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Ecological Design in Demanding Times

con'text Magazine of The Conway School

//2015//


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

Keith Ross, Vice Chair LandVest Warwick, MA

Kim Erslev Professor, Landscape Design + Graphics

Richard C. Andriole South Deerfield, MA

Jono Neiger ’03 Professor, Regenerative Design

Mitch Anthony Clarity Northampton, MA

Bill Lattrell Ecology Adjunct

Rachel Bird Anderson Public Health Professional Minneapolis, MN

Anne Madocks ’00 Distinguished Teaching Fellow, Planning Glenn Motzkin Ecology Adjunct Keith Zaltzberg Digital Design Instructor Master Teachers David Jacke ’84 Permaculture Darrel Morrison Design John O'Keefe Ecology Keith Ross Conservation Joel Russell Conservation Law

Michael Cavanagh ’02 Cavanagh Landscape Design LLC Saunderstown, RI Kerri Culhane ’10 Two Bridges Neighborhood Council New York, NY Janet Curtis ’00 Union of Concerned Scientists Cambridge, MA Carol Franklin Andropogon Associates Philadelphia, PA Stephen Thor Johnson Sage Advisors Lincoln, MA

Erik Van Lennep ’83 Sustainability

Carla Oleska Elms College Chicopee, MA

Administration Nina Antonetti Director of Advancement + Strategic Initiatives

Bob Pura Greenfield Community College Greenfield, MA

Adrian Dahlin Director of Admissions + Marketing

Dolores Root Center for Creative Solutions Brattleboro, VT

David Nordstrom ’04 Administrative Director

Susan Rosenberg ’95 Canopy Palo Alto, CA

Priscilla Novitt ’07 Communications Manager 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 Nicholas T. Lasoff ’05 Editor Lilly Pereira, Murre Creative Kristen Winstead, Sund Studio Design Nina Antonetti Ken Byrne Adrian Dahlin Paul Cawood Hellmund Nicholas T. Lasoff Priscilla Novitt David Nordstrom Contributing writers © 2015. con'text is published by The Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc. All rights reserved.

William B. Sayre Wm. B. Sayre, Inc. Williamsburg, 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 Richard Hubbard Shelburne Falls, MA David Lynch ’85 Watertown, MA 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

the

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

//2015//

FE AT U RE S

04 Coming Full Circle

Conway’s director on expanding our ability to be of greater service to the world.

08 Planetary Healing

John Todd explores the ability of ecological design to help solve the energy, food, environmental, and infrastructural crises that the world faces.

DE PART ME NTS

02 From the Director Paul Cawood Hellmund on canal restorers, Conway’s progress, and the “Great Work.”

03 Perspectives

A recent grad shares updates from the urban front.

12 Portfolio

A Keene, New Hampshire, parking lot is reimagined as a living system and a vibrant community space. Read more about this project by Michele Carlson '14 and Gallagher Hannan '14, as well as other students' projects, on page 12.

Student projects focus on ecosystem services, stormwater management, disaster recovery, and more.

18 Commencement Music, a new degree, and turtles (yes, turtles).

20 Perspectives

John Hanning ’82 on the role of drones in design and planning.

21 Conway Currents News of and from the school.

25 Annual Report

A summary of operations for the 2014 fiscal year.

ON THE COVER This "canal restorer" is part of a hybrid technology developed by Dr. John Todd and his team to help clean up the Fisherville Mill site in Grafton, Massachusetts. The experimental restorer floats in contaminated canal water, providing habitat for beneficial organisms that help improve water quality. A spring 2015 Conway student team is at work on a master plan for the former brownfield site. Read more about John Todd’s restoration work on page 8. PHOTO: DAVID WEBER '15

FSC LOGO

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.

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F ROM T H E DI R E C TO R

Canal Restorers, Conway’s Progress, and the “Great Work”

“Conway is—and has always been—a work in progress, maintaining its relevance by responding to the very specific needs of the times.”

The 17 Conway students were scrambling.

Ecological Design, but that doesn’t dimin-

It was a warm September day during our

ish the contributions to ecological design

school’s 2014 fall orientation trip, and they

and planning made by hundreds of gradu-

had been given a difficult assignment,

ates of previous years. In fact, the change

few instructions, and not much time.

in the degree’s name confirms those con-

The assignment was to design and build

tributions from alums, like John Hanning

devices that would float in the heavily

’82 (p. 20) and Emily Lubahn ’11 (at right),

contaminated Blackstone Canal and help

who have taken up the “great work” with

remove hydrocarbons and excess nutri-

laser-sharp focus and commitment.

ents. An odd assortment of “stuff” was

Other signs of progress are all around.

their only tool—oil-absorbent booms and

In the process of establishing our new

some bulbs, rhizomes, and seeds. At this

satellite campus (see p. 4), we have dis-

site in central Massachusetts, the students

covered many more allies and supporters.

were taking part in what Dr. John Todd

In fact, never in its history has the Conway

calls “the great work” of “planetary heal-

School seen the level of financial support

ing” (see p. 8) by building machines out

that it has recently received (see the

of living materials to help solve a serious

Annual Report, p. 25). This support has

environmental problem. The booms built

been expanding our institution and allow-

that day are still floating—and working—

ing us to be of even greater service.

on the Blackstone Canal. The cover of this

Conway is—and has always been—a

issue of con’text shows similar booms on

work in progress, maintaining its rele-

the same canal, created by Dr. Todd and

vance by responding to the very specific

associates.

needs of the times. That’s what our real-

This issue of con’text is a celebration

world projects are all about. We teach this

of Conway’s contributions to ecological

way because we are committed to plane-

design and “planetary healing” across

tary healing and because—no surprise to

scales, and it also offers a promise of

any Conway graduate—it makes for the

things to come. That promise relates to

most profoundly meaningful education

f

Send a note to Paul at:

hellmund@ csld.edu

three very simple and direct statements we think about every day

possible. I think this is one of the strongest issues of con’text. Let me know what you think!

at Conway: Fix what’s broken. Save what

works. Design the future. In the work of

With warmest wishes,

Conway’s graduating class of 2014 you can see progress toward those challenges (see Portfolio, p. 12). The 2014 graduates were Conway’s first PHOTO: DAVID BROOK ANDREWS

to receive the degree Master of Science in

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

PAUL CAWOOD HELLMUND


Perspectives

Report from a Recent Conway Graduate

Tenderloin neighborhood of the city. I’ve been living in this neighborhood for three years, watching the tech companies move in, wondering how I could tap their financial resources to improve street conditions. This June, I will work with FUF to launch #techplantssf, its second program. We’re partnering with the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, a stakeholder located at the juxtaposition of the Tenderloin and Civic Center (with an under-publicized street-level green roof!). ¨

Students in the Guns 2 Gardens program plant greens in the hydroponic garden they designed and built. The students enjoyed the harvest of the first crop in class, and will experiment with creating value-added products using the second crop. PHOTO: EMILY LUBAHN

Notes from the Urban Front BY E MI LY LUB AHN ’11

Emily Lubahn

After a recent talk in San Francisco, I noticed that the speaker, a national expert on tactical urbanism, had a copy of Conway’s con’text magazine in his hands. I tried not to rudely interrupt his conversation, but I couldn’t contain my excitement! It turns out that the person with whom he was speaking had given him the magazine. So on the spot I met Aitan Mizrahi, a member of Conway’s class of 2015. ¨

I am currently working with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF). We are partnering with San Francisco’s planning department to make the first urban forest plan. Last year a friend and I produced a call-to-action video about the

On the urban-ag front my team and I have just launched a food systems nonprofit focused on hyperlocal growing for schools and businesses. Our “Urban Farmacy” currently develops curricula for schools in line with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) standards and applied learning techniques, while building ecological awareness. We plan to grow our services over the next six months to cater to businesses that want food systems on corporate campuses, in restaurants, and offices. We will design, build, and operate the food systems. Our goals include generating revenue while tapping into tech money and providing students who go through our program with jobs as managers and operators of food systems at the businesses. Our first pilot project is a partnership with the Sustainable Urban Design Academy, where we are in four classes in the tenth and eleventh grades teaching students how to build hydroponic systems. These systems will soon replace the former ROTC gun range on campus—the Guns 2 Gardens project. We swooped in after an aquaponics partner backed out. Our first day in the classroom started with kids saying they don’t do math, and ended with the very same students completing complex equations to determine water flow in the hydroponic system they are now building. Applied learning at its best! ¨

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"The bigger story is that we are expanding our ability to be of greater service to the world." —PAUL CAWOOD HELLMUND

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

In September 2015, The Conway School will open a second campus in a renovated mill building in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The building affords dramatic views of the Mount Tom range.


Coming Full Circle

Conway's Director on replicating the School’s timely model

One Million Dollars Raised to Create New Campus and Improve Main Campus

Over the last two years members of the Conway School community have committed more than a million dollars to support the initial components of the school’s ambitious strategic plan, now being implemented. Our new urban campus is currently under construction and the first class will enroll this coming fall. While creating this satellite campus, in nearby Easthampton, Massachusetts, is a significant step in our school’s history, the bigger story is that we are expanding our ability—on both campuses—to be of greater service to the world. Ecological design—as practiced by our graduates—has never been more needed by the planet as it faces climate destabilization and other unprecedented challenges in fitting human needs to shifting ecologies. The new campus will allow us to educate additional ecological designers and also adapt our teaching model to a new, more urban locale. Expanding Conway’s facilities and enrollment is just one part of our strategic plan to be of greater service. As part of that plan, in recent years we have taken on a wider range of student projects, both topically and geographically; changed the name of our degree to Master of Science in Ecological Design, which clarifies the broader professional abilities of our graduates; and have been developing a wider network of like-minded partners and supporters. The response to these changes has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging.

BY PAUL C AWO OD HELLMUND

Rising to urgent needs It’s hard to overlook how urgently changes are needed in the world; there are too many daily reminders. And there are significant ways in which a Conway-educated designer/planner can address important issues, such as climate destabilization, species loss, rapid urbanization, and food insecurity. In April 2014, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made an insightful connection between site design and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They wrote: “While smaller scale spatial planning may not have the energy conservation or emissions reduction benefits of larger scale ones, development tends to occur parcel by parcel and urbanized areas are ultimately the products of thousands of individual site-level development and design decisions.” (Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, Chapter 12, p. 5, emphasis added.) Furthermore, they noted, as quoted in the New York Times (“Climate Efforts Falling Short, U.N. Panel Says” by Justin Gillis, April 13, 2014) that “Though it remains technically possible to keep planetary warming to a tolerable level, only an intensive push over the next 15 years to bring those [greenhouse gas] emissions under control can we achieve the goal [of averting profound risks in coming decades]...” (emphasis added).

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nicknamed the Knowledge Corridor, is home to 32 universities and colleges, and approximately 160,000 university students. The former mill town of Easthampton shares a border with the city of Holyoke and is only a short distance from Springfield, Chicopee, and Westfield. These latter four are Massachusetts Gateway Cities, “midsize urban centers that anchor regional economies,” facing "stubborn social and economic challenges" while retaining “many assets with unrealized potential, including existing infrastructure and strong connections to transportation networks, museums, hospitals, universities, and other major institutions, disproportionately young and underutilized workers, and perhaps above all, authentic urban fabric” (see www. massinc.org/Programs/Gateway-Cities/About-the-GatewayCities). These challenges and opportunities are ones they share with many other cities around the country. We have signed cooperative agreements to work on projects with the cities of Holyoke and Easthampton and hope to have additional arrangements with other communities in the region facing similar social and economic challenges.

Construction is underway at our new 3000 square foot facility in Easthampton. The space above, which has 13.5-foot ceilings and new, energy-efficient windows, will house student work stations, a library, and a flexible presentation space.

The IPCC is reminding us of the need to make changes at all scales, and also pay special attention to the thousands of often overlooked individual site-design decisions, such as the kinds Conway graduates regularly make. Carefully made, such decisions have the cumulative potential of making a meaningful contribution to addressing global issues. Special opportunities in cities Responding to climate change and its attendant challenges is especially important in cities because urban populations are increasing around the world. Cities will need considerable design and planning help if they are to be more livable and capable of supporting and nurturing expanding populations. Since the school’s beginning, Conway students have worked on urban projects (see con’text 2014). Having a more visible campus in a metropolitan region will help us more readily make connections—for both campuses—with project clients and supporters who care about urban and metropolitan design. In December 2014, we signed a two-year lease for space in Mill 180, a former mill building in Easthampton, Massachusetts. This new location complements our main campus in Conway; it will support those students who need or prefer to have access to public transportation or who already live in the Springfield–Hartford region and would like to commute to school from home. The Hartford–Springfield Metropolitan Area is the second most populous region in New England, with approximately 1.9 million residents. This region,

Replicating a timely model Conway’s educational model is ready for wider application. Its ten-month, intensive educational approach has proven itself, both through the quality of the projects our students accomplish and the professional contributions they make as graduates. Creating the satellite campus is part of the process of putting our educational model to a new test. We know how well it has worked over the last four decades, and we are confident it can be useful to a broader audience. We are also using the process ahead to document the core aspects of the Conway approach. Already we have seen how planning that campus has helped us clarify our processes and intentions at the main campus. The advantages of two campuses In Easthampton we will have a new home base that is a small, post-industrial city in the Pioneer Valley, close enough for administrative support from Conway, but still in a distinct part of a metropolitan area, with ready access to project opportunities in nearby cities. Easthampton has public transportation (bus) and ready access to a bike path (Manhan Rail Trail) that

A lower portion of the roof of Mill 180 will have a green roof. Here Mike Michon (on left), the building's owner and developer, gives Conway board members Rick Andriole and Tim Umbach and Administrative Director Dave Nordstrom a tour of the upper roof.

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


"Carefully made, such [individual site-design] decisions have the cumulative potential of making a meaningful contribution to addressing global issues." —UNITED NATIONS INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE is part of an extensive regional system. From Easthampton to an Amtrak station is a 25-minute bike ride. A grocery store and other amenities are minutes away by foot. This new satellite campus will support our desire to be more integrated into the region, and be more visible to a larger potential network of partners. Starting in the winter of 2015, we are hosting a public lecture series (Smaller Cities | Greener Futures) in various communities across the metropolitan region. Being more visible will allow us to attract more project clients and supporters for the institution as a whole. Our two campuses will have separate faculties (experienced with the Conway approach and professional practice) and student cohorts, but both will follow the same educational approach, with a major emphasis on completing real projects for real clients. Students at both campuses can be assured they will get the same proven Conway education, and having two campuses will provide them a choice of setting. On our main campus, students will remain—as students from across four decades have been—enveloped in the woods of the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. Just steps away from the school are trails and opportunities to explore this rural landscape.

In Easthampton there are also trails. They are more urban, providing access to a wide range of urban amenities, including housing, museums, and public transportation. As we envision it, the two campuses will complement and strengthen each other, and the institution as a whole will be made even stronger. The urban campus will provide Conway a presence visible to a larger population, and it will serve as a convenient meeting location for larger audiences and events. Our main campus will provide a quiet sylvan setting, well suited for smaller gatherings, such as retreats, and working away for urban distractions. Coming full circle: two complementary campuses Conway’s founder, Walt Cudnohufsky, had initially considered an urban setting for his school. He writes, “From the first hours of conception of the school, it was imagined in a city setting with the libraries, support services, and activities available to most colleges and universities. The economic reality required that it begin in a retrofitted barn in Conway.” He has great appreciation for the nurturing setting the town of Conway has supplied for the school for more than 40 years, but he does see things coming “full circle” as we add this new campus. Even as interest in the urban campus option is growing among applicants, interest remains in the main campus as a beautiful educational setting in which to study. In keeping with this multi-faceted See Walt’s full approach, the main campus building has comments at received some important upgrades over the tinyurl.com/ last year. A major renovation of the school’s WaltComments entryway gives it year-round climate control and operable windows. New ovens are now at work in the kitchen, a new wood stove has been added to the library, and the entire building has been wired for direct Internet access. The timing for Conway’s urban expansion—and other elements of our strategic plan—is especially propitious. We know there is much hard work ahead. But we are committed to expanding our ability to make significant contributions to the planet and our students and alums. Please visit us—at either campus—and know that your support—and example—are greatly appreciated and vital to Conway’s success. -

A major renovation of the entryway at the main campus (at left) gives it year-round climate control and operable windows. A fire door salvaged from Mill 180 (at right) will be reused as a magnetic pin-up space in the new Easthampton facility.

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2 014 CO N WAY S C H O O L CO MMENCE ME NT ADDRE SS

Planetary HEALING BY J OH N TO D D

Facilitating the Great Work through Ecological Design

The title of this talk is Planetary Healing: Facilitating the Great Work through Ecological Design. I think most of us are aware that the future is largely unknowable. We do know that it is going to be unpredictable and most likely chaotic. It also appears to be increasingly inequitable. Fewer and fewer people have more and more of the resources. This seems to be a global phenomenon. Additionally, as a civilization, we are increasingly becoming resource-constrained. For example, modern industrial agriculture is totally dependent on rock phosphates as a primary source of fertilizer. Around the world rock phosphates are running out. Much of the planet doesn’t have any. On this point alone, our ability to feed ourselves is going to be restricted beginning around 2025 at the latest. This news could make one depressed—except, something else is going on. There are alternatives. There is a powerful counter current taking place, namely an explosion of information around the world. It is remarkable how almost all of history and all of science and technology going back for thousands of years is becoming available electronically. The knowledge in our informational toolbox is exploding. I would argue that as we lose physical resources, whether they are metals, oil, rock minerals, or other materials, we may be able to substitute for them with informational equivalents. And the good news is that information can become a substitute for scarce resources. PHOTO: AMY NYMAN ’13

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


John Todd and his team designed innovative ecological technologies for waste streams in informal settlements in South Africa, such as Langrug in the Western Cape region, where residents, above, participated in a community meeting. PHOTO: JOHN TODD

The challenge for our times is planetary healing. It is, in the language of the alchemists of old, the "Great Work" of our time. And this work will involve stabilizing the climate, restoring the soils and the waters (including the inshore oceans) enhancing wild nature and, of course, feeding billions of humans. In order to accomplish this task we’re going to have to develop technological systems that protect and do not destroy the great ecosystems that sustain us. This is going to be one of the central challenges, along with that of carbon neutrality, we face as a design principle. There is a necessity for a new relationship between humans and nature, and I’m excited that this is the direction that Conway has chosen to pioneer. I am really honored to be here because of it. How are we going to acquire this knowledge? This is at the crux of what I want to talk about. First of all we need to begin with evolution’s legacy, which is a remarkable story. For the last three and a half billion years, life on Earth has been evolving. It has been adapting, changing, and experimenting. It does this within the context of the great guilds we call ecosystems. Most of us, including myself, have been taught to think that evolution is strictly Darwinian through adaptation, mutation, and natural selection. This is all very true, but it is a small piece of a vast story that includes all of life coevolving. As we begin to explore coevolution and understand its mysteries, we can begin to seek new ways of thinking about solving our problems here on Earth. I believe that we are at a historic turning point, and that we are beginning to discover nature’s operating instructions. We’re beginning to decode the language of the living world and apply it to the healing of the planet. It is the Great Work if you will. This knowledge is all very recent, and hasn’t yet percolated into popular consciousness, but as we begin to understand the language of nature, we also can begin to develop new living technologies—the machines of the future. Such machines employ the intelligence of the living world as well as the genius of evolution. Already, and it is still early days, living technologies we are calling eco-machines have been designed to generate fuels, grow foods, detoxify waste, treat sewage, purify air, restore damaged soils, and heal wounded environments. They have been tested and tried throughout the world.

"There is a necessity for a new relationship between humans and nature, and I’m excited that this is the direction that Conway has chosen to pioneer." I would like to describe just a few of these living technologies in order to introduce you to this world, using actual projects I have been involved in over the last few decades. A number of years ago on Cape Cod, I came across a fetid impoundment at a landfill. To some it looked like a scene from Dante’s Inferno. It was dug into the coarse sand and smelled foul. I discovered that it contained many of the priority pollutants or harmful chemicals listed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The unlined pond captured the wastes of a nearby town. They included wastes from houses, small businesses, medical clinics, and retirement homes, as well as veterinary clinics. The worst aspect was that the pond was only feet above the aquifer that provided drinking water for the town. It was not an isolated case. I have seen such situations all over the world. We are literally poisoning ourselves as a culture. I decided then and there to try to figure out how to treat these chemicals using ecological principles. Conventional civil engineering methodologies simply could not do so in a cost effective and safe manner. I concluded that no individual on Earth actually knew how to clean up such foul water. However I reasoned that diverse life acting in concert might be able to do the impossible. I set out to create a new technology by taking my cue from nature. As almost everything on Earth is powered by sunshine I planned to follow suit and to build a solar technology. Since the waste was liquid, I optimized the amount of sunshine that could penetrate the water. To do so my colleagues and I built a system at the landfill that was made up of twenty-one translucent aquaria or tanks that were five feet tall and five feet in diameter. Each held about 700 gallons. They were connected together with piping to form a kind of river. Sunshine penetrated the sides as well as the surface of the tanks. We did not know what life forms could survive in the waste or detoxify the chemicals or kill the pathogens it contained. So I collected thousands of species of life forms from over a dozen environments such as salt marshes, a farm pig wallow, wet areas in the woods, ponds, streams, and bogs. I then carried this great diversity of life, even some fishes, and dumped them into the solar tanks. I introduced this large amount of biodiversity, because I knew from experience that nature is capable

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Conway students design and construct a canal restorer from oil-absorbent booms, flowering bulbs, iris rhizomes, seed heads and other plants from the site. This canal restorer is part of an innovative system designed by John Todd to remove hydrocarbons and nutrients from the Blackstone River and Canal.” PHOTO: RACHEL LINDSAY ’15

of invention. There was yet another dimension to the design. Within the system I created physical analogs of a stream, a marsh, and a pond and connected them to create three distinct ecological elements. When the ecological elements within the system began to self organize and self-design I started to pump in the toxic waste, slowly at first and then more rapidly as it began to adapt. Within weeks, incredible ecologies began to develop that included amazing algae-based communities on the walls of the tanks. I asked Lynn Margulis, who in my view was one of the greatest biologists of the second half of the twentieth century, to visit with her students. I wanted them to look inside the tanks and tell me what they were seeing. They told me, “We recognize the species of organisms. We can identify most of them. But we’ve never seen the communities before. They are new.” Also, each of the tanks was different. In the presence of the large amount of biodiversity, life self-organized at each stage in the transformation process from waste to pure water. The chemicals and life forms were co-adapting in a step-by-step manner. By the end of the treatment process, which lasted on average ten days, the chemicals, with the exception of one that was 99.9 percent removed, the pollutants were completely gone from the water. Heavy metals were sequestered in the first few tanks, mostly in the algae-dominated communities that had formed on the tank walls. The results initially were received with skepticism, so

the original experiment was followed up with a multi-million dollar demonstration project of the technology. In the end, it became a permitted technology. What we learned from the experience is that we can do amazing things in very hazardous places utilizing the wisdom of ecology. Another of my other examples is from a quite different place. Working with nature requires going into the wild, immersing yourself in an ecosystem, and asking yourself questions like: What is the system doing? How does it do it? What is its architecture? Where are the pathways that allow energy and nutrients to flow through it? What are the relationships between the forms of life within the ecology? For years, wanting to understand the inshore waters near Woods Hole on Cape Cod, I had observed eelgrass communities in the ocean. Doing so I began to understand why the eelgrass communities are the nurseries of the oceans, how they purify water, why they slow currents, and how they develop rich sediments. I started to see how the different life forms with the marine grasses interact. As I made a list of their relationships and architectures, I reached the point when it dawned on me that I could use my knowledge of the eelgrass community to design food-culturing systems that would be its analogs. The first of these was a freshwater system in two greenhouses at the University of Vermont. I used a mixture of living aquatic plants and artificial media to mimic the eelgrass community.

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


The engineered ecosystem worked as a powerful community that produced over half a dozen aquatic and terrestrial foods that ranged from fish to tomatoes. For nutrients we used liquid wastes from a brewery to fertilize the system. This eelgrass-inspired, living technology turned out to be one of the most energetically efficient food systems ever designed and opened a future for intensive urban agriculture that is truly ecological. The third experience I want to discuss involved coming up against the fossil fuel industry. Through my work I had come face to face with the disaster of mountaintop removal and valley fill coal mining in Appalachia. For several years I had studied its impact on the ecology of the region. The more I learned the more depressed I became, as did my two young colleagues. As a consequence we chose to work on ways to rehabilitate the over one million acres of land that had been destroyed. We also chose to link the restoration work with one of the greatest problems on the Earth, the slow loss of carbon from our soils over the last ten thousand years. Soil carbon loss is helping to destabilize climate. Our plan was to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and create new soils on the bedrock of the abandoned mining sites. One of my graduate students and I decided to attempt to create a soil-building ecology on top of bedrock on a mining site in West Virginia. Our allies were to be the warm-season, perennial grasses. Different species of these grasses have varying abilities to allow their roots to penetrate into soil and bedrock cracks. We also added legumes for extracting essential nitrogen from the atmosphere. To this mix of plants we added a stable source of carbon in the form a special charcoal made from burning wood under low temperature and oxygen conditions. People of the Amazon discovered millennia ago that such a charcoal material could assist in creating rich soils in normally infertile areas. We were combining knowledge of the prairie and grafting it to ancient wisdom to create a scaffold for soil life. Further we added fungi species to the mix based upon modern discoveries of their role in the formation of soils. Finally, from modern chemical agriculture we borrowed a one-time infusion of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus fertilizer and added it to the test plots.

All these elements worked in combination. Within a year, an extraordinary meadow was growing on the site. Soils were beginning to form and carbon was being sequestered. It made me realize, given sufficient moisture, humanity now has the ability to go into places where real soils do not currently exist, extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it in newly forming soils. Throughout the world people are beginning to carry out work of a comparable nature. A movement to heal the planet through soil and agriculture is developing rapidly. The final story that I want to tell you about is a more recent one. It is described more fully in Nancy Jack Todd’s publication, Annals of Earth. Last year we went to South Africa, where Nancy was born and had her early schooling. It was her first visit since the emergence of a multiracial society there. We found ourselves with a group of South African partners visiting slums called informal settlements. Many are relatively large and populous. There was little infrastructure beyond electricity with great tangles of wires going every which way. Water and sewage infrastructure was almost nonexistent and there were only a few rudimentary public toilet facilities and community water taps. Raw sewage runs down the streets and children play in this fetid and dangerous environment. During the rainy season the slum becomes hazardous to the health of the people there. We felt obliged to create a totally new kind of infrastructure for them. With our South African partners we learned that conventional technologies wouldn’t work, because any wire, pump, valve, or air compressor you installed as part of a technological solution would disappear. Several communities had had conventional sewage systems installed but the technical components had been stolen. The question for us became—and this is where the design framework gets really interesting—how can we create invisible technologies, ones nobody knows are there? These would be technologies that do not use pumps, compressors, or aerators and the like. They would be invisible. We wanted to learn to tap into more subtle energies like gravity and slope, and use thin films that would create exchanges between the wastewater and the atmosphere. We wanted to

utilize the power of higher plants to feed microbial life and pump oxygen into aquatic environments. There was no single answer for us, but there were a number of small technologies that we could place within and throughout the community to purify their wastes. To do so, we designed small Eco-Machines that each housed a single fruit tree to mask its purification role, as well as a miniature wetland to capture and treat wastes flowing in the streets. In our designs we connected the elements within the community by smallflow pathways capable of dealing with the dry and wet seasons equally. The whole system evolved into a dendritic pattern reminiscent of the branches of a tree. As a team we designed with the idea that information could largely replace hardware and created a system that could be built primarily by members of the community. It would be mechanically simple and ecologically complex. The government of the Western Cape Province has decided to utilize our approach, starting in early 2015. Although many engineers would have run away from this project and our approach to design, the idea of ecological intelligence in design may hold the key to the future for most of humanity. Ecological intelligence involves new ways of thinking about energy, light, flows, and the power of nature. As you may now realize the frontiers for ecological design are really limitless. All of us need to become more knowledgeable about evolution and ecological processes. And if we do, our design toolbox will expand and aid us in the larger role of planetary stewardship. I am really honored to be at this commencement ceremony. Conway is the first institution to have the foresight and the courage to understand the integrative power of ecological design and its ability to help solve the energy, food, environmental, and infrastructural crises that the world faces. This is really the first graduate degree in this field of ecological knowledge and global healing. Other institutions are preparing to embrace ecological design as a field of inquiry and instruction. But the real courage to define the task and embrace it took place here. You, the graduating class, are defining the task ahead—for yourselves, and for all of us. Thank you. -

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Portfolio

Students’ Projects: 2013–2014

Fix what’s broken. Save what works. Design the future. Conway is dedicated to working with communities in the face of climate change and other major challenges. Across a continuum from regional to urban to rural, we seek projects that aim to fix what’s broken as we work to repair ecologies, food systems, public spaces, and landscapes of all kinds. We seek projects that help identify and save what’s working, in healthy neighborhoods and biodiversity-rich, working, and historic landscapes. We seek to design the future by finding innovative solutions that address important spatial design and planning issues: climate destabilization, biodiversity loss, food security, environmental justice, water shortages, and flooding. LEAD MILLS CONSERVATION AREA DESIGN MARB L E H E AD AND SAL E M, MASSAC H U S E T TS | S PR I N G 201 4

The Chadwick Lead Mills Conservation Area was once home to mills that contaminated the soils on site with large amounts of lead. Following a series of remediation efforts to stabilize the soils, the two communities sought design alternatives to support a range of potential passive recreational activities, and connect the property to nearby conservation land and the Salem–Marblehead bike trail. Student team Emily Berg, Jeffrey Dawson, and Allison Ruschp proposed a site design that includes a universally accessible loop trail and diverse native meadow and grass species. At left top (left and right): The student team held two public meetings to help them understand the community’s desires and concerns for the site, at left, bottom, outlined with orange dotted line, and to get feedback on proposed design alternatives.

Perch and Lookout Section The proposed design, below, accommodates passive recreation for all abilities, with scenic lookouts for visitors and connections to nearby trails. The entire site is universally accessible, with trails bringing visitors to destination spots like the “perch,” a lookout that enjoys views over Salem Harbor.

Path Vista Salem Harbor

The Perch

Eastern loop Eastern loop

Sedges or No-Mow Grass The Path

Meadow

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

To Wyman Woods or The Perch


/ PORT F OL I O /

GREEN STREETS GUIDEBOOK HO LYO KE , MASSACHUSETTS | WINTER 2014 R E C I P I E N T O F 2015 BOSTON SOCIETY OF LA N DSC A P E A RCHITECTS STUDENT MERIT AWARD

Like many older cities, Holyoke has a combined sewer system which, during heavy storms, causes sewage and stormwater to overflow into the nearby Connecticut River, posing ecological and human health risks. As the city is poised to complete a number of revitalization projects and faces EPA regulations to reduce its combined sewer overflows and polluted stormwater discharges, greening streets may be a way to address some of the ecological, social, and economic issues facing Holyoke. The Green Streets Guidebook is intended to help policymakers and developers create healthier, more vibrant streetscapes. The 64-page document includes a toolbox with recommended green infrastructure, complete streets, and placemaking strat-

Design Templates The Conway student team developed nine design templates, representing a variety of street characteristics found in Holyoke, that can be applied and adapted to future projects.

egies; a set of nine design templates representative of a variety of Holyoke’s street characteristics that can be applied to and modified for future projects; a site-specific application of Green Street design principles to a likely redevelopment area downtown; an exploration of relative costs and benefits; and recommended next steps for implementation. The images at right and below are select elements from the final document, produced by Michele Carlson, Willa Caughey, and Nelle Ward. A professor at Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been using the report in his environmental science classes this year. A group of his students incorporated the book’s principles into a study of Tannery Brook, a stream that flows through the HCC campus and into the Connecticut River. They presented their findings on campus and made recommendations as to how HCC could improve its stormwater management practices. You can view the report online, where readers so far have spent a cumulative total of more than two days reading the document: csld.edu/project/

Site-specific Designs The team applied the templates to actual streets in downtown Holyoke. The above examples demonstrate how the templates might be applied to High Street, Holyoke’s primary commercial street, and Division Street, an infrequently used side street.

student-projects/green-cities/ A sample template from the Conway student project incorporates shaded mini-parks and local street art.

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/ PORTFOLIO /

LISTENING TO THE LANDSCAPE

BEAVER HABITAT CYCLES

SHE R B O R N , MASSACHUSETTS | SPRING 2014

Woodland Stream Channelized woodland streams are good beaver habitat, especially when the forest contains vegetation that beavers like to eat, like red maple.

Natural gas pipelines, an industrial railroad, and electricity transmission lines all dissect and fragment the Barber Reservation, a 200-acre, town-owned forest in Sherborn, Massachusetts. A land management plan by

A Beaver Pond Once beavers enter a location they begin digging channels, building dams and lodges, and pooling water so they have access to food. But when their ponds no longer provide enough food, or when their dams fail, they leave the site.

Emily Davis and Brandon Tennis identifies important ecosystem services provided by the property and gives recommendations on how those ecological services can be improved, while also accommodating the need for passive recreation and periodic disturbance by utility companies. The student team proposed maintaining a “dynamic landscape buffer” in the low-lying area surrounding an existing beaver pond on the site. Since the beaver habitat cycle suggests that beaver pond migration and expansion may occur in this area, minimizing impact, disturbance, and infrastructure in the buffer could help minimize property damage.

A Beaver Meadow Eventually, the old pond drains and plant succession takes over, taking advantage of the rich soil that was created by the beaver pond. This community of herbaceous plants in a wet meadow is valuable habitat for birds and woodland species. With time, woodier plants take hold and these areas revert to woodlands.

A SUSTAINABLE REVIVAL PALO, L E Y T E , P H I L I P P I NE S | S P RI NG 2 01 4

An exploratory report prepared for the non-profit organization Kusog Tacloban by Trevor Buckley and Marie Macchiarolo proposes a process and strategy for developing regional environmental standards and a neighborhood toolkit for “building back better” in Leyte Province, Philippines, after the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. Kusog Tacloban hopes to involve residents and non-experts in planning and environmental site assessment at the barangay (neighborhood) level. The student team proposes a conceptual framework for such involvement, including recommendations for education on environmental conditions and hazard risks, both sci-

“[In the report] I could hear all the voices of the people you talked to in Leyte, and I think that’s what makes it so good—that you listened to the people, incorporated their voices, and allowed your own solid expertise and knowledge be guided by that.” —M A R IE A P OSTOL, KUSOG TACLOBAN

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

entific and local knowledge, and participatory planning that links into the municipal planning system and can be used for community-based development. Within this framework, environmental standards, a toolkit, and participatory planning strategies could engage local residents, barangay officials, and non-experts in making ecologically informed land use decisions.


/ PORT F OL I O /

LAMPSON BROOK FARM MASTER PLAN B E LC HE RTOW N, MASSACHUSETTS | SPRING 2014

Over the past 36 years, the New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI) has established itself as a leader in small farm development and local food advocacy in Massachusetts and throughout the world. Yet, due to insecure land tenure and limited funds, the organization has been unable to develop Lampson Brook Farm into a place that reflects its values and practices. NESFI is working with local organizations, including the student team from the Conway School, to help develop a vision for the site that demonstrates and further promotes community engagement and financial stability. Willa Caughey and Elizabeth Kelly prepared a master plan for the core six acres of the NESFI property. The preferred design, a section of which is shown below, creates a new gateway to the farm that offers flexible spaces for people to gather, connect with nature, and learn about food production.

Shade tree welcome gardens

parking lot

Garden beds and shrubs enclose a new community garden.

Shrubs enclose deck and create privacy.

bioswales mowed gathering area

orchard deck & trellis

Mowed area

Deck extends from First Barn

dry creek

community kitchen

keyhole kitchen garden

Perennial gardens frame a grassy mowed area

Granite check dams slow water and prevent erosion in areas with slopes greater than 2%

Horse Barn

Check dams in steeper areas of the dry creek stabilize slope and create a series of small waterfalls during rain events.

Gravel forms the basis of the excavated dry creek events field 100 ft

N

0 ft

Adjacent shade-tolerant vegetation helps clean and slow water

PLACEMAKING IN HOLYOKE HO LYO KE , MASSACHUSETTS | WINTER 2014

In their placemaking ideabook for Holyoke, Emily Davis, Jeffrey Dawson, and Elizabeth Kelly make the case that the model of ecological succession has a great deal in common with the development of urban spaces through time. Disturbances on various scales, such as the forest fire shown below, make for opportunities that create a dynamic equilibrium. Building on successful examples from other cities and on existing projects in Holyoke, the report recommends various strategies, at multiple scales and time-frames, to help create dynamic public spaces.

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/ PORTFOLIO /

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. Find complete project reports online at: tinyurl.com/2013-2014projects

ASHUELOT GREENSPACE LANDSCAPE PLAN K E E N E , N E W HAMPSHIRE | WINTER 2014 + SPRING 2 014 C L I E N TS: J R R P ROPERTIES LLC W I N TE R TE A M: GALLAGHER HANNAN, ALLISON RUS C H P SP R I N G TE A M : MICHELE CARLSON, GALLAGHER HA NNAN IN BRIEF:

Transformation of an abandoned 3.5-acre parking

lot into a riverfront greenspace and recreation hub, flexible community event space, natural playground, and functioning riparian zone. See more about this project inside the front cover of this magazine.

“[The student team] was engaged and inquisitive, and helped us frame key decisions. They established working relationships around the community quickly, and organized and ran a robust community meeting.” —KEN STEWART, PROJECT CLIENT, ASHUELOT GREENSPACE LANDSCAPE PLAN

BRATTLEBORO AREA JEWISH COMMUNITY LANDSCAPE PLAN W E ST B RAT T L E B ORO, V E RMONT | FAL L 2 01 3 C L I E NTS : B RAT T L E B ORO ARE A J E W I S H COM M U N I T Y ST U DE NT DE S I GNE R: B RANDON T E NNI S I N B RI E F :

A nature preserve that maximizes the feeling of

prospect and refuge, establishes multiple outdoor rooms, and provides the congregation with passage across steep slopes to previously inaccessible land.

LEICESTER OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION PLAN UPDATE

JUST ROOTS LANDSCAPE PLAN

LE I C E STE R , MASSACHUSETTS | WINTER 2014

GRE E NF I E L D, MASSAC H U S E T TS | FAL L 2 01 3

C L I E N TS: TOW N OF LEICESTER

CLIENTS: JUST ROOTS AT THE GREENFIELD COMMUNITY FARM

STUDE N T TE A M: TEODORO SENNI, BRANDON TENNI S

ST U DE NT DE S I GNE R: MARI E MACC H I AROLO

IN BRIEF:

This update to the town’s open space and recreation

I N B RI E F :

A design for this community farm models a

plan focuses on new strategies for conservation and public land

beneficial relationship between agriculture and land

management in the “new normal” of today’s economic climate.

conservation by protecting priority habitats with the rerouting of trails, improving pedestrian safety, providing a space for community members to connect, and producing energy on site.

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


/ PORT F OL I O /

MOUNT CEMETERY LANDSCAPE PLAN C H E ST E RF I E L D, MASSAC H U S E T TS | FAL L 2 013 C L I E NTS : TOW N OF C H E ST E RF I E L D ST U DE NT DE S I GNE R: T RE VOR B U C KL E Y I N B RI E F :

This landscape plan integrates historic and proposed

new green burial areas, as it enhances the property with gardens for contemplation that include native plant communities. The plan set includes a study of soil contamination issues associated with cemetery design and burial practices.

MARLBORO COLLEGE CAMPUS CORE REDESIGN MA R L B O R O, VE RMONT | SPRING 2014 C L I E N TS: MA R L BORO COLLEGE STUDE N T TE A M: ABIGAIL ELWOOD, NELLE WARD IN BRIEF:

A redesign of the college’s car-centric campus

core consolidates and decentralizes vehicular use and access, creates a more inviting landscape for pedestrians, and slows stormwater runoff with a series of terraces and retaining walls.

SUITABILITY STUDY FOR PROPOSED AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT S OU T H AMP TON, MASSAC H U S E T TS | FAL L 2 013 C L I E NTS : P I ONE E R VAL L E Y H AB I TAT FOR H U MANI TY ST U DE NT DE S I GNE R: GAL L AGH E R H ANNAN I N B RI E F :

VALLEY RAILROAD STATE PARK SCENIC CORRIDOR STUDY

Southampton, Massachusetts, needs more affordable

housing to comply with Massachusetts Law 40B, and is assessing different town-owned sites for their suitability. The focus of this study was a six-acre lot separated from the road by steep

E SSE X , CO N N E CTICUT | WINTER 2014

slopes of over 30 percent and an intermittent stream. The project

C L I E N TS: LOW ER CONNECTICUT RIVER VALLEY COU NC I L OF

involved siting several possible access roads and researching the

GOVE R N M E N TS (RIVERCOG)

appropriateness of cluster housing for this development.

STUDE N T TE A M: TREVOR BUCKLEY, CHRISTIAN JOH NS ON IN BRIEF:

This study examines the potential for a multiuse

trail along the northern nine miles of the Valley Railroad corridor in south central Connecticut. The study is one of several to be commissioned by the RiverCOG that will examine the Connecticut Valley Railroad State Park’s role as a regional asset and how it factors into regional planning efforts related to transportation, conservation, and economic development. This report analyzes the regional context and existing conditions along the corridor, and provides several conceptual designs and design guidelines for developing a trail, including one that could replace the existing rail and another that could be built along the rail.

IRELAND CEMETERY LANDSCAPE PLAN

FOOD IN THE CITY S P RI NGF I E L D, MASSAC H U S E T TS | W I NT E R 2 014

C HE STE R F I E LD, MASSACHUSETTS | FALL 2013

C L I E NTS : S P RI NGF I E L D FOOD P OL I CY COU NC I L U R B A N

C L I E N TS: I R E L A ND STREET CEMETERY

AGRI C U LT U RAL COMMI T T E E | ST U DE NT T E AM: E M I LY B E R G ,

STUDE N T DE SI GNER: MICHELE CARLSON

AB I GAI L E LWOOD, MARI E MACC H I AROLO

IN BRIEF:

Cemetery trustees decided to expand this small,

I N B RI E F :

A Geographic Information Systems-based process

historic cemetery to include a dedicated green burial area.

developed by the student team for Springfield is used to

This landscape design incorporates low-maintenance native

evaluate the suitablility of land for community gardens, farms,

plantings, paths, and seating for pedestrians, and access for

and orchards. The process offers a model for other urban

maintenance vehicles.

agriculture plans.

//2015// con'text 17


Graduation Class of 2014

First Class to Receive Master of Science in Ecological Design

Class of 2014 at graduation, in front of the Amelanchier canadensis they planted as a class gift to the school: standing, left to right, Jeffrey Dawson, Trevor Buckley, Gallagher Hannan, Teodoro Senni, Abigail Elwood, Christian Johnson, Brandon Tennis, Michele Carlson, Marie Macchiarolo; kneeling, Allison Ruschp, Emily Berg, Nelle Ward, Emily Davis, Elizabeth Kelly, Rodrigo Posada, Willa Caughey

Just over a hundred friends, family members, and alumni gathered under the tent atop Conway’s hilltop campus to celebrate the accomplishments of the school’s forty-second graduating class, the first to receive a Master of Science in Ecological Design. It was an unusually musical ceremony, featuring not one but two musical interludes. A quintet of singers (including a member of the graduating class, a faculty member, the teenage son of a faculty member, a staff member, and an alum) regaled the crowd with a lighthearted interpretation of the gospel song The Storm is Passing Over. The graduates also shared a musical offering: members of the class wrote a special song for the occasion, which featured a rousing Read keynote chorus and lyrics that may resonate with many Conway alums. speaker John (Excerpts for your consideration: “Observations, implications, Todd’s remarks on page 8. what’s this project all about? Real world projects, real world clients, real results will come about,” and, “What so whats? The printer’s broken! Am I going to lose my mind? I’ve been called to class by cow bell for what feels like all my life.”) Between songs, attendees heard from John Todd, a world-renowned pioneer in the field of ecological design, who delivered the keynote address (see p. 8). Director and President Paul Cawood Hellmund also spoke, highlighting the

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

special distinction conferred on this group of graduates: they are the first to receive Conway’s new degree—a Master of Science in Ecological Design. “The new name fits what the graduate program has grown to become over recent years. The applied nature of the program is better represented by ‘master of science’ than the previous ‘master of arts,’ and ‘ecological design’ does a much better job conveying the whole-systems approach we practice.” He applauded the graduates as a “new generation of environmental leaders” and shared many of their accomplishments over the course of the year: through their work at Conway, they have helped to


/ G RA DUAT I ON /

Below, bottom center: Betty Fitzgerald (with son Greg), who with her late husband Don rented an apartment to Conway students for more than 25 years, was honored during graduation. Alums from all over the world contributed photos and memories from their time at the Fitzgeralds’ home in Ashfield. PHOTOS: AMY NYMAN ’13.

protect water supplies, consider the nation’s coastlines, envision healthy tree cover and greenspace, and ensure cities can support a growing population and prepare for the future. Professor of humanities Ken Byrne encouraged the graduates to dig deeper, go wider, and cultivate hope in an address titled “Turtles, All the Way Read Ken’s Down.” Illustrating his complete remarks: first point, he highlighted csld.edu/ the temptation to look graduation for a fundamental cause that lies at the bottom of a problem. It often appears in a form such as, “In the end it’s all about money. In the end it’s all about education.” The students’ teachers have encouraged this thinking to some degree by pushing them to dig deeper, go under the surface, peel back the layers, and then go even deeper. Ken pointed out that the logical conclusion to this search for a profound explanation “would lead you to believe that there is a foundation down there, a base, and everything else is built on top of it.” He refuted that logic with an old

story of the structure of the universe that states, “The earth sits on the back of a huge elephant.” But that explanation is challenged:

“‘But what’s under the elephant?’ they were asked. ‘A large turtle.’ ‘But what’s under the turtle?’ ‘It’s turtles all the way down.’ “It is important to look for the turtles. But not the last one. And not being able to get to the end of the story doesn’t mean you have permission to stop reading. But it does mean: It may not matter where you jump in. So pick your entry point and go.”

With an image of rich and productive swamps, Ken encouraged the graduates to go wider. The pleasant chore of kindling a fire on a cold morning as a metaphor for hope rounded out the talk. In a Conway tradition, the graduates presented one another their degrees, taking the opportunity to share stories about each recipient with those in attendance. After ten months together in the studio, classroom, and field, working closely on challenging projects, it’s clear that they know one another very well—and that they truly respect one another. Congratulations, graduates! Special thanks to generous alums and friends who donated photography skills (Amy Nyman ’13), hosting acumen (open house hosts David Holden ’76 and his wife Marcia Holden), and beautifully arranged flowers (Elaine Williamson ’11). Commencement was better-documented, more welcoming, and more beautiful for your contributions.

//2015// con'text 19


Perspectives

Work of a Conway Graduate

John Hanning ’82 and the Aerial Point of View When commercial use of drones becomes legal in the United States, one person who will be ready to fly these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for peaceful applications, such as planning, design, and natural resource monitoring, will be John Hanning.

“I have found the unique aerial perspective that drones provide can be useful for all phases of developing a project. From initial site analysis through post-construction documentation, drones can capture actual site conditions on private property in real time, without being hindered by cloud cover, terrain or scheduling restrictions. Also, drone video has an immediacy and user accessibility that cannot be matched by computer graphics simulation or conventional aerial photography.”

—JOHN HANNING

John Hanning (seen at left in photo) is the CEO of Archimedes Aerospace LLC, which conducts NASA-funded research with unmanned aerial vehicles on agricultural and ocean science topics. The image on this page is of Brown’s Trace River in Vermont. John explains, “The riverside oblique angle was shot using a nadir view GoPro3 camera at about 350 feet above ground level at a 30 degree bank angle of the fixed wing airframe. Aerial obliques are a good way to show the depth of stream buffer vegetation.”

PHOTO: JOHN ’82 School Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning + Design 20 HANNING The Conway


Conway Currents News of and from the School

Students in the Class of 2015 take notes on the existing urban form in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where Conway master teacher Joel Russell, Executive Director of the Form Based Codes Institute, led a day-long workshop with the help of Chicopee planner Lee Pouliot.

TRUSTEES UPDATE In fall 2014, the board of trustees welcomed three new members. Janet Curtis ’00 is Senior Foundations Officer at the Union for Concerned Scientists Climate Program. Her work has traversed a range of sustainability and public policy areas from land conservation to smart growth and climate change action planning. She brings expertise in communications, program marketing, fund development, project management, government relations, and diverse stakeholder engagement. Stephen Thor Johnson founded Sage Advisors, which specializes in the design and management of complex conservation transactions and the associated planning, financial, and policy issues. Previously, he served as executive director for two regional land trusts for over 15 years and served as the state’s director of land policy. Susan Rosenberg ’95 is a founding board member of Canopy, a nonprofit organization in northern California whose mission is to educate, inspire, and engage residents, businesses, and

government agencies to protect and enhance local urban forests. After a combined thirty-five years on Conway’s board, three members stepped down this year. Al Rossiter served on Conway’s board for 13 years, and was vice chair for the last three. A retired English teacher, Al was the first parent of a Conway graduate (Selina Rossiter ’02) to serve. At his last meeting, board chair Ginny Sullivan ’86 presented Al with a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Conway community, which reads, in part, “You have supported and nurtured the growth of the Conway School as parent, donor, advisor, cheerleader, critic, and trustee, shepherding its growth from a local to a regional and now international voice in designing holistic solutions to global issues at every scale, through both education and practice.” Jack Barclay also contributed 13 years of service to Conway’s board. Jack, who was the first director of the University of Connecticut’s Wildlife Conservation Research Center was co-chair, with Al Rossiter, of

the Academic Committee, and also served on the David Bird Fellowship Committee. He was a strong proponent of focusing the academic program on ecology and taking advantage of opportunities to use the campus as a learning environment. During Conway’s transition from its original site to the hilltop campus in Conway, Al and Jack both helped to secure a strong financial footing for the school. Both assisted with Conway’s self-studies for accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and helped to hire Paul Hellmund as Conway’s third director. Nicholas Lasoff ’05 joined Conway’s board in 2006, a year after he began as editor of this publication. We are fortunate that though he has stepped down from the board, Nick continues as con’text’s editor. As a former college professor, Nick brought his knowledge of academic institutions to the Committee on Trustees, the Bird Fellowship Committee, and the Academic Committee, where he was instrumental in the design and analysis of surveys.

ON THE ROAD

Celebrating and Planning for Urban Agriculture in Massachusetts

Planning for urban agriculture was the focus of a symposium co-sponsored by the Conway School and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources in March 2015. The meeting, entitled “Urban Agriculture and Community Planning,” was attended by approximately 150 people interested in all the aspects of producing more food in cities. Director Paul Hellmund facilitated a session on planning issues related to starting and sustaining urban agriculture. Marie Machiarollo ’14, Eric DePalo ’16, and Liana Bernt joined Conway’s Administrative Director David Nordstrom ’04 in greeting attendees and telling the Conway story.

//2015// con'text 21


/ CO N WAY C U RRE NTS /

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

Designing for Future Climates: Facilities, Communities, and Economies Resilient to Change AU G U ST 1 0, 1 1 , 2 0 1 5 CO N WAY, M ASSAC H U S E T TS

LEAD INSTRUCTORS:

Wendi Goldsmith ’90, Sustainability Consultant, Founder and former CEO, Bioengineering Group, Salem,

Conway’s Director Joins Other Sustainability Educators at Cooper Union in NYC

Conway’s Paul Hellmund and other participants were invited to the Cooper Union in New York City in March 2015 to share their experiences in teaching sustainable design. “What these educators have accomplished working around the world is truly inspiring,” observed Paul. “And their appreciation of Conway’s approach was very encouraging.” Among other institutions represented were the Cooper Union, City University of New York, University of Virginia, Pratt Institute, Buckminster Fuller Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Expeditionary Schools, and the Sustainability Laboratory.

Massachusetts. Natasha Lamb, Portfolio Manager, Director of Equity Research and Shareholder Engagement, Arjuna Capital,

Boston, Massachusetts. Addressing climate change often focuses on public policy related to greenhouse gas emission controls and other issues seemingly out of most peoples’ hands. By focusing For details see:

landscape. csld.edu/ professionaldevelopment

on regulations rather than the role of designers and project owners who shape

the economy’s underpinnings, we

FACULTY UPDATE Designer and educator Ken Botnick ’79 will join the Conway faculty for its inaugural semester at the new Easthampton campus. The award-winning professor, who is on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis and an experienced teacher of design and creativity, will lead the humanities seminar and consult in the studio on creativity and design thinking. “Ken will bring tremendous energy and insights to Conway, and being a

Conway graduate he appreciates the rigor of design process,” observed Paul Hellmund. Ken is a printer/publisher of limited edition books and a publication designer. Joining the Conway faculty this year as a Master Teacher in Ecology is John O’Keefe, Senior Investigator at the Harvard Forest, where he is also Museum Coordinator (emeritus). John is a long-time Conway friend. He researches the effect of climate change on the growing season of forests. John serves as an ecology consultant on Conway student projects and for many years has led Conway students on walking tours of Harvard Forest.

PARTNERSHIPS This year through special partnerships Conway students are working on projects in Mali, West Africa, and Costa Rica. These international projects add tremendously to the diversity of planning and design issues our students work on. They were arranged by Kate Cairoli ’13 and funded by the Blue Yak Foundation. The work in Mali is focused on food production and infrastructure in two small villages near Kita, in the southwestern part of the country (at considerable distance from the unrest in Mali’s northern Saharan region). Conway’s partner for the work

miss opportunities to improve how buildings, infrastructure, and business processes affect and are being affected by the changing climate. Workshop participants will examine practical strategies that work, and learn how to apply them more broadly. Questions include: • How feasible is it to pursue sustainable and climate compatible pathways? • How can thought leaders from business, design, and other relevant fields join forces for improved results? • How can we better integrate resilient options into our decision-making? • How can we better account for the known risks as well as unknown (or ignored) potential scenarios? Ken Botnick ’79 outside Mill 180. Conway’s new Easthampton facility is on the second floor.

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


/ CON WAY CURREN TS /

THREE TO RECEIVE HONORARY DEGREES AT JUNE EVENTS The board of trustees has voted to award three Honorary Doctors in Ecological Design this spring. J U N E 1 , S P R I N G F I E L D, M A S S .

Greg Watson, Director of Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics and former Commissioner, Massachusetts

8

For more information, see: landscape.

David Weber ’15 and Kate O’Brien ’15 planning trails on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica for CIRENAS.

csld.edu/ smallercities-greenerfutures

Department of Agricultural Resources, will receive an honorary doctorate at his public lecture on Monday,

is the NGO Mali Nyeta, whose leaders have visited Conway twice (see p. 27). Conway’s partner in Costa Rica is the NGO CIRENAS, which, in the words of its mission statement, “exists to build transformative connections between people and the environment through education, research, integration and innovation.” A two-student team is helping CIRENAS design a network of trails on their beautiful campus, located on one of the last undeveloped stretches of coastline on the Nicoya Peninsula within the Caletas-Ario National Wildlife Refuge. These two projects are the latest in a series of international efforts, which began in 2007, when four Conway students worked on ecological restoration on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula.

ALUM UPDATES

Alum News

You may have flipped through this issue of con’text and noticed . . . there’s no alum news section! That’s because we will be expanding the alum news and sharing it as a separate digital publication. Submit your news, and let us know what you’d like to see in the expanded publication, at: csld.edu/alum-news

Alum Survey

We are undergoing our ten-year institutional accreditation review with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). A draft report is due this fall. Your responses to a survey we will share with you this summer will help us complete that review and strengthen our program.

June 1. His talk, titled “Regional Food Security: Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change,” is part of Conway’s Smaller Cities, Greener Futures series, focusing on issues relevant to small, post-industrial cities. J U N E 1 1 , L I N CO L N , M A S S .

Warren Flint, a conservationist and farmer who was devoted to preserving open space in New England, will receive a posthumous honorary doctorate at a private event. The degree will be presented to his widow, Margaret Flint. If you would like more information about this event, contact Nina Antonetti at (413) 369-4044, ext. 3 or antonetti@csld.edu. J U N E 2 7, CO N WAY, M A S S .

Dean Cycon, founder of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company,

m Green Streets Guidebook for the City of Holyoke, a student project produced in the 2014 winter term by Michele Carlson, Willa Caughey, and Nelle Ward, received a 2015 Student Merit Award from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects’ Annual Award Program. Jury members noted the “great application” of Green Streets principles to a real and challenging context, along with effective graphics and organization of the report. Read more about the project on p. 13.

For more information, see: landscape.

csld.edu/ commencement -2015

will deliver the keynote address at Conway’s 43rd graduation ceremony. Dean, who started the company to

model how a business could be a vehicle for positive social change, won an Oslo Business for Peace Award (the “Nobel Prize” of business) in 2013.

//2015// con'text 23


/ CO N WAY C U RRE NTS /

[ co nway ’ s fo rt y-Th i rd c l ass : 201 5 ] Back row, left to right: David Weber, Cary White, Chris Hendershot, Janice Schmidt, Jeffrey Frisch, Russell Wallack, Aitan Mizrahi, Alex Krofta, Ben Fairbank; front row, left to right: Molly Burhans, Rachel Lindsay, Jordan Clark, Jillian Ferguson, Hillary Collins, Jennie Bergeron, Kate O’Brien, Beth Batchelder

DAVID BIRD INTERNATIONAL

created a lasagna bed for direct sowing.

slow drip irrigation for the woody cuttings

SERVICE FELLOWSHIP 2013–2014

A banana circle (locally referred to as a

of Cnidoscolus aconitifolius (chaya) and

“sponge”) contained woody biomass for

Moringa oleifera (moringa) in their first

soaking up grey water for

months of establishment. The cuttings

slow, passive irrigation in

were then planted in a mound of finished

a basin ringed by banana

humanure mixed with native soil.

Edible Pathways Project: Tamil Nadu, India E XC E R P TS F R O M A R E P O R T BY A B R A H J O R DA N D R E S DA L E ’ 1 0, W H O S P E N T S I X W E E K S I N I N D I A AS T H E 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 1 4 DAV I D B I R D F E L LOW. S H E WO R K E D W I T H SA D H A N A FO R E ST, A N O F F -T H E G R I D

¦ Read the rest of Abrah’s story, and see her report, at: csld.edu/

alums/bird

trees, taro, and lemongrass.

Together, my team and I cleared

Over time, soil builds up

overgrown vegetation and laid down a

inside the “sponge.” The

new blanket of mulch, seeds, transplants,

installation team also bor-

banana circles, and infrastructure for

rowed a technology developed at Sadhana

recreation and growing food. Not only was

Forest. Cotton wicks threaded through

the landscape transformed that day, but I

two-liter plastic water bottles provided

believe we all were, as well.

VO LU N T E E R - R U N CO M M U N I T Y FO C U S E D O N R E - FO R E STAT I O N A N D WAT E R CO N S E RVAT I O N E F FO R TS , TO I N STA L L E D I B L E PAT H WAYS .

The final design demonstrated diverse soil building and irrigation techniques. Composted food scraps, humanure, and mulch began to build the organic matter of the desiccated soil. Pebble Garden, a nearby homestead started on pebble soil, regenerated its 20 acres with Acacia dealbata (silver acacia) trees and a local recipe for lasagna gardening. The lasagna layers mimicked termites’ process of soil building. Water-soaked acacia leaves layered with charcoal and termite droppings

Abrah Dresdale (at right) is using the “sponge technique” to build soil at Sadhana Forest.

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


Annual Report Fiscal year 2014

Conway is experiencing unprecedented levels of giving from an expanding community of supporters CONWAY COMMUNITY RAISES THE BAR Giving to the Conway School has increased more than threefold over the last four fiscal years. Help Conway continue on this upward trajectory by investing in two campuses, educating two cohorts of students, and supporting more community-based and international projects. The world needs Conway-educated designers more than ever before. Please help raise the bar even higher in 2015.

$19k

$69k Fiscal year 2011 Total: $88k

Thanks to your generosity, the

Please join the

number of gifts that support Conway’s

movement today

work in the world over the past fiscal

if you haven’t

year has increased by over 60 percent.

already sent your

This growth in giving has enabled the

annual gift. It’s

school to improve its facilities, fortify

never too late to

its resources, keep tuition level for fall

join the alums,

2015 for the fifth consecutive year,

clients, founda-

and offer more student grants than

tions, friends, and

ever before. Thanks to this renewal

parents who have

and growth, Conway can increase its

invested in Conway’s transformation. By

effectiveness and extend the reach of

giving today, you become integral to the

its work to make a larger difference in

institution that John Todd describes as “the

the world. And now there will be not

first . . . to have the foresight and courage

one but two campuses disseminating

to understand the integrative power of

the “Conway way.”

ecological design and its ability to help

PHOTO: PAMELA COBB

solve the energy, food, environmental,

$76k

$13k

Fiscal year 2012 Total: $89k

$68k

$35k

Fiscal year 2013 Total: $113k

Founder of the Conway School, Walt

and infrastructural crises that the world

Cudnohufsky, recently wrote, “The

faces.” (Founder, John Todd Ecological

possibility of assisting and watch-

Design, Ocean Arks International, and New

ing this renewal or rebirth [of The

Alchemy Institute, speaking at the Conway

Conway School] is personally exciting!”

School on June 28, 2014.)

Contribute to Conway by volunteering, recruiting an applicant, introducing us to

Thank you for supporting tomorrow’s

a potential client, sponsoring a project,

ecological designers today.

hosting a regional event, or naming the school in your estate planning. Ask your

$80k

$225k

Fiscal year 2014 Total: $305k

Most appreciatively,

employer to match your gift. Entice a classmate to give. Give in someone’s honor. Consider giving twice or quarterly. Establish a monthly recurring gift online, which is the most affordable way

= UNRESTRICTED = RESTRICTED

to give more and most often.

NINA ANTONETTI Director of Advancement and Strategic Initiatives

//2015// con'text 25


/ A N N UA L R EP O RT /

100% PARTICIPATION BY BOARD, STAFF, CLASS OF ‘14! The 2014 Annual Report includes gifts made to the Conway School from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. We make every effort to ensure its accuracy and ask you to bring any errors or omissions to our attention. Contact Nina Antonetti, Director of Advancement + Strategic Initiatives, (413) 369-4044 ext. 3 or antonetti@csld.edu.

DONORS TO THE 2013–2014 ANNUAL FUND Susanna Adams ’78

Hasso Ewing P’14

Robert Pura

Gifts-in-Kind

Jennifer Allcock ’89 Richard C. Andriole

Lila Fendrick ’79 June E. Fitzgerald

Walter & Linda Reynolds Alan Rice

Eugene Bernat John Bisbing

Anonymous (3) Mitch Anthony

Carol Franklin Jesse Froehlich ’08

Christopher I. Rice ’95 Sally & William Richter ’77

Nicholas T. Lasoff ’05 Virginia Sullivan ’86

Nina & Martin Antonetti George S. Anzuoni P’88, in memory

Katharine Gehron ’09 & Jonathan Cooper ’09

David & Catherine Rioux ’98 Dolores Root P’10

of Helen C. Anzuoni ’88 Christine & Matthew Arnsberger ’98

Mary Gottschalk Asheley Griffith

Susan Rosenberg ’95 Keith Ross & Louise Doud

Henry Warren Art Gary Bachman ’84

John Hamilton ’82 John Hamson

Allen and Selina Rossiter P’02 Selina Wood Rossiter ’02 and

Anonymous Nina Antonetti

John Barbour Emily Berg ’14

Gallagher Kelley Hannan ’14 James S. Hardigg

Alexander Colhoun Clarissa Rowe ’74

Mary Quigley & Mollie Babize ’84 Blue Yak Foundation

Rachel Bird Anderson Ken Botnick ’79 & Karen Werner

Nancy Hazard Carl Heide ’00

Allison Ruschp ’14 Joel Russell

J. M. Bouwkamp Charles Sumner Bird Charitable

J. M. Bouwkamp Terrence Boyle

Joan & Paul Cawood Hellmund Howard P. Colhoun Family

John Saveson ’92 Aaron Schlechter ’01

Foundation Joan & Paul Cawood Hellmund

Nancy Braxton Joey Brode

Foundation IBM Corporation

Schwab Charitable Fund John W. Sears

David Holden ’76 Annice Kenan ’97 & Jesse Smith

Larissa Brown ’94 Richard K. Brown & Anita Loose

Faith Ingulsrud ’82 Christian Johnson ’14

Teodoro Livio Senni ’14 Gordon H. Shaw ’89

Claudia Kopkowski ’88 Lauri Krouse

Brown David Buchanan ’00

Erik Johnson ’09 Elizabeth Kelly ’14

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Barbara & Nicholas T. Lasoff ‘05 Dorothea Piranian

Trevor Buckley ’14 Ralph A. Caputo P’87

Cynthia Knauf ’89 Kathleen Hogan Knisely ’76

Angela Sisson ’04 Robert Small ’93

Randleigh Foundation Trust Susan Rosenberg ’95

Michele Carlson ’14 Willa Caughey ’14

Nancy Knox ’85 Claudia Kopkowski ’88

Dorothy Smith Kimberly Smith ’13

Keith Ross & Louise Doud Allen & Selina Rossiter P’02

Michael Cavanagh ’02 Charles Sumner Bird Charitable

Edward Landau ’90 Barbara B. & Nicholas T. Lasoff ’05

Bruce Stedman ’78 Mrs. Richard D. Sullivan P’86

Pamela & David Sand Barbara Sargent ’79 & Tom

Foundation Madeleine Charney ’03

Charles Leopold John C. Lepore ’11

Virginia Sullivan ’86 Robert E. Swain

Sargent ‘79 Virginia Sullivan ’86

Joshua Clague ’04 Katherine Lee Cole

Ahron Lerman ’11 Marie Macchiarolo ’14

Cindy Tavernise ’99 Brandon Tennis ’14

David & Betsy Zahniser

Arthur Collins II ’79, P’15 Mrs. Joan Merrill Collins P’79, GP’15

Barbara Mackey ’88 Anne Capra Madocks ’00 & John

Floyd A. Thompson ’74 Lydia McIntire Thomson ’80

The Legacy Circle The Legacy Circle recognizes

Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts

Madocks Carrie Makover ’86

Janna Thompson ’06 Judith F. Thompson ’99

alums and friends who have made bequests or life income gifts to the

Jill Ker Conway Carla Manene Cooke ’92, in honor of Walt Cudnohufsky, Donald Walker, and the class of ‘92 Clémence Corriveau ’02 David Cox ’76 Walter Cudnohufsky Associates Kerri Culhane ’10 Janet Curtis ’00 Adrian Dahlin D. Alex Damman ’95 Esther L. Danielson ’94 Anya Darrow ’99 Emily Davis ’14 Jeffrey Dawson ’14

Mary A. & Thomas F. Grasselli Endowment Foundation Ann Georgia McCaffray ’78 Heather McCargo ’84 Sierra McCartney ’13 Karen Merrill Robert J. & Gladys T. Miner P’07 Melody & William Montgomery ’91 Andrea Morgante ’76 Darrel G. Morrison Glenn Motzkin James C. Mourkas P’94 Melissa Mourkas ’94 David Nordstrom ’04 Adam & Priscilla Novitt ’07

Michael Thornton ’86 Kate Tompkins ’11 Ross Tompkins Linda & Timothy A. Umbach Mrs. M.E. Van Buren P’82 Peter Van Buren ’82 & Susan Van Buren ’82 Elizabeth Vizza ’82 Nelle Ward ’14 George Watkins ’77 Barbara Young & Eric Weber ’77, P’15 Jenna Webster ’09 Frederick and Peg Reid Weiss ’79 Robin Wilkerson Judy & Bob Wilkinson P’99

Conway School. Their commitment, generosity, and leadership ensure the future of the school for years to come. We thank them publically and encourage other members of our community to follow their lead. Anonymous Jennifer Allcock ’89 Martin & Nina Antonetti J. M. Bouwkamp Richard K. Brown Susan Crimmins ’97 William Gundermann Joan & Paul Cawood Hellmund Carrie Makover ’86

Harry Dodson Donna Eldridge ’86

John O’Keefe Carla Oleska

Seth Wilkinson ’99 Abe Zimmerman and Evonne

Virginia Sullivan ’86 & Brown Williams

Jon and Barbara Elkow P’92 Abigail Elwood ’14 Kim Erslev

Roger Plourde ’97 Julia Plumb ’96 Rodrigo Posada ’14

DONORS TO RESTRICTED FUNDS

Atlas, P’13

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

P=PARENT G= GRANDPARENT


/ A N NUA L REPORT /

1 + 1 > 2: SUPPORTERS OF THE CONWAY SCHOOL DISCOVER THEIR GIFTS HAVE EXPONENTIAL VALUE.

Student Grants Fund: Make the difference

Class Gift: The importance of giving back

“I support the Conway Student Grants

Support your alma mater and you

Fund to get the most highly motivated

enhance Conway’s offerings at two

and capable students into the program.

campuses for two cohorts of students

Grants can make the difference in a

working on many more projects: “In many

student enrolling in the Conway School

ways we are the gateway class for The

or going to another program.” —Susan

Conway School, bridging the founding

Rosenberg ’95, Conway School trustee

fundamentals from Walt Cudnohufsky with our urban modern realities; as

Help educate a Conway student, and you

the first class to receive Conway’s

send another ecological designer like

new degree we wanted to (re)start

Brandon Tennis ’14 to make a real differ-

some traditions. Our class gift was an

ence in the world: “The student grant that

Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn

I received was an important incentive

Brilliance,’ which is a versatile hybrid

and, financially, a big help. As of the new

shrub or small tree that now welcomes

year I have begun employment with the Watershed Agricultural Council in Walton, New York, as a conservation easement stewardship specialist . . . The organization provides important and rather innovative

Madame Bintou Sissoko, Founder, Chair of the Board, and Executive Director of Mali Nyeta, at right, enjoys lunch and conversation with Carol Franklin, founder of Andropogon Associates and Conway School board member at Conway’s fall board meeting in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

visitors near the (new) main entrance. This shrub has many common names— one is Juneberry, because of the month it bears fruit, coinciding with graduation.” —Jeffrey Dawson ’14

agriculture programs and land trust incentives to rural communities in the Catskills in order to protect New York City’s unfiltered, surface water drinking water. My job allows me to work in conservation and agriculture with a strong focus on resource protection.” —Brandon Tennis ’14

Student Projects: Contribute to sustainable good

a

Help orchestrate or fund a project, and you help improve a site, a neighborhood, or a region—even as far away as Mali, West Africa: “One of the greatest challenges for any economic development effort is to contribute to sustainable good. Conway students will bring an unusual capacity to listen carefully to the villagers of the commune of Benkadi Founiya—the villages of Djangoula Kita and Djangoula Foulala within this commune, to start with. Such careful listening will lead to well-designed contributions to enduring benefits, whether in the realm of water resources management, sustainable agricultural practices, or conscientious land-use planning. We of Mali Nyeta are so deeply pleased and honored to be embark-

Members of the Class of 2014 planted their class gift, an Amelanchier x grandiflora, near the school’s (recently renovated) entryway. The shrub, which is beginning to bud as we go to print, was given in addition to a 100% class participation in the Annual Fund.

ing on this adventure with The Conway Brandon Tennis ’14, a recipient of a student grant while at Conway, is now working as a Land Conservation Stewardship Specialist with the Watershed Agricultural Council, a public-private partnership that provides clean drinking water for nine million New Yorkers. Above, Brandon with his wife Abby at graduation. PHOTO: AMY NYMAN ’13

School students and staff.” —Jinny St. Goar, US Project Director, Mali Nyeta, The Foundation for Education in Mali

//2015// con'text con’text 27


/ A N N UA L R EP O RT /

STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2014 (with comparative totals for June 30, 2013) FY 2014FY 2013

Summary of Operations We would like to thank all who continue to keep the Conway School financially sustainable through their generous contributions. The school saw an $85,000 increase in net assets for the fiscal

Unrestricted

Temp. Restricted

TOTAL TOTAL

ASSETS Cash and cash equivalents

65,793 132,998 198,791 175,243

Accounts receivable

40,296 40,296 30,610

Prepaid expenses

5,591 5,591 4,396

Property and equipment, net

573,990 573,990 605,524

Investments

510,751 510,751 430,704

Other assets Total Assets

40,328 40,328 40,667 1,236,749

132,998 1,369,747 1,287,144

year ending June 30, 2014. Most of the increase in revenue was attributable to restricted contributions related to Conway’s Sustainable Communities Initiative. These contributions allowed the school to hold tuition flat for the third year in a row

LIABILITIES Current liabilities

59,784 59,784 55,139

Mortgage note payable, long term portion

124,060 124,060 130,919

Total Liabilities

183,844 183,844 186,058

in fiscal year 2014 while increasing need-based tuition grants. In addition, Sustainable Communities

NET ASSETS

Initiative contributions provided the

Unrestricted Board designated

financial support that made it pos-

Undesignated

sible for student teams to work on

Total unrestricted net assets

significant projects in post-industrial cities within the Knowledge Corridor.

152,619 152,619 87,233 900,286 900,286 895,038 1,052,905 1,052,905 982,271

Temporarily restricted 132,998 132,998 118,815 Total Net Assets

1,052,905

132,998 1,185,903 1,101,086

Total Liabilities + Net Assets

1,236,749

132,998 1,369,747 1,287,144

REVENUES, GAINS, AND OTHER SUPPORTS Contributions

80,735 213,450 294,185 104,594

In-kind contributions Tuition and fees Project reimbursement

1,785 1,785 7,666 470,500 470,500 542,525 80,423 80,423 81,753

Alumni reunion event Investment income

-

- 17,684

20,912 20,912 13,289

Miscellaneous income

715 715 235

Net assets released from restrictions

199,267 (199,267)

Total Revenues, Gains, and other Support

854,337 854,337 854,337 854,337

EXPENSES AND LOSSES Program Services: School activities

415,483 415,483 455,029

Supporting Activities: Administration Fundraising

221,670 221,670 210,111 145,878 145,878 85,197

Total Expenses

783,031 783,031 750,337

Loss on disposal of equipment Total Expenses + Losses Changes in Net Assets Net Assets at beginning of year Net Assets at end of year

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

672

672 1,190

783,703 783,703 751,527 70,634 14,183 84,817 16,219 982,271

118,815 1,101,086 1,084,867

1,052,905

132,998 1,185,903 1,101,086


Ecological Design + Planning A CAREER FOR DESI GNERS AND PL A N N ER S WH O WA N T TO MA K E A D I F F E RE NCE NOW

PHOTO: DAVID BROOKS ANDREWS

Work on real projects and address some of today’s key issues: • climate destabilization • food + water insecurity • rampant urbanization • species loss

Now accepting applications for 2015–2016 in two locations: Beautiful, wooded Conway ­— or — Hip, urbanized Easthampton • • • •

Develop whole-systems design thinking Participate in small classes with great access to faculty Receive financial aid up to the full cost of attendance Graduate with a portfolio of professional work

THE CONWAY SCHOOL | CONWAY + EASTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS 10-MONTH MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ECOLOGICAL DESIGN www.csld.edu | Adrian Dahlin, Admissions Director | adrian@csld.edu

//2015// con'text 29


the

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 Conway, MA Permit No. XXXX

Con'text Magazine 2015  

Magazine of The Conway School, spring 2015