Page 1

How can we prepare our coastlines for the sea change ahead?

con'text Magazine of The Conway School


Faculty Paul Cawood Hellmund President, Director, and Professor, Design + Planning

Board of Trustees Virginia Sullivan ’86, Chair Learning by the Yard Conway, MA

Ken Byrne Professor, Humanities

Allen Rossiter, Vice Chair Lincoln, MA

Kim Erslev Professor, Landscape Design + Graphics

Mitch Anthony Clarity Northampton, MA

Jono Neiger ’03 Professor, Regenerative Design

John S. Barclay Wildlife Conservation Center UCONN, Storrs, CT

Elizabeth Farnsworth Conservation Biology Adjunct

Rachel Bird Anderson Public Health Professional Minneapolis, MN

Bill Lattrell Ecology Adjunct Glenn Motzkin Ecology Adjunct Keith Zaltzberg Digital Design Instructor Master Teachers David Jacke ’84 Permaculture Darrel Morrison Design Joel Russell Conservation Law Erik Van Lennep ’83 Sustainability Administration Mollie Babize ’84 Associate Director for Admissions + Communication David Nordstrom ’04 Associate Director for Finance, Operations, + Community Projects Priscilla Novitt ’07 Development Coordinator Past Directors Walter Cudnohufsky Founder, Director (1972–1992) Donald Walker ’79 Director (1992–2005)

The Conway School of Landscape Design 322 S. Deerfield Road PO Box 179 Conway, MA 01341-0179 (413) 369-4044 www.csld.edu

Joey Brode Joey Brode Consulting Boston, MA Kerri Culhane '10 Two Bridges Neighborhood Council New York, NY Carol Franklin Andropogon Associates Philadelphia, PA Nicholas Lasoff ’05 Lasoff Landscape Design Bennington, VT Carla Oleska Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts Easthampton, MA Bob Pura Greenfield Community College Greenfield, MA Dolores Root Center for Creative Solutions Shelburne Falls, MA Keith Ross LandVest Warwick, MA Timothy A. Umbach Northampton, MA Seth Wilkinson ’99 Wilkinson Ecological Design Orleans, MA Emeritus Trustees David Bird (d. 2007) Gordon H. Shaw ’89 Bruce Stedman ’78 Advisers John Hanning ’82 Montpelier, VT

Nicholas T. Lasoff Editor

Richard Hubbard Shelburne Falls, MA

Lilly Pereira, Murre Creative Design

David Lynch ’85 Watertown, MA

Mollie Babize Ken Byrne Paul Cawood Hellmund Nicholas T. Lasoff Genevieve Lawlor ’11 Priscilla Novitt David Nordstrom Contributing writers © con’text is published by The Conway School, ©2013 by The Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc. All rights reserved.

Amy Klippenstein ’95 Hawley, MA Carrie Makover ’86 Fairfield, CT Darrel Morrison New York, NY Ruth Parnall Conway, MA Joel Russell Northampton, MA Steven Stang Simsbury, CT


Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

ConwaySchool The mission of The Conway School is to explore, develop, practice, and teach design of the land that is ecologically and socially sustainable.

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

con'text Magazine of The Conway School



04 Anticipating the Rising Tide Conway alums address the coastal challenges of climate change.

08 Bird’s-Eye View:

Conway’s “Fourth Term”

Jesse Froelich ’08 reports on the David Bird International Service Fellowship that took her to the remote Prapat Agung peninsula in Bali.

11 The Design of Humanities

Celebrating the art of communication and a decade of “the teacher who sits on my shoulder and grins.”


02 From the Director

Sketch by Paul Cawood Hellmund. See his comments on the beauty and power of coasts, page 2.

ON THE COVER Designed and installed by Wilkinson Ecological Design in 2010, this bioengineering project was severely tested in winter 2012 by a series of high-intensity storms not seen in decades on Cape Cod. Despite widespread and severe erosion in many nearby locations, only modest repairs were needed in spring 2013, demonstrating that plant-focused bioengineering effectively supports natural processes as they struggle to adapt to rapidly changing tidal ranges and frequency of intense storms. PHOTO: WILKINSON ECOLOGICAL DESIGN

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

Paul Cawood Hellmund calls for a “deeper level of planning and design.”

03 Perspectives

Why one member of the class of 2013 chose Conway.

14 Portfolio

Student projects focus on community form, productive landscapes, and wayfinding.

20 Perspectives

Erik Van Lennep ’83 founds an NGO to focus on Mediterranean climates worldwide.

21 Conway Currents

News of and from the school

26 Commencement

Carol Franklin addresses “The Subversive Designer” at our fortieth graduation.

28 Field Notes News from alums

38 Annual Report

A summary of operations for the 2011–2012 fiscal year.

40 Looking Ahead

Expanding our collaborative network.

//2013// con'text 1

f rom t h e di r e c to r

A Call for a “Deeper Level of Planning and Design”

“Hurricane Sandy gives us all pause,

Conway graduates are on the forefront

especially in thinking about the long-term

of this work, right on the dynamic line

sustainability of our waterfront commu-

where our old ways of building and living

nity and the deeper level of planning

are being assaulted by dramatic changes

and design necessary to keep residents

some are only now beginning to admit.

in place and safe in this neighborhood.”

Never have deeper levels of planning and design been more needed—especially at the interface where the sea meets the land.

I grew up on the Isthmus of Panama,

This was how one community group that

where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

works at the southern tip of Manhattan

are separated by just an hour’s drive. As

responded after that devastating storm

a kid I spent endless hours in and near

of October 2012. This “deeper level of

these two oceans, catching the waves

planning and design” is of paramount

and combing the beaches. Coming to

concern to Kerri Culhane ’10, associate

Conway nearly eight years ago reposi-

executive director of that group, the Two

tioned me from America’s heartland back

Bridges Neighborhood Council, which

closer to saltwater. During a recent visit

serves economically, culturally, and

to a small Maine island, I was reminded

ethnically diverse neighborhoods, many

of the awesome power and beauty—and

in Zone A, the lowest lying area with the

inspiration—of coasts. Not only were

highest flood risk in New York City.

the nearly infinitely varied juxtaposi-

“On that dark evening,” her agency

tions of plants, water, and rocks pure

wrote, “Hurricane Sandy’s nearly four-

inspiration for an ecological designer,

teen-foot high storm surge flowed up

but the unrelenting attack and retreat

and over and into homes and businesses,

of the ocean were a constant reminder


Send a note to Paul at:

hellmund@ csld.edu

wreaking havoc on

of an obligation to deal directly with the

the neighborhood’s

dynamic forces around us. With climate

essential infrastructure

change—or climate collapse, as David Orr

. . . The human impacts

calls it—we are seeing more of the raw

were even greater—

power of nature everywhere and a call for

lives lost, homes

a “deeper level of planning and design.”

destroyed, and many people isolated and cut off from food, water, and medicine.”

With Warmest Best Wishes,

Never have deeper levels of planning and design been more needed—especially at the interface where the sea meets the land. We are being forced posthaste to reinvent a future for our


presence on the planet and it is looking less and less like what we thought it

P.S. With this issue of con’text we

would. The timely lead article of this

introduce a fresh, new format. Let

issue of con’text is innovative design

us know what you think of it:

for coastal ecosystems. Kerri and other


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


Mid-Year Reflections of a Conway Student

Austin native Noah Zimmerman chose Conway’s applied approach over a more traditional landscape architecture program.

A Texan Lands in Conway “I learn best in an environment that is guided but not micromanaged, where I am gaining knowledge that is applicable towards a foreseen goal . . . from teachers who are passionate about the information they are conveying.” So began Noah Zimmerman’s application to the Conway School. Noah is no stranger to education. Since graduating with a degree in anthropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2005, he has taken horticulture, welding, and web design classes, two home design-build classes at Yestermorrow, and was enrolled in the master of landscape architecture program at the University of Texas at Austin. “I thought UT would be a good fit,” he says, but “the curriculum was too steeped in theory, the coursework was overly specialized, and the overall program seemed too compartmentalized.” In addition, although his class was smaller than Conway’s, he discovered the large scale of the university did not allow it to be as forward thinking as he had anticipated. “At UT,

I learned that I was more of a craftsman than a theorist,” a self-realization confirmed by his enjoyment of the hands-on, practical education he received at Yestermorrow, as well as his experience as forester and carpenter in Vermont and his work on a farm in Puerto Rico. Drawn to Conway by its projectdriven curriculum, Noah says, “I knew from the first week it exceeded my expectations. Right away, faculty was taking us out in the world, showing us things, having us make mistakes, sketch, give presentations.” As the year has progressed, Noah continues to be impressed with the broad exposure both to ideas and to projects as well as the lack of dogmatism at Conway. “I appreciate that Conway doesn’t say something should look one way, or be designed in a certain way. Instead, Conway always has someone who asks, why? Why is this a better solution?” With his ten months at Conway nearing an end, Noah reflects on his experience. He appreciates the skills he has gained in working with different computer programs, and also how much his sketching has improved. “Sketching is vitally important,” he says. “It will never be replaced by a computer—it is so important to express ideas visually.” On a professional level, his sense of confidence has grown. “I have a better sense of what resilience means. I feel like I can be a part of a discussion on global climate change.” Noah recalls a speaker he heard at UT, who said “If you choose this field, you’d better love it!” That concerned Noah at the time; he thought, “What if I don’t?” But then he reflects on the teachers, guest speakers and professionals he’s met during his year at Conway. “These people we are talking with now? They love their work!” ¨

Conway always has someone who asks, why? Why is this a better solution? //2013// con'text 3

We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA State of the Union Address to Congress, February 12, 2013

4 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Planning + Design PHOTO: U.S. Landscape FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE NATIONAL DIGITAL LIBRARY

Rısıng Tıde Anticipating the

Conway Alums Address the Coastal Impacts of Climate Change

“In just this one estuary, we’ve had millions of dollars of damage this winter. Coastlines have retreated ten feet, stairways are gone, plantings are destroyed. Much of the damage is not even known yet.” Seth Wilkinson ’99 is no stranger to storm surge impact. His firm, Wilkinson Ecological Design, is based in Orleans, Massachusetts, a mid-Cape Cod community whose summer residents have not yet returned. “Coastal property owners will have disappointing news when they return this summer,” he says. Coastal stabilization is a part of every project Wilkinson Ecological undertakes, as they anticipate a rise in sea levels and more frequent superstorms. A number of factors are linked to climate change, including what Seth calls a “slacking drift current” in the North Atlantic, due to supercooled water coming off the Greenland ice shelf. The drift current is like a ridgeline in the ocean that fans out over many miles as the greater volume of water slows the current. He has seen the impact of this increase in water volume in the protected estuaries of the Cape. “Even halophytic communities [those adapted to saline conditions] are struggling,” Seth reports. Vast areas of hightide bush, a succulent shrub in the aster family that grows in the saline soils of salt marshes and shorelines, are dying, he reports, either flooded out or just exposed to too much salt.


The salt marshes are leapfrogging—low salt marsh plants jumping upland of high marsh communities—in an effort to stay ahead of rising sea levels. All along the eastern seaboard, Conway alums are addressing the challenges of rising tides, increasingly powerful storms, and saltwater intrusion. Annie Cox ’10 organized a Coastal Training Program at the Wells Reserve in Maine, for public and private land use professionals and planners to learn about climate adaptation efforts for coastal communities in New Hampshire and Maine. Karen Dunn ’11 sits on the Southeast Advisory Board of the 10,000-member North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit conservation organization focused on protecting and restoring the North Carolina coast through education, advocacy, and habitat preservation and restoration. Dead and dying pine trees in coastal marshes exhibit the first effects of saltwater intrusion, she reports, and beach erosion is worsening. Karen believes the public education and volunteer efforts to restore oyster reefs and salt marshes are essential to protect North Carolina’s 300-mile coastline. Working at the intersection of the public and private sectors, Robbin Peach ’78 is the executive director of the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Sustainability (CIOCS). From her office at the University of Massachusetts in Boston,

//2013// con'text 5

Seth Wilkinson, center, explains the process of planting coconut fiber logs with native salt marsh grasses to the Conway class of 2013 during a site visit.

she organized a Global Conference on Climate Change, Ocean Impacts, and International Security in May 2012. A white paper resulting from that three-day conference summarizes a “rising tide of new security issues” resulting from climate change. “Climate change is a threat multiplier,” her report begins. The world’s oceans are inextricably tied not just to military security but human security. As agricultural, economic, social, and personal security is challenged, populations are destabilized, resulting in political unrest. Extreme weather events, melting polar ice, sea level rise, along with ocean acidification, deoxygenation, and warming “pose critical threats to human populations, to natural ecosystems, and to national and global stability,” according to Robbin’s white paper. The ecological, economic and social impact of Superstorm Sandy made this clear: hundreds of miles of coastland were inundated, and thousands of homes destroyed or damaged to the tune of $60 to $80 billion. Financial, transportation, and utility systems were shut down. Rising sea temperatures and increased nutrient runoff result in an increasing number of dead zones in the ocean, as oxygen levels plummet. Ocean acidification is accelerating, as the level of carbon dioxide dissolved in oceans increase. The increased acidity makes waters more corrosive, which affects ocean ecosystems and built structures alike. Noting that the U.S. military has been actively anticipating and planning for climate change, the report cites “a significant failure in governance in many countries . . . to recognize and respond to the complex interactions between climate and security systems.” Despite this grim picture, the CIOCS white paper focuses on economic and social opportunities, with a call for improved planning and coordination among a broad range of stakeholders. Bioengineering Group in Salem, Massachusetts, has taken a lead in addressing the coastal challenges of climate change, clearly benefitting from this economic opportunity. Founded in 1992 by Wendi Goldsmith ’90, the firm has taken an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to creating resilient communities. According to Wendi, “New scales and types of green infrastructure measures have begun to enter professional practice in relation to storm surge and flood impacts, especially for

climate change adaptation solutions.” Hybrid measures use vegetative communities to buffer structural elements that could not otherwise withstand the forces that increased storm activity could impose. At the larger scale, wetlands, dunes, oyster reefs, and mangroves help to stabilize fragile or dynamic landforms. Post-Katrina New Orleans provided Bioengineering Group’s biggest project to date: a collaborative venture with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private-sector engineering, science, and construction professionals to create “the greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System.” The Lake Borgne Surge Barrier—a massive, forty-two-foot-high, hydraulically operated gate—was designed to withstand 100-year floods and reduce the impact of 500-year storms. Of this project, Wendi writes, “Recognizing that no hard infrastructure could perform well in the long term without being surrounded and shielded by healthy coastal wetlands and protective landforms such as barrier islands, these functions were considered as core functional elements.” By providing multiple lines of defense, Wendi believes this model can be replicated in other coastal cities that need to adapt to climate change. Bioengineering Group has collaborated on smaller and more local projects in similar fashion. As part of a larger project to eliminate combined sewer overflows to the Alewife Brook by the City of Cambridge, they designed a constructed stormwater management basin that could simultaneously meet habitat and recreational functions envisioned by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Designing for coastal stability while restoring ecological systems and habitat is not easy, says Seth Wilkinson. These are dynamic systems, and the coastline will change. But despite the challenges of winter 2013, Seth says their plantfocused restoration efforts have weathered the storms well, where mechanical fasteners have failed. “It’s encouraging to see,” he says. “There is need for some repairs and maintenance, but that is normal for bioengineering projects.” In every project Wilkinson Ecological undertakes on Cape Cod and the islands, Seth anticipates the migration of salt marshes, inserting supplemental plantings of native grasses. “The marshes need to keep moving, just like sharks,” he says. “They won’t make it if they come up against a seawall, so we need to create alternatives to seawalls, a more natural shoreline that continues to provide a means to hold sediment and provides them someplace to go.” Although he has an undergraduate education in environmental studies, Seth credits his Conway education with a larger understanding of natural systems. The process of site analysis, understanding the processes and all the different forces at work, underlies his work to this day. In addition, he cites the experience dealing with municipal boards and citizen groups on the larger team projects as essential training. “Massachusetts has rigorous regulatory processes which present challenging hurdles for every project we undertake.” Seth encourages more Conway alums to pursue work in ecological restoration, and in fact he has hired several. His firm keeps growing and, even so, is having a hard time keeping up with all the projects. It’s a great field, he says, full of opportunity for those who want to help coastal communities prepare for the challenges of a changing climate. -

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


to determine whether these more highly

are constantly being degraded by the

maintained (and largely privately held)

force of wave action, and in fact actually

areas impede migration. “There hasn’t

increase the scouring by wave energy at

been any real study of what happens in

the base of the wall to the point where

these urban and suburban areas,” she

the walls fail. “That’s what happened in

Whereas Wendi Goldsmith followed

says, adding that it will be important

lower Manhattan with Superstorm Sandy.

her Yale degree in geophysics and

to raise public awareness of the role of

The problem ends up being worse than

environmental science with a year at

salt marshes.

it would have been without the wall.”

Marsh Migration along the Long Island Sound

the Conway School, Kate Gehron ’09

Kate believes it is important to have

Christina is looking at the physics

has gone the other direction. Currently

this kind of research be visible, to have

behind storm surges. She hopes to

enrolled at the Yale School of Forestry

it be a part of the community’s work.

combine ecological modeling with 3D

and Environmental Studies, Kate will

“Any coastal adaptation plan must be

modeling to explore various methods

spend the summer of 2013 studying

tied into a community plan,” she says,

to dissipate wave action. “I’m exploring

marsh migration along the coast of

“and decisions need to be made on

how the interface between the built

Long Island Sound.

particularity of place.”

urban environment and rising sea levels

Salt marshes attenuate wave energy.

Kate cites her Conway education as

can be rethought.”

As more frequent and violent storms

the reason she looks to place-based

are anticipated, broader areas of salt

solutions; she is not interested in the

between built and biological spaces as

marsh are necessary to decrease the

more general environmental policy she

a transect, with a combination of built

energy of storm surges. As sea levels

finds in much of her program. “We are

infrastructure and natural processes

rise, Kate explains, salt marshes in tem-

facing some hard decisions ahead on

to mitigate wave action. Her research

perate areas are drowning. High marsh

issues surrounding private property.”

focuses on the concept of surface

areas can migrate as the mean high-water mark keeps rising and salt water kills off the upland vegetation, but if the necessary sediment layer does not rise as quickly as sea levels then the low

Her model looks at the gradient

roughness at various scales: the bottom

Built and Biological Spaces as a Transect

marsh community will slowly die.

of the ocean or topography of the land, the height and structure of vegetation, and the granular size of the substrate. “At each scale you get a different characterization of surface roughness,”

Christina Puerto '12 is pursuing a

she explains. “My goal is to understand

England coastline is currently mowed,

master of science en route to a PhD

at what scale the surface of the salt

including ball fields, playgrounds, golf

in architectural sciences with a con-

marsh significantly decreases wave

courses, and back yards. Kate’s field-

centration in built ecologies, at the

energy. At what scale does it make

work will compare migration rates in

Case Center for Architecture, Science

a difference to intervene and increase

woody areas and turf lawn landscapes

and Ecology. The program is a part of

surface roughness?”

Much of the property along the New

the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in

explore the larger question of the

and Merrill, based in New York City.

importance of biodiversity in an urban

A scientist by nature, Christina is


context. She ponders, “How can we live

exploring how densely developed urban

with fluctuating and volatile hydraulic

areas will address higher water levels

systems, with more adaptation and

and storm surges. “Simply restoring the

less defense?”

marsh is not feasible, given the space

The ability to think across scales

available,” she explains. “An ecological

is something Christina credits to her

system requires a certain degree of wild-

year at Conway. In addition, Conway’s

ness, and these are active ports. You

design process of continuing to explore

can’t go into the built landscape and

alternatives, evaluating them and adjust-

undevelop it in favor of salt marshes. How

ing them, is another helpful tool she

do you work with something the width of

took from Conway. Both she and Kate

the East River?”

also say the emphasis on presentation

In urban areas like New York City, As sea levels rise, salt marshes are drowning. Phragmites control is another challenge.

The topic of Christina's PhD will

collaboration with Skidmore Owings

skills—being able to articulate the project

the natural shoreline ecology has been

challenges and proposed solutions—

replaced with sea walls. These structures

has been invaluable.

//2013// con'text 7

Bird Fellow, Jesse Froelich, at the Tirta Temple outside Ubud, where Balinese bathe in the holy water.

DAVID BIRD FELLOWSHIP In honor of David Bird, a longtime friend and former trustee of the Conway School, his family and friends established the David Bird International Service Fellowship to provide opportunities for recent Conway graduates to undertake public service projects outside the United States, through which they can further their design and planning skills while supporting NGOs and local agencies in participating countries. Since 2009, Bird fellows have been placed in Panama, Bali, and Southeast Asia. Jesse Froelich ’08 was the 2011–2012 David Bird International Service Fellow to Bali, Indonesia in the fall of 2011. Elizabeth Cooper ’10 returned in spring 2013 from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she developed guidelines for planning and implementing green schoolyard projects. We look forward to publishing Elizabeth’s report in an upcoming issue of con’text. 8 The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

Bali Bird’s-Eye View:

My “Fourth Term” at Conway Known for art, yoga, spiritual retreats and, alas, “Eat, Pray, Love,” Ubud—a traditional village near the middle of the island of Bali—is where I spent the majority of my six-week fellowship. It was a great place to absorb the “Baliness” of Bali. I discovered something new every time I walked up and down Jalan Hanoman, the main street in-the-middle-of-it-all. Sidewalks are lined with parked motorbikes, and colorfully littered with the twice-daily offerings that every Balinese family makes to the spirits: palm-sized woven baskets filled with bright flower petals, incense and holy water, left to dissolve into the streetscape after the sacred moment of offering passes. A constant buzz of motorbikes sings “Flight of the Bumblebees” to all passersby, in a weaving negotiation with cars, trucks, and the odd bicycle. It is impossible to perceive the boundaries of Ubud because it bleeds into one artists’ village after another in an endless mini-opolis along the narrow roads of Bali. The island is densely built-out, but with the traditional indoor-outdoor architecture, ubiquitous temples, scattered rice paddies, river crossings, and no buildings reaching above the treeline, the urbanity somehow blends into the vegetation creating a sense that one never leaves the jungle. On the streets of Ubud, I was greeted daily by the duality of Balinese culture: tourists and expatriates peacefully coexisting with the locals—though in very separate worlds— connected only by commerce (or so Jesse’s full report it seems). In many can be read online: tinyurl.com/balireport ways this duality of culture defined my fellowship experience—for better or for worse—with a project that inhabited and served the world of western visitors. Though I spent most of my time in Ubud, my project site was located in the


remote Prapat Agung peninsula within in West Bali National Park. In Bali, the National Park designation is one solely of land preservation with little emphasis on public access or tourism. Geography, more than anything else, is responsible for the differences between West Bali National Park and the rest of the island. A string of volcanic peaks runs parallel along Bali’s northern shore, separating the north coast from the rest of Bali—a striking partition between ecosystems and cultures. The national park is a 47,000-acre monsoon forest protected by Indonesia’s National Ministry of Forestry. It is the last bit of true wilderness that remains in Bali. The approach to the park descends the northern slopes of the mountains, exiting the tropics and entering an arid monsoon forest at the tail end of its dry season. Parts of it look almost like African savannah. A ferry crosses Terima Bay to the eastern shore of the Prapat Agung peninsula. There are no roads on the peninsula, and its only amenity is a rustic-chic luxury resort, the Waka


Shorea. It was to be my The concept for student dorms includes natural home for the next ten days. ventilation through a My client, Ben Tamblyn, raised platform foundation, rooftop rainwater a British native, is founder catchment (stored in and executive director of barrels), and minimal impact to the in-sand the Odyssey Institute, a ecosystem including learning adventure comvegetated swales to catch additional runoff. pany that specializes in overnight outdoor education excursions for international students. The organization’s mission is “to contribute to a global culture of sustainability through the provision of customized learning adventures in the fields of environmental education and cultural studies.” Programs include experiential ecology, arts, cultural studies, and service projects. As part of the company’s plan for growth, Ben intends to lease a hectare of land on which to build a residential facility for hosting international school groups of up to fifty students, the Tropical Ecology Adventure Centre (TEAC). My project was to recommend a site boundary for TEAC, conduct initial site analysis, develop preliminary

//2013// con’text 9

Coastal mangrove patch and seagrass bed will protect the sensitive coral reef that extends into the ocean from the TEAC site.


East Not to Scale


Mangrove Forest

Coastal Mangrove Patch


design alternatives based on the Odyssey Institute’s programmatic needs and Ben’s desire to develop the site in an ecologically sensitive manner. My first step was to define development goals for the TEAC site: 1. Environmental Education: Provide access to a remote natural environment for educational purposes, exposing students to unique coastal habitats and engendering values of conservation of sensitive ecosystems. 2. Land Stewardship: Serve as stewards of the TEAC site and surrounding area through integrated educational programming, including monitoring and restoration activities. 3. Ecologically Integrated Design: Develop a facility that allows access to and interaction with the natural landscape without having negative impacts on the host ecosystems. When we arrived in the national park, Ben and I were met at the boat landing by Gove DePuy ’02, seven-year resident of Bali, and facilitator of my fellowship experience. Gove was instrumental in helping to define project parameters. He also supplied me with essential materials such as a thick book on the ecology of Bali and a GPS tracking device. After two days getting to know the TEAC site with Ben and Gove, the two of them returned to Ubud and I continued project work on my own. Each day I tried to go on some sort of excursion, though I was limited because the resort required a guide to leave their concession boundary. Some days I would hike down to the TEAC site to make observations at different times of day. Twice I ventured on mountain bike all the way to Gilimanuk, the port town at the opposite side of the peninsula that faces Java less

Seagrass Bed

than one mile away across the Bali Strait. With Gove’s GPS in tow, these bike rides allowed me to map the trails on the peninsula, showing overland routes to the TEAC site. (Though the site’s primary access would continue to be by boat, emergency routes to the road would be important.) The rides also allowed me to observe the cultural differences between this part of Bali and the rest. After ten days I had collected about as much information as would be practical, and returned to my homestay in Ubud. With plenty of ideas on how to shape a project (and needing only the discipline to get it into a presentable format), I spent most of my days in Clear Cafe, a lovely restaurant with great food, great atmosphere, great Internet, and an uncanny patience with westerners who seemed to think they had something important to do on a laptop. At Clear Cafe, the “Tropical Ecology Adventure Centre Ecological Development Guide” was born. The guide somewhat resembles a plan I might have done for spring term at Conway and includes seven sections: a general introduction, regional context, site boundaries and characteristics, development principles and recommendations, technology briefs (elaboration on rainwater catchment and solar power), three site design concepts, and some ideas for integrated educational curriculum that ties in to the ecological features of the site.

¦ Bird Fellowship:

tinyurl.com/ davidbirdfellowship For more about Living Routes:


Coral Reef

Though the project was ideal in terms of utilizing the skills I learned at the Conway School, I was nagged by the question of whom I was serving with this International Service Fellowship. My fellowship project was completely subsumed by the western overlay onto Balinese culture, seemingly to the exclusion of the local Balinese population. On the other hand, Ben and the Odyssey Institute would be true stewards of the site (which would otherwise receive minimal attention), so while not in direct service to the Balinese people, there was the sense that the project would contribute to greater care of the land and propagation of environmental values through education. For this fantastic opportunity to learn, travel, and serve, I owe many thanks to the family of David Bird and to the Conway School. I also send gratitude to Gove DePuy and Ben Tamblyn for hosting and facilitating a tremendous experience, and making me so comfortable in a new place. And finally, a heartfelt terima kasih to those who truly provided me a home: the friendly and welcoming staff of the Dana Sari Homestay in Ubud, at the Waka Shorea Resort in West Bali National Park, and at Clear Cafe in Ubud, which was essentially my home (and definitely my sustenance!) as I cranked out the pages of my “fourth term” Conway project. -

Applications are being reviewed for the 2013–2014 David Bird Fellow. Applicants could choose from one of five predetermined project sites in Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Panama, or Peru. Destinations in Brazil, India, and Peru are offered in collaboration with Living Routes, a program that provides integrative educational programs within sustainable communities.

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

The Design of Humanities How can I tell what I think till I see what I say? —E. M. Forster

Former humanities professors Richard Williams, left, and Maureen Buchanan Jones join Ken Byrne at Conway’s fortieth anniversary celebration.

Since the advent of the Conway School in 1972, the teaching of humanities has always had a central role in the design curriculum. Founding Director Walter Cudnohufsky gives both a personal and a professional explanation for this. As a self-described “farm kid from Michigan,” he realized, “In order to make your way in the world, you need to be articulate.” A good idea will not see the light of day, he believes, if not expressed clearly. “There are multiple ways to get at information. Graphics are one way to explore ideas,” he says, “and language provides another.” He calls it a “happy wondrous dance,” this ability to employ two languages: “Having a second language gives you a choice, each one informs the other, and going back and forth (between graphics and words) opens up new understandings.” For that reason, the core faculty has always included a professor of humanities. Richard Williams taught the early classes from 1978 to 1987, and is remembered for his philosophic questions about the meaning of landscape design. “A design education is a life education,” he often said, as he challenged students to dig deeper into the meaning imbued in the landscape—the history, the sense of place, and the relationship humans have had with the land. Asheley Griffith (who many of us know as Randy) provided an early sounding board for Walt when the school was conceived, and served as visiting critic honing presentation skills during “charrette week” rehearsals before joining the faculty from 1987

to 1993. A terrific editor, she provided succinct interventions for individual and team presentations that were timely and, in Walt’s words, “earthshaking.” Walt also recalls the Tuesday afternoon teas Randy would host, with literatureinspired conversations on landscape and myth. Maureen Buchanan Jones took on the role of Conway’s poet laureate as well as counselor, editor, and humanities professor from 1993 to 2003. She also tackled the necessary but unenviable task of formalizing a humanities curriculum as Conway moved from candidacy status to full accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. And her delightful humor—punctuated by an infectious laugh—lightened many a serious session. Her poems often captured in lyrical ways the extraordinary depth of the Conway experience. Ten years ago, Ken Byrne put on the mantle of humanities professor. A quarter of the classes that Conway has graduated has benefited from his guided discussions across an increasingly broad spectrum of topics, everything from canonical works like “The Tragedy of the Commons” to the latest thinking on New Urbanism, overpopulation, and climate change. His students have laughed at his irreverent humor, chafed under his exacting edits, and in the end appreciated the depth of his knowledge and the skill of his teaching. We celebrate the decade that Ken has contributed to Conway and look forward to his working with Conway students for many more years. -

//2013// con’text 11

Ken Byrne THE FIRS T 10 YEAR S van for ten days during the School’s trip to Quebec, Montreal, and Ottawa. My ongoing experience with Ken repeatedly confirmed our sagacity at grabbing him up. Helpfulness, a love of jazz, and the ability to perform with grace and good humor the endless list of tasks that the Conway School expects of each faculty member are among Ken’s endearing qualities. His putting me on to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now radio program, however, is unforgiveable. Since I retired, I cannot start the day without tuning in to be reminded of how despicable and wrongheaded so many individuals of my species continue to be. Let’s start a movement to clone Ken Byrne. —DONALD WALKER ’79, Director 1992–2005


THE MA ZE The works Ken gave us to read and

discuss and write about revealed the depth of his and our humanity to us and changed all of our lives forever. He let us run rampant in the mysteries of the words and concepts before us in the readings he assigned each week. Many of the essays we read and discussed led us into the depths of our souls and into the wilderness, yet somehow Ken quietly guided us back again to our projects and how the topics


related to our work. . . . Ken’s stamina and perseverance spurred us on even when we felt we

During the spring of 2003, Kenneth Byrne responded to an ad requesting

could not go another round. He placed

“a teacher of technical writing, public speaking, and ecologically based

tricky little jokes deep in the maze of

literature.” Ken was one of eighteen applicants but his credentials, publications,

purple edits in the margins of our report

and experience blew the others away with his involvement with geoscience,

texts. We’d read them late at night while

environmental education for the Philippines, and sustainable development

revising our text for the umpteenth time

for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

and laugh out loud and curse him simulta-

At the first trustees’ meeting following Ken’s arrival as a faculty member, he

neously; knowing full well he was making

was lauded as a “valuable addition from the start” and “has already taken on

us better communicators. Ken’s excellence

more than he was supposed to according to his job description.” Some of those

made us excellent and set the bar high

extras included assistance with building shelves and filling them and driving a

forever more. —JULIE WELCH ’11

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




At the end of my interview in March 2010, Ken asked me why I had sunglasses with me when it wasn’t that sunny out, and I first thought, “Who asks that at an interview?” Then I pondered the unsettling theory that, if the sunglasses had proven enough to prompt question, what else will I be challenged on at Conway? The answer, I would learn time and again, was everything, and in no small part by Ken.



devoted to expressing himself deserves the same care in return, and a half-hour job turns into two hours. You send your carefully worded and explained edits to Ken. You are, after all, critiquing the master, and in spite of your more than twenty years of teaching, writing, and editing, you are somewhat apprehensive. Later rather than sooner—yes, even the master pushes a deadline on occasion—you receive his responses: (1) Yes, change that word. (2) No, that’s exactly what I meant to say. (3) You’re right, that’s unclearly stated. Just delete it. (4) NO, you can

Ken’s keen editing eye is at once impressive, humorous, frustrating,

you reckoned with. The care that Ken has

I can’t vouch for every student Ken has

NOT cut anything so that the essay will

and even potentially offensive. He once

ever taught, but I’d wager that I’m not

fit the page. You ask the designer for a

admitted to my class that he edited the

the only one who has these imaginary

few more inches on the page. You have

wedding invitation of a former student

dialogues with him.

no choice, for the master has spoken, and

and sent it back. To many more years

Ken has made all of us deeper thinkers,

with pleasure you return the consideration

of Ken-way, and to many more students

better writers and presenters, and more

that he has given to so many.—NICHOLAS

he inspires through his careful editing,

critical judges of our own work and that


his witty sense of humor, his pet peeves,

of others. He has given us the confidence

and his interest in everything from plant

to speak publically on topics on which we

databases to club rugby games. —AHRON

are not yet experts. He has given us the


confidence to teach ourselves by teaching


others, to realize how much we actually

All that was new to us was new to you,

do know and to be effective communica-

and you presented us with a model

tors and conveyors of that information.

of learning-while-doing that we could




So thank you, Ken Byrne, for your

patience, intelligence, and the best dry

us, and your sense of humor. And most of



all, for forever engraining your pet peeves

heroes, Ken has that superhuman ability

rysm every time we hear the word “sign-

to make you feel like you can do any-

age.” Others cannot control their urge

thing, even when you are both aware that

to blurt out, “It’s SIGNS!” and then run

you are clueless. There is this underlying

away screaming. And there you sit on our

quality—a combination of patience, per-

shoulders, grinning.—JAMIE POTTERN ’12

Like our many unsung Conway School

into our psyches. Thanks to you, some of us get an aneu-

sistence, and intellectual brilliance—that rubs off on his students. His thorough editing and reviewing of our work entrains us to his mind. . . . Wait . . . Uh oh. There he is. The little miniature

embrace and grow from. You did it with

uncompromising edits, your belief in all of

EDITING THE MASTER Many of Ken’s former students write

At unwaking hours on Friday mornings, the only thing more effective than coffee is one of Ken’s masterful orations on things like the

YZ Space did not allow us to include all the submissions from Ken’s students and colleagues. To read complete and additional texts:

tinyurl.com/ kenbyrne

disparity of ethics.—DOUG GUEY-LEE ’08 Ken has a wide streak of generosity, a self-deprecating

Ken on my shoulder with his hands on

about the experience of having their

his hips, his head cocked a little to the

work edited by him. Imagine, however,

a mind like a steel trap, and the inscruta-

side, asking rhetorically, “Does his mind

for a moment, the experience of editing

bility of a Zen monk. Lurking somewhere

really ‘entrain’ you? Is that the word you

something Ken has written for con’text.

in there is a rowdy Irish schoolboy, I’m

want to use?” Oh goodness, Ken, I just

You are his former student. You know his

sure of it.—RANDY MARKS ’09

don’t know.

penchant for clarity of thought and usage.

And so I’m forced to pull out the dusty

sense of humor,

You think, This won’t take me any time

Ken taught me the language of question-

dictionary or thesaurus, restructure this,

at all. But the subtlety and density of his

ing, which has been really valuable.

reword that . . . and the dialogue goes on.

thought require much more attention than



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Students’ Projects: 2011–2012

Urban Form + Green Communities Sustainable communities come in all sizes and locations, but share certain elements: walkable, mixed-use village centers; good public transit; protected and unfragmented open spaces; plenty of central gathering places; shade trees to reduce heat island effects; and attention to infiltrating stormwater. Conway students help communities think about the spatial forms and relationships that support resilient, integrated, healthy towns and cities.

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



A lakeshore boardwalk allows people to walk to Lakeside Park for a meal overlooking the lake.

Since major wildfires swept the area in the 1940s, the small town of Waterboro, Maine, has lacked a vibrant village center. There is fear that strip development will grow along main roads. Suburban-style residential developments have begun to appear, compromising natural resources. Two Conway teams—Jeanette O’Connor and Carlos Wright in the winter, and Shana Hostetter and Molly Hutt in the spring—helped the community envision how development might be directed to four distinct village centers. Alternative zoning codes to encourage mixed-use, higher density developments would allow Alternate Design for Soldiers Park In this alternative arrangement, the short street segment eliminated in the village plan is re-instated and the park is expanded to the northwest. Buildings shown in blue are proposed.

residents to share resources, reduce automobile use, and conserve energy while establishing community identity and a sense of place. At the same time, directing growth to these centers could preserve large forested areas and sensitive environments like the Waterboro Pine Barrens and Lake Ossipee.

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



During major rainstorms, storm drains in the urban center of Greenfield, Massachusetts,

Continuous Tree Trench Elements

flush street runoff directly into the Green River. The resulting degradation of water quality and the urban heat island effect are two of the city’s major environmental

Permeable concrete tree grates

challenges. City planners hope to create a vibrant and welcoming downtown that serves residents, attracts visitors, supports

Permeable concrete sidewalk

local businesses, and contributes to a healthy environment. Rachel Jackson and Christina Puerto’s streetscape and parking lot designs address these issues by improving the downtown’s ecological functions while creating a safe, welcoming pedestrian experience. The


design for the Fiske parking lot minimizes impervious surfaces, increases tree health, and filters stormwater while improving a central downtown gathering space. The new shady and pleasant Chapman lot generates electricity and slows, cools, and cleans storm-

Small bar and raised lip blocks large litter from entering

Permeable paving inset in drain

water before it reaches the Green River.


While the Northeast Neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut, faces many challenges, including a poverty rate of 38 percent, a 17.4 percent unemployment rate, and the highest crime rates in the city, there are also churches, schools, organizations, and historic Keney Park that contribute to residents’ quality of life. Nonprofit Community Solutions is working with residents to overcome the neighborhood’s economic and social challenges. Seana Cullinan and Rachel Jackson contributed to these efforts by proposing ways to improve connectivity, walkability, and safety. Their report envisions the eastern edge of Keney Park as a greenway, activates the front of the former Swift factory site as a community space, and transforms vacant lots into places for food cultivation and pocket parks. Design ideas for the arts, transportation, education, and job training are also explored.


In Greenfield, Massachusetts, a local developer renovated a three-story century-old building adjacent to the new multimodal transit station with photovoltaic panels, triple-glazed windows, and geothermal heating. Molly Hutt provided a site plan to match the owner’s sustainability goals for the mixed-used building, proposing vegetated swales, rain gardens, and salt-tolerant species to infiltrate stormwater, while creating new pedestrian

A proposed pocket park replaces a vacant lot to provide green space at the center of the Westland Street Corridor.

connections to town center. Around the corner, the Veterans Memorial Mall is a jumble of mismatched elements added over time. Christina Gibson’s design for the park creates a shaded plaza made more flexible and spacious by grouping the memorials along one building, creating open sight lines and increasing the perception of safety. Porous pavement and dappled shade will help to reduce the heat island effect, infiltrate stormwater, and create a more comfortable gathering space for all.

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Managing for Productivity across Scales Food security plans, local food systems, farmland protection—these projects have been a consistent part of student work in recent years as communities and individuals rethink what future resilience may require. But there are other productive uses of land that support community resilience, and the projects undertaken by students in 2011–2012 reflect several: creating a sanctuary for medicinal plants, designing a site for production of biofuels, and increasing ecological management of an agroforestry business.

Mounted trail map orients visitors in central location

Hedge of

Gravel parking area holds 17 cars

Pergola defines entrance to welcome center

viburnums and dogwoods

To trail

way Drive Shade garden

Turn-in to parking area visible to visitors

Welcome Center


e w Cre Hollo


To trails

Medicine wheel provides meaningful focal point

Hazelnut hedge casts shade for a shade garden

Door leads to propagation area; pergola and bench offer shady outdoor seating

Accessible footbridge connects north and south sides of the creek

Vegetation bump-out defines entrance to welcome center





Can a botanical sanctuary engage and educate the public about

are trained in the sustainable harvesting and propagation of more

herbal medicine without damaging the fragile ecosystem on

than five hundred medicinal plants. Christina Gibson and Evelyn

which these plants depend? Alarmed by the overharvesting of

Lane provided design alternatives for parking, lodging, classroom,

medicinal plants, United Plant Savers acquired a botanically rich

production, storage, interpretive trails, and year-round caretakers,

380-acre property in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern

as well as methods to restore damaged sites and control invasive

Ohio and established the Goldenseal Botanical Sanctuary that

plants in this rare mixed mesophytic forest. UpS Executive Direc-

has become a model for others across the nation. Here, interns

tor Susan Leopold ’98 brought this project to Conway.

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



When Alto Cauquenes, a familyowned agroforestry business in south central Chile, purchased a 1,400-hectare (3,460-acre) property in 2002, the soils were degraded and highly eroded. Owners reclaimed the land by planting three types of


timber trees, complemented by vine-


yards, olives, and some field crops. In 2012, Christina Puerto and Molly


Hutt provided an ecological management plan to diversify the single age timber stands by rotating harvests, adding native trees, expanding riparian corridors, improving wildlife corridors, and managing runoff to improve water quality.

Core Habitat and Potential Connections. Expanding areas of core habitat and creating connections both on-site and beyond will help to protect riparian corridors and wildlife movement by reducing fragmentation.

Factors of a Foodshed Analysis

[1] Size of the area’s population

Result of a Foodshed Analysis

[2] Food calories needed to feed the area’s population

[3] Caloric yield of the area’s farmland

Approximate acreage of regional farmland needed to feed the area’s population


// Could Franklin County,

Massachusetts, feed itself in a post-peak-oil economy? As part of a regional sustainability plan, this countywide Farmland and Foodshed Study by Laura Elizares and Evelyn Lane looked at pasture, cropland, and orchard, as well as agricultural soils currently in woodland, to determine if self-sufficiency would be possible. Although blessed with abundant farmland, the resulting model of self-reliance would focus on growing crops, meat, and dairy best suited for this western Massachusetts region. Mary Praus ’10 was the client contact for the Regional Council of Governments.





In the time of Thoreau, Concord, Massachusettts, was a largely agricultural

In addition to several residential clients who

community located a distant twenty miles from Boston. Now a more densely

requested site plans to include vegetable

developed suburb, many of its residents would like

gardens, chickens, bees, and medicinal herbs,

to reclaim some of the self-sufficiency of a local food

a site design by Rachel Jackson for Co-op

system. Christina Gibson and Jamie Pottern assessed

Power’s new biodiesel plant in Greenfield,

the capacity of each component: land use, produc-

Massachusetts, included future zones for

tion, distribution, processing, storage, preparation,

growing oil crops, and Jamie Pottern looked

consumption, and food-waste recovery in town. Their

at design alternatives for ServiceNet’s eleven-

report, with a comprehensive chart outlining specific

acre Prospect Meadow Farm in Hatfield,

steps to increased self-reliance, won an award from the

Massachusetts, a therapeutic farm serving

Massachusetts chapter of the American Planning Association for outstanding

physically, mentally, and emotionally chal-

planning by a student project.

lenged residential clients.

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Paths + Wayfinding Helping people find their way through a visually complex landscape is an important part of landscape planning and design. Doing it in ways that are sensitive to the needs of people and ecology are even more important. Wayfinding was the focus of several recent Conway student projects in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Arizona. With each project, paths were designed for much more than mere utilitarian function. For example, they help visitors not only perceive and appreciate the landscape but also have positive social interactions.


On the hottest days, taking a stroll in the Sonoran Desert town of Ajo, Arizona,


can be a challenge. With that in mind, providing shade and an interesting walking experience seemed vital to Seana Cullinan WINTER

and Katrina Manis. Working with the


International Sonoran Desert Alliance, they designed a linear park for the edge of the town’s plaza. The land, which surrounds a former train station, will function as a paseo—a public walk—in the heart of this former mining town. Analyzing sun and shadow patterns was crucial to the design process. The analyses at special times of the year—the solstices and equinoxes, shown


to the right in plan view—revealed dramatic patterns, but few areas with consistent shade. The final design creates more shade and a setting rich in native flora.

Shaded gardens to the south of the depot provide comfortable gathering spaces.

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









Walkers at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the southern Berkshires of Massachusetts, many of whom walk for meditation, can have trouble getting oriented on this extensive campus. They also sometimes struggle at check-in just getting themselves and their luggage from their cars to the registration desk. Four Conway teams have completed projects at Kripalu, North America’s largest residential facility for holistic health and education, and each of them has explored means of improving wayfinding. Most recently, Shana Hostester and Katrina Manis created a comprehensive landscape master plan for this 350-acre site. Jamie Pottern and Carlos Wright designed a path down a steeply sloping lawn to a beautiful lake. As seen in the cross sections below, they also brought fresh thinking to facilitate pedestrians’ enjoyment of the retreat’s treeshaded entry drive, which is now dominated by cars.


Laura Elizares and Jeanette O’Connor saw a tired hayfield and envisioned a

Adding a sidewalk

Narrowing the drive

Universally accessible trail created

Pedestrians get the drive

healthy meadow of native grasses and wildflowers, providing diverse wildlife habitat and a more interesting walk for visitors to the Willowell Foundation’s Vergennes, Vermont, environmental education site. Their plan includes two looping trails: a flat, ⅛-mile loop that sticks to the meadow, and a longer route, which traverses meadow, forest edge, wetland, and mid-successional habitat. These trails will create abundant opportunities for experiencing and learning about this scenic rural landscape.


// To say that Peter Monro ’86 is interested in paths and path design is an understatement.

The Portland, Maine, landscape architect has designed paths and networks of paths and now has launched an authoritative blog—DesignForWalking.com—about the “principles and particulars” of walkways. His goal is to promote better design of walking paths. The observations and recommendations on his website are based on years of research, practice, walking and hiking, and even some inspiration from a talk he heard, while he was a Conway student, on how garden slugs navigate. Writing of Rousham, a small farm estate north of Oxford, England, designed by William Kent in the 1740s, Peter states, “It was as though here at Rousham William Kent offered proof that he understood the very fundamentals of human nature, the kinds of places we humans seek out for protection and comfort, the kinds of routes we want to take.”

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Erik Van Lennep ’83 Creates a Living Lab for Ecosystem Services

Thinking—and Acting—Globally Ever since graduating from Conway in 1983, Erik Van Lennep has focused on international issues of sustainability. He worked initially with indigenous people worldwide as cofounder of the Rainforest Action Network and then founded and became director of the Arctic to Amazonia Alliance. He subsequently moved to Ireland where he cofounded the Cultivate Sustainable Living Center. In 2007, Erik established TEPUI Ltd., a consultation and design collaborative to research, promote and apply living technologies as grounded responses to climate change, beginning with energy, waste, and water issues throughout Europe. Now Erik is moving from Dublin to Barcelona, Spain, where the new Dutch NGO he cofounded, Circle Squared Foundation, will focus on restoring ecosystem services in Mediterranean climates worldwide. In addition to the Mediterranean itself, similar climatic zones are found in South Africa, Australia, Chile, and California. Erik Van Lennep The foundation’s focus on marine environments recognizes the important ecological and economic interactions of the dynamic interface of land and sea. “Mediterranean climates are among the oldest and most densely populated and are thus most degraded, so our

impact can be largest there,” Erik writes, adding, “There is much to be done to restore fisheries, clean up pollution, and develop shared management strategies.”

Mediterranean climates are among the oldest and most densely populated and are thus most degraded, so our impact can be largest there. In addition, Circle Squared will work on green infrastructure, carbon farming and forestry, and design and system learning. As with his prior efforts, Erik will build networks and alliances, develop metrics to evaluate measurable outcomes, and integrate systems thinking through regional centers of excellence. ¨





Nearly all Mediterranean climate areas lie between about 15° and 40° of latitude. They are all near the coast on the western edge of continents.

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

Conway Currents News of and from the School

Left to right, Jono Neiger, Keith Zalzberg, and Dave Jacke work on their edible ecosystem teaching garden at Wellesley College. PHOTO: KIM ALMEIDA


Regenerating Faculty Expertise

When Jono Neiger ’03 and Keith Zaltzberg collaborate, you know something productive is happening—often in the realm of edible forest gardens. But their recent work has involved campus design as well. Jono, Conway’s professor of regenerative design, and Keith, digital design instructor, are founding partners of the Regenerative Design Group (RDG), a Greenfield-based ecological landscape planning and design firm engaged by Wellesley College to design and install an edible ecosystem teaching garden in collaboration with David Jacke ’84 and Wellesley’s Botanical Garden. On a sloping half-acre site, massively disturbed when a new power line went in, the project needs to stabilize the site, build back the soil, and discourage the aggressive plants that would otherwise take over, while simultaneously establishing edible forest gardens that will become teaching grounds for students

of ecology and botany, as well as those doing independent studies. Though well versed in this kind of regenerative design, Jono, Keith, and Dave are students of the process as well. They are developing an educational prototype using QR codes at each plant which enable visitors—whether students, faculty, or community members—to identify the plant they are looking at on their smart phone and enter their observations. This interactive system will track and document pollinators, pests, flowering and fruiting times of the plants, and thereby create a useful database for further study. At Marlboro College, Jono and Keith are working at various scales to reduce mowing and increase habitat on the campus. They taught a class in ecological design process in the fall 2012 term, and facilitated a communitywide process to develop plans for the central meadow on campus. A former parking lot occupied by maintenance trailers, the area had been cleared, the soil amended and somewhat stabilized. RDG’s process identified wetland buffer

areas in need of enhancement and protection from human impact, while creating flexible outdoor gathering spaces to be used for teaching, performance, and open activity zones. Along one side, minimizing traffic and making it more pedestrian-friendly overall is the goal. A second class in the spring of 2013 focused on implementation, including planting meadow species. “The community has been very involved in the process,” said Jono, which is another goal of RDG. He stated futher that his involvement with varied projects, sites and clients deepens his experience, which he brings back to the classroom at Conway. “I can provide students some theoretical background, then illustrate it with real experience— this is how we worked with these soils, this community.” “It’s a really exciting time now,” says Jono. “So many people are looking for ways to create productive landscapes, to heal the damages, and incorporate education into the landscape.” And Jono continues to incorporate the landscape into his teaching.

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What Are College Students Thinking About These Days? BY PAUL CAWOOD HELLMUND Really important questions, if my recent trips to three colleges are an indication. This year I spoke at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) and Hamilton College in New York, and the College of the Atlantic in Maine. I consistently found highly engaged students and a lot of interest in the Conway School. In two of the talks I presented recent Conway student projects focused on


View presentation:

tinyurl.com/ Hellmundhamilton

food security, green burial, reuse of degraded lands, environmental justice, and

community development. The third talk was on my own work in greenway planning. The students’ response was tremendous. The audiences were large, and students asked insightful questions and offered comments from their own experiences. Following the address

Engaging Communities More Profoundly

In 2012, the Conway School launched its Sustainable Communities Initiative with a first focus on the Brattleboro and Windham County region of southern Vermont. “We are always looking for ways to serve communities more effectively through our graduate student projects,” said Conway’s Director Paul Cawood Hellmund. “With this initiative we are providing more continuity to communities and better feedback to the school.” As a part of this initiative, a Windham County resident attends Conway for a year, works on local projects at three different scales, and is committed to ongoing work in the region following graduation. Our 2012–2013 Windham County Fellow is Kimberly Smith, whose fall project involved seeing how See more on the the Harmony Lot, Windham projects: a central parking tinyurl.com/ windhamprojects area in downtown Brattleboro, could better infiltrate storm runoff and incorporate more planting areas for pedestrian comfort and community gathering. Broaderscale winter and spring team projects included a study of Working Woodlands in Windham County, Cultural Assets Mapping in Brattleboro, and a Village Center Plan in Wilmington, which

at HWS, I found myself facilitating an open-mic session with the audience of one hundred. I encouraged answers from the audience given the knowledge and expertise right there in the auditorium. At Hamilton, students were keen to discuss planning solutions from conservation and ecology. At the College of the Atlantic, where human ecology is the single major, students were extremely savvy on the topics of the Conway projects and asked thoughtful questions about how the school operates. What a pleasure it is to present the Conway School to such enthusiastic and knowledgeable people, some of whom may someday visit our school.

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

suffered considerable damage in the August 2011 tropical storm Irene. Conway will continue this community focus in Windham County for the 2013–2014 academic year and is accepting applications for next year’s fellow and suggestions for possible projects. Contact Paul Hellmund (hellmund@ csld.edu) to nominate a region in New England or eastern New York as a future focus for the Sustainable Communities Initiative.

Major Donor and Board Address Education Costs You Can Help, Too

In September 2012, Susan Rosenberg ’95 decided she was going do something to help keep education at her favorite graduate school affordable. She issued a major challenge grant in support of the Conway School’s new Student Grants Program. With the same intent, Conway’s board of trustees voted the following February—for the third year in a row—not to increase tuition. More than $21,000 has been raised for student grants, enough to offer a needs-based tuition grant to four students in the class of 2014. This level of support is unprecedented at the Conway School and, along with keeping tuition from increasing, will go a long way to attracting worthy applicants. Conway admits outstanding applicants, whose backgrounds, interests and passions match Conway’s mission.


Michael Yoken ’10 show alums the green roof he helped design and install at PS 41 in New York.

These high achievers know that Conway offers a program that meets their personal and professional goals and their learning styles. But in recent years, rather than go into substantial debt some have chosen other schools that offer a financial package. Conway wants to level the playing field. Qualified but cash-strapped students enrich the school’s classes and will return to communities where help is most needed to build resilience and self-reliance in changing times. The school needs your help in supporting more of these students. Please consider a donation toward this worthy cause. You can give by contacting Development Coordinator Priscilla Novitt at (413) 369-4044 ext. 3 or novitt@csld.edu.


Gatherings of the Clan

Regional gatherings of Conway alums and friends provide an opportunity to strengthen local ties, learn what other alums are doing, and extend an invitation for local citizens to learn more about this unique program. Three New York City-based graduates—Kerri Culhane ’10, Julie Welch ’11, and Michael Yoken ’10—decided that much could be gained from a Conway gathering in the Big Apple. So, they organized a two-day event in March 2013, starting with lightning talks at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens (BBG) and a presentation on progress at Conway by Conway’s director. Robin Simmen ’01, director of GreenBridge,

a BBG program on urban greening and community gardening, spoke of her work there. Several alums addressed the impact of climate change on their work: Kerri Culhane works with the Two Bridges Neighborhood in New York’s Lower East Side. Kate Gehron ’09 studies salt marshes in anticipation of rising sea levels. Christina Puerto ’12 is developing computer models of coastal processes and ways to diminish wave impact in tight urban areas. Michael Yoken explores responsible construction on commercial waterfront property of Long Island Sound, given projected larger and increasing storm surges in the future. In addition to the talks about the impact of climate change, Jonathan Cooper ’10 spoke about his planning efforts that address issues of social equity and labor development. Later in the day, Darrel Morrison, a longtime friend and master teacher at Conway, shared some of his recent work, including a project underway at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The main presentation and discussion was about Conway’s progress and future prospects. Director Paul Cawood Hellmund described the tremendous opportunities Conway has as it moves into its fifth decade at a time of great environmental challenge. He pointed out that the diverse work presented that evening by alums clearly illustrated the important contributions Conway is making to the world. The second day of the gathering included a visit with Michael Yoken to a green roof he helped design and install at grammar school PS41 in the West Village. PS 41 parent Vicki Sando raised $1.5 million for the project, and is very pleased with Michael’s role, which includes teaching a class with the urban eco-club in the school. This was followed by a visit to the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, where Julie Welch, working with the Buckminster Fuller Institute, has been collaborating with Cooper Union’s Institute for Sustainable Design. Institute Director and Professor of Architecture Kevin Bone and Associate Director Sunnie Joh walked the Conway group through an impressive exhibit on modernism and sustainability. Participants concluded the day by attending an address by David Orr, Conway Honorary Degree Recipient ’06,

DESIGNING FOR SUCCESS Designing for Success: Ecological Restoration and Landscape Resilience is the theme of a major regional conference being sponsored by the Conway School, the Society for Ecological Restoration-New England Chapter (SER-NE), and other partners. The two-day event will be held at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts, on April 25 and 26, 2014. Aaron Schlechter ’01 brought SER-NE and Conway together to collaborate on what will be SER-NE’s first regional conference in New England.

The first day of the conference will include plenary addresses and paper and poster presentations. On the second day, participants will head out into the field to see restoration projects firsthand. Watch the Conway School’s website, www.csld.edu, for more details.

at the Parsons New School for Design. Professor Orr made the case for hope in the face of considerable environmental challenges. He warmly greeted the Conway contingent. Are there organizations or instituWant to support tions in your area a gathering in that are doing excityour part of the country? Contact: ing work? Volunteer Priscilla Novitt to host a gathering (413) 369-4044 novitt@csld.edu of alums for a field trip, workshop, or series of lightning talks. Contact Priscilla Novitt for a list of Conway grads in your region.


//2013// con’text 23


[ co nway ' s fo rt y- fi rst c l ass : 2013 ]

The class of 2013 headed to Cape Cod for the fall orientation trip. Left to right, Kate Cairoli, Noah Zimmerman, Sierra McCartney, Willie Gregg, Rachel Edwards, Beth Schermerhorn, Ken Byrne (faculty), Kimberly Smith, Jon Kelly, Emily Durost, Anna Fialkoff, Olivia Loughrey, Anna Best, Amy Nyman, Renee LaGue, Becca Robbins, Amy Wolfson, Judith Doll-Foley, Jono Neiger (faculty), Jessica Orkin

Partnerships in Education

Conway’s collaborations with other ecologically minded and educationally focused organizations bring new speakers to the school, expand Conway’s reputation through a network of activist organizations, and open up opportunities for its graduates. Speakers from New England Wild Flower Society, New England Farmers Union, The Trustees of Reservations, and Orion Magazine opened the fortieth anniversary celebration with reflections on Conway’s interdisciplinary curriculum. Each represented an arena in which our alums have found rewarding careers, whether in conservation planning, food security, native plant and habitat protection, or the intersection of nature, culture, and place that Orion anchors. This past year, Conway partnered locally with the Sunderland Public Library to sponsor a series of talks by writers whose focus on nature, culture, and climate change challenged the audience to reconsider their relationship to the earth and how we live on it. In October, Amherst College Professor Jan Dizard, a lifelong hunter and environmental advocate, explored

conflicts between restoring certain wildlife populations and our relationship with the “wild.” James Howard Kunstler presented a sober perspective of our future, a departure from the overly optimistic perspective of those who believe technology will solve all our problems as he describes in his new book, Too Much Magic. Charles Mann spoke to an overflow crowd in November, sharing his meticulous research on the momentous global biological shift that occurred post-Columbus, as beautifully written in 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, a sequel to his equally compelling 1491. The Ecological Landscaping Association, an expanding professional organization in New England and beyond, held its sixteenth annual conference in February 2013, and once again Conway was a sponsor. This excellent organization, which offers ongoing workshops and site visits throughout the year, also has an excellent monthly e-newsletter; Theresa Sprague ’08 has been involved with the organization for many years in a leadership role.

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


Changing of the Guard

When Conway’s board of trustees decided in 2011 to establish term limits for themselves, they realized they would lose some valuable members, but gain greater diversity and expertise. At the time, the board of fourteen included ten men and seven alums, with three members who had served more than ten years. With rotation in office, the board is seeing more regular and self-renewing turnover, strengthening the board and the school. Among the trustees who have stepped down in the past year, three have given long and devoted service. Rick Brown served the school as administrative director for three years (1998–2001) before becoming an adviser and then board member (2002–2005, 2006–2012). His fiscal and administrative expertise guided the school, as he cochaired the Finance Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee, and served as vice chair of the Executive Committee. As Paul Hellmund noted, “Rick brought his considerable experience and an eagle eye to all things financial. He served with great devotion.” In


2011, Rick assumed a new position as head of the preparatory division of the Mandell School in New York City, and it is with deep thanks and appreciation that we wish him well. A trustee for six years, Aaron Schlechter ’01 brought considerable construction knowledge as chair of the Campus Planning Committee. As a graduate of the school, he energetically served on the Development and Outreach Committee. Aaron is project engineer and environmental project manager for Cruz Contractors LLC, Holmdel, New Jersey. Landscape architect Susan Van Buren ’82 was also a trustee for six years. She served on the Campus Planning Committee and faithfully traveled to Conway for board meetings from her home in Baltimore, where she and husband Peter Van Buren ’82 run an energy auditing business, TerraLogos Energy Group. They were named “Contractor of the Year” by the Maryland Home Performance with Energy Star Program in 2008, and “2009 Green Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Baltimore Business Journal. Nitin Patel, founder and Chief Technology Officer of Cytel, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts joined the board in October 2011 and had to resign the next summer due to work demands. Nitin was born and raised in India and brought important international and technology perspectives to board discussions. Joey Brode, who also joined the board in October 2011, stepped down in April 2013 for personal reasons. First introduced to Conway by longtime family friend Nick Lasoff ’05, Joey brought great sensitivity, humor, and focus to the board during her short tenure. An expert in finance and banking, Conway benefitted from her considerable organizational acumen.

New Trustees Bring Diversity of Expertise

Three new trustees have been elected to Conway’s board of trustees. One is an alumna and two are professionals who have long known the school. Mitch Anthony brings a unique combination of organizational branding and communications savvy that has already made a difference in how Conway positions itself for recruitment

and development. A graduate of Simon’s Rock and an early devotee of the Whole Earth Catalog, Mitch’s entrepreneurial spirit led him through a series of alternative jobs where he found his niche in advertising and design. He has worked in corporate, nonprofit, and media worlds with clients as diverse as Reebok, Massachusetts Chiropractic Society, and Bloomberg Television. His ability to ask the pertinent question rivals that of any Conway graduate. He is a brand strategist with Clarity, based in Northampton, Massachusetts. Kerri Culhane ’10 enrolled at Conway in the fall of 2009 with a master of arts in architectural history; her interdisciplinary work in preservation and planning already incorporated natural resource evaluation and farmland conservation planning as she worked with cultural landscapes and historic architecture alike. As associate executive director of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, she combines that expertise with a sensitivity to the social and economic issues facing this neighborhood on the Lower East Side of New York City, with particular attention to threats posed by climate change such as sea-level change. See more about her work in Paul Hellmund’s letter on page 2. Keith Ross has parlayed degrees in forestry and environmental law into a career in innovative land conservation. As senior adviser within the Real Estate Consulting Group of Boston-based LandVest, he focuses predominantly on conservation transactions of land and conservation easements, donations and bargain sales, fund raising, and family estate planning. His pragmatic experience in working with clients and donors makes him an exceptional adviser to Conway. A founder and former executive director of the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, he held similar positions with Massachusetts Audubon and the New England Forestry Foundation. He is also an invaluable adviser to larger land planning projects in Conway’s winter term.

Getting the

Word Out! Conway is always on the lookout for opportunities to get the word out in venues that attract the kind of applicant the school is looking for. To that end, Conway staff and alums have been exhibiting at a rich range of workshops and events, mostly throughout New England. From Bioneers by the Bay in August 2012, to multiple environmental gatherings in early spring 2013 (Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, Ecological Landscaping Association, Sustainable Communities), Conway’s new vertical banner has anchored a table full of project reports, issues of con’text, and enthusiastic alums eager to talk about our unique tenmonth program. Christina Gibson ’12 took the materials to her undergraduate program at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in April. Mollie Babize ’84 spoke on a panel about careers in design at Smith College. Are there exciting conferences you’d like to attend in your region? Might you have an opportunity to talk with undergraduates at your alma mater about Conway? Contact Associate Director Mollie Babize at (413) 369-4044 x5 or babize@ csld.edu and she will send you on your way with talking points. And the school will share cost of registration. Can’t beat that!

Associate Director for Admissions Mollie Babize at a conference.

//2013// con’text 25

Graduation Class of 2012

Class of 2012, left to right, Evelyn Lane, Seana Cullinan, Jamie Pottern, Molly Hutt, Jeanette O’Connor, Christina Puerto, Katrina Manis, Laura Elizares, Christina Gibson, Shana Hostetter, Carlos Wright, Rachel Jackson.

The Subversive Designer CO M M E N C E M E N T S P E E C H BY C A R O L F R A NKLIN

You are here because you are graduating: welcome to the “subversiveâ€? landscape design community. What makes you part of this community is that every project that you will do from now on, will be enriched with the new thinking you have gained at Conway. Let us remind ourselves of the old way of thinking: ƀLJLJ"LJ (LJ#-LJ."LJ!Ĺş ƀLJLJ LJ1#&&LJ!#0LJ ,źLJ,)1(LJ."LJ'(.LJ,)-LJ!,(LJ.".LJ"LJ1(.-Ĺş ƀLJLJ"LJ/#&#(!-LJ,LJ'),LJ#'*),.(.LJ."(LJ."LJ&(-*Ĺş ƀLJLJ 3LJ-#!(LJ1#&&LJ'%LJ'LJ ')/-Ĺş Now, as we know, everything is interwoven—which changes the way we see and ."LJ13LJ1LJ1),%źLJ LJ*,)*)-LJ.)LJ.%LJ3)/LJ)(LJLJ$)/,(3ŝLJ.",)/!"LJ(LJ#(0(.LJ*,)$.ŝLJ.)LJ deconstruct the reality of how you can never go back to the old ways. Let’s go to the site: A small college has been constructed on the top of a geological anomaly that sticks up in a flat floodplain and is surrounded by a forested river valley that happens to be a major city park. “Student lifeâ€? currently occurs in an immense asphalt parking lot and enrollment is down. The college is making big plans for the future, and they have asked you to design a master plan, which will accommodate, among other things, 1887 new bedrooms and 19 more classrooms, not to mention 3 new soccer fields. .LJ'%-LJ3)/,LJ$)LJ ,LJ'),LJ#ĹŹ/&.ŝLJ/.LJ)(13LJ"-LJ./!".LJ3)/LJ.".LJ3)(LJ."LJ client who pays your bills, your actual, primary clients are the larger natural world (LJ."LJ&)&LJ"/'(LJ)''/(#.3źLJ"LJ)&&!LJ*,-#(.LJ."#(%-LJ.".LJ."LJ)/(,#-LJ) LJ college property are the boundaries of the project. What you know now is that these boundaries expand into the stream valley and into the public park, and to the village a mile away on an even higher hill.

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

Every site holds many stories. As designers, you will discover the stories that can solve real problems, satisfy the clients and organize the project. For a landscape designer these stories describe what the site once was, what #.LJ#-LJ()1ŝLJ(LJ1".LJ#.LJ)/&LJźLJ"LJŌ,-.LJ story is about how the site evolved—its history. Part of the history is how, in the ŹŚŜŰ-ŝLJ."LJ)&&!LJŌ&&LJ#(LJ."LJ1.&(-LJ and straightened the river channel. "(ŝLJ3)/LJ1#&&LJ"0LJ.)LJ2*&),LJ1".LJ the site is now, what are the big issues. For instance, student cars parked in lot # 3 are routinely swept away into the creek during heavy storms. "(LJ-LJ-#!(,-ŝLJ3)/LJ(LJŌ(&&3LJ create the story of what the site will Ć’."LJ-.),3LJ.".LJ,-)&0-LJ."LJ#ĹŹ/&ties and realizes the possibilities. You might suggest that the main parking lot become a garage, under the new -./(.Ć?&# LJ #&#.3źLJ)LJ-+/4LJ."LJ')-.LJ out of a tight site, every element must do many different jobs. You suggest that this new structure be built into the slope, so that the building becomes LJ-.#,-LJ.)LJ."LJ,#0,źLJ"LJ/#&#(!LJ (LJ."(LJ,*&LJLJŌ .3Ć? )).LJ-.)(LJ1&&LJ .".LJ/,,(.&3LJ")&-LJ/*LJ."LJ"#&&źLJ LJ."LJ


flattened area on the ridge, which is also the entrance to the main college buildings, now given over to a service road, could be liberated by providing service through the garage, this landscape could become a student plaza, at the heart of the campus. We won’t go into what happens 1"(LJ-0,&LJ/("**3LJ(#!"),-LJŌ&LJ LJ&1-/#.źLJ/.LJ-)'."#(!LJ/(2*.LJ and incomprehensible will happen at almost every job, so keep in mind that replanning is an organic part of the process. At every job there will be ,)&)%-Ć’ ,)'LJ ,źLJ,)1(Ɖ-LJ()-.&!#LJ &#(!-LJ ),LJ."LJŌ .3Ć? )).LJ1&&ŝLJ.)LJ3)/,LJ blunders with the contractor, or your sudden failure of imagination. You will have to be flexible, while remaining #." /&LJ.)LJ."LJ,+/#,'(.-LJ) LJ3)/,LJ primary clients—the larger natural world and the local human community. (LJ."LJ(ŝLJ."LJ-.LJ*)--#&LJ)/.)'LJ is that arriving at a successful project has become an organic process, in which you will have learned from the site and your client, and they will have &,(LJ ,)'LJ3)/źLJ"#-LJ#-LJ")1LJ3)/LJ1#&&LJ create the future—where commencement means beginning.

Carol Franklin is a founding principal of Andropogon Associates, Ltd. and a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She is a nationally recognized expert in the design of integrated living systems and the firm that she cofounded with Leslie Sauer, Andropogon Associates, has been at the cutting edge of issues of landscape sustainability, biodiversity, alternative stormwater management, and global climate change. Her work creates a synergy between a number of different disciplines—science, art, engineering, architecture, anthropology, and economics, bringing a vision and a practical implementation of large-scale ecological concepts to each project. Carol has been involved with Conway from the early days of Walt Cudnohufsky, when she and Leslie Sauer made several visits to teach and give lectures. She is a long-term admirer of the special experiences that Conway offers and the exceptional students that it graduates, and has been a member of the school’s board of trustees since October 2010.

CAROL FRANKLIN JOINS DISTINGUISHED LIST OF CONWAY HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENTS “As teacher, writer and practitioner, you have advanced a holistic understanding of landscape design that integrates ecological restoration with a site’s cultural context and historical significance.


See a complete list of honorary degree recipients: tinyurl.com/


Whether working at the scale of a local schoolyard or a highly degraded regional landscape, your whole systems approach exemplifies the best of sustainable landscape planning and design. In recognition of your many contributions, the Conway

School of Landscape Design, with respect and admiration, presents you this Honorary Degree in Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design.�


Musing on the interplay of landscape, language, culture, and thought, Humanities Professor Ken Byrne finds comfort and solace in our ability to connect with surroundings as a starting point in the design process. But no brief summary can do justice to the subtlety and fine interweaving of Ken’s thesis.

Both of these stories tell us about the two-way movement between the composition of the world and the composition of our selves. Oliver Sacks’ story is about the intimate relationship of the forms of landscape and our ‘ ability to read and write. Guy Deutscher’s is Read Ken’s complete about how the structures of languages shape remarks: tinyurl.com/ graduation our ability to be attentive to different aspects remarks of the world around us, and remake it as we go. Neither story should lead us to believe that these structures are set for all time, that change is impossible. We have to keep faith in the plasticity of being human beings.

Left to right: Former Chair of the Board of Trustees Art Collins ’79 presents the honorary degree to Carol Franklin. Christina Puerto, left, receives her diploma from Evelyn Lane. Graduates Jamie Pottern and Carlos Wright.

//2013// con’text 27

Field Notes News from Alums

Share your story! Contact your class agent (or BECOME your class agent!) to share your news for our next issue, or send news and photos to classnotes@csld.edu.


CLASS AGENT > Edward Fuller

(eafassoc@aol.com) Ð Ed Fuller

reports, “I am working out of the Joint Field office in Queens, NY to provide technical assistance to communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. My work has been split between communities on Long Island, Long Beach in particular, and the boroughs of NYC. The flooding and damage was very extensive. There is much work to do as the communities and residents begin to rebuild. Everyone is eager to get their lives back together, but the communities have to be aware of their responsibilities to manage their floodplain, especially with respect to substantial damage and compliance with floodplain requirements related to base flood elevation. It is interesting work and very necessary if we are going to reduce the risk to life and property going forward. FEMA is committed to replacing the initial response reservists with local hires to complete the work. It could go on for years, so if any graduates are interested in working in long-term community recovery related to a disaster, especially floodplain management, FEMA and/or the State of NY Department of Emergency Management are good places to work.” Ed presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September—Emergency Management & Hazard Mitigation: Planning at the Community Level.

Members of the class of ’73 visited with Walt Cudnohufsky at the 40th celebration, L to R, Caroline Ellis, Mark Bethel, Walt Cudnohufsky, Ed Fuller.


CLASS AGENT > Clarissa Rowe


Ð Floyd Thompson is a citizen advocate for sustainable landscapes in Fauquier County, VA. He has done pro bono work for Sustainable Travel International and supports living legacy landscape enhancements along the national scenic byway from Gettysburg to Monticello. He reports, “I am enjoying retirement from sustainable recreation and tourism work on National Forest System lands.” Floyd was recently honored by the Chilean Embassy for work he did as a landscape architect and park planner for the National Park Service of Chile in the 1970s with the Peace Corps and Smithsonian Environmental Program.

[75] [76]

CLASS AGENT > Betsy Corner

(corner75@csld.edu) CLASS AGENT > Kathleen Knisely


com) Ð Kathleen Knisely reports that

she is doing “a little part-time paralegal work for my husband’s law practice . . . and working in my studio on rug-hooking craft.” Kathleen is also researching energy improvements for her new green condo community in Somerville, MA. Kathleen has been in touch with Laurence Kornfield, who recently retired as chief building inspector for the City of San Francisco and has taken on the position of the San Francisco City administrator’s special assistant for earthquake safety implementation.

[77] [78]

environmental policy consulting practice. “The focus? There are three existential problems that face us: climate change, ecological collapse of the ocean, and nuclear war; might as well give them my full attention.” Bruce’s daughter Nora, who graduated as a pre-med in May from Hampshire College, will decompress this summer measuring Sequoia tress in Sequoia National Forest, CA. Son Connor will also graduate this spring from UVM’s graduate Ecological Planning Program (“where do these children get these crazy ideas about what to study?”); then he’ll start as Executive Director of the VT Wilderness School in Brattleboro, VT. Ð See also page 5 for news of Robbin Peach.


CLASS AGENT > Lila Fendrick (team@

fendrickdesign.com) Ð See page

27 for news of Art Collins.


CLASS AGENT > Byrne Kelly

(kelly80@csld.edu) Ð Byrne

Kelly presented a “lightning talk” at the

40th celebration in September—Wetland & Woodland Mitigation Banking: Costs, Benefits, and Nuances.


CLASS AGENT > Elizabeth French

Fribush (Elizabeth.fribush@


CLASS AGENT > David Paine (david_

paine@verizon.net) CLASS AGENT > Susanna Adams


Ð Bruce Stedman has moved to Seattle with his partner, Castle O’Neill, the cats, and Sorrel (the dog). Seattle, he reports, is “ . . . far enough out on the edge of the continent to stimulate the senses, not so far that one forgets what is essential.” Bruce taught natural resource policy for Western Washington University over the winter and is working to build an independent

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

Members of the class of 1982 visit with Don Walker ’79 at the 40th celebration, L to R, Peter Van Buren, John Hanning, Susan Van Buren, Don Walker.


CLASS AGENTS > Suzanne Barclay


Susan Van Buren (vanburen82@csld.

edu) Ð John Hamilton reports, “I can’t believe it’s been almost 31 years since I graduated from Conway! I am still working as an environmental planner for the


Champion Against Invasive Plants “While working to conserve the entire Connecticut River watershed, Cynthia Boettner has demonstrated indefatigable

Richard Williams (humanities professor and program coordinator, 1979–1997) reminisces with Peter Van Buren ’82 at the 40th celebration brunch.

Longtime friend of the school Ron Wood, left, enjoys catching up with Tim Taylor ’83 and Tim’s wife, Carmen Fernandez.

Community Development Department of Vista, CA. Since the city adopted its 2030 General Plan last spring I’ve been working on private multifamily housing projects. My number one challenge remains convincing designers to incorporate mitigation measures into their project design to lessen environmental impacts. On the family side of life, my wife Jane and I are thoroughly enjoying being grandparents to our 17-month old granddaughter Penelope.” Ð John Hanning presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September—Self-Funding Water Quality Protection. Ð See also page 25 for news of Susan and Peter Van Buren.

Conway with giving him the confidence to tackle large projects. Ð See also page 25 for news of Mollie Babize, and page 21 and class of ’11 for news of Dave Jacke.





NO CLASS AGENT > Your name here!

Ð Phyllis Croce has retired

from the Metropolitan Sewer District but “still wants to hammer the lard out of the Indiana Department of Transportation” so that they “fulfill the agreement to preserve and replace trees damaged during the pending bridge construction.” She continues, “I’m trying to learn how to be an informed elder as I enter this age group. Volunteering at the local food pantry keeps me humble and honest. I’m learning how to spin yarn and every so often we get cited by the city for our yard which means I redo the signs that label the native plants and write another letter to the editor.” Ð Tim Taylor presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September about work his company, GreenEngine Landscape Architects, is completing–Al Raha Beach, United Arab Emirates: The Public Realm Infrastructure.


NO CLASS AGENT > How about you?

Ð Kate Kerivan presented

a workshop at the 40th celebration in September—Hugelkultur at Bug Hill Farm. Ð Hiki Klauder, in Granville, OH, recently completed a landscape design project for Kendall Retirement Community. His firm, John Klauder Landscape and Design, works on projects at all scales; Hiki credits

effort and leadership in invasive plant control throughout New reports the New England Wild Flower

NO CLASS AGENT > Be the one (or


two)! Ð Ann-Renee Larouche

who honored

is an energy specialist for the Hampshire Council of Governments in Hampshire County, MA. Her work, featured in the Daily Hampshire Gazette in September, includes creating and implementing energy programs offered by the council’s electricity and sustainability departments.

Cynthia ’86 with their 2012


Invasive Plant Control Initiative.

Conservation Award. Cynthia has worked at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Sunderland, MA, since 1999 where she coordinates the

NO CLASS AGENT > Discover the perks

Working with volunteers and

Ð Jean-Pierre Marcoux reports,

the staff of the Connecticut

“Officially, I am in the age of retirement, but I am very busy . . .” with landscape design consulting, volunteer work, trekking, writing, singing, and dancing. He writes, “For the present, life is good to me and I try to be good to life on Earth.” Ð Janet McLaughlin is finishing up her third year as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Ukraine. She is learning a lot, “ . . . with Conway-style reflections helping me to appreciate it all. I am working with the vice mayor here to support the development of a strategic plan for the town, with a major success being to suggest that it be a ‘strategic development plan’ and not just an ‘economic strategic development plan’ so they can include a wider range of ideas. Imagine the fun of having Ukrainians high five with me when we finish a tedious translation or come up with a great new approach to a situation or have a successful language moment!” Ð Peter Monro and Giaco Lepore ’11 attended a climate adaptation training in January at the Wells Reserve in Wells, ME, hosted by Coastal Training Program Associate Annie Cox ’10. Ð Three members of the class presented “lightning talks” at the 40th celebration in September: Cynthia Boettner—Invasive Plant Control; Jean-Pierre Marcoux—Tagasho; and Ginny Sullivan—Schoolyard Design. Two

River Watershed Invasive Plant Control Initiative, she helps lead the effort to keep water chestnut in check in the watershed. With partners from University of Connecticut and NEWFS, Cynthia wrote the initial grant to create the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England. She collaborates in efforts to control pale swallowwort on Mt. Tom and current efforts focus on eliminating Japanese stiltgrass, which has been making inroads in Franklin County. Her work includes public education as well as hands-on removal efforts.

Be a Scout! Do you know someone who would make a great Conway student? Let us know! Contact Mollie Babize at (413) 369-4044, ext. 5 or babize@csld.edu

//2013// con’text 29

/ F I E L D N OT ES /

1986: Ginny Sullivan and J. Michael Thornton review the day on film during the 40th banquet.

members of the class presented workshops: Ginny Sullivan—Schoolyard Design, with Ruth Parnall and Marya Fowler ’98; and J. Michael Thornton—Design in Writing: Telling a Story to Make a Point.

talked for an hour about the development problems facing Myanmar, the work of Save the Children and her upcoming visit to the US. As she questioned me on the rationale behind the concepts of several of our interventions I was reminded of the grounding received at Conway in both undertaking comprehensive analysis and being prepared to defend designs under rigorous external scrutiny. I am never far from being reminded of my days in the old ‘sugar shack.’ I am not sure if she was entirely convinced by my explanations but she agreed to come on a field visit with me later in the year to see first hand the work we are doing.”

Gardens. Ð Betsy Hopkins reports, “We moved to Provence in May of last year. Our decision was the result of many factors: my husband’s fluency in French and love of French culture, my appetite for learning a new language and embarking on an adventure, our hope that our children (ages 16 and 11) would someday be bilingual, and our desire to find a hub from which to satisfy our love of travel without having to cross an ocean. The added benefits have been fantastic locally grown food, a beautiful climate, new friends from all over the world, and a whole new botanic and geologic environment. We are also getting very good at welcoming visitors.”



NO CLASS AGENT > Be the one (or

two)! Ð Gordon Shaw contin-

Ð Christopher Midden recently became a Robert E. Noyce Master Teacher Fellow at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, IL. He is “helping to create a community of problem solvers that includes elementary schools, teachers, and researchers at SIU. At my school I am establishing long-term ecological research so my students can investigate and document the local impact of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide as part of their earth science class. Our goal is to empower students to identify problems, develop solutions, and become thoughtful and responsible citizens.”

ues to work as a trustee of Concord Land Conservation Trust in Concord, MA, where “. . . invasive plant management, from water chestnuts to a handful of upland plants, is still the greatest task.” He also shares, “ We are fortunate to have three Conway students working on updating Concord’s Open Space and Recreation Plan. It is interesting to see the Conway routine at work again.” Gordon shared the news that Edgar Garbisch, a friend of the school, passed away in July 2012. He recalls that Ed was a good friend of Don Walker’s ’79, and a specialist in wetland plants and restoration who visited Conway on several occasions. “It was thanks to his stewardship,” says Gordon, “that several of my class and I went to Churchill, MD for a spring vacation project. Ed was a delightful person, great teacher and loving steward of the wetlands. He will be missed by many.”




NO CLASS AGENT > How about you?

NO CLASS AGENT > Your name here!

Ð Kelly Stevenson reports that

he and the CEO of Save the Children USA recently “had a conversation with Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar’s iconic dissident leader) at her home in Nay Pyi Taw, the new capital of Myanmar. We sat at her dining room table drinking tea while we

CLASS AGENT > Lauren Snyder

Lautner (llautner@msn.com)

Ð Wendi Goldsmith presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September—Sustainability & Thermodynamics. See also page 6 for more on Wendi. Ð Lauren Snyder Lautner wrote of their move to CA last fall, “Joe has a great job offer with his current company and we are all willing to go on the adventure. We will be living in Petaluma (north of San Francisco and next to Sonoma).”


CLASS AGENT > Annette Schultz

(schultz91@csld.edu) Ð Nat

Goodhue led volunteers in a construc-

1988: Claudia Kopkowski and Will Waldron

tive workshop at the 40th celebration in September—Hands-on Trail Building: Garden Trail from Conway to Wildside

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

NO CLASS AGENT > Your name here!

Be the one (or two)!

1993: Amy Craig and Robert Small reminisce at the 40th.




Ð Robert Small presented a “light-

ning talk” at the 40th celebration in September—Designing Spaces in High Places—and, with Jamie Pottern ’12, facilitated a lively open discussion with all gathered at the reunion dinner.


CLASS AGENT > Jonathon

Ellison (ellison94@csld.edu)

Ð Jonathon Ellison reports, “My current

projects are in Quebec and Senegal where I am designing a private home in Dakar and a master plan for part of the town of Tivaouane in the north.” Jonathon has been guest lecturing in Sri Lanka, India and parts of Africa and has become involved in community health messaging through clowning. He has performed in Montreal, New York, Haiti, Kenya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Senegal and India. Jonathan travelled to Conway in spring 2013 to serve as a critic for the students’ formal project presentations. Ð Melissa Mourkas continues to work on environmental analyses for electric power projects in CA. She writes, “The large solar electric generating facilities in the

/ F I EL D N OT ES /

Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, & Why They Matter BY DAVID BUCHANAN David Buchanan ’00 has found his niche. A founding member of the Portland, Maine, chapter of the slow food movement, he recently purchased a small farm in Pownal, where he intends to collect, raise, and experiment with rare foods. He laments Jonathon Ellison ’94 stilt-walks through a crowded marketplace in Dakar, Senegal.

the poor selection of apples available in most grocery stores,

Mojave desert have significant environmental impacts that are difficult to mitigate. I am now specializing in built environment cultural resources, making good use of my landscape architecture and architectural history background.” She continues, “My classmates won’t be surprised to learn that I am now camping in my VW Camper No. 3!”


CLASS AGENT > Art Collings (otter@

mac.com) Ð Christopher Rice

was married on March 3, 2013 to Tomlin Coggeshall in Newcastle, ME. Ð Susan Rosenberg is the cofounder of Canopy, an organization that has significantly changed the way Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, CA value their urban forests. She spends “quite a bit of time with her two young grandchildren who are learning about trees.” See also page 22 for more on Susan.


CLASS AGENT > Julia Plumb


Ð Marcia Fischer is a mom to two kids,

ages eight and six, whom she refers to as “awesome and humbling design projects.” Marcia works for a “lean and mean” firm of hydrologic engineers and geomorphologists, mostly doing in-stream restoration. Her children’s school is doing some master planning, which has piqued her interest in revisiting that type of work.


CLASS AGENT > Susan Crimmins


Ð See

class of ’98 for news of Christine McGrath.


CLASS AGENT > Matthew Arnsberger


Ð Matthew Arnsberger is the owner and

operator of Piedmont Environmental Landscaping and Design in Carrboro, NC. Focusing on ecological design and installation of residential landscapes, he enjoys establishing “meadows/piedmont prairies” and notes that “deer are a big constraint here.” Matthew was recently appointed chairman of the Carrboro Environmental Advisory Board. He is also working on a stormwater management handbook for local homeowners and manages a 5,000-square-foot community garden with five other families. Ð Susan Leopold completed her doctorate in ethnobotany and now serves as the executive director of United Plant Savers (UpS). She reports, “I have been focusing on the overharvesting of endemic sandalwoods of HI and last October cohosted the International Sandalwood Symposium at the University of Hawaii. I have also recently become a board member of the American Botanical Council and submitted an article and abstract to the Society of Ethnobiology entitled “Reviving Dormant Ethnobotany: The Role of Women and Plant Knowledge in a Food-Secure World.” Conway students completed a landscape master plan for UpS’s Goldenseal Botanical Plant Sanctuary in Rutland, OH last spring (see p. 16); UpS is beginning to fundraise in order to install parts of that plan.Ð Mollie Babize ’84 caught up with Sally Naser at the MA Land Conservation Conference, where Sally offered two workshops. Sally is the conservation restriction (CR) monitoring specialist for The Trustees of Reservations, where she oversees the stewardship and annual monitoring of 360

selected primarily for their tolerance for diverse growing conditions, storage, packing, and shipping. Maine farmers, he claims, once grew more than 400 varieties of apples. This year, Chelsea Green published his reflections


For more information:

themaine mag.com

on heritage foods in Taste, Memory: Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter. In a March 2013 profile in Maine, David summarizes his vision: “It’s my hope that regional seed businesses, farms, and gardens will continue to evolve in new directions, and especially that plant breeders will team up with growers and seed savers to develop flavorful new foods well adapted to our land and changing climate. . . . This is what I believe, and what motivates me to continue my work: that even the smallest garden can express something nearly forgotten, become a pocket of diversity in a world that looks and tastes increasingly the same.”

//2013// con’text 31

/ F I E L D N OT ES /

CRs on 20,000 acres across MA. Before joining the Trustees, Sally served as boundary program manager for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and oversaw monitoring, maintenance, and encroachment mitigation along the 1,300 miles of surveyed boundaries that buffer the National Park Service Appalachian Trail Corridor lands between VA and ME. Ð Jim McGrath lives in the Berkshires with his wife Christine McGrath ’97 and their boys, Ian and Kyle. Christine was recently licensed as a MA elementary education teacher and Jim continues his work as program manager of parks, open space, and natural resources in Pittsfield, MA. Jim is also involved with the Housatonic River clean-up and the extension of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail into Pittsfield. Ð See also class of ’86 for news of Marya Fowler.


CLASS AGENT > Cindy Tavernise

(tavernise99@csld.edu) Ð See also page 5 for news of Seth Wilkinson.


NO CLASS AGENT > Be the one (or

two)! Ð David Buchanan

presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September—Hard Cider and Heritage Foods. See also page 31 for more on David’s new book, Taste, Memory. Ð Anne Capra continues to do environmental planning for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and returned in March as a critic at the students’ winter project presentations. She and her daughter Ella live in Hatfield, MA. Anne says, “Life is good and very busy.” Ð Janet Curtis serves as a member of the Climate Protection Action Committee for Cambridge, MA. In April, she started as director of development and communications at the Charles River Conservancy,

Whole Systems

Cindy Tavernise ’99 reports, “My contribution to the world recently has been in the arts.” White Peony is a recently completed oil painting. PHOTO: CINDY TAVERNISE

which works to make the Charles River parklands more active, attractive, and accessible for all. Ð Carl Heide is “doing well despite the heat of TX, where I am now working again for the same company I worked for out of college. I have a new hobby: rowing. I row every morning I am in town, so it is more of an obsession at the moment. Until I decide to buy a home, my design skills are on hiatus from regular use.” Ð Leslie (Dutton) Jakobs has returned to Leipzig, Germany, where she lived before attending Conway. Leslie writes, “It’s amazing how different it looks now. My old building has been modernized, as have most of the buildings in the city.” Before moving back to Germany, Leslie worked for the City of Chattanooga’s Office of Sustainability, where her role in green infrastructure “ . . . was thrilling. My boss had a lot to do with the fact that Andropogon got hired to integrate green infrastructure into Chattanooga’s codes. He convinced the mayor that Philly has got this thing figured out, and why don’t we do what they’re doing. At first, the engineers were very grumpy that their favorite firm in Nashville didn’t get hired, but when the team from Philly illustrated what the difference is between Nashville’s

green infrastructure plan and the plan that they are proposing for Chattanooga . . . it was really eye-opening. And the engineers became believers, too.” Ð Treesa Rogerson does stand-up comedy and sings gospel. Still influenced by her Conway education, Treesa is looking to “ . . . change careers to the healing arts (the human body garden)” and hopes to find a school with an approach to learning that is similar to that of the Conway School. She is temporarily living in Steamboat Springs, CO. Ð Judy Sherburne reports, “My life is spent mostly between Juneau, AK and Atlin, BC, with an occasional trip to the outside world. This year it was Cuba. Business is keeping me busy but I am trying, and somewhat succeeding, in limiting myself to design while turning over the back work to my crew.”


CLASS AGENTS > Chuck Schnell

(schnell01@csld.edu), Robin

Simmen (simmen01@csld.edu) Ð The class of 2001 celebrated together at the 40th reunion attended by Chuck Arnold (and honorary classmate Lisa Arnold), Jay Levine, Aaron Schlechter, and Chuck Schnell (and honorary classmate Kara Schnell). They toured some of their old haunts including the People’s Pint in addition to the other scheduled activities of the weekend. Ð Aaron Schlechter is serving his third term as CT state director for the New England chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. He has also been working on two BlueBelt public improvement projects on Staten Island. He reports that both projects include “ . . . the manual removal of invasive vines and woody plants as well as road, curb, and sidewalk improvements.” He is working to collaborate with Conway on speakers and other shared events. See also pages 23 and

Ben Falk ’05, principal of Whole Systems Design, has been

experimenting with adaptive and regenerative design on his mid-state Vermont farm for nearly a decade. He raises rice and lamb, heats water by piping it through a compost pile, and teaches classes in permaculture design. A new book summarizes his philosophy and experience. It offers practical steps for turning even the most abused and depleted site into a multilayered productive site. Ben anticipates a future where we will need to adapt to extreme weather conditions, find new sources of energy, and develop more localized economies. He details a design process familiar to Conway graduates for regenerating soil and water systems, and building resilience on a homestead as demonstrated by the design and operations of the Whole Systems Design Farm. Published by Chelsea Green, The Resilient Farm and Homestead will be released in June 2013.

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

See Ben speak on Homestead and Farm Resiliency:

tinyurl. com/ benfalk

/ F I EL D N OT ES /

L to R, Sue Reed ’87; ’01 classmates Chuck Arnold, Chuck Schnell, Aaron Schlechter, and Jay Levine; and Don Walker ’79.

25 for more on Aaron. Ð See also page 23 for news of Robbin Simmen.


CLASS AGENT > Michael Cavanagh


Ð Sonja Kenny reports, “ . . . life is good.

I am finding ways to dovetail my ecological landscape design expertise with my new-found parenting skills. I am currently doing voluntary landscape design work for my youngest son’s day care in Somerville, MA. We are implementing a natural playground in a very urban area and just found a donor. Very excited. Also, I have started teacher training to become an outdoors teacher for Mass. Audubon’s habitat site in Belmont.” Ð Michael Cavanagh returned to Conway this fall as a critic for the students’ project presentations. Ð See also page 10 for news of Gove DePuy.


CLASS AGENT > Lauren Wheeler


design.com) Ð Madeleine Charney con-

tinues her work at the UMASS Amherst Library, where she recently helped establish a sustainability round table as part of the American Library Association. She reports, “This group will lend considerable credibility to the work sustainability librarians already do and plan to do in the future.” Madeleine cofacilitated a

series of faculty workshops and taught an online course to academic librarians about campus sustainability movements. Madeleine is also “ . . . involved with Grow Food Amherst and plans to assist with design and hands-on work for permaculture installations at Wildwood Elementary School.” Ð Jono Neiger presented a workshop at the 40th celebration in September—Wildside Gardens: Design and Management of the Productive Landscape, with Wildside owner Sue Bridge. See also class of ’11 and page 21 for more on Jono.

[04] [05]

and tagging for an engineering firm: “Identifying, tagging, and evaluating over 1,400 trees in a woodland area in NY state really honed my winter tree identification skills.” Del presented a workshop at the 40th anniversary in September—Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants—and a “lightning talk”—Wetland Buffer Plantings. Ð See also page 32 for news of Ben Falk’s new book, The Resilient Farm and Homestead.


CLASS AGENT > Ian Hodgdon (ian.

hodgdon@yahoo.com), Brian

Trippe (trippe06@csld.edu) Ð Danielle

NO CLASS AGENT > How about you?

Allen recently bought a 28-acre vegeta-

Your name here!

ble farm along the Connecticut River in Fairlee, VT. She reports, “It’s a gorgeous piece of land with incredible soil and we are on a terrace high above the river, so no threat of flooding. We love visitors if any Conway grads are in the area!”

CLASS AGENTS > Linda Leduc


Sandy Ross (rosslandscapedesign@ gmail.com) Ð Shawn Callaghan is a senior

planner II with Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. in Hartford, CT, the largest planning consulting firm in the state. Recent projects have included environmental planning for the future Providence and DC streetcars, developing an electric vehicle charging station plan for the MD Department of Transportation, advising utilities on wind and solar siting projects, vernal pool assessments for the planned CT/MA High Speed Rail Program and various wetland mitigation and restoration designs. Ð Todd Lynch presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th anniversary in September—Revitalize the Land, Revitalize Yourself. In April, he presented a talk at the Sunderland Public Library, which was cosponsored by the library and Conway—Medicinal Plants in the Landscape: Catalysts for Restoration. Ð Del Orloske is working on several wetland mitigation design projects for a landscape architect in CT. This past winter he finished doing a tree evaluation

Pollinators Welcome

which are ground nesting. Others nest

Tom Sullivan ’08 is making a name for

such as staghorn sumac and elderberry.

himself in the world of native pollinators.

A beekeeper in his youth, Tom says he

His design of a pollinator garden

wanted to return to beekeeping and at

at “That’s a Plenty Farm” in Hadley,

Conway “made the link with the whole

Massachusetts, has become a showcase

ecosystem,” expanding his interest from

as well as an outdoor classroom. Through

nonnative honey bees to the broad field

his company, Pollinators Welcome, Tom

of native pollinators. Tom was named

gives lectures on the nesting, forage, and

February “Green Hero of the Month” by

life cycles of some of the 400 native bee

the Greening Greenfield committee in

species in New England, 70 percent of

Greenfield, Massachusetts.


CLASS AGENTS > Alicia Batista

(batista07@csld.edu), Priscilla

Novitt (novitt@csld.edu) Ð Annie Scott

is co-owner and designer at Tiny Terra Ferma, an ecological landscape design studio and garden shop in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA. In a recent interview with Lunaria Gardens Annie said, “Our goal is to enable people to grow their own food in both large and small spaces. Through proper design, it is possible to grow an abundance of food in

Priscilla Novitt and Kate Dana represented the class of 2007 at the 40th celebration.

in hollow stems or pithy twigs of plants,


//2013// con’text 33

/ F I E L D N OT ES /

CONWAY CONNECTIONS Shawn Callaghan ’05 and Karen Dunn ’11 serendipitously met in Edenton, North Carolina while attending a rigorous three-day Low Impact Development FastTrack Certification Course, developed jointly by NC State University and NC Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources, Division of Water Quality. The certification indicates that participants have demonstrated the knowledge, expertise, and skills necessary to properly design, plan, implement, and maintain LID projects. Both grads agree that their time at Conway clearly set the foundation for their respective career paths. And it’s always fun to randomly bump into someone that has shared “the Conway experience!”

Sean Roulan ‘07 says, “This was from last year though I am still bringing blooms and edible abundance to the hood whenever I can! I am always busy coaching the next 50 million gardeners!”

tiny row-house backyards.” She continued: “I love the challenge of fulfilling the client’s goals while serving nature, and creating food sources for both humans and wildlife through the use of native plants. I have done this through design on 40-acre farms, 400-square-foot backyards, and window boxes. I’m excited about any new design challenge that provides the opportunity to create beautiful spaces in both form and function.” Ð See class of ’09 for news of Jennifer Campbell.


CLASS AGENTS > Doug Guey-Lee

(gueylee08@csld.edu), Amy

Livingston Larsen (livingston08@csld. edu), Theresa Sprague (sprague08@

Project Idea? Do you know of a project that would make a great Conway student project? Let us know! Contact Dave Nordstrom at (413) 369-4044, ext. 6 or nordstrom@csld.edu.

csld.edu) Ð Kevin Adams presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September—Climate Change: Civic Engagement in the Landscape Architecture Studio. Ð Jesse Froehlich writes, “I’m continuing to stay busy with the launch of BlueBarrel, my residential rainwater harvesting business in California’s North Bay Region. Rainwater harvesting has an effect on climate change when you consider the strong nexus between water and energy. Tremendous amounts of energy are used to treat and transport water (20% of all energy used in the state of CA), so the more we can do to minimize our reliance on pumped and treated water sources, the greater reduction we see in carbon footprints. In terms of food security, nontreated rainwater is best used for landscape and garden irrigation. It’s a solution that allows home dwellers to become more self-sufficient, both in terms of collecting their own water and growing their own

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

food.” See the BlueBarrel website for more details. See also page 8 for more on Jesse. Ð Tom Sullivan presented a workshop— Planting for Pollinators—and a “lightning talk”—Designing Bee Pollinator Habitat—at the 40th celebration in September. See also page 33 for more on Tom. Ð See also page 24 for news of Theresa Sprague.


CLASS AGENTS > Kate Benisek


Ashley Pelletier (pelletier09@csld.edu)

Ð Cyndy Fine recently volunteered on Patrick Dougherty’s latest Stickwork project in Sarasota, FL. “Using local, natural material and solely volunteer labor, Dougherty created a jumping off point for our imaginations and community in three short weeks. One aspect of the process I found most intriguing was the lack of overthinking before the actual work began, which allowed the essence and history of place dictate the form on site. Seven days a week, while six lanes of traffic drove by honking approval and journalists, photographers, docents and all matter of curious folks crawled around us, we wove away . . . and three weeks

Ashley Pelletier ’09, Kate Benisek ’09, and Liz Kushner ’08 are all in the master of landscape architecture program at Cornell University.

/ F I EL D N OT ES /

later the kooky, mysterious, thought-provoking sculpture was complete: a leaning fun-house of twigs with five narrow tent tops shooting towards the sky, referencing Sarasota’s long history with ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ It was an experience I won’t soon forget and an honor to work side by side with an unassuming but truly creative force. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Ð Jennifer Campbell ’07 was in town for a visit and came to work with me for day!” Ð Kate Gehron is in her first year of a master’s in environmental science degree program at the Yale School of Forestry. She reports, “I’m learning about coastal adaptation to sea-level rise, urban ecology, organic pollutants, and other exciting things that are complementing everything I learned at Conway. It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m looking forward to spending the summer doing marsh migration research in CT, which will help inform the Guilford, CT coastal adaptation plan. This project will potentially provide a template for other Long Island coastal communities.” See also page 7 for more on Kate. Ð Brian Markey recently took an “awesome position as an urban planner with the Jefferson Parish in LA. Jefferson Parish is the largest by size and second largest by population and straddles both sides of the Mississippi River just upstream of New Orleans. I’m enjoying the great opportunity to propose, research, and implement projects on everything: incentivizing stormwater management on commercial lots, zoning for food trucks, developing standards for retrofitting shipping containers, and developing new overlay districts on commercial corridors. On the side I have been having a great time riding a pedicab in the French Quarter,

building custom furniture from salvaged wood, and sitting on the policy board of a local transportation advocacy nonprofit.” Ð Aran Wiener’s son Max Raven Wiener was born April 19, 2012. Ð See also page 23 for news of Jonathan Cooper.


Moving? Update your contact info: csld.edu/alums/alum-services

CLASS AGENTS > Gareth Crosby


Krstin Thomas (thomas10@csld.edu)

Ð Kathleen Connolly divides her time

between “ . . . residential design projects, community presentations and writing on topics related to sustainable landscapes. I am encouraged by the amount of interest in native plants, a topic I happily include in my seminars for master gardeners, garden clubs, libraries and other community groups.” Kathleen writes regularly for Connecticut Woodlands magazine and The Day, southeastern CT’s major newspaper. Kathleen recently did a design project for a lakefront-community demonstration-landscape. She writes, “The 1,800-square-foot planting will contain only CT native plants and will be designed to sequester storm water from the nearby lawns and roads. The lake is troubled by goose droppings, excess nitrogen, and invasive aquatic weeds. Interpretive signs are planned and an informational presentation to association members. One goal of the project is to encourage all lakefront dwellers to implement a similar design on their own properties.” Ð Annie Cox reports, “I’m working on the New England Climate Adaptation Project to develop a scenario-based role-play games around the topic of climate adaptation. These games will be tailored specifically to four partnering New England towns through risk assessments and stakeholder assessments

Cyndy Fine ’09 caught up with Jennifer Campbell ’07 in Sarasota, FL, while volunteering on artist Patrick Dougherty’s latest Stickwork project.

and will engage local officials, leaders, and residents. Participants will assume roles that reflect the key interests of their community and engage in mock negotiations focused on how their community would respond to different climate-related threats given limited resources, diverse and/or conflicting perspectives, and high levels of uncertainty.” In May 2012 Annie and Ryan welcomed their son, Rudyard, to the world! See also page 5 and class of ’86 for more on Annie. Ð Kerri Culhane presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September—Green Infrastructure: Community Planning on the Lower East Side. See also class of ’11 and pages 2, 23, and 25 for more on Kerri. Ð Mary Praus, land use planner for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments in Greenfield, MA, is wrapping up work on “Sustainable Franklin County,” a regional plan for sustainable development for Franklin County. The plan looks at the impact modest population growth may have on the region, through the lens of climate change and sustainable development. Mary’s focus has been on natural resources, land use, and infrastructure. When not planning for the towns of Franklin County, Mary has “been busy with her urban homestead ( just a five-minute bike to work), constructing a bioswale for rain water retention, stacking fire wood, and planning the layout of this year’s front-yard vegetable garden.” Ð Jamie Scott reports, “Last year, I had the privilege to colead a comprehensive environmental impact assessment in Horsh Ehden, Lebanon’s oldest national park, widely considered the most biodiverse forest in the Middle East. Later in the year I accepted a second USAID consultancy in Jordan and co-led a solar energy study. That was our only task, but as every student of Conway knows, context matters. My client’s work in community development was much broader in scope so we began considering other challenges and opportunities: youth civic engagement in Petra, conservation of coral reefs in the Red Sea, agricultural mediation, desertification, and other

//2013// con’text 35

/ F I E L D N OT ES /

pressing issues. We covered more ground than we could reconcile with the project’s narrow mandate, so we proposed an innovative cross-sector-partnership, whereby regional socio-environmental challenges could be met with community-specific development strategies.” Photos from Lebanon and Jordan can be viewed on Jamie’s website. Ð Kate Snyder became the administrative director of the New England Farmers Union (NEFU) this past November. She writes, “The highlight of my work so far was when the National Farmers Union (NFU), a 111-year-old national organization that advocates for family farmers and ranchers, met in New England for the first time in March and put New England’s agriculture in the spotlight. NEFU, the newest chapter of this organization, helped organize tours of area farms and several NEFU members gave talks to this national crowd. One board member, a 23-year-old urban farmer in Providence, RI, shared her story of farming two vacant lots, and the threat of this land being sold at a tax sale this summer.” Ð Kristin Thomas reports that “Callum Elijah Thomas was born at 8:07 a.m. on Halloween and weighed in at 9 lbs. 9.5 oz. He’s six months now and is a ball of fun. Let’s just say that Conway helped prepare me for the most intense project I’ve ever taken on, and this is one that I can’t leave at school!” Ð Michael Yoken is “pursuing green infrastructure projects in the NYC area. I am in the preliminary phases of working with properties to design and install elements like permeable surfaces, vegetated earthworks, green roofs, and properly placed vegetation to provide the most ecological services in heavily built environments. I am encountering work and business relationships for which I have little or no previous experience, but have been helped along at every step by the mindset emphasized in my Conway

experience: simply jumping in, learning on-the-job, and finding the necessary resources!” Ð See also page 23 for more on Michael. Ð See also page 8 for news of Elizabeth Cooper.


CLASS AGENTS > Emily Lubahn

(lubahn11@csld.edu), Julie Welch

(welch11@csld.edu) Ð Kate Cholakis

recently celebrated her first-year wedding anniversary with her husband Sev and completed a semester of co-teaching in the undergraduate architecture studio at Smith College. She has started a new job at Nitsch Engineering in Boston, where she’ll be on the sustainable stormwater planning team. Kate is “looking forward to working on large-scale projects.” She is also part of a design collective with other Conway graduates and friends in downtown Northampton where they share office space and brainstorm ways to collaborate. Ð Karen Dunn provides planning services for the town of Navassa, a small town on the west shore of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County, NC. She reports, “For the past year, I have been volunteering with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a grassroots nonprofit that focuses exclusively on protecting and restoring the coast of NC’s 20-county region through education, advocacy, and habitat preservation and restoration. As a member of the federation’s Southeastern advisory board, I have been working on special projects and developing membership outreach strategies.” In March, Karen began volunteering at Airlie Gardens, a historical public garden that offers cultural and environmental education programs to the residents and visitors of the Wilmington area. Karen writes, “ . . . the gardens provide ample opportunities to teach firsthand about tidal creek ecosystems and NC’s horticulture.” See also pages 5 and 34 for more on Karen.

Educating Landowners As project manager in the Energy and Environmental Asset Group at LandVest, Jan Wirth ’11 is educating landowners about the values of ecosystem services (or “natural capital”) provided by large blocks of undeveloped land, such as carbon sequestration. At a recent Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference, Jan set up the LandVest booth next to the table promoting the Conway School, for a strong Conway presence.

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

Ð John Lepore, founder of Future Lands Resilient Designs in Bernardston, MA, is working with the Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield to manage sustainably its 90 acres of “ . . . diverse wetlands, forests, and highly managed fields.” The stewardship plan will “. . . allow administrators, school committee members, and teachers access to best-practices methodology for improving water-runoff quality, fostering biodiversity, and localizing food security education. The plan calls for several pollinator habitats, forest and invasive management considerations for each eco-zone, a confidence/leadership ropes course, an interpretive trail system with kiosks, a wetland lookout, several ‘living-roof’ outdoor classrooms made of site-sourced materials, vegetable and rain gardens, a 2.5-acre photovoltaic array, and more.” See also class of ’86 for more on Giaco. Ð Ahron Lerman has recently begun work as an assistant forester for the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation in Worcester, MA, where he’ll be planting trees to reforest an area devastated by the Asian long-horned beetle. Ð Julie Welch “ . . . seems to have found a niche in public/educational programs. I’ve been working with the Buckminster Fuller Institute and Cooper Union Institute of Sustainable Design on a collaborative programs agreement and series of free, public lectures. I’m also helping a Manhattan girls school develop design projects to enhance their environmental sustainability programs; was invited to join a permaculture advisory committee geared toward teaching design to young women in Haiti; and have been assisting with the public programs at a historical garden in Brooklyn. I’ve taught an advanced permaculture class with Dave Jacke ’84 and Jono Neiger ’03 at Brook’s Bend Farm in Montague, MA and have been recommended for projects in Brooklyn and Queens by Kerri Culhane ’10 and Dave Nordstrom ’04. I’m enjoying the variety of work our degree leads us to and collaborating with fellow alums!” See also page 23 for more on Julie. Ð Jan Wirth continues to work for Bostonbased LandVest. She writes, “It has been quite an adventure and I’m proud of what the new Energy & Environmental Asset Group accomplished in a relatively short time. We developed a natural capital assessment to examine 22 asset classes for opportunities in renewable energy and ecosystem services on a given property

/ F I EL D N OT ES /

The class of 2011 was well represented at the 40th celebration: front, L to R, Jan Wirth, Laura Rissolo (with daughter Simone—1 of 4 babies born to members of the class this year!), Julie Welch, Melissa Carll; second row, Emily Lubahn, Karen Dunn, Kate Cholakis, Elaine Williamson, Kate Tompkins; Back row, Sean Walsh, Ahron Lerman.

and brokered the first, and largest-to-date solar land-lease purchase in MA on an operational site producing 6 MW of power. I am excited also to be working with the Colorado State Land Board, who administers roughly three million acres. Our team is working with several large, national conservation groups to develop a pilot project for two forest-carbon aggregation programs in New England. I’ve just started working on a project in Aroostook County, ME which would include both forestland and farmland in a carbon program. I never dreamed that I would be working on a daily basis in the carbon credit world. My Conway experience prepared me to jump right into something I knew very little about, study hard (I have lost count of the webinars and workshops on carbon credits I’ve attended) and stay engaged.”


CLASS AGENTS > Jamie Pottern

(pottern12@csld.edu), Christina

Gibson (gibson12@csld.edu)

Ð Seana

Cullinan and Shana Hostetter started

Larkspur Design in Yarmouth, ME, “a landscape design firm that is committed to creating artistic and ecologically rich gardens that resonate with the architecture, history and spirit of each site.” Seana and Shana design, install and maintain gardens and landscapes for residential and commercial properties. “We aim to increase the sustainability, biodiversity and beauty of each and every property. We use only the highest quality plants sourced

from local nurseries as well as indigenous, organic landscape materials. We have a particular interest in using and conserving native plant communities of New England but we appreciate the diversity, functions, and visual interest that nonnative species can provide where appropriate.” Ð Laura Elizares is working as a permanency counselor for a nonprofit, communitybased youth services agency in CA. She reports her position is “cutting edge and grant funded. I am essentially setting up a permacultural system of relationships within families so youth can sustain their resilience over time. And my employers are the ‘permaculture forebearers’ in the field of social work. I am very excited to be working for an amazing agency and to be supported in my growth as a counselor—they’re going to help me with a second masters in social work so I can work towards a clinician/clinical social worker degree (LCSW). More and more I want to mesh sustainable living and community planning with clinical and social work with families and communities.” Ð Christina Gibson completed an internship with Highstead, a regional conservation organization in southwest CT that, in partnership with Harvard Forest, is working to protect permanently seventy percent of New England forests from development. During her internship, she prepared a case statement for a partnership of land trusts and town conservation commissions in Fairfield

County, CT, and helped organize the annual Regional Conservation Partnership Network Gathering in NH. In February Christina returned to her hometown of Atlanta, GA to work for Trees Atlanta on the Beltline, a rails-to-trails greenway that will connect 45 neighborhoods with bike paths, walking trails, parks, and light rail. She reports, “I’m having a blast planting native prairie grasses and designing wildflower meadows through downtown Atlanta!” See also page 25 for more on Christina. Ð Molly Hutt is the maintenance division manager—Cape Cod at D. Schumacher Landscaping, Inc. Ð Rachel Jackson presented a “lightning talk” at the 40th celebration in September— Developing Models for Sustainability in Rural Costa Rica. Ð Jeanette O’Connor is starting a branch of Virginia-based Lands and Waters in Carrborro, NC. The new venture, called Lands and Waters South (LWS), is dedicated to watershed protection and education through the creation of “living classrooms.” LWS designs spaces that create wildlife habitat, curb stormwater runoff, and welcome students to study subjects including science, the arts, and community/cultural connections. By fostering partnerships between citizens, schools, businesses, and local government, LWS hopes to impact positively both the community and the planet. Ð Jamie Pottern is the farm conservation program manager for Mount Grace Land Trust in Athol, MA. She is responsible for protecting working farms and developing a strategic plan with regional agencies for farmland conservation that will support vibrant, local food systems in the North Quabbin region. See also class of ’93 for more on Jamie.Ð See also page 7 for news of Christina Puerto. ~ Many of the firms and individuals mentioned in Field Notes have websites. We regret that space and typographical issues do not allow us to include them here.

Interested in hosting a regional gathering? Catch up with Conway friends and help introduce prospective applicants to the program! If you’re interested in hosting or learning more, contact Mollie Babize at babize@csld.edu.

//2013// con’text 37



Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design


F I S CAL YE AR 2012

STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2012 (from audited financial statements accepted by the Board of Trustees on 11/2/2012 with comparative figures for 2011)


Summary of Operations

In-kind contributions Tuition and fees Project reimbursement

We would like to thank all who continue to keep the Conway School financially sustainable through their generous contributions. For five years in a row the Conway

Investment income Miscellaneous income

withdrew—two for health reasons—









22,032 813 743,388





School activities






Net Assets Released from Restrictions

of school (four accepted students




Total Unrestricted Support and Revenue and Net Assets Released from Restrictions

students enrolled for the first day



Total Unrestricted Support and Revenue

averaging $48,000 per year. Those reserves were put to good use in fis-

FY 2011

Workshop fees (net)

School had increases in net assets

cal year 2012, which had just twelve



shortly before the school year




began). The fiscal year ended with




an overall decrease in net assets of

Increase/(Decrease) in Unrestricted Net Assets





$97,880. The reduction in anticipated tuition revenue was partially offset by a $57,497 reduction in operating expenses over FY 2011, primarily related to variable costs.

TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED NET ASSETS Contributions Investment income/Interest earned— scholarship/Loan fund





Net Assets at Beginning of Year



Net Assets at End of Year





Bright spots from the FY 2012

Net assets released from restrictions

finances included a nearly ten per-

Increase/(Decrease) in Temporarily Restricted Net Assets

cent increase in unrestricted annual fund contributions from $69,848 in FY2011 to $76,751, and a decrease of only twelve percent in student project reimbursements. Investment income was less than FY 2011 largely due to lower returns on mutual funds and higher premiums paid for short-term investment-grade corporate bonds. The school continues to practice a con-

Increase/(Decrease) in Net Assets

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION AS OF JUNE 30, 2012 (from audited financial statements accepted by the Board of Trustees on 11/2/2012 with comparative figures for 2011)

FY 2012

FY 2011







Property and equipment, net







servative investment strategy with a

Cash and cash equivalents

portfolio made up of money markets,

Accounts receivable

certificates of deposit, corporate

Prepaid expenses

bonds, and mutual funds (including socially screened).

Other assets



Total Assets





LIABILITIES and NET ASSETS Current liabilities Mortgage note payable, long term portion



Net assets



Total Liabilities and Net Assets



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

We are pleased to recognize donors who made gifts totaling $87,289 in support of the school by

Tim & Linda Umbach

way of gifts to the Annual Fund, David Bird International Service Fellowship, student projects, and

Mrs. M.E. Van Buren

need-based student grants. Your support is critical to our continued success, and your generosity


Error or omission? Please bring it to our attention by contacting:


Peter Van Buren ’82 & Susan Van Buren ’82

ensures that we can continue to prepare graduates to make import-

Elizabeth Vizza ’82

ant contributions to landscape planning and design, across scales

Donald L. Walker, Jr. ’79 & Ruth Parnall

and around the world. The 2012 Annual Report includes gifts made to the Conway School from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. We make every attempt to ensure

George Watkins ’77 Eric Weber ’77 & Barbara Young Jenna Webster ‘09

its accuracy and ask you to bring any errors or omissions to our attention. Contact Priscilla Novitt,

Peg Weiss ’79 & Frederick Weiss

Development Coordinator, at (413) 369-4044 ext. 3 or novitt@csld.edu.

Judith & Robert Wilkinson Seth Wilkinson ’99 Judith Wilson ’03


Mary G. Wilson ’81 Jan Wirth ’11

Susanna Adams ’78

Harry Dodson

Darrel G. Morrison

Michael Yoken ’10

Jennifer Allcock ’89

Abrah Dresdale ’10

Glenn Motzkin

Laurence W. Zuelke


Donna Eldridge ’86

James Mourkas


Marlene J. Eldridge

Melissa Mourkas ’94



Jon & Barbara Elkow

Kristin Nelson ’05

Jack Ahern

George S. Anzuoni, in memory

Dorothy Ernst

David Nordstrom ’04

Mollie Babize ’84

Kim Erslev

Priscilla Novitt ’07

John S. Barclay

Charles Arnold ’01 & Lisa Arnold

Paul G. Esswein ’99

John O'Keefe

Lynn Barclay

Matthew Arnsberger ’98

D. H. Eunson Jr. ’93

Carla Oleska

Ken Byrne

Henry Art

David Evans ’76

Del Orloske ’05

Donna Eldridge ’86

Gary Bachman ’84

Elizabeth Farnsworth

Sheila Page ’96

Elizabeth Farnsworth

John S. Barclay

Lila Fendrick ’79

Tehmi & Nitin Patel

Peter Freisem ’98

Vance A. Barr ’90

Cynthia Fine ’09

Mary-Crain Penniman ’89

Greenfield Savings Bank

Hatha Gable Bartlett ’99

Patricia Finley ’90

Darlene & Mark Peters

Ian Hodgdon ’06

Shari Bashin-Sullivan ’84

June E. Fitzgerald

Martha D. Petersen ’94

Nicholas Lasoff ’05

Mark Bethel ’73

Mary Fowler ’98

Peter Phippen ’00

Genevieve Lawlor ’11

Rachel Bird Anderson

Carol Franklin

Christopher Pine

Ahron Lerman ’11

Charles Sumner Bird

Elizabeth Fribush ’81

Dorothea Piranian

Carrie Makover ’86

Clyde & Peggy Froehlich

Robert Pura

Sue Reed ’87

Michele LoGrande Bongiorno ’96

Michael Gibbons ’81

Sue Reed ’87

Joel Russell

Ken Botnick ’79

Nathaniel M. Goodhue ’91

Walter E. Reynolds

Dillon Sussman ’08

James Bouwkamp

Sharyl Green ’80

Alan D. Rice

Timothy Umbach

Nancy Braxton

Greenfield Savings Bank

Christopher I. Rice ’95

Sean Walsh ’11

Barbara Keene Briggs ’02

Asheley Griffith & Marcia Curtis

William Richter ’77 & Sally Richter

Elaine Williamson ’11

Joey Brode

William Halleck ’86

Laura Rissolo ’11 & Jason Rissolo

Tim Brooks ’87

James S. Hardigg

Melissa Robin ’92 & Michael Caplan

Restricted Gifts

Larissa Brown ’94

Nancy Hazard

Gary Robinson ’76 & Amy Whitney


Richard K. Brown & Anita

Paul & Joan Cawood Hellmund

Dolores Root

Charles Sumner Bird

Alex Hoffmeier ’09 & Sarah

Allen & Selina Rossiter

of Helen C. Anzuoni ’88

Charitable Foundation

Loose Brown David Buchanan ’00 Sue & Jim Callihan, in honor of Seana Cullinan ’12

Hoffmeier ’09 David Holden ’76

Selina Rossiter ’02 & Alexander Colhoun

Charitable Foundation Dorothea Piranian Mary Quigley & Mollie Babize ’84

Lily Jacobson ’10

Clarissa Rowe ’74

Ralph A. Caputo

Erik Johnson ’09

Joel Russell

Matching Gifts

Melissa K. Carll ’11

Angela Kearney ’03

Pamela & David Sand

IBM Matching Gifts

Donald Chamberlain ’79, in honor

Annice Kenan ’97 & Jesse Smith

Barbara Sargent ’79 &

of Art Collins ’79

Peter B. Klejna ’75

Tom Sargent ’79

Madeleine Charney ’03

Cynthia Knauf ’89

John Saveson ’92

The Legacy Circle recognizes alums

Joshua Clague ’04

Kathleen Knisely ’76 & David Knisely

Aaron Schlechter ’01

and friends who have made bequests

Arthur Collings ’95

Claudia Kopkowski ’88

Bruce Schlechter

or life income gifts to the Conway

Arthur Collins II ’79

Laurence Kornfield ’76

Charles M. Schnell ’01

School. Their commitment, generos-

Joan M. Collins

Liz Kushner ’08

Annette Schultz ’91

ity, and leadership ensure the future

Kathleen Connolly ’10 &

Edward Landau ’90

Barbara H. Scott

of the school for years to come. We

Barbara B. & Nicholas T. Lasoff ’05

Gordon Shaw ’89

thank them publicly and encourage

Kathleen Connor ’07

Lauren Lautner ’90

Angela Sisson ’04

other members of our community to

Jill Ker Conway

Daniel G. Leahy

Robert Small ’93

follow their lead.

Glenn Cooper ’78

Charles Leopold

Andrew & Nancy Smith


Jonathan Cooper ’09 &

Jay Levine ’01

Dorothy Smith

Jennifer Allcock ’89

Todd Lynch ’05 & Janet

Richard J. Snyder

Richard K. Brown

Susan Space ’91

Susan Crimmins ’97

Paul Connolly

Katherine Gehron ’09 Clemence Corriveau ’02

Bertucci Lynch

The Legacy Circle

David Cox ’76

Barbara Mackey ’88

Christopher Stevenson ’05

William Gundermann

Miyaca Dawn Coyote

Carrie Makover ’86

Lesya Struz ’01

Paul & Joan Cawood Hellmund

Phyllis Croce ’83

Ann Georgia McCaffray ’78

Tom Sullivan ’08

Carrie Makover ’86

Walter Cudnohufsky

Heather McCargo ’84

Virginia Sullivan ’86

Kerri Culhane ’10

Kathleen McCormick ’08

Robert E. Swain

Candace Currie ’97

Zach Mermel ’11

Cindy Tavernise ’99

Colleen Currie & Richard Rubin

Robert L. Merriam

Richard W. Thomas ’73

Ruth Cutler ’85

H. Rennyson Merritt ’80 & Janet Taft

Floyd A. Thompson ’74

D. Alex Damman ’95

Robert & Gladys Miner

Judith F. Thompson ’99

Katherine Dana ’07

Peter Monro ’86

Lydia Thomson ’80 &

Esther L. Danielson ’94

William Montgomery ’91 &

Anya Darrow ’99 Robert Dashevsky ’79

Melody Montgomery Andrea Morgante ’76

Robert Thomson Michael Thornton ’86 Karen Tiede ’87

//2013// con'text 39

Looking Ahead

Expanding Our Collaborative Network



l P la n ni n g

What will the Conway School look like in the future? That important question was actively discussed last fall during Conway’s fortieth anniversary celebrations. And it’s something to which the school’s trustees and staff have been devoting a lot of thought. Conway 4.0—that’s what we’ve called this next phase of the Conway story, and one of its key components is recognizing and strengthening our connections with innovative ideas and people. For that we need your help. There are plenty of central aspects of the Conway School that will never change, but in many ways Conway is always changing. It’s a new school every year: a new class enters and a fresh crop of innovative student projects is undertaken. Many in recent classes have wanted to work—both as students and later as professionals— on projects that deal with food systems and food security. Few designers were thinking about these and other topics until fairly recently. Regularly the aspirations of students and the requests Contact Paul: of project clients help guide what happens at Conway. hellmund@ csld.edu Looking back at the student work of the last six or seven years, three broad areas of design practice emerge: ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design. We often draw these as a Venn diagram. Where all three circles overlap is planning and design with a whole-systems perspective that carefully considers people and natural processes. That’s the core of a Conway education. But, graduating Conway students don’t typically encounter ads for whole-systems designers. (Someday there will be much more of that!) Thus we look to the broader fields of ecological restoration, conservation planning, and regenerative design—and the networks associated with them. These three domains have professional organizations and conferences, jobs boards, journals, and networks of colleagues, including other Conway alums. Connecting into such networks can be particularly helpful, especially in challenging economic times, not just for job seekers, but also for the Conway School itself. For instance, for twenty-five years the Land Trust Alliance has been working with land conservation professionals, volunteers, and supporters to protect land across the United States. Today, alums such as Art Collings ’95 work for conservation organizations. Art is vice president for Land Conservation of the Dutchess Land Conservancy in New York.

E nviro n nđ m


Conway 4.0

g si


Conservation Planning

o lo gi cal D e

Ecological Restoration

Regenerative Design

Where all three circles overlap is planning and design with a whole-systems perspective that carefully considers people and natural processes. That’s the core of a Conway education.


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

We tell Conway students looking for work in land conservation about Art, Dutchess, and the Land Trust Alliance. Similarly, we direct students to networks dealing with ecological restoration and regenerative design, including the Society for Ecological Restoration and regional permaculture guilds. The Conway School wants to strengthen its connection to the professional organizations that are working in these critical fields and more readily find appropriate projects that will provide our students with meaningful learning opportunities and future work leads. These are things you can help us with. Who are the people—prospective project clients, applicants, advisers—and organizations you think should be part of Conway 4.0? Let me hear from you: hellmund@csld.edu.



On Acting Before It’s Too Late


Conway is fast-tracking designers and planners to deal with

Since the start of the school, a Conway education has been

change and uncertainty. A Conway education is for tomorrow,

a partnership between students and faculty, but also between

not just for today, and it’s certainly not about last year. The

outside supporters and the school. Donors, like you—some

school is nimble and responsive, in large part because its teach-

of them Conway alums, many not—have not only ensured the


Support Conway’s Annual Fund


ing is grounded in reality: real projects for

health of the school as a vital teaching institution, but also your

real clients with real needs.

gifts, large and small, have allowed us to keep tuition afford-

Our students are on a mission to learn

able. In fact, while other schools have been forced to continue

whatever it takes to make a better world.

raising tuition, we have keep ours level for three years, in effect

They’re also lifelong learners, so just like you,

reducing the real cost of a Conway education.

they keep on being inquisitive, long after

If you haven’t done so already, please show your support for

their time at Conway. They know that with every project there

inquisitive Conway students, who are eager to make a differ-

are important, new things to learn, and some things need to be

ence, because the world needs them before it’s too late.

learned in a hurry. They feel an urgency—as do we all—with daily reports of shifts in climate and population. The dramatic effects of these shifts are felt along coastlines and even far from them.


There’s a pressing need to act before it’s too late.

Chair, Conway School Board of Trustees


Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design

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

Nonprofit Org U.S. Postage PAID Mailrite

Profile for The Conway School

Con'text 2013  

Magazine of The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design, Spring 2013

Con'text 2013  

Magazine of The Conway School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design, Spring 2013