’82 Will Waldron ’88 Donald L. Walker Jr. ’79 & Ruth Parnall George Watkins ’77 Rolfe Watson ’82 Robin Wilkerson & Steve Atlas Robert & Judith Wilkinson P’99 Seth Wilkinson ’99 Wynne Wirth ’98 Michael Yoken ’10 David & Betsy Zahniser

Gifts-in-Kind Margaret Flint Nicholas T. Lasoff ’05 Savage Farms, Inc.

DONORS TO RESTRICTED FUNDS Susanna Adams ’78 Jane & Fred Andresen Richard C. Andriole Anonymous (2) Beth Batchelder ’15 Claire Bateman Charles Sumner Bird Charitable Foundation Blue Yak Foundation J.M. Bouwkamp Molly Burhans ’15 Jordan Clark ’15 Jill Ker Conway Ben Fairbank ’15 Jeff Frisch ’15 Paul & Joan Cawood Hellmund Pamela Hurtado ’08 Stephen Thor Johnson Annice Kenan ’97 & Jesse Smith Rachel Lindsay ’15 Aitan Mizrahi ’15 Kaitlyn O’Brien ’15 Carla Oleska Patricia Pelton The Randleigh Foundation Trust Susan Rosenberg ’95 Janice Schmidt ’15 John Steele ’84 Russell Wallack ’15 The Legacy Circle The Legacy Circle recognizes alums and friends who have made bequests or life income gifts to the Conway School. Their commitment, generosity, and leadership ensure the future of the school for years to come. We thank them publicly and encourage other members of our community to follow their lead. Anonymous Jennifer Allcock ’89 Richard K. Brown Susan Crimmins ’97 William Gundermann Paul & Joan Cawood Hellmund Carrie Makover ’86


//2016// con’text 27

/ A N N UA L R EP O RT /

STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2015 (with comparative totals for June 30, 2014)

FY 2015 Unrestricted

FY 2014

Temp. Restricted






Summary of Operations

REVENUES, GAINS, AND OTHER SUPPORTS Contributions In-kind contributions

74,726 3,640






continue to keep the Conway School




financially sustainable through their

Investment income




Miscellaneous income




Tuition and fees Project reimbursement

We would like to thank all who

generous contributions. For the fourth year running, the

Net assets released from restrictions



Total Revenues, Gains, and other Support



The $118,000 increase for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 is due in 982,421



large part to a 37 percent increase in restricted contributions in support of the Sustainable Communities

Program services: School activities




Supporting activities: Administration Fundraising

241,560 143,735

241,560 143,735

221,670 145,878

Total Expenses




Initiative and student financial aid. The total increase in non-restricted and restricted donations to the

Loss on disposal of equipment Total Expenses + Losses

school saw an increase in net assets.

672 859,653



school rose 20 percent from fiscal year 2014. We also saw an 18 percent increase in student project fees. Combining those increases with keeping operating costs level, the school was able to hold tuition flat

Net Assets at beginning of year





Net Assets at end of year









Changes in Net Assets

FY 2015

FY 2014


Temp. Restricted








campus for its first group of stu-

investment renovating the Conway campus entry. Contributions to the Sustainable Communities Initiative also provided support for student

Accounts receivable




Prepaid expenses




Property and equipment, net








Other assets




Total Assets








Mortgage note payable, long term portion




Total Liabilities




Unrestricted Board designated









Total unrestricted net assets

dents, and prepare the Easthampton

tion, the school made a significant

(from audited financial statements accepted by the Board of Trustees with comparative totals for 2014)

Current liabilities

need-based tuition grants for stu-

dents in September 2015. In addi-


Cash and cash equivalents

for the fifth year in a row, increase


Temporarily restricted






Total Net Assets





Total Liabilities + Net Assets





28 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

teams to work on significant projects that benefit communities in western Massachusetts.

Ecology professor Glenn Motzkin leads a field trip in the Montague Plains.


Our graduates say Conway is...


Transformative Important

Life-changing Engaging








Innovative Inspiring Cutting-edge


Intimate Creative Practical






Profound Ethical Exciting




Unique Enriching

STUDY AT CONWAY and work on real projects that address some of today’s urgent environmental and social issues: www.csld.edu/apply BUILD STRONGER COMMUNITIES and create educational opportunities by giving now to support student projects and scholarships: www.csld.edu/give THE CONWAY SCHOOL | CONWAY + EASTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS 10-MONTH MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ECOLOGICAL DESIGN www.csld.edu AdrianinDahlin, Admissions Director | adrian@csld.edu 25 The Conway School Graduate| Program Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

| (413) 459-0980 x101


Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

ConwaySchool 332 South Deerfield Road, PO Box 179 Conway, MA 01341 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED


Profile for The Conway School

Con'text Magazine 2016  

Con'text Magazine 2016  

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