Fortieth Anniversary Report With “Hiking the Leeward Hills: A Mosaic of the Conway School’s Forty Years”
The Conway School — Graduate Program in Sustainable
1972 – 2012 Landscape Planning + Design
You can help Conway take a big step forward: Support the new Student Grants Fund Offering substantial need-based student grants is something we have wanted to do for a very long time—and this year, we are launching the Conway Student Grants Fund! The new Fund was announced at Conway’s fortieth anniversary celebration and practically overnight seventy percent of the $25,000 goal was met. There were small gifts from current and recent students and larger gifts from earlier alums. Susan Rosenberg ‘95, of Palo Alto, Calif., has offered a $10,000 matching gift. She told us, “A strong student grants fund will make it possible for a wider range of students to become more effective planners and designers.” You can be part of this big step forward. Make a contribution at www.csld.edu/giving/grants and help us fully fund the program for this year. Conway students need your support to make their ten months at Conway possible—so they can make a difference in the world. For more information, contact Conway’s Development Coordinator, Priscilla Novitt (email@example.com), (413) 369-4044, ext.3
ForTieth Anniversary Report With “Hiking the Leeward Hills: A Mosaic of the Conway School’s Forty Years”
The Conway School — Graduate Program in Sustainable
1972 – 2012 Landscape Planning + Design
The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design 332 S. Deerfield Road | P.O. Box 179 Conway, Massachusetts 01341 | www.csld.edu The Conway School is the only institution of its kind in North America. Its focus is sustainable landscape planning and design. Each year, through its accredited, ten-month graduate program just eighteen to nineteen students from diverse backgrounds are immersed in diverse applied landscape studies, ranging in scale from residences to regions. Graduates go on to play significant professional roles in various aspects of landscape planning and design, especially in ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design. Follow us on: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram [conwayschool] ÂŠ 2012 The Conway School
Contents Archipelago....................................................................... iv Conway’s Shifting Mosaic........................................................ 1
Part 1. Hiking the Leeward Hills The Design Process ................................................................. 2 A Real Project for Real Clients (1978)...................................... 5 Genuinely Educational Conversations (2005)........................... 5 Let’s Learn Together (2012)...................................................... 5 Broad Strokes in Conway’s History (2002)............................... 6 The Prospect of a Campus that Generated Money (1986)........ 9 How Conway’s Second Director First Arrived (2004).............. 11 Naming the School (1995)..................................................... 11 Substantive Ideas Behind School (1983)................................ 12 Deep River (1982).................................................................. 12 Success (2000)....................................................................... 13 First Impressions (1993)......................................................... 14 Conway Projects Are Influential (1982).................................. 14 I Was Then a Neighbor (1982)................................................ 15 Other Voices in Tenth Anniversary Report (1982)................ 16 Walter’s Audacious School (1975).......................................... 17 Inventory Is Not Analysis (2011)....................................................18 It’s Official: CSLD Is Accredited! (1990).................................. 19 Missing Books and Compass (1997)...................................... 19 Deaf Singing in the Studio (1983).......................................... 19 Accreditation Renewed and More Progress (2005)................ 20 Conway Ahead of Its Time (2005).......................................... 20 Technology and the Technical (2011)..................................... 21 The Old Drafting Tables Are Gone (2007)............................... 22 New Technologies (2005)....................................................... 23 Conway School: Education for Life (1997).............................. 24 What Makes the Conway School Work? (2002)..................... 24 Sustaining a Timeless Idea (2005).......................................... 24 To Make the Earth a More Livable Place (1994)..................... 25 Making a Difference Right Away (2005)................................ 25 Conway’s Third Director Takes the Helm (2006)..................... 26 The Need for Landscape Visionaries (2005)............................ 27 Without David Bird (2007)..................................................... 29 Revise, Revise, Revise (2011)................................................. 30 Alum Service Learning Projects (2007, 2012)......................... 31 Hope (2012).......................................................................... 32
Part 2. The Celebration................................ 33 SPONSORS..................................................................... 43 3
And hike the leeward hills of our affection. Archipelago I have to know our conversations Will lie between us like islands, Remnants of once connected, tectonic plates, Now divided, floating on currents Of individual lives. The swiftest and deepest forces Demarcate our strengths, The fastest waters challenge Our shoreline navigation; We can spy or visit Where our days joined, our words Charting isolated places To become once more a common country.
I have to know our interactions Will continue like an atoll string, Retracing or inventing our direction On sentences of sand or shoal; I want to pose our questions, Recognizable as signal flags on the horizon, Ellipses of implication, Crossing latitudes of understanding. I need to see those islands, At leisure or emergency, Hear again your intonations Like bird call in high leaves; Revisit familiar landings, Discover unapproachable bays—
Part of you in sea mist Not wholly understood, the rest Known points of orientation, Place holders on the map We interpolate between us. I could not bear to think we’d not Set out again for mutual island landfall, Collect each other’s thoughts Like botanic specimens And hike the leeward hills Of our affection.
By Maureen Buchanan Jones Humanities Professor 1993–2003
Conway’s Shifting Mosaic From the Director and the Chair Dear Graduates and Friends of the Conway School, What a pleasure to send you this special publication marking the fortieth anniversary of the Conway School. And what an amazing forty years it has been! “Hiking the Leeward Hills,” the first part of this document, is a mosaic of some of the distinct voices of people who were in and around the Conway School over the past forty years, with each piece of the mosaic from someone who observed at least part of what they write. It was shared with those attending the school’s September 28–30, 2012, anniversary celebration. There is immediacy, and sometimes a profundity, to many of its observations; others are included because they reflect the quirkiness that has always been part of this alternative design school. The second part of this publication is a summary of the anniversary gathering, to which more than one-fifth of all alums were able to come. “Hiking the Leeward Hills” isn’t the kind of mosaic that is a cordoned-off, lacquered masterpiece created and left over from ancient antiquity. Not surprisingly, it is more like the ecologist’s shifting-mosaic steady-state, where people and elements shift around, even while the overall composition remains recognizably the same organization. It’s what former Conway Humanities Professor Randy Griffith called “a living entity with its own vital system” (see p. 15).
given the annual hurricane of activity that most school years seem to be. We hope you enjoy reading this publication and hiking the “leeward hills of our affection.” We would love to hear from you so we can add your voice to the rich mosaic. Please send your thoughts to the Conway School, P.O. Box 179, 332 South Deerfield Road, Conway, MA 01341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Sullivan ‘86 Chair, Board of Trustees, The Conway School
Paul Cawood Hellmund Director, The Conway School
Much of what is included here was drawn from thirty years of the school’s magazine, con’text (the magazine was started at the school’s tenth anniversary). Other pieces are from the school’s archive—some never published before— and from Jane Roy Brown’s 2011 book about the school, Drawing Lessons: Forty Years of Design Education at the Conway School. Reappearing across ten years of con’text is the particularly compelling poetry of former Humanities Professor Maureen Buchanan Jones. A line from one of her poems seems to fit especially well the Conway community at forty: “I could not bear to think we’d not . . . / hike the leeward hills / Of our affection.” (The full poem, “Archipelago,” may be found on the opposite page.) What better place to consider and reconsider our affection for Conway than in the sheltered windbreak of its fortieth anniversary celebration! This seems particularly inviting, FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
HIKING THE LEEWARD HILLS: A MOSAIC OF THE CONWAY SCHOOL’S FORTY YEARS
The Design Process
By Paul Cawood Hellmund, Director (2005–present)
rom the start Conway succeeded in fast-tracking its graduates into practice as landscape architects. These successes are apparent in the pages of the school’s magazine, con’text. An early, highly visible example of this success is in the spring 1990 issue of the magazine, in which a half page is devoted to a photo of an alumnus who had just been promoted. The caption reads: “The SWA Group of Boston, a national planning, urban design, and landscape architecture firm, has appointed Bob Mulcahy (’78) managing principal.” It’s a strong photo and its subject casts a confident and professional gaze at the viewer. From the size of the photo—one-twelfth of the entire six-page issue—it’s obvious the editors of con’text felt this news was significant, something to celebrate. It seems to say, “We’ve done it!”—in just twelve years since his graduation from Conway and without formal training beyond Conway, he had reached the top position in his office. “This is what the Conway School is all about.” Mulcahy’s success was not an isolated case either. Others also became registered landscape architects after leaving
“The landscape architect who hired me at Sasaki frankly told me that he hired me because of the enthusiasm and passion.” 2
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Conway by simply finding ways of doing the work and learning on the job. Ed Fuller ’73, a member of Conway’s first class, describes some of what he thinks got him his first job, working for a major landscape architecture firm: “I carried that enthusiasm [caught from Walt] for problem solving and design into a number of job interviews soon after I left Conway. I probably talked my way into my first job [as a landscape architect] after Conway, a position with Sasaki Associates. My interview evolved into a description of the Conway School, the approach, the program, and the passion. Tom Wirth, the landscape architect who hired me at Sasaki, frankly told me that he hired me because of the enthusiasm and passion I exhibited during the interview.” Just in that same 1990 issue of con’text there are reports of many others working as landscape architects and designers, including Bob Kilroy ’81, Michael McGuire ’84, Mary Parker ’85, Janet Caputo ’87, Helen Anzuoni ’88, Bill Halleck ’86, Barbara Burns ’89, and Mary Crane Penniman ’89. But Conway graduates didn’t only become landscape architects; they went on to a very wide range of careers, many related to design and planning. That’s something Anthony W. Dater, with the New York Regional Planning Commission, commented on in the school’s tenth anniversary report: “The skills being learned at the school . . . prepare the students for a wide range of professional opportunities.” Central to the “skills being learned” were those that Ed Fuller had identified: problem solving and design.
Ecological Restoration m en
Design + Planning
gical Des i lo
Regenerative Design Today three broad, overlapping fields can be used to describe the realms within which many alums work as planners and designers: ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design.
Development Coordinator Priscilla Novitt ’07 and Associate Director David Nordstrom ’04 are just two of many Conway graduates who over the years have returned to serve the school, bringing to their work at the school expertise in such subjects as non-profit management (Priscilla) and accounting (Dave), as well as passion for the school’s mission.
Demonstrating the diverse ways Conway grads were applying their problem-solving and design skills—and also in that same 1990 con’text—were reports that Laurence Kornfield ’76 was chief building inspector for the City of San Francisco, Elizabeth March ’78 was director of planning and development for the City of Boston’s Economic Development Agency, Karen Tiede ’87 was customer support/senior analyst for a GIS company, and Kelly Stevenson ’88 was building post-earthquake health clinics in Armenia. These were just a few examples of the work being pursued that clearly relied on aspects of a Conway education, but that wasn’t traditional landscape architectural practice. Conway graduates were establishing themselves as serious professionals of all kinds.
founder (in 1992) of the Bioengineering Group, which has been successful in ecological restoration and other projects. David Jacke ’84, a nationally known author and permaculture designer, is a prominent practitioner of regenerative design. The work of Abbie Duchon ’93 epitomizes innovative conservation planning. She is the manager of conservation easements in the New York City Land Acquisition Program at the Department of Environmental Protection, where she buys land to protect the city’s watershed, which supports the largest unfiltered surface water supply in the world.
Over the years and probably for all kinds of reasons, more and more Conway graduates went on to pursue work other than as landscape architects. Today we use three broad, overlapping fields to describe the realms within which many alums work as planners and designers: ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design. A handful of more recent graduates have pursued a landscape architecture track. Three alums, among many others, are good examples of this broader contemporary range of planning and design practice. Wendi Goldsmith ’90 is CEO and
As I am writing this we have just returned from the 2012 fall orientation field trip with the new class. They seem “so Conway:” bright, energetic, community-minded, hardworking, eager to make a difference, not egotistical, but passionate about ideas. I am confident this will be another successful year. What’s interesting about this year’s class— and it’s something that we’ve seen increasingly over the last several years—is how strong their interests are in planning and design related to food and food systems. Many of these students come from work on farms or gardens but find that they want to gain the planning and design skills Conway offers to broaden their usefulness in related areas, such as food security planning and farmland protection. FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
effectively express design intent, constraints, and opportunities Effective collaboration that engages stakeholders, as well as other professionals, throughout the design process.
The 2012 Conway teachers and staff include (left to right) Professor Kim Erslev, Professor Jono Neiger ’03, Associate Director David Nordstrom ’04, Associate Director Mollie Babize ’84, Professor Ken Byrne, Director Paul Hellmund, and Development Coordinator Priscilla Novitt ’07.
Certainly there is also keen interest in conservation planning and ecological restoration within the class, sometimes with students also interested in food systems. However, concern for food is a major part of environmentalism for today’s generation of students. It seems to me the brilliance of the Conway academic approach is that all of these endeavors fundamentally focus on what is central to successful design and planning. And no matter what the environmental challenges and opportunities—inequitable food systems, climate change, post-peak oil, biodiversity loss, degraded urban communities—Conway’s relevance, utility, and significance will only increase. Student interests and motivations will continue to change over the years, but what every student will take away will stay the same: Whole systems design, whereby plans are developed with a keen sense of temporal and spatial context Rigorous design process that explores relevant ecological and social design factors Thorough communication that uses words (written and spoken) and drawings (digital or by hand) to
The Conway School, 1972–2012
So does it matter that what started out as a radical and vital school for educating landscape architects has became a radical (“of or going to the root or origin; fundamental”) and vital school for all things related to the environment? I think the diverse worldwide work of Conway graduates speaks for itself. Conway is not a relict from the past; it is still a harbinger of education and practice to come. Conway graduates—now numbering more than 600— with the diversity of their professional and volunteer contributions, are living proof that what started with nine students and a visionary teacher in a barn in Conway has taken root and has a promising future. n
Incredibly Nimble From “Meeting Challenges of a Changing Landscape” By Richie Davis, Recorder of Greenfield, Sept. 17, 2012 “Walt created this incredibly nimble educational system that could respond to the needs of communities and people,” says Hellmund, who taught at Harvard University, Virginia Tech, and Colorado State University before coming to Conway. The school may have dealt with more traditional landscape design issues in its early days, with some early graduates going on to become prominent landscape architects, he said, but the school’s flexible structure has allowed it to adapt to the interests of its students—numbering eighteen this year. With students working on three true-to-life projects with clients during their ten-month stay, the school’s slogan, “real world, real results” takes on a meaning that’s . . . well, real. “That’s what’s kept us relevant,” Hellmund says.
A Real Project for Real Clients From “Narration,” in the Conway School Catalog 1978/79 Walt’s passengers aren’t bored, but they’re very tired. They were up until five am preparing a presentation for the selectmen of East Hampton, Connecticut, a plan for revitalizing that town’s nearly abandoned town center. These tired passengers are students—participants may be a better word—in the Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc., an innovative one-year graduate program of professional training in landscape architecture and planning. Fourteen altogether, they have come to an isolated village in the Berkshire Hills to study with the man driving the van. His name is Walter Cudnohufsky. Walt. It’s his van, and the Conway School is his idea. The Conway School is now six years old, the product of determination and hard labor. Sharp pencils and yellow legal pads appear as the van speeds down the entry ramp and moves into the passing lane. The van is a traveling classroom and the Conway School is now in session. Today’s presentation is important. The student design team has met twice before with town officials, first to define their problem and later to discuss the village center’s visual character. This afternoon they will offer the selectmen some preliminary design proposals. This is no academic exercise; it’s a real project for real clients. n
Genuinely Educational Conversations From “The Conway School of Landscape Design,” in con’text (2005) By Walter Cudnohufsky, School Founder I simply wanted to be part of a program where the institution did not get in the way of real learning, for which I had then developed an appetite. I wanted the genuinely educational conversations to continue and not be stopped by a bell. I wanted a space where one did not need to arrange for opening a building a week in advance, where knowledge was not parceled out in course numbers and where grades did not rule.
Let’s Learn Together From “Meeting Challenges of a Changing Landscape” By Richie Davis, Recorder of Greenfield, Sept. 17, 2012 Cudnohufsky was just thirty-two when, frustrated by the “institutional impediments to education” that he found in the university setting—the bell’s ringing at the end of class curtailing meaningful discussion, for example—set him to chart his own course, in the same alternative-inspired era that also gave birth to Hampshire College and the College of the Atlantic. “Everything [in traditional programs] was hypothetical and there was competition, plus the projects and clients weren’t real,” recalls Cudnohufsky, who as an instructor shied away from the role of “expert” in the classroom, preferring instead to tell students, “I’m going to be a learner with you. Let’s learn together.”
Above: Walter Cudnohufsky at the wheel: “It’s his van, and the Conway School is his idea....” Right: Randy Griffith with Conway students in Canada. FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Broad Strokes in Conway’s History From “A Seed . . . a Tree . . . a Forest . . . .” in con’text (2002) By Judith Thompson ’99
n the beginning was the seed, an idea that took root in Walt Cudnohufsky’s fertile mind and grew into the tree that was to be the Conway School of Landscape Design. From the tree, nourished by the river, grew a forest, 459 graduates who have gone on to produce their own seeds, and spread the word. Walt Cudnohufsky, founder of CSLD, spent much of his youth helping his eight younger siblings plant, weed, and harvest his family’s four-acre farm in Lake Orion, Michigan. The flowers and vegetables they grew and sold on the roadside supplemented the family’s income. He learned to be resourceful; liked art, mechanical drafting, and building things. It’s no surprise then, that in his sophomore year in high school, he decided to become a landscape architect. Backed by a 4-H scholarship, he entered Michigan State University’s landscape architecture program, from which he graduated in 1962. After two years working in Canada, Walt entered Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, receiving a master’s degree in landscape architecture in 1965. Eighteen months of fellowship-sponsored travel and teaching abroad were followed by six years of teaching at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. It wasn’t satisfying. Walt was frustrated with traditional design education, which he considered too compartmentalized, inflexible, and theoretical. He had explored educational improvements in his Harvard thesis, 6
The Conway School, 1972–2012
and had been reading a lot of progressive education theory. He wanted to try a new way of doing things, with handson learning, like a working office. He thought it should be student-based, not institutionally organized. Design was being taught in a competitive mode, but he saw that all good design work is the result of teamwork. He wanted to start a new school that would turn design education on its head. Although he had not envisioned a design school in a rural setting, for reasons of economy, Walt began it in his Conway home and peripheral buildings—a sugar house and converted barn. The whole thing was designed over a weekend. Walt, lacking a tape measure, ran around with his scale taking measurements for a drawing to take to the bank to secure an $8,000 personal loan to pay for renovations and float the school in its first year.
Cudnohufsky wanted to start a new school that would turn design education on its head. Construction took place over the summer of 1972, in anticipation of the first class. This first class was made up of seven men and two women, mostly single and from Massachusetts.
Classes were held every day, at times with studio every day. There might be an impromptu stone wall building demonstration or other invitation to “learn by doing.” Chores were always part of the sharing, potlucks and games part of the fun. The school year often extended close to twelve months, leaving only two weeks for staff vacations. Summer was a time for recruiting, trying to fill the next class, and for scouting out projects. Some relief came with Walt’s first hire, Laurence Kornfield ’76, a “do-everything” assistant. By the time Laurence wanted to leave his position, Don Walker had come on board. Don would prove a major force in the evolution of the school. Don came to the Conway School of Landscape Design as a student in 1978. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois, holding BFA and MFA degrees in landscape architecture. He had an impressive résumé that included teaching at Illinois and Ball State, in Indiana, and many years spent as a practicing landscape architect and sometime contractor. What was he doing at CSLD as a student? He, too, was disillusioned with his teaching experience and the persistent pressure to do research. He was also trying to work his way back east to be nearer his family. Don asked about a teaching position, found there was none available, and decided to come as a student. This path served his desire to get back east, out of teaching, and back into private practice. However, he spent much of the latter half of his student year teaching, as Walt took the opportunity for some sabbatical leave. Later, Laurence Kornfield announced his desire to travel and asked Don to take his job, which he did. From the beginning, the school year started with a ten-day trip to Canada. This total-immersion team exercise forced things to happen quickly, to shed old baggage and ways of doing things, so that learning could begin. Piling into the van became a tradition, as did on-the-fly instruction, resulting in some interesting driving adventures. Someone watches over CSLD students in vans! In addition to Ottawa and Montréal, early students went to Toronto because of Walt’s Sasaki connection. That destination later changed to the more accessible Quebec City. There were always visits to the national park
The emphasis on writing increased with the arrival of Richard Williams as humanities professor, in 1978.
system, and to people who represent the various aspects of landscape architecture—a city component, a regional systems component, private practice, large-scale, and smallscale. In the early days, Walt took ideas from the authors he was reading (Whitehead, Postman, and Dewey), transformed them into his own, and applied what he thought the essentials to be. Over the years, some of these elements came and left, times changed, and the expectations of students changed. What haven’t changed are the basic premises of self-directed applied learning, conceptual thinking, personal and professional development, teamwork, personal responsibility, and theory following experience. Communication has always been an important focus. Walt’s belief was that if you can’t explain your ideas in writing and speaking, then you’re not in charge of yourself or what you’re doing. The emphasis on writing increased with the arrival of Richard Williams as humanities professor in 1978. Randy Griffith, who had been involved in early discussions about forming the school and visited annually as a critic, took over from Richard in 1987. Maureen Buchanan Jones has further developed this work since 1993, as communications and humanities professor and poet. In the beginning, projects were much the same as they are now, when they were available. Later, with the creation of the administrative director’s position, the flow of FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Randy Griffith had been involved in early discussions about forming the school and visited annually as a critic before taking over as humanities professor in 1987.
projects increased, and now the school’s reputation draws prospective clients to it. The project fee remains minimal, enough to cover students’ and the school’s costs. Inevitably, the organizational structure became more formalized, more professional. A board of trustees, formed in 1980 of CSLD graduates and outside supporters, supplemented the board of advisors. David Bird served ten years as its first chairman, followed by Gordon Shaw ’89, Joel Russell, and Carrie Makover ’86. For the first eleven years, graduates received certificates of completion. Beginning in 1983, they were awarded master of arts in landscape design degrees, as authorized by the (then) Massachusetts Board of Regents. In 1987, the board of trustees saw a need to prove that CSLD could stand as an independent entity, and was not just a one-man operation. Funds were allocated to purchase the school property from Walt, and the sale was completed in 1988. The most important effort during the 1980s was preparing the applications necessary to achieve accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC); full accreditation was granted, effective 1989. The 1994 five-year selfstudy required to maintain this accreditation was so well received that NEASC determined CSLD was on a very firm footing and need not undertake another review for ten years. 8
The Conway School, 1972–2012
With Don’s addition to the staff had come a gradual shift in focus, from teaching traditional landscape architecture to encouraging design that is environmentally sound. Don’s love of native plants is well known and publicly celebrated. Public opinion was also beginning to change, and an increasing number of applicants were seeking this new way of looking at design. Change inevitably brings tension, and these were difficult years for the school. Enrollments were down; there wasn’t enough money to cover three teaching positions; and it wasn’t at all certain that the school could continue. Everyone took voluntary pay cuts. Some board members wanted to close the school, others to ensure its survival. A major fund-raising effort brought in $100,000 in contributions: twenty-five percent from alumni, and the remaining seventy-five percent from two donors, Ann Roberts ’84 and Edgar W. Garbisch, Jr. In 1992, Walt left the school he founded to put into practice the things that he had been teaching, feeling that he could do better work than he was seeing elsewhere. He regards the Conway School of Landscape Design as his greatest lifetime contribution, while giving credit to the people who are carrying the torch today. These torchbearers, and those who preceded them, have all expressed their pride in the Conway School of Landscape Design, and the fact that it survived and continues to thrive today. As part of the reorganization surrounding Walt’s departure, the new position of administrative director
With Walt’s departure from the school in 1992, Mollie Babize ’84, shown here practicing her presentation skills with classmate Shari Bashin-Sullivan, assumed the new role of administrative director.
was created to complement Don’s role as academic director. Mollie Babize, a 1984 graduate and then trustee, undertook this challenge. Among other things, Mollie took over the job of obtaining group projects, shepherded the school through its 1994 self-study and accreditation review, organized the school’s files, and improved fundraising. Don Walker became director when Mollie passed the administrative director’s hat to Rick Brown in 1998. Rick worked with the board to stabilize the school financially, refinancing the mortgage on the Delabarre Avenue property and reallocating assets to long-term bonds. He also created deadlines for admissions and began a practice of over-enrolling to assure full classes. Rick and Mollie prepared the way for Nancy Braxton, who arrived in 2001. In her first year, Nancy worked to implement the new GIS curriculum and helped hire a new faculty member, Jean Killhour Akers. Nancy was heavily involved in preparations for the purchase of the McIntosh property, and worked with the board’s capital campaign committee to raise the funds for it. CSLD has stayed solvent since 1972, even during the lowenrollment year, 1991–1992, when only twelve students attended. This is a tribute to careful and prudent control of financial resources, spending only what is necessary; such fiscal responsibility reflects upon our accreditation. Because grants were difficult to obtain, the school never became dependent on them, and so never relinquished its power to determine its own destiny. This was an important decision, and key to the school’s survival. The generosity of private donors, and that of the more than fifty-five percent of alumni who contribute annually, supplements tuition income and revenues from project clients. The inclusion of adjunct faculty provided variety in instruction, and continues today. John Saveson ’92, Joe Chambers, and Chet Cramer taught graphics. Joan Rockwell, Jeannine Furrer ’79, Liz Vizza ’82, Jeanne Armstrong, Sue Reed ’87, and Christine Brestrup assisted in studio. Bill Lattrell led field trips and lectured on ecological issues. These last three adjuncts will continue as Jean Killhour Akers, landscape architect, begins a newly created full-time design and graphics position this fall.
The Prospect of a Campus that Generated Money From “Conway Looks to the Future,” in con’text (1986) By David Bird, First Chair of CSLD’s Board of Trustees A proposal for the school to buy and develop a piece of land as a revenue-producing, as well as an educational, project for the school was discussed [at a 1986 retreat exploring future options for the school]. Guest lecturers have always been a critical part of the curriculum. Coming from wide-ranging specialties, they have enabled a breadth of instruction that could not have been accomplished with the school’s small full-time staff. It has also proven to be a valuable way to raise the school’s profile, as lecturers have grown from guests into friends and supporters. While computer-aided design is not a focus at CSLD, the advent of the Internet has been a boon. The school’s website, recently rebuilt by Carrie Makover ’86, is an important prospecting tool. The school receives 600-800 inquiries a year, many from Internet searches. The entire catalog is on the CSLD website, with an online request form. Each year, more is accomplished online. The 1970s were a time of experimentation and challenge to the status quo; the Conway School of Landscape Design was just such an experiment for a lot of years. It was a maverick, and a very risky undertaking for many of the people involved. Over the years, so many have had enough faith in the school to give of their life’s blood to assure its survival and further its purpose. It has always been a labor of love, and has always entailed sacrifice. Friends continue to donate food and firewood. The school’s neighbor, Orchard Equipment (now OESCO, Inc.), has opened its parking lot to students and visitors, and has helped in other ways, such as starting cars. Other neighbors, such as Malcolm and Evelyn Ware, began long associations with the school, hosting groups of students. Eventually, Evelyn took on a more formal job. She was the first administrative assistant, a part-time FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
commitment that included cutting the grass. (It was her power mower mishap that led Don to cease cutting the grass on the forty-five-degree slope beside the school, and to allow the grounds to grow in a “happy profusion of native plants, trees, and shrubs.”) Marilyn Maruskin was the first full-time administrative assistant, a job later shared by Lorna Broucek and Marilyn Zeller. Sally Shaw next filled this role, followed by Ilze Meijers in 1992, serving as office coordinator and financial aid advisor. Janice Wood, accounting manager, also joined in 1992. After thirty years of increasing enrollments, library and record accumulations, a growing staff, and with a desire for greater drafting and computer facilities, the board saw the need for a larger campus. With the new and more expansive site, an early dream of Walt’s may yet come to fruition—a community farm. For lack of funding and resources, it was never possible to achieve this hoped-for laboratory. It was to have provided an opportunity to demonstrate environmentally safe land use practices, to demonstrate building techniques, to learn how to work as part of a team, and perhaps to supplement the school’s income. However, at the new campus on South Deerfield Road in Conway, Don is planning to add a native plant propagation component to the curriculum, and plans to set aside space for a nursery on the 24-acre property.
2012 Update: Since the above was written in 2002, there have been further changes in personnel: Maureen Buchanan Jones left the position of humanities professor and was replaced by Ken Byrne. Don Walker retired after helping to hire his replacement, Paul Cawood Hellmund, as Conway’s third director. Professor Jean Akers moved to the West Coast and architect and landscape architect Kim Erslev came on board to teach design, graphics, and site engineering. Mollie Babize ’84 took on yet another role at Conway, teaching in the winter planning studio for five years, until she assumed the role of director of admissions, with Nancy E. Braxton’s retirement. Ecologist and permaculturist Jono Neiger ’03 joined the core teaching staff, with 10
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Through all these years, through the long days and nights, there has been the river. It is the perfect backdrop for creative thought and an infinite source of renewal in times of stress. For those of us who have labored to its surge and splash, it is a wrench to think of moving the school. But the school is not the river, nor the barn; it is the students. Just as they have always identified their own goals and objectives, and formed their own “Conway experience,” they will find a new identity for the school. Change has made CSLD sturdy and supple, and it will continue to grow on new soil and to produce more seeds and more trees. And the river lives on in all of us. n
Dr. Charles Canham, Forest Ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY (front), teaches in the field with members of the class of 1996, including (left to right) April Carder, Todd Patch, Jean White Tufts, Kate Detwiler, and Julia Plumb Gold.
special responsibilities for fall term and surveying. David Nordstrom ’04 joined the staff in a new position as associate director after Ilze Meijers moved on. Art Collins ’79 succeeded Carrie Makover as chair of Conway’s board of trustees, and was then succeeded by Virginia Sullivan ’86. Priscilla Miner Novitt ’07 took up the job of outreach coordinator and dealing with all things online. Kim Klein and then Lynn Barclay served as director of development. Expanded instruction in digital design techniques has been offered at different times by Ethan Roland, Reid Bertone-Johnson, and now Keith Zaltzberg. Now helping long-time Ecology Adjunct Bill Lattrell lead field work are ecologists Elizabeth Farnsworth and Glenn Motzkin.
How Conway’s Second Director First Arrived In my life, Don Walker is the teacher who changed everything. He showed me a new way to understand nature, he helped me see how I could—and should —make a positive difference in the world, and he pointed me toward work I would feel proud to do. Then he helped me do it.
— Sue Reed ’87
Author, Energy-Wise Landscape Design
Naming the School From “A Vision of the Conway School in the 21st Century,” unpublished notes (1995) By Donald L. Walker, Jr. ’79 First choice: Conway School of Landscape Design
From “The Making of a Meliorist” in con’text (2004) By Donald L. Walker, Jr. ’79, Director 1992–2005
had the serendipitous opportunity to spend three days with the entire Conway School of Landscape Design at a conference in Guelph, Canada. I discovered that Walt Cudnohufsky, founder and director, held some of my beliefs and was practicing them: 1. The education of landscape architects should be changed. 2. Students should learn by doing and so gain confidence. 3. Students should have the responsibility of solving real problems, which requires curiosity and the motivation to develop real understanding. 4. Students should learn by having to explain to others using oral, written, and graphic means. 5. The school should strip its curriculum to essentials so students can afford the time and expense.
Second choice: Conway School of Ecological Design . . . landscape planning and stewardship Third choice: Conway School of Landscape Planning . . . ecological design and land stewardship
I wanted to be a part of this unique place, and because there was no opening as a teacher, I enrolled as a student. Within the year, Walt’s assistant, Lawrence Kornfield, announced his departure to visit Japan, and in 1979 I was CSLD faculty. FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Deep River From “Stream of Consciousness,” in con’text (1982) By Faith Ingulsrud ’82 I sit here at my desk in the loft next to a sliding glass door overlooking the South River, conscious of its ever rumbling mantra and wishing to impart the extraordinary vitality of this landscape so near to our every day at CSLD. The significance of the river to this school needs emphasis, because the river, as much as anything else, makes this cramped space tolerable—even pleasant. It exemplifies so well the dynamic ties existing between the landscape and the quality of human life. I find the river helps to block out any disruptive noises and aids my attempts to focus. It provides peace and refreshment at stressful times and magnifies delight on days that are already fine. For any mood, season, event, the river resonates to our emotions with an energy, fluid and changing, yet constant as its downward flow.
The sketchbook of Danielle Allen ’06 illustrates effective ways of integrating text and drawings.
This river and my relationship with it accentuates my belief that a landscape can profoundly enhance the lives of those who know it. Its constant aural presence reminds me that it has more to offer than simply “animating the landscape.” Consciously and subconsciously, the sound permeates our beings, and absorbs us. I feel an inexplicable harmony in that absorption. The unity that we so often aspire toward in our designs with the landscape finds expression in our relationship with this river. n
Substantive Ideas behind School From “A Note from Walt,” in con’text (1983) By Walter Cudnohufsky We labor under the notion that, in the bright light of a positive attitude, not only does each of us as students or staff count, but we can make a discernible difference in improving the quality of life for ourselves and selected clients. We know that the ideas behind the school are substantive. The South River rushes just below the first school buildings, helping to block out disruptive noises. Virginia Sullivan ’86 on the boards.
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Success From “A Chaucer-Like Tale: My Path to Conway,” in con’text (2000) By E. Lynn Miller, FASLA
ew people in the profession gave Walt much of a chance for success and many thought the idea was dead on arrival but, knowing Walt was a squaredance caller, I gave him a chance of success. ... On occasion I am questioned by some of the ASLA [American Society of Landscape Architects] “hard liners” as to what is my opinion of the academic integrity of the Conway program and the quality of their graduates. I enjoy these questions because I have two qualifying standards on my side. The first is the success of the CSLD graduates in the field and second is the fact that Conway’s accreditation is from an agency which has nationally accepted standards and is not governed by an in-house organization whose standards are established by a professional organization. Furthermore, the majority of the CSLD graduates moves into areas that are not normally filled by the typical landscape architectural graduates. Many of the areas are ancillary and complementary but also are very vital to our profession. n
“By providing actual projects in the region, the students experience firsthand the realities of professional offices, public planning laws and methodologies, and, most importantly, interaction with the local social and political environment.”
— Terrence J. Boyle Landscape Architect, Frequent guest, Lecturer, Host on Canada trip “[The Conway School] is one of the best in the country for giving a grounding in landscape design. . . . [Its students] have all turned out well: articulate, with good design ability, sensitive to the land, and able to think for themselves.”
— Kevin Lynch MIT Planning Professor, Author of Image of the City
Congrats, Conway! Don and Walt, you challenged me to see nature and design with new eyes, awakening a passion that continues to this day. Richard, you very simply changed my life. I am forever grateful.
— Liz Vizza ’82
Dancing in Walt’s barn in the late 1980s. “Knowing Walt was a squaredance caller, I gave him a chance of success,” wrote Lynn Miller.
In recent years, optional weekend trips to New York City have provided opportunities to explore urban landscape systems, such as the High Line, and spend time with long-time Conway friend, Darrel Morrison. FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
First Impressions (1993) The Conway School of Landscape Design is a series of reverse curves with acorn ball bearings on a desire line running from the barn to Baker’s, where the intermittent arrow points to elbows on slant-wise tables. The stacks of wood rise and fall as the smoke meanders on cold days like the sibilant river below voicing question and answer to the bent backs of students stretched over analysis and design. — Maureen Buchanan Jones, Humanities Professor, 1993–2003
roof rack of my Suburu wagon. Being only 5'3" tall, the wallet wasn't in my field of vision on the roof (remember I pitched the high heel boots). I drove around Conway with the muddy, wet wallet on my car roof rack for a week before I learned it was there. A far cry from NYC. I never went back to NYC after living in Conway. Walt invited us to his fifty-?, one-hundred-? acre homestead to visit and maybe sketch or something to that effect. I remember walking around in awe and asking him how he maintained his large property, found time to paint, teach, and do all of the other million things he did. I couldn't believe the extent of his gardens, overflowing with flowers, vegetables, fruit, and berries. His response was very straightforward: “I use a headlamp.” ... Flash-forward to twenty years later, every time I want to extend my day and continue working in my garden after dark, I pull out my headlamp and smile. The image of Walt in his garden stays with me to this day. n
Conway Projects Are Influential From “A Practical Approach,” in Tenth Anniversary Report (1982) By Richard Williams, Humanities Professor, 1979–1987
Memories (2012) By Melissa Robin ’92 I came to Conway via Manhattan with a leather jacket and high heel boots. After shedding my city clothes, I integrated into the fabric of Conway, population of 700 (in 1992!) with great ease. My sole source of heat was a wood stove. A nice contrast to my previous life as a stressed NYC art director working eighty hours a week. The driveway to my apartment was a mud bath from March to at least June. I lost my wallet at some point during the spring thaw and the tenants from the main house found it in the mud and draped it over the 14
The Conway School, 1972–2012
In its professional education CSLD projects make people conscious of the assets and problems they have, give them a language with which to discuss these, and suggest ways to correct problems and capture opportunities. Sufficiently detailed sets of proposals motivate people into action. Clearly these efforts benefit the profession: they make the profession known, they move people to become design conscious and to utilize professional expertise, they reveal the type of services professional landscape planning and architectural firms can effectively carry out and the value of their further help. In summary, although our projects are a means to an educational end, and subordinate to that end, they do lead to the influencing of public understanding of the need for and value of professional planning and design work. n
I Was Then a Neighbor From “Ten Years Have Passed,” in Tenth Anniversary Report (1982) By Asheley (Randy) Griffith, Program Coordinator and Humanities Professor (1987–1993)
onway School came into being in 1972. I was then a neighbor, and occasionally saw Walt Cudnohufsky and his construction crew as they converted old structures to school buildings—workers called themselves “Walter’s Chain Gang,” and when not too tired, sang as they hammered. Initial reconstruction was finished by September. Seen from the outside, the weathered barn and small white sugarhouse still seemed to belong in a rural town—they looked like traditional work buildings, not slick intrusions. Inside, the recycled barn had an airy circular stairway in front of a long window, its light openness contrasting with heavy beams and an iron stove. There was plenty of room for drafting tables and a group meeting area. The sugarhouse, then primarily an office, was also ruggedly beautiful and functional. Transformation was complete only when students officially took their desks. The first class consisted of nine pupils, the majority of them young, single, Massachusetts men with undergraduate degrees in landscape architecture. They were embarking on an intensive one-year program with a rigorous conceptual approach to design and constant application of skills to actual situations—as students were fond of saying, they worked on real projects for “real people.” They were excited; their education was to be individually geared, innovative, and flexible. In truth, no one knew how well program or projects would fare. The school was a maverick, and untried. Everyone involved with it was taking risks. Walt was school director, faculty, administrator, advisor, counselor, bill-payer, and chief toiler. The school couldn’t have existed without him, yet was never simply a oneman show. Teachers and critics (myself included) came for sessions both at individual desks and with the entire student body . . . classes, workshops, and lectures were sometimes thickly scheduled. Interested parties from a wide range of disciplines visited and often contributed ideas or knowledge. There was also frequent interchange
between Conway and more established landscape design programs. Most importantly, students influenced the shaping of the school. They had had a voice in its planning (and in some cases, had worked on its physical construction). They participated in almost every aspect of the school’s maintenance and growth: it was a joint venture, and adopted the formal title of Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc. As years passed, more desks were added. Enrollment jumped to 12, to 14, and later, to 15 and 18. In addition to intangible rewards (which were great, but difficult to record) there were numerous measurable successes. Some student plans for private residences and public properties were put to use, for instance, to fine effect. Alumni were going on from Conway to longer-term graduate institutions or, more often, finding jobs with offices and organizations. The school itself was a success: it had survived, and was dynamic. Successes, however, were accompanied by repeated frustrations. As soon as startup problems were solved, they were replaced by growing pains.
If so much has changed, what has remained the same? Though it has grown, Conway School is still small. It remains intimate. It still stresses hard work, hard thinking, and learning by doing. It still tries to stretch lines without breaking spirits. In the early years, Conway styled itself as a radical, experimental school—it tried out various roles, and that period was sometimes strained, always exhilarating. More recently, my perception is that the school has been stabilizing with an increase in modesty and focus. Program FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
inclusions, for example, while still flexible, are much more regularized. In the late 1970s Conway began offering M.A. degrees through affiliation, and now can grant degrees of its own. No longer an untried experiment in education, it is moving steadily toward professional accreditation. Another element of stability is the large-enough, full-time staff. The very nature of the school has changed. It has become a living entity with its own vital system and is not dependent for survival on a particular man or location. If so much has changed, what has remained the same? There are constants. Though it has grown, Conway School is still small. It remains intimate. It still stresses hard work, hard thinking, and learning by doing. It still tries to stretch lines without breaking spirits. And what else has gone on from the start? To answer the question I turn back to my first impressions: the bringing together of traditional and new, openness and solidity. n
Sue Reed ’87 served as fall adjunct (1991–2003, 2005–2007). She is especially adept at surveying and grading.
Other Voices in Tenth Anniversary Report (1982) Not only does your independence give you a developmental flexibility, but it also encourages an orientation toward educational innovation that might not be easily achieved within the context of more traditional schools.
— Samuel C. Miller Director of Education and Research American Society of Landscape Architects
[I] note three Conway principles: start with the student not the teacher; the most effective learning method is practical; the most important thing of all is to learn how to learn.
— Owen D. Manning Professor of Landscape Architecture University of Sheffield, England As I see it, one of the greatest values of the Conway School is its concentration on teaching the design process itself. . . . This process, resulting in systematic step-wise findings of fact, need, and issues, is really basic to all the planning/design professions, indeed to logical thinking in any pursuit. The skills being learned at the school, therefore, prepare the students for a wide range of professional opportunities.
— Anthony W. Dater Regional Planner New York Regional Planning Commission
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Walter’s Audacious School In February 1975, Nancy Frazier wrote an article in Upcountry reflecting on Conway’s founding and progress. These are excerpts from what she wrote. You have to be tough to survive the Conway School of Landscape Design, where students work on real problems seventy hours a week beneath the eyes of the master. Right from the start, regardless of their previous experience (or lack of it), students work on real problems for real clients. They learn by doing, a concept as old as the practice of apprenticeship except that they don’t help the master with his work—he helps them with theirs. Odd, but in these days when education depends a good deal on technologies . . . the practice of person-to-person teaching sounds almost antediluvian.
Dave Jacke ’84 presents, as Harry Dodson listens and John Steele ’84 takes notes. Effectively presenting one’s design ideas is a critical part of a Conway education.
[Cudnohufsky] wanted to see undergraduates participating in a well-rounded liberal arts program instead of being directed by landscape accreditation standards . . . He argued for a lot more cross-pollination between various disciplines. n
Presentation critics (to right, from second from left) John Martin, Jean Cavanaugh, Susan Van Buren ’82, and Bob Swain discuss project development.
FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Inventory Is Not Analysis From “Pragmatic Design” in Drawing Lessons: Forty Years of Design Education at the Conway School (2011) By Jane Roy Brown
alter Cudnohufsky’s views on ecological design and planning were and continue to be pragmatic. “If you’re known as thoughtful and broad-looking and have a strong environmental emphasis and a strong social emphasis, that [is workable, and it] was the way the school had to be to survive.” When asked whether environmental advocacy in the form of a focused program on ecological, environmental, or sustainable design is a comfortable fit with the design process, Cudnohufsky responds without hesitation: “I think we need it desperately.” He recalls that “we were offended almost monthly by the front page of Landscape Architecture magazine, which was just promoting avant garde art, which we thought frivolous and not tackling ecological design. Of course, they’ve changed a lot now.” He continues to passionately uphold “thorough, tangible analysis” as the basis for design: “It’s surveying, vegetative assessment, it’s mapmaking, walking the site with experts who see it with different eyes, watching the site in a rainstorm and seeing where the water runs. What animals live here?
(Left to right) Cindy Tavernise ’99 and Studio Instructor Christine Brestrup speak with Judy Thompson ’99.
The Conway School, 1972–2012
“Most people think that inventory is analysis: I recognize you exist, so I’ve done my analysis. That isn’t enough,” he continues. “It means dwelling on, spending time on, drawing conclusions about, what exists. What I think is missing in the design world is that people don’t spend enough time on assessing what is. . . . That’s how ecology gets sidelined, and community gets sidelined.” Conway School graduates trained under Cudnohufsky can be counted on for impassioned opinions about the contextual grounding and, hence, the ecological sensitivity that flows from Cudnohufsky’s design process. “The irony is that Walt is not necessarily an environmentalist, but his process used the site as one of the key ingredients to drive the design. He insisted on defining problems . . . and it’s critical to do that if you want to do sustainable design,” says Peter Monro ‘86. n
It’s Official: CSLD Is Accredited! Excerpts from con’text (1990)
Accepting official recognition for the Conway School are Chairman of its Board of Trustees, David Bird (far left) and Director Walter Cudnohufsky (second from left).
Official word. In September , Walt received a phone call informing him that the study of Conway School had resulted in a favorable recommendation for accreditation. In December, Walt and David Bird received the official decision and certificate. Accreditation is effective from April 26, 1989, the last day of our most recent evaluation visit. What does accreditation mean? Generally, it means that the school has joined many other institutions in the region—state universities, Ivy League and lesser-known schools, large and small—in becoming an accredited member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It shows that CSLD has substantially met a series of standards set by the association.
Missing Books and Compass (A One-time Thing?) From “And Speaking of the Library,” in con’text (1997) Please check your home and office libraries to see if you inadvertently gathered up a CSLD book or report when packing for home. Bill Lattrell is also missing some wetlands books that he loaned to a member of the class of ’97. And has anyone seen the beam compass?
Specifically, accreditation gives the school and its graduates greater credibility in the world beyond Conway. It’s important, especially when job markets are tight, for graduates to show they have performed well in a recognized educational program. It’s important for students entering CSLD to have the eligibility for government-backed loans that accreditation makes possible. And it’s important that the school receive objective assessment. There comes a time when a school has to stop proclaiming its own virtues and see if it can measure up to standards of others. ... Benefits and needs. Perhaps ironically, one benefit of preparing to meet conventional standards is increased definition of CSLD’s unconventional nature. ... Hooray! Enormous satisfaction comes from trying something hard and succeeding. We did it! Thanks to all who contributed time, letters, donations, visits, energy, and encouragement. When Walt got the September phone call, members of the class of ’90 helped celebrate by baking an apple pie. Your gestures and support buoy the staff, and make the school what it is. n
Deaf Singing in the Studio From “Musical Tastes,” in con’text (1983) By Jamie Cogliano ’83 The advent of Japanese stereo headphones has led to the phenomenon of “deaf singing.” This occurs when the listener unknowingly sings along with whatever cassette is deemed “good working music.” Of course, tastes vary, so it’s not uncommon to hear bad versions of Petula Clark’s Greatest Hits sandwiched between worse versions of NRBQ or the Dead Kennedys. FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Accreditation Renewed and More Progress From “Taking the Measure of it All,” con’text (2005) By Jean Killhour Akers, Professor of Landscape Design and Graphics (2002–2006)
Carlos Wright ’12 and Molly Hutt ’12 capture the moment in their sketchbooks during the fall orientation trip.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges team conducted their ten-year accreditation review visit this past academic year. The new CSLD campus is the focus of a multi-year master planning process to exhibit a sustainable educational facility that exemplifies the school’s mission statement. Our new school director is bringing a fresh perspective, additional technologies, expanded contacts, and professional experiences into the academic program and CSLD community. The board of trustees conducted a day-long summer retreat to examine future possibilities for the school’s direction. CSLD is a dynamic institution that must grow and evolve to maintain its place in the educational and ecological communities. Some of us will be reading the transit— getting bearings and distances— others will be holding the rod or assessing what next to measure. Whatever your role in the CSLD community, we look forward to your participation in taking the measure of our future direction. n
Formal presentations give valuable feedback as students begin to wrap up their projects. Nicko Rubin ’07 (left) and Sean Roulan ’07 present their spring project to the critics.
Eric Weber ’77 taught part-time (1980–1990), did a stint as graphics adjunct in 1993, and served on the school’s board of trustees. 20
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Conway Ahead of Its Time From “Athens, the World, and New Ecologies,” con’text (2005) By Paul Cawood Hellmund, Director (2005–present) After enumerating the challenges of trying to educate landscape professionals at his cash-strapped state university, suddenly a light seems to come on for [the landscape architecture professor]. He turns to me, “You know, I think Conway has been ahead of its time. I mean, your model—intensive, project-based—is where things are headed. The demand for landscape architects has never been greater, yet the number of students graduating in the field hasn’t changed in many years. If we are going to meet this demand we are going to have to find new educational models, like Conway.” n
Technology and the Technical From “Zooming Across Scales,” in Drawing Lessons: Forty Years of Design Education at the Conway School (2011) By Jane Roy Brown
ost programs start with exploring design elements. Our model leads with analysis,” muses [Conway School Director Paul Cawood] Hellmund at the end of a presentation day. “Here, the variable with otherwise straightforward projects is difficult community process or clients. What gets postponed is that feeling of design.”
Kate Dana ’07 at the keyboard
The reason, he says, is that students are rushed at the end, depriving them of the satisfaction of creating a polished end product. But since the beginning, the choices about what to include, emphasize, and leave out of the tenmonth curriculum have been painful. Hellmund, who is a planner as well as a landscape architect, brings experience on larger-scale conservation projects to his teaching of the design process. During more than twenty years of practicing in Colorado, he focused on greenways, ecological networks, wildlife corridors, protected areas, and related projects that “seek to balance the needs of people with the functions of nature.” In Colorado, for example, he helped envision new uses for the former Rocky Mountain Arsenal and the Rocky Flats Plutonium-Processing Plant as national wildlife refuges, Denver’s Stapleton International Airport and Lowry Air Force Base as mixed-use communities with extensive open space systems, and a former uranium tailings site as a new park. On other projects, such as the Chatfield Basin Conservation Network, he has helped design regional, interconnected systems of open space, and he wrote a statewide strategic trails plan for Colorado. Born and raised in Panama, he is keenly interested in the planning of protected areas—including urban ones—in Latin America. Hellmund likes to tell students that to seek out the patterns of ecosystems and past human use on a project site, they need to “zoom” across scales.
Marsha Fischer ’96 at the boards
“It’s impossible to identify certain relationships and hierarchies if you look only at one scale,” he says, citing the example of a recent Conway project, a residential property near the Connecticut River. A curtain of trees along the edge of the property didn’t seem that important at first glance. Within the boundaries of the site, the trees appeared simply as a thin band, a backdrop behind the house. But when Hellmund encouraged the student to “zoom out” to place the property within larger and larger contexts, the band of trees emerged as a connector between the river and a large upland natural area. The student worked with the clients to educate them about the importance of keeping their piece of this forested wildlife corridor intact.
FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
This tool has been part of the program’s design process. Conway School students have always completed three projects, each at a different scale. As Walker explains, “The initial residential projects—these came first because they were at a scale that beginning designers could comprehend and speak intelligently about—have always been followed by large-area projects, so that students, among numerous other things, could see how the individual home site might fit or disrupt the larger landscape and its neighborhood, or community, or town, or county, or state plans.” Walker ensured that the large-scale projects always included at least one town-wide open space and recreation plan. Walker also introduced classes on geology, geomorphology, macroclimate and climatic regions, and stream classification systems. He anticipated the urgent demand for “green” technology, including such topics in his theory and practice classes and inviting speakers to introduce concepts including green roofs, porous pavements, co-housing, ecological regional plans, and other innovations in housing, agriculture, and forestry. He also required students to complete accurate grading (earthwork) plans and roadway/driveway alignments. Even before Cudnohufsky left, Walker introduced ecological design to the curriculum, and as director, he also initiated the requirement that one of the three critics at the once-a-term formal presentations be an ecologist.
The Old Drafting Tables Are Gone From “Generous Gifts Enable Campus Improvements,” in con’text (2007) Thanks to the generosity of Eric and Jane Molson in a gift granted by the Lincolnshire Foundation and of longtime Conway friend and supporter, Bill Gundermann, the school was able to undertake some significant capital improvement projects over the summer. The old drafting desks, constructed by the Orchard Equipment Supply Company some thirty-five years ago, have now been replaced with steel frame, adjustable table top angle drafting desks with flat file storage and
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Through the study of ecology Walker promoted the use of indigenous plants and introduced the various theories of vegetation development, including climax, flux, succession, associations, communities, and bioregions. With biologist and adjunct faculty member Bill Lattrell, he led students on a number of field trips each year to bogs, wetlands, flood plains, uplands, rocky cliffs, and other habitats, “to see that plants fit their environments and must exist so the native animals will have the habitats to support their existence.” Mollie Babize, who has worked with all three directors, offers her observations of change over time. “Certainly when Walt left [in 1992] that was a huge shift, and it happened on a number of different levels,” she says. “Don’s passion about native plants and curbing invasive species led him to put a much stronger emphasis in that area. Also, Don was adamant about how analysis would lead you to design. Landscape design wasn’t an art, it was a craft.” Walker explains, “Artists are most lauded when they break all the ‘rules.’ Craftsmen usually try to create something useful as well as handsome. Ecological landscape design must follow the rules—as best we understand them—of nature, and indigenous vegetation is mighty basic.” Fundamentally, he continues, “plants make the earth habitable for all other life. To ecologists, tool drawers. Recycling the old desks proved an easy task. The call went out to area alums, incoming students, and friends of the school letting them know that the desks were available. There was a terrific response, and we are happy to report that all of the desks found new homes. Equipment purchases for the new school year included a large-format scanner capable of handling thirty-sixinch-wide paper and producing photorealistic color scans as well as high-quality grayscale and black-andwhite images. Additionally, six new digital electronic theodolites were delivered in time for students to survey their fall residential sites.
The class of 2004 was the first to occupy the school’s new home. ... Hellmund is integrating the use of computer technology, especially geographic information systems (GIS), far more than his predecessors, drawing the ire of alumni/ae purists. “Our students now have to go out into the real world and use PowerPoint and so on,” former administrator Ilze Meijers says. “Paul has brought attention to that without losing the ecological piece.” Nancy Braxton, here with Paul Cawood Hellmund, served the school for ten years in a variety of capacities, most notably as administrative director.
landscape designers were, and maybe still are, bad guys for introducing and promoting exotic plants in planting plans.” Before retiring, Walker accomplished two of his major goals: to assist the school in its ten-year accreditation review (by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges) and to find a new home for the school. The quest for a new location had been ongoing at least from 1978, when Walker first arrived. “At least once a year,” he recalls, “Walt would interrupt a trustees meeting to load all present into the van and drive to his latest ‘find.’ Numerous discussions and charrettes culminated in [the formation of ] a facilities committee, which specified a long list of ‘needs.’ These were summarily ignored when the school’s neighbor offered his property.” Walker reviewed and rejected that property because of various inadequacies and decided to go public about a potential move. Suggested alternatives, located in surrounding towns (from Plainfield and Easthampton to Greenfield, Ashfield, and Charlemont), included barns, vacant factories, houses, defunct restaurants, Superfund sites, and a former estate. Finally, in 2002, Walker and then Administrative Director Nancy Braxton were viewing another site with a realtor the day before the house and land on the wooded hilltop in Conway went on the market, and they became the first (and only) viewers. Both agreed that at last, this property seemed like the perfect fit.
Babize observes that despite shifts in emphasis and the evolution of technology and knowledge, “what still distinguishes the program is the design process: inventory, analysis, and assessment. That really is a humanities approach—it’s critical thinking. You’re trying to understand what’s at work on the site, but also, how do you boil it down to understand the size, configuration, and relationships that are operating on the site?” n
New Technologies, from con’text (2005) CSLD is moving with the times on many fronts this year. For the first time, students will be introduced to computer-assisted design (CAD). This will give them the opportunity to complement their skills in hand drafting and lettering with drafting skills on the computer.
Malena Maiz ’11 combines hand-drawing and computer rendering in this landscape plan for a fall client. FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Conway School: Education for Life From “A Note from the Trustees’ New Chair,” con’text (1997) By Joel S. Russell, Conway Board Chair (1998–2001), Trustee (1992–2001), Advisor (2002), Master Teacher (Present) The Conway School is a delicate and miraculous place to those of us who have experienced it. In an era of big and increasingly bureaucratic institutions, Conway is small and highly personal. In an era of mega-mergers, Conway treasures and maintains its compact scale and focused independence. In an era of one-size-fits-all education and administration, Conway enables each student to tailor a program that meets his or her needs. Conway’s approach insists that design cannot be by standardized formula but only by careful analysis of each site. Many schools provide an education for a trade. Conway provides an education for life, and all who struggle through its challenging program seem to be transformed by the experience. In addition, Conway provides valuable and practical design and planning services at low cost to communities and landowners throughout the region. Never has Conway’s message been more important for the world to hear. Design based upon an understanding of the intricate web of the natural world is the only way that we as a society will effectively reconcile economic and environmental goals. n
Professors Jono Neiger ’03 and Kim Erslev, here identifying a shrub, teach together in the fall studio. In addition, Kim, who is both a practicing architect and landscape architect, teaches site engineering and graphics. 24
The Conway School, 1972–2012
What Makes the Conway School of Landscape Design Work? From “The Pattern in the Puzzle,” in con’text (2002) By Maureen Buchanan Jones, Humanities Professor, 1993–2003 What makes the Conway School of Landscape Design work? Like the processes of nature, the interlocking pieces of the school combine to make a whole not easily understood by the casual observer. Anyone who wants to make sense of what happens here and why must spend some time and thought. The pedagogical style is not what most people have encountered in their educational experiences, and the courses are not separate and discrete. To understand the success of the learning curve at the school is to understand the underlying pieces of the puzzle. n
Sustaining a Timeless Idea From “The Conway School of Landscape Design,” con’text (2005) By Walter Cudnohufsky, Founder and First Director In my opinion, the school must continue to dare to be bold and encompassing. It must continue to see across boundaries in planning and design, architecture and landscape architecture, boundaries both ecological and social, technical and theoretical. The hardest job for the school may be to sustain the basics and fundamentals in a world that is operating under the mesmerizing umbrella of fast-paced technology. People (student and client) are the most important of building blocks, not to be forgotten. My pride in the school is enormous and my gratitude limitless for those who have picked up the mantle and served tirelessly to sustain this wonderful school. It was simply “an idea whose time had come” and many of us would like to think it is “a timeless idea.” n
To Make the Earth a More Livable Place From “Charting the Future of the Conway School,” con’text (1994) By Joel S. Russell, Conway Board Chair (1998–2001), Trustee (1992–2001), Advisor (2002), Master Teacher (Present) Since the Conway School of Landscape Design began life as a 1970s alternative landscape architecture program, it has evolved in a number of directions that distinguish it even more from traditional schools of landscape architecture. While technical LA training is included in the program, the school’s uniqueness comes from providing something else that is difficult to describe but extremely valuable. ... The Conway training is more about the design process than about the techniques of landscape design. And that design process is applicable to a wide range of endeavors. Design is an integrative problem-solving process that
The environmental/ecological perspective at Conway is not an “add-on.” It permeates every hour of the Conway education. takes account of a large number of variables, only some of which are quantifiable. Both conceptual and concrete, it is a process of observation, exploration, analysis, creation, focusing, synthesis, testing of hypotheses, rethinking, and resynthesizing. It involves not only observing physical phenomena, but also social, psychological, and economic phenomena—and even observing oneself observing. ... Conway teaches an awareness of the design process that has a value independent of any particular type of design activity. Indeed, because the design process is integrative, the distinctions between architecture, landscape architecture, and planning seem increasingly artificial. What we are really talking about is a scale of design: structure, site, and community or region. Dealing with
all of these requires an understanding of design, as well as science, engineering, psychology, ethics, and law. And to deal with any of these scales without considering the others is irresponsible, leading to the kinds of architectural and environmental monstrosities that so commonly occur. ... The environmental/ecological perspective at Conway is not an “add-on.” It permeates every hour of the Conway education. ... Clearly, Conway prepares students for a far greater variety of jobs than does a traditional landscape architecture curriculum. These jobs involve land and community planning, conservation, site design, environmental analysis, land stewardship and management, construction and land development, managing non-profit organizations, and many other things. The richness and diversity for which this training prepares people is part of what makes it special. ... Unlike more established institutions, Conway has no entrenched agendas to prevent it from adapting to the changed environment of a new century. By assessing its education in light of tomorrow’s needs, Conway will remain in the vanguard of design and conservation education. With the combined efforts of its talented board, staff, alums, and friends, the Conway School of Landscape Design can continue to shape the education needed to make the earth a more livable place in the years to come. n
Making a Difference Right Away From “The Past, Present, and Future of CSLD,” con’text (2005) By Donald L. Walker, Jr., Second Director The Conway School of Landscape Design must devise ways to give students what they need to go out and act to make a difference right away, not to succumb to the status quo as many seem to do.
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Conway’s Third Director Takes the Helm From “Conway Inaugurates New Director and Celebrates Homecoming,” in con’text (2006) By Selina Rossiter ’02
hree months after the Conway School’s homecoming weekend and inauguration of its third director, Paul Cawood Hellmund, the words of keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient David Orr are fresh in my mind. “We are, all of us, looking down the barrel. We have to see the world as it is,” said Orr. “And in so doing, and in taking action now, our descendants will see that this was our finest hour.” My return to the Conway School this past August was filled with inspiration about the school, its mission, the people there, and my own commitment to good work in landscape design. I moved tables, shared stories, listened to lectures, connected with old friends, and made new ones. I celebrated our new director, Paul Hellmund, and learned a bit about the school’s direction from chair of the board of trustees, Art Collins ’79, and vice chair, Bill Richter ’77. A new chapter has opened at Conway, and years from now, looking back, the August 12 weekend, 2006, will mark the official start of this era. Still, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much of what I love about Conway remains, despite
The Conway School, 1972–2012
important changes of location and leadership. We were not in the barn on Delabarre Avenue, of course, and the new campus is different, perched on a mountain overlooking the rolling countryside. But now that it is filled with trace paper, the library, the chore wheel, and site analyses left behind, the feeling is much the same. ... As the day wound down, we gathered under a tent to inaugurate Paul Hellmund as the new director of CSLD. Less inauguration than family reunion, and fresh from a day of study together, it was with enthusiasm and appreciation that we officially welcomed Paul and his family to the school. Jill Ker Conway, author, visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and former President of Smith College (1975–1985), recognized CSLD’s important role in the town. “The
To the uninformed, landscape design may seem mostly about petunias, but it is more centrally about keeping the human and natural landscape connected; it is about preserving the habitability of the planet. Pioneer Valley is threatened by the pressure to straighten out our roads—to enable faster truck transport—which threatens the trees and streams that give these roads their curves and their charm. . . . We know [Paul] will be a resource not only for the school, but also for the community. We welcome him and all he brings to his new role—in an institution which sits at the heart of our community here in Conway.” Ker Conway was on the mark. Paul’s commitment to sustainable design and his enthusiasm for and belief in the school are tangible. In his remarks, Paul recognized that CSLD is a small school in a small town, so it is an unsuspected powerhouse whose mission is ever more
critical. He noted that, to the uninformed, landscape design may seem mostly about petunias, but it is more centrally about keeping the human and natural landscape connected; it is about preserving the habitability of the planet. David Orr was right: our finest hour is ahead of us, and there is no time like the present to act. With Paul Hellmund leading the way, CSLD is certain to be leading the charge. n Paul is an incredibly gifted teacher and director. His ability to be visionary and think at the broader scale while also teach and offer advice on much finer scale things is very impressive.
— A 2010 Conway Graduate
David Orr of Oberlin College, author of The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention, gave the keynote address at Paul Hellmund’s inauguration and was awarded Conway’s first honorary degree.
The Need for Landscape Visionaries From “Athens, the World and New Ecologies” and “Landscape Design across Scales,” con’text (2005) By Paul Cawood Hellmund, Director (2005–present)
he future and its landscapes are likely to be very different from those of the past, and the practitioners we train at the Conway School will have to be prepared for change throughout their careers. We are helping people fit themselves to continue as lifelong learners who want to make meaningful contributions to society. A new practice of this sort would be intensely ecological because it aims to be sustainable—sustaining people, place and natural process. It seeks to fit human communities and nonhuman ones. It helps people find beauty around them in their lives; it brings nature and natural processes close to their homes. The special need is for landscape visionaries who can look across time and space and craft designs that are as forwardlooking as they are sensitive to the past. These kinds of designers will need to speak to experts of many types. They will need to be able to integrate ideas, work with diverse
publics, facilitate, mediate, and be willing to work when there is no request for proposal or clear direction from others. They will need to be rooted in the place where they work and committed to that place over the long haul. They may call themselves landscape architects, but they are just as likely to be known by many other names, such as ecological designer or planner. This kind of design goes beyond trying to regain some previous landscape state that is now most likely unachievable. It seeks new ecologies that recognize that human influences in the landscape are pervasive and must be acknowledged. ... Ecological or sustainable landscape design, in the eyes of [CSLD] visitors [such as David Orr] and of the Conway community, is broad and potentially powerful. It has solved pressing environmental problems and has capitalized on important opportunities. It’s much more than merely arranging pea gravel and petunias, or any other conventional sense of landscape design. But even when it does include arranging pea gravel and petunias, it’s done FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
with an awareness across time and space that contributes to landscape integrity and health, an awareness that asks, “How will this place function in the future? How will it affect and be affected by its environs?” This broader sense of landscape design enables a person to see and work across scales, to make connections between seemingly small landscape actions and global problems, and to design accordingly. Through her or his own practice, a sustainable landscape designer is acknowledging the “letters from home.” The designer’s careful process, the analysis of the needs of people and nature, respond to these letters. Effective design is the result, design that is backed up by something substantial, careful analysis and creative synthesis— and the life work—of the designer.
Landscape architect and visionary Ian McHarg, author of Design with Nature (right, with Walt Cudnohufsky) was the graduation speaker in June 1997.
It’s hard to imagine a more noble or urgently needed profession. n
“What consistently strikes me about Conway’s program is the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment that it fosters within its students. Each year the program graduates a cohort of people committed to using intentional design to make the world a better place for people and their biotic neighbors. When thinking about ecologically sound landscape design, Conway is the program that comes first to my mind.”
—Tom K. Wessels Professor, Antioch University New England, Author of The Myth of Progress and Reading the Forested Landscape
“Conway is one very remarkable school, where extraordinary learning takes place amidst a highly congenial and collegial atmosphere.”
—Randall Arendt, Conservation planner and designer, Author of Growing Greener
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Honorary degree recipients Majora Carter 2011 (left) and Nancy Jack Todd 2011 (second from right) pose with Ginny Sullivan ’86 (second from left) and Mollie Babize ’84.
“The Conway School hones the skills and the design capabilities of its graduate students against the rigors of the real world and real projects while maintaining a deep ethical sense of the long term needs of humanity and the planet. Vision and practicality are fused and rendered meaningful.”
—John Todd Inventor of the “Living Machine” Founder and President, Ocean Arks International
Without David Bird There Would Be No Conway School Today From “Remembering and Honoring David Bird, Trustee Emeritus,” in con’text (2007)
avid Bird died in his sleep in his South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, home on October 29, 2007. He was a linguist, specialist in eastern European affairs, political consultant, and social activist. In addition to his wife Jeanne, David leaves two sons, Marten and Matthew, a daughter, Rachel Bird Anderson, and a brother, Charles Sumner Bird III. David Bird’s contribution to the Conway School of Landscape Design was prodigious. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that without David Bird, the fledgling school might not have survived its early years to grow into the nationally recognized school of landscape design it is today. Serving as Chair of the Conway Board of Trustees in the 1970s and into the 1980s, David marshaled his strong organizational skills, together with his great determination and persistence to help achieve legal status and initial accreditation for the Conway School. After stepping down as a board member, he was named Emeritus Trustee. Among the top donors in the history of the school, David’s early financial support matched his input of time and expertise and was critical in keeping the
David Bird’s family—wife Jeanne Bird (far right), daughter Rachel Bird Anderson (far left), and son Marten Bird (second from right)—greet the first two David S. Bird International Service Fellows: Alicia Batista ’07 and Kyle Haley ’09.
school afloat; his support of the 2002 capital campaign for the new campus was key, and he continued giving annually and generously to Conway. Walter Cudnohufsky wrote: “David had a knack to see the truth and to serve the underdog, the needy, and the unrecognized. He rightly With the leadership and financial took pride in the school’s several accomplishments and support of David Bird the Conway School survived its in its hard-won struggles. The early years. uneven and often challenging economic times did not make it easy for a school that insisted on not relying on grants with strings attached. Legal wrangling for non-profit status and accreditation for this unorthodox school also needed David’s attention. He appeared instantly and focused when any crisis would arise. He and Jeanne hosted trustee meetings on many occasions. David was practical and protective and asked only to serve, which he did selflessly.” From Rachel Bird Anderson, David Bird’s daughter: “Several times over the years I accompanied my father, David Bird, to the school. I am so glad for each and every memory of the Conway School trips. Each trip unveiled to me just a little bit more of a vista on the special school he cared so much about—the people, the premise, the place, the energy. Especially in the last years, it was one of the few places he wanted to visit— to see for himself what was happening—to be with. It will forever remain a special place to me, as it was so near and dear to him.” ... Updates: Like her father before her, Rachel Bird Anderson now serves on the Board of Trustees of the Conway School. Established in 2009, the David Bird International Service Fellowship has sent two Conway graduates to work in Panama, two to Bali, Indonesia, and next year (2013) will send one to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. n
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Revise, Revise, Revise
From “Revision,” con’text (2011) By Ken Byrne, Humanities Professor (2003–present) For those of you who have observed the workings of the school from a distance, seeing only the final products and hearing, occasionally, from students in the throes of their work, you may have a certain conception of what goes on in someone’s head in the process of producing those final designs: after hours of staring at an empty page, there is a sudden flash of insight and The Solution pops fully realized to mind, with the designer chasing after it to record it before it is lost. The process, I believe, is quite different. What tends to happen here is that something, some words, some lines, some shapes or colors, some scraps of incomplete information are put down on paper (or on screen). The designer then says something about it to someone else, and that person looks at it on paper and says something back to the designer. And the designer goes back and redoes it, or revises it, or changes it completely. And does it again. They come to question their initial proposition, propose to themselves another one, find distance from it enough to assess its value, test it against another idea. Is this causation, or correlation? Is this a problem or a resource? Will this solution make things better or worse? And so on.
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Clockwise from left: Humanities Professor Ken Byrne confers with Tabitha Kaigle ’10. Office Coordinator and Financial Aid Adviser (1992–2007) Ilze Meijers and Graphics Instructor Chet Cramer are ready for a special school event. Bird International Service Fellow Aran Wiener ’09 shares a thought with a village chief in Bali, Indonesia.
So the model of design is less the flash of the sudden solution than the (much less dramatic) revision of the draft. I hope that we have reached a point where we as a society have to decide if we want to become landscape literate or not. Should we just wait for a flash of insight, the Sudden Solution? Such as those who propose dropping a nuclear bomb to seal the BP oil well? Or get stuck in, look at what we have drafted; develop the distance from our knowledge to be able to assess it—and revise, revise, revise. n
Alum Service Learning Projects From “Conway and Panama: A Series of Fortunate Events,” in con’text (2007) and “Alums, Students, and Faculty Explore Design in the Sonoran Desert: Conway Service-Learning Trip 2011,” in con’text (2012) By Paul Cawood Hellmund
Conway alums paddle down a rainforest river near the Panamanian village of Achiote, where they worked with villagers to help plan ecotourism infrastructure.
Last spring , Conway alums could be found exploring the sights and sounds of the rainforest village of Achiote on the Costa Bajo of Panama and also working with villagers to help develop aspects of their ecotourism infrastructure. That was only days after a team of Conway students made their final winter-term project presentation to an enthusiastic audience just fifty miles away, in the nation’s capital city. On that same day, Matthew Arnsberger ’98 (part of the Achiote team), Conway advisor Edwina von Gal, and I represented our school’s board of trustees in presenting an honorary degree to Panamanian sustainability expert Charlotte Elton. ... The Conway School hosted its second service-learning trip in spring 2011 when thirteen participants headed into the Sonoran Desert for a week working side-by-side with residents of Ajo, Arizona. Trip participants raved about the experience and some are planning to return next year. “It was one of those pinnacle life experiences for me, introducing me to a new place, amazing people, and opening up new ways of thinking about place and nature,” said one participant. “It was a powerful reminder of what the Conway community means to me,” said another. n
Recent Conway Student Projects Outside New England: Azuero Peninsula, Panama (Winter 2007) Cauquenes, Chile (Winter 2008, Winter 2012) Pucón, Chile (Spring 2010) Spannocchia, Tuscany, Italy (Winter 2011) San Pedro, Mexico (Spring 2011) Ajo, Arizona (Winter and Spring 2011, Spring 2012) Rutland, Ohio (Spring 2012) Laura Rissolo ’11 discusses sketching techniques with young Panamanians during an alum service learning trip.
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Hope From “Improvise,” in con’text (2012) Ken Byrne, Humanities Professor (2003–present)
hroughout this year in our Friday morning discussions, we’ve been dancing around a delicate, sometimes embarrassing subject: Hope. I was accused more than once, and by the spring term almost weekly by at least one person, of choosing deliberately depressing readings, as if the goal had been to suppress, stifle, strangle any possible hope for hope before July. So I feel it is my opportunity and my obligation to take this one last chance to assert some space for hope. It is tempting to say: That’s just the way things are. Some things never change. But we understand “the way things are” through language and through narratives we hear and tell. To truly believe a story in which the world’s course is fundamentally fixed or that the world is the way it is and always will be, is to leave no room for hope. It is also a fundamentally unecological way of thinking about time and how systems so apparently stable gradually and sometimes suddenly change.
So. The shark is swimming toward the man. The man is swimming toward the shark. The outcome, it seems, is inevitable. There are, however, grounds for hope. 1. If there is room for surprise, then there is room for hope. Or, hope exists in the space created by surprise. It’s not the only thing that fits in that space, but it’s one of the things. 2. If gradual succession and sudden disturbance make sense ecologically, then they apply to human affairs also. 3. If we can figure out how to structure our narratives so they make people associate change—the change we want—with pleasure and delight, then we have the skills to build hope, our own as well as others. So, in summary: Accept there’s no script. We’re not acting in a story whose ending is already determined. Live life as an improvisation—collective, informed, smart, generous, joyful—to break the links between radical change and fear, and to invite others into a very different story. n
Key Memory I have of Conway (2012)
Ahron Lerman ’11 (taking photograph) orchestrates a think-like-a-tree exercise with members of his class.
In 1999, I was standing with my classmates and professor Don Walker in the old riverbed of a tributary to the Deerfield River. As a whitewater kayaker I prided myself on understanding the dynamics of water—its flow, erosion, the qualities of the landscape adjacent to rivers. It was in a moment, though, that Don asked us why the landscape we were standing in had the rolling effect and shape that it did, that I realized how blinded even my smart water self was to the reality of the landscape. We were standing on the outside of a curve in the old riverbed, where centrifugal forces had the water moving ever outward, further away from the inside of the curve. The realization was like the first time seeing a “Magic Eye," or "seeing the forest and the trees”. . . and I have never forgotten since, how easily we can miss the secret messages embedded in the elements of our world.
— Teresa Rogerson ’00 32
The Conway School, 1972–2012
THE CELEBRATION SEPTEMBER 28–30, 2012
By Mollie Babize, Director of Admissions What happens when you bring together graduates from the Conway School’s forty years, remind them of the calamitous consequences of climate change (as presented by Bill McKibben), inspire them with examples of what other alums are doing, and engage them with good food and lively conversation? Community happens. There is a palpable energy generated when members of the Conway clan converge. We discover again a shared vision, a commitment to confronting the challenges facing the earth, and a focus (as Lily Jacobson ’10 wrote) “with increasing depth on the issues that will define the well-being of ecological and social communities in the future.” For three days, we celebrated the richness of community and the legacy of inspired education that has been Conway’s hallmark for forty years.
Fortieth Anniversary Kick-Off Event
Conway is making intentional partnerships with other schools, agencies, institutions whose missions parallel ours. We believe in the collaborative power of education and action, and the organizations represented have particular relevance to the fields of land conservation, food and farming, native plant communities, and a sense of place.
Paul Cawood Hellmund welcomed a capacity crowd to the kick-off event of the fortieth anniversary weekend: a keynote address by author, educator, and environmental activist Bill McKibben. Following Paul’s brief introduction to Conway’s unusual, nimble, and guild-like graduate program, with our focus on ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design, representatives from four organizations with whom we collaborate spoke of Conway’s impact.
Madeline Cantwell from Orion Magazine celebrated the art of ecological design. FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Fortieth Anniversary Kick-Off: Collaborators
New England Wild Flower Society has employed more than a few Conway graduates as interns at their Garden in the Woods in Framingham. More recently, they acquired seventy-five-acre Nasami Farm in Whately, where many of their native plants are propagated, and for which Conway students developed a master plan in 2004. Cayte McDonough, nursery production manager for Nasami, said her life was changed when she signed up for a summer workshop offered at Conway on native plant propagation with Heather McCargo ’84. Cayte cited a strong relationship between NEWFS and the Conway School, based on shared objectives and encouraging the use of native plants in design and restoration. Conway has co-sponsored events and lectures, and used the farm as an outdoor classroom. A design charette, held at the Garden in the Woods in the spring of 2012, developed a conceptual plan for a family gathering area at the sanctuary. The collaboration between our two organizations is more firmly rooted since a formal agreement was signed this past year.
New England Farmers Union works to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life of family farmers, foresters, nursery growers, and consumers in all six New England states. President Annie Cheatham added her congratulations to what she termed “Walt’s crazy idea, a pioneer radical idea that has continued to serve our planet for forty years,” and urged those present to be sure to engage farmers directly when dealing with issues of farmland preservation, food security planning, and the local food movement. 34
The Conway School, 1972–2012
The Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts-based land conservation organization whose 100 properties now total nearly 25,000 acres, has collaborated with Conway for thirty the school’s forty years. Their reservations and land holdings have provided a rich source of dozens of projects for Conway students, from a restoration plan for Naumkeag in 1980 to a sustainability plan for Tully Lake Campground in Royalston in 2010. Jocelyn Forbush, Western Massachusetts regional director, told the audience, “In each of these projects, the Conway School teams brought us along on their learning journey as they learned the powerful stories of these places, the interpretations of these sites.” Conway alums have worked with The Trustees as interns, volunteers, advisors, donors, and collaborators. Jocelyn anticipates this collaboration will continue, this “intertwining of missions” around people and place.
Orion Magazine, a remarkably beautiful publication that uses photography, writing, and poetry to celebrate the earth, celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. Their focus on “nature, culture, and place” sits at the same intersection as Conway’s concentration on socially and ecologically responsible design and planning. Managing Director Madeline Cantwell spoke meaningfully of the crises in biodiversity, population growth, and climate change that we face in these urgent times. And she spoke of the importance of the arts that “help us understand not what to do, but why.” Referring to Conway’s forty years of graduates, Madeline said, “As designers they are artists, sculptors not only of the landscape but also of human experience, regenerating what has been abused, creating an experience of place that reminds us of why our places matter.”
Fortieth Anniversary Kick-Off: Keynote Address Bill McKibben Challenges Us to Take Action Against Climate Change
he dining commons at Greenfield Community College was humming Friday evening, September 28th, as Conway alums and community members waited eagerly to hear author, educator, and tireless environmental activist Bill McKibben speak. Founder of 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis, and author of more than a dozen books starting with The End of Nature (1989), Bill has been writing about climate change for over two decades.
Bill used the time frame of Conway’s anniversary to illustrate the earth’s precarious health: • The volume of the Arctic ice cap is seventy-five percent less than it was forty years ago. • The oceans are thirty percent more acidic than forty years ago. • Because the air is one degree warmer, and warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is five percent wetter than forty years ago.
These changes have led to catastrophic flooding and drought world wide, including recent floods along the Eastern seaboard, and the largest wildfire ever recorded in the United States last summer in Colorado and New Mexico. The drought in the Midwest raised the price of corn and soybeans fifty to sixty percent, with devastating consequences for food supplies in developing countries. Every degree of increase in global temperature, Bill reported, reduces grain yields ten percent.
Trustee Al Rossiter (right) presented the honorary degree to Bill McKibben; Director Paul Hellmund is at left.
Of all the statistics, the numbers Bill wants us to remember are these: 2, 565 and 2795. If we hope for the earth to survive, the global temperature cannot increase more than two degrees. If we release 565 gigatons (GT) of carbon into the atmosphere, that will cause a two degree increase. Currently, we are burning at the rate of thirty-one GT a year, Bill reports, and the amount is increasing three percent a year. At this rate, we will exceed the 565 GT threshold in sixteen years. Financial analysts in the United Kingdom have estimated that the world’s fossil fuel producers (both companies and countries) have 2795 gigatons of fossil fuel in their inventories, ready to burn—five times the amount that would jeopardize the earth as we know it. Yet they keep exploring for more.
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Prior to Bill’s address, Al Rossiter, vice chair of Conway’s board of trustees, presented him with an honorary degree in sustainable landscape planning and design. It read, in part: “For more than two decades, you have worked tirelessly to educate and motivate people around the globe to take action in the face of climate change, the central issue of our time. Not intimidated by the scope of the challenge nor the denial of others, you have used your skills as author, educator, and advocate to inspire communities to engage in the rebuilding of a resilient and humane world.”
Bill says the fight to slow climate change must go beyond individual efforts to reduce consumption. Expecting Congress to act is unrealistic. His latest campaign is directed at colleges and universities, as well as churches and other institutions with investment portfolios. As happened in the late 1980s, when a national movement to divest in companies with investments in South Africa eventually contributed to the end of apartheid, Bill hopes for a similar groundswell of divestment in companies with holdings in fossil fuels. It will take this, and more, to begin to slow global climate change.
Conway alums and friends filled the house to hear Bill McKibben give the kick-off address Friday night.
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Saturday Morning Lightning Talks
he breadth and variety of topics, the depth of experience, and the articulate presentation of the six-minute “lightning talks” were the highlight of the reunion weekend for many. Madeleine Charney ’03 orchestrated the event, and Carlyn Saltma generously recorded all seventeen.
The subjects, in Conway tradition, were widely varied, from FEMA-funded hazard mitigation in post-Irene Vermont communities to infrastructure improvements in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Urban rooftop gardens, wetland buffer plantings, schoolyard design, invasive plant control, and heritage foods reflect the breadth of expertise of Conway’s graduates. In the words of several alums, the lightning talks were “energy-charged,” showcased “the diverse and impressive array” of work that alums are doing, and “gave us a chance to learn about the great work” of other alums.
Seventeen Conway alums representing twelve classes gave lightning talks on Saturday morning: front row, left to right, John Hanning ‘82, Cynthia Boettner ‘86, Tom Sullivan ‘10, Kerri Culhane ‘10, Rachel Jackson ‘12, Ginny Sullivan ‘86, Jean Pierre Marcoux ‘86. Second row, Wendi Goldsmith ‘90, Robert Small ‘93, Kevin Adams ‘08, Del Orloske ‘05, Todd Lynch ‘05, David Buchanan ‘00. Missing, Ed Fuller ’73, Peter Monro ‘86, Tim Taylor ‘83, and Byrne Kelly ’80.
“In the words of several alums, the lightning talks were ‘energycharged,’ ... and ‘gave us a chance to learn about the great work’ of other alums.”
Saturday started out with a full audience in the Conway Grammar School gymnasium.
Speakers and Topics of Lightning Talks • Ed Fuller ’73 – Emergency Management and Hazard Mitigation: Planning at the Community Level • Byrne H. Kelly ’80 – Wetland & Woodland Mitigation Banking: Costs; Benefits, and Nuances • John Hanning ’82 – Self-Funding Water Quality Protection • Tim Taylor ’83 – Al Raha Beach, United Arab Emirates: The Public Realm Infrastructure • Jean-Pierre Marcoux ’86 – Tagasho • Cynthia Boettner ’86 – Invasive Plant Control • Ginny Sullivan ’86 – Schoolyard Design • Peter Monro ’86 – Design for Walking • Wendi Goldsmith ’90 – Sustainability and Thermodynamics • Robert Small ’93 – Designing Spaces in High Places • David Buchanan ’00 – Hard Cider and Heritage Foods • Todd Lynch ’05 – Revitalize the Land, Revitalize Yourself • Del Orloske ’05 – Wetland Buffer Plantings • Kevin Adams ’08 – Climate Change: Civic Engagement in the Landscape Architecture Studio • Kerri Culhane ’10 – Green Infrastructure: Community Planning on the Lower East Side • Tom Sullivan ’10 – Designing Bee Pollinator Habitat • Rachel Jackson ’12 – Developing Models for Sustainability in Rural Costa Rica FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Saturday Afternoon Workshops
he afternoon workshops were fewer but equally varied. Some, such as schoolyard design and pollinator habitat, continued themes touched on in the morning. Others got people out into the landscape to learn by tasting (medicinal plants on our campus and elderberry cassis at Bug Hill Farm), by doing (trail building on campus), and by visiting forest gardens (at Wildside). And the workshop on writing continued Conway’s emphasis on good communication skills!
• • • • •
In addition to a day-long field trip on Friday, reminiscent of the fall Canada trips, Walt Cudnohufsky drew the largest crowd in his watercolor workshop. His long-time friends and frequent Conway guest teachers, Ron Wood and Terry Boyle, assisted in the instruction.
Post-Reunion Reflections “The best part of the weekend was seeing old friends and Walt’s workshop. I think every student present or past should have the opportunity to get to know and take a class with Walt, since the school was his vision.” “A professionally inspiring and emotionally full weekend! I continue to feel blessed and proud to be a member of the Conway community.”
Walt Cudnohufsky – Watercolor Painting J. Michael Thornton ’86 – Design in Writing: Telling a Story to Make a Point Ginny Sullivan ’86, Ruth Parnall and Marya Fowler ’98 – Schoolyard Design Tom Sullivan ’08 – Planting for Pollinators Del Orloske ’05 – Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants Nat Goodhue ’91 – Hands-on Trail Building: Garden Trail from Conway to Wildside Gardens Jono Neiger ’03 and Sue Bridge – Wildside Gardens: Design and Management of the Productive Landscape Kate Kerivan ’84 – Hugelkultur at Bug Hill Farm
Nat Goodhue ’91 (left) recruits workshop participants for his on-going work on the trail to Wildside Gardens.
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Jono Neiger ’03 describes elements of the forest garden at Wildside to Peter Van Buren ’82, Michael Cavanagh ’02, and Betsy Abert ’87.
Saturday Evening Farm Banquet
espite a chilly and damp night, the gathering Saturday night—under a huge tent on the Warner Farm—was toasty…in every sense of the word! Roughly three-quarters of Conway’s forty classes were represented, the class of 2011 had the greatest number, with fourteen of the eighteen students present (plus three babies!). Warmed by a fabulous meal of local foods, catered by Lone Wolf, alums shared memories, funny and touching, though roasts eclipsed toasts. Cynthia Boettner ’86 shared this reflection:
Board member Seth Wilkinson ‘99 grabbed the attention of the 170 or so people with an announcement of the remarkable challenge grant offered by Susan Rosenberg ’95: She has pledged $10,000 towards creating a fund for needs-based financial aid, a student grant fund with a goal of $25,000 for qualifying students in the class of 2014. To date, the fund has reached $17,820, with many additional checks donated that night. See inside front cover for additional information on the student grant fund.
“In the midst of the tent full of alums and supporters on Saturday evening, … it hit home how one man’s vision has spurred a big and positive difference in this world.”
Highlight: Student Grant Fund Announcement
Jonathan Cooper ‘09 shares a laugh-inducing story.
Laughter and applause were frequent as speakers took turns recalling their Conway experiences.
Those attending the banquet were treated to tasty local fare.
FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Sunday Morning at Conway
Nearly seventy alums, faculty, and friends of the Conway School gathered Sunday morning on the hilltop campus.
early half of the group who saluted Conway’s fortieth anniversary Saturday night returned on Sunday morning to greet former faculty, see the school’s hilltop campus, and participate in a discussion of the future of the school. Ideas were wide-ranging: Could the campus be self-funding, perhaps by growing switchgrass as an alternate fuel? Should we move to an urban campus, and be more energy efficient, and enable students to be car-free? Creating a zero-net energy facility is the goal of some. Should Conway offer online instruction? Since, as Carrie Makover ‘86 stated, certificates are the new diplomas, perhaps Conway should offer a certificate program to supplement the degree. Satellite partnerships with other institutions was another option raised.
Conway’s focus on communication and humanities has been nurtured by four remarkable teachers: only Asheley (Randy) Griffith (1987–1993) was missing for this group shot of Richard Williams (1979–1987), Maureen Buchanan Jones (1993–2003) and Ken Byrne (2003–present ).
The discussion morphed into strategies for helping recent graduates find meaningful work in a depressed economy, and ways to enable more students to attend without encumbering a huge debt. Strategies include lining up post-graduate internships and partnering with other institutions, but as always, past graduates and clients provide the richest network of contacts for future employment. Alums from earlier classes were delighted to share memories with these three formidable professors: Don Walker, Richard Williams, and Walt Cudnohufsky. 40
The Conway School, 1972–2012
A Shared History and a Shared Vision
ecause the Conway School’s intensive program lasts just ten months, there is little overlap between classes. Our graduates, now numbering 600, are scattered throughout forty-five states and thirteen countries. There is only so much an occasional publication such as this one can do to maintain the strength of connection among Conway colleagues. That’s why gatherings such as this reunion are so important: they remind us of our shared vision, a common educational mission, and a commitment to design and planning that emulates and fits the natural systems in which we work. Participants left energized and inspired: • What was obvious to me is that the Conway School is making a difference. I was very impressed by the accomplishments of the graduates I met at the reunion. – Ed Fuller ’73 • How inspiring to see the spectrum of ways that Conway alumni are making a difference on the land and in communities all over the world! It seems that the school is getting better each year. –Lily Jacobson ’10 • It is impossible to appreciate the breadth of talent and enterprise of a few hundred people until they are all gathered together in person…. You would be hardpressed to find a more versatile and varied group of people doing so much with their ten months’ worth of Conway experience. –Hope (Ali) Crolius ’89 • We reconnected to our roots in the community of people who share our history and vision.… We were energized by the knowledge and wisdom they had gained. And we were inspired by their creative efforts and hard fought accomplishments. Most of all, we tapped into our deep collective spirit for the encouragement and strength to go further. We refilled our tanks with hope. – Peter Van Buren ’82
As is evident in “Hiking the Leeward Hills” – the selections taken from thirty years of con’text compiled in this report—there is also continuity over time. When the
school speaks of real projects for real clients, or stresses the importance of communication skills, or struggles with the very name of the school, these conversations have a forty-year history. Despite changes in leadership, in environmental challenges, in design and planning technology, and in student demographics, important things remain the same: • The Conway fortieth anniversary gathered together alums from all ages and stages of the school. It was uplifting to see that even though various teachers may have taught at different times, the core values of the school resonate strongly through each class, 1970s to the present. For me, those core values are the greatest bond that connect alums with each other, and which we share in our work and other relationships. – Melissa Carll ’11 • I found fascinating the juxtaposition of change, continuity and consistency over the years.… So much has changed, yet the absolute core and foundation of Walt’s idea has held fast, stewarded and developed by Don and Paul and all of the other faculty members, as well as the trustees who have obviously taken their role quite seriously.… I’m so proud (and humbled) to have been part of this place. – Susan Van Buren ’82 If anything was missing, it was more time to connect informally, to network, to meet graduates from other classes, to share ideas and resources and stories, and to discuss the challenges and opportunities their businesses are facing. While nearly half of those responding to the post-reunion survey wish this could happen every four to five years, perhaps a better idea is to strengthen regional connections. Alums in the New York area are discussing a regional gathering; when Paul Hellmund visited Portland, Oregon this year, and Portland, Maine last year, groups gathered to discuss the future of the school with him. Contact the school if you’d like to coordinate a regional gathering in your area. Better yet, come for a visit whenever you are in the area. The welcome mat is out.
FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
Sustaining a Community of Life-long Learners
he fortieth anniversary and all-school reunion did much to “rekindle the fire” of the Conway community. As Peter Van Buren wrote, “we reconnected to our roots” and “tapped into our deep collective spirit” to move forward. We want to continue the momentum generated by this remarkable gathering. Our goals as a school include supporting Conway alumni in life-long learning and professional advancement, and encouraging an expanded sense of community across the classes/years. There are many ways in which you can participate in meeting this goal.
Follow a year Amy Nyman ’13 and a few of her classmates are on a mission. They are using Instagram to compile a photo essay of a year as a graduate student at the Conway School. Taken together, the photos present a fun and sometimes quirky take on what it is to be a Conway grad student. See the photos on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ ConwaySchool.
Join us at upcoming events • Friday, March 1: Winter term student project presentations • Friday, May 31: Spring term student project presentations • Saturday, June 29: Graduation Check our online calendar at tinyurl.com/ ConwayCalendar for more information and updates.
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Share your news! In early spring 2013, we will be sending you the next issue of con’text, focusing on last year’s projects and the school’s 40th graduation, and sharing school and alum news. Please share your news with us so that we may include it, and update your contact information, at tinyurl.com/ AlumNews2012. 2013 Alum Survey In early 2013, we will begin the next self-study leading to the ten-year report to our accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. An important part of the self-study relies on the evaluation of our graduates of Conway’s program and how it prepared you for the work you are doing. In January, we will ask you to complete an important—and brief—survey. We hope you will respond quickly and frankly. Has your contact information recently changed? Let us know at tinyurl.com/AlumNews2012. Career resources for alums Our alums are a remarkable resource for recent graduates. Are you looking for a job? Hiring? Have advice to share with recent alums? Questions for others in the field? Join the conversation online. Our Conway School Alumni LinkedIn Group is an online networking and resource group for alumni, students, board members, staff, and faculty of The Conway School who are interested in building professional networks. Recently, we’ve been talking about recent projects, seeking recommendations for local land surveyors, and sharing resources. Conway Career Resources, available to Conway alums, is a virtual home for job and internship postings; news of design competitions, conferences, and events; links to career planning websites; and advice from others in the field. Please contact us at email@example.com to gain access to this resource; be sure to include your name and class year in your request.
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Drawing Lessons Forty Years of Design Education at the Conway School
A five-hour session (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) that includes lunch and a woodlands walk with our faculty ecologist, on:
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JANE ROY BROWN Foreword by Paul Cawood Hellmund
Journalist Jane Roy Brown interviewed past and present students, faculty, and staff to paint a vivid picture of this unique school and its evolution.
$40 at: www.csld.edu
FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY REPORT
The Conway School Staff
Paul Cawood Hellmund, Director and President Mollie Babize ’84, Associate Director David Nordstrom ’04, Associate Director Priscilla Novitt ’07, Development Coordinator
Paul Cawood Hellmund, Professor, Design and Planning Ken Byrne, Professor, Humanities Kim Erslev, Professor, Landscape Design and Graphics Jono Neiger ’03, Professor, Regenerative Design Elizabeth Farnsworth, Conservation Biology Adjunct Bill Lattrell, Ecology Adjunct Glenn Motzkin, Ecology Adjunct Keith Zaltzberg, Digital Design Instructor David Jacke ’84, Master Teacher, Permaculture Darrel Morrison, Master Teacher, Design Joel Russell, Master Teacher, Conservation Law Erik van Lennep ’83, Master Teacher, Sustainability
BOARD of TRUSTEES
Virginia Sullivan ’86, Chair, Learning by the Yard, Conway, MA Allen Rossiter, Vice Chair, Lincoln, MA Mitch Anthony, Advertising and Design Consultant, Greenfield, MA John S. Barclay, Wildlife Conservation Center, UCONN, Storrs, CT Rachel Bird Anderson, Public Health Professional, Minneapolis, MN Joey Brode, Joey Brode Consulting, Boston, MA Richard K. Brown, Sheffield, MA Kerri Culhane ’10, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, NYC Carol Franklin, Andropogon Associates, Philadelphia, PA Nicholas Lasoff ’05, Lasoff Landscape Design, Bennington, VT Carla Oleska, Women’s Fund of Western Mass., Easthampton, MA Nitin Patel, Cytel, Inc., Cambridge, MA Bob Pura, President, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA Dolores Root, Root & Associates, Shelburne Falls, MA Keith Ross, LandVest, Warwick, MA Aaron Schlechter ’01, Environmental Consultant, Wilton, CT Timothy A. Umbach, Northampton, MA Susan Van Buren ’82, TerraLogos Energy Group, Baltimore, MD Seth Wilkinson ’99, Wilkinson Ecological Design, Orleans, MA
Emeritus Trustees David Bird (d. 2007) Gordon H. Shaw ’89 Bruce Stedman ’78
Walter Cudnohufsky, Founder; Director, 1972–1992 Donald L. Walker, Jr., Director, 1992–2005
The Conway School, 1972–2012
Fortieth Anniversary Report
Editors: Paul Cawood Hellmund, Mollie Babize ’84, Priscilla Novitt ‘07 Design: Kate Cholakis ‘10, Paul Cawood Hellmund Proofing: Nick Lasoff ’05, Carla Cooke ‘92 Production: Hadley Printing, Holyoke, MA Photographers: Many photographers contributed images to this report. A few were professionals hired by the Conway School or who donated their time, including David Brooks Andrews and Bill Regan. Historic photos accumulated at the school over time, sometimes anonymously. Mollie Babize, Rachel Edwards, Priscilla Novitt, Amy Nyman, and Sandy Ross contributed images from the fortieth weekend.
Photos + Comments From the Fortieth Celebration “My favorite part was the sense of inspiration I took away from the weekend.”
“The Celebration will stand out as a major highlight of 2012 for me.”
“The sense of a larger Conway community was a grounding experience.”
“It was extremely rejuvenating, affirming, and educational!”
Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design
ConwaySchool 332 S. Deerfield Road | P.O. Box 179 Conway, Massachusetts 01341 | www.csld.edu
Address Service Requested
MORE THAN 175 CONWAY ALUMS AND FRIENDS GATHERED FOR A WEEKEND-LONG CELEBRATION OF THE SCHOOL’S FORTY-YEAR HISTORY IN LATE SEPTEMBER 2012. HALF OF THEM (PICTURED HERE) RETURNED TO THE CAMPUS ON SUNDAY TO DISCUSS THE SCHOOL’S PROMISING FUTURE.
Published on Dec 6, 2012
This document commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the Conway School, the only institution of its kind in North America. Its focus is su...