A year in a post-tsunami Sri Lanka “Communities, Design, and What the Buddha Inspired,” p. 16 by Jonathon Ellison ‘93
con'text Conway School of Landscape Design Alumni Magazine, Fall 2007
Conway School of Landscape Design Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning, & Design
Carl Heide ‘00
The mission of the Conway School of Landscape Design is to explore, develop, practice and teach planning, design and management of the land that is ecologically and socially sustainable. The Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc., a Massachusetts non-profit corporation under Chapter180 of the General Laws, is a professional training school of landscape design and land use planning. As an equal opportunity institution, it does 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 the educational, admissions, employment, or loan policies, or in any other school-administered program.
Facts in Brief Founded in 1972
We intend to: ■
Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Design & Planning Ten months (September through June) of applied study
in an integrated format. Core instruction relates directly to term-long projects. Emphasis. Ecologically and socially sustainable design of the land, integrated communication skills, individual educational goals, learning through real projects with real clients. Size. 18–19 graduate students. Faculty. Three core faculty. Experienced designers, planners,
and ecologists. Over sixty guest speakers, master teachers, and critics each year. Degree Granted. Master of Arts in Landscape Design, authorized by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. Accreditation. New England Association of Schools and
Provide graduates with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to practice planning, design and management of the land that respects nature as well as humanity; Develop ecological awareness, understanding, respect and accommodation in our students and project clients; Produce projects that fit human uses to natural conditions.
School News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Honoring David Bird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 A Vision for CSLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Conway and Panama: A Series of Fortunate Events . . .10
Location. Scenic western Massachusetts near the academic,
Conway Class Agents: A Pivotal Group . . . . . . . . . . . .14
cultural, and natural resources of the Five Colleges and the Connecticut River Valley. One hour from Bradley International Airport, Hartford, Connecticut.
Where Are They Now: Two Alums’ Stories . . . . . . . . . .15
Campus. 34.5 acres of wooded hilltop located one-half mile east of Conway town center. Facility. 3000 square feet with four wood stoves and passive solar design, spacious design studios with individual drafting stations, library, classroom, design/print area, and kitchen. Cover: Terraced Paddy Fields in Sri Lanka Photo by Jonathon Ellison ‘93
Communities, Design, and What the Buddha Inspired: A Sri Lankan Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Highlights from Graduation 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Student Projects 2006–2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 News from Alums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Letter from the Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
David Brooks Andrews
What a Year! From the Director STAFF Faculty Paul Cawood Hellmund Director & President; Faculty
Landscape Design & Graphics Faculty
Landscape Design Faculty
Planning Adjunct (Winter)
Administration Nancy E. Braxton
Associate Director of Admissions, Alumni Relations & Development
Associate Director of Student Services, Finance & Facilities
Conway School of Landscape Design 332 South Deerfield Road P.O. Box 179 Conway, MA 01341-0179 (413) 369-4044
con'text is published semi-annually by the Conway School of Landscape Design, ©2007 by Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.
Nicholas T. Lasoff Editor
Terry Blanchard Graphic Design
Nancy E. Braxton Paul Cawood Hellmund Nicholas T. Lasoff Priscilla Miner David Nordstrom Aaron Schlechter Contributing writers
It’s been a year since our last issue of con’text and what a year it has been! Among other things, we sent a student project team to Panama (the first international project in Conway’s history); saw application rates skyrocket (we have a full class of nineteen this year and have already accepted eight people for next year); were featured in a thirteen-page spread in Landscape Architecture magazine; introduced computer-aided design software into the curriculum; continued to develop a vision for our campus; were given more than $50,000 for capital improvements (used in part to replace all the studio drafting tables and chairs with new ones and update our survey equipment with digital transits); were given a large-format plotter; and purchased a wide-format scanner. (See various pages in this issue for pictures and details on this array of accomplishments.) At the same time we have graduated another class of very talented and dedicated students who are now settling around the country, beginning to make a difference to their communities, and applying their new skills. As you can tell, these are busy and exciting times, and we at the school are profoundly grateful for this progress—made possible by the support that all of you have given and continue to give to the school. Last year, we exceeded our annual fund goal by nearly forty percent, thanks to your increased dollar contributions and also to a twenty percent increase in the number of donors, both of which are very gratifying and greatly appreciated. We are also grateful for the many other ways our alums and friends support the school. In August, Humanities Professor Ken Byrne and I attended the annual meeting of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture in Pennsylvania. At least four universities were interested in developing cooperative agreements with our school of the type we already have with the University of Massachusetts (and which some had read of in the March 2007 Landscape Architecture article on the school). This past October, Associate Director Nancy Braxton and I had a great visit with West Coast alums from all four decades of Conway’s history. It was held at the gracious home of alum Shari Bashin-Sullivan ’84 near San Francisco. It was inspiring, as always, to hear alums’ stories and reflections on the enormous value of their Conway education. Over and again, we learned how the rigorous, intense year of Conway training transformed lives and prepared graduates for successful careers in a wide range of activities benefiting the environment and their communities. These stories from Conway alums are also helpful to potential applicants. They tell what our graduates did before coming here, what they valued about being here, and what they are doing now. These are inspiring to read and very helpful for our admissions process. We have started to gather stories from Conway alums that can help potential applicants get a better sense of the school and whether it is a fit for them. One such story from David Evans ’76 appears on page 15. I invite you to read it. Would you please take five minutes to add your story to the larger story? Go to the alumni area of our website, www.csld.edu/alumnipage.htm, to find the questionnaire. Or you can send your story to the school through the post office. Watch for con’text twice a year, starting this coming spring. We will also send an occasional email update, so please send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, we would love to have you stop by the school and say hello! Sincerely,
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Generous Gifts Enable Campus Improvements Thanks to the generosity of Eric and Jane Molson in a gift granted by the Lincolnshire Foundation and of longtime Conway friend and supporter, Bill Gundermann, the school was able to undertake some significant capital improvement projects over the summer. The old drafting desks, constructed by the Orchard Equipment Supply Company some thirty-five years ago, have now been replaced with Mayline steel frame, adjustable table top angle, drafting desks with flat file storage and tool drawers. New vinyl board covers and adjustable task chairs complement the desks. Recycling the old desks proved an easy task. The call went out to area alums, incoming students, and friends of the school letting them know that the desks were available. There was a terrific response, and we are happy to report that all of the desks found new homes. Equipment purchases for the new school year included a Hawk-Eye large format scanner capable of
handling thirty-six inch wide paper and producing photorealistic color scans as well as highquality grayscale and black and white images. Additionally, six new South Digital electronic theodolites were delivered in time for students to survey their fall residential sites. Kudos to Jono Neiger and the rest of the faculty for their efforts in getting the students trained on the new equipment. The outside entrance area to the school underwent an extensive transformation during the summer. Creating a flat area in front of the school for outdoor classroom use meant saying goodbye to the old frog pond. The pond was never able to hold water and a limited experiment with a bentonite clay liner failed to correct the problem. Thirty-two yards of loam were brought in to fill the pond and grade the surrounding area. Prior to bringing in the fill, some vegetation that was limiting solar gain on the south side of the school was removed by Conway faculty and staff. A special thanks goes to the students who were available for brush-hauling duties that day.
David Nordstrom ‘04
A more welcoming entrance
In addition to the clearing and grading, a stone dust walkway connecting the deck and kitchen door to the parking area was installed. The stone bench donated by the Class of 2005 was relocated from the edge of the pond and placed along the side of the new walkway. To stabilize the area, ferns were planted along the slope at the edge of the walkway, and the new clearing was sown with winter rye. Finally, the weeping Japanese maple tree on the island in front of the school was removed and sold to a local tree nursery, helping to offset some of the cost of the work. The current students will be asked to come up with a design solution to complete the front yard transformation. We are a landscape design school after all!
Alum Teams up with Conway at Conference. You Can, Too! On September 15, I attended Exploring Our Common Ground, an annual conference sponsored by The Trustees of Reservations’ Highlands Communities Initiative (HCI). HCI is a grant-funded program that promotes land conservation and community preservation in rural western Massachusetts. This year’s conference was held at Gateway Regional School in Huntington, Massachusetts. Conway paid my registration fee, and in exchange I set up an information table for the school. It was a great opportunity to meet local people with common interests, learn about HCI’s work, and spread the word about Conway. In the morning and during breaks, I stood at the table and met several interesting people, including a few Conway alums (Mollie Babize ’84, Kate Kerivan ’84, and Cindy Tavernise ’99), and someone who thought her town might be interested in pursuing a student project. A broad range of session topics included “When the Developer Comes to Town: Protecting Your Community’s Interest,” “Goods from Your Woods: Growing and Gathering Understory Crops,” and “Energy Independence for Your Highlands Home,” among many others. Janisse Ray, an environmental
activist and poet, gave an engaging keynote speech, encouraging attendees to make a commitment to support their local communities, and to work to stitch back together human and ecological communities that have been fragmented. Conway is able to cover conference registration fees for alums who represent the school at conferences (by bringing materials, setting up a display table, speaking to conference attendees). If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please call or email me. Also, if you hear about other workshops or conferences that you think would be of interest to Conway alums, or would be a good opportunity for Conway to spread the word, please let me know. Conferences are a prime medium for outreach to prospective students (and prospective project clients). If you plan to attend a conference in your area, and would like to host or help organize an alumni gathering in conjunction with the event, we would be happy to help coordinate! Contact Priscilla Miner, Outreach Assistant, at email@example.com or (413) 369-4044. Priscilla Miner ’07
Strategic Partnership—NEWFS The oldest plant conservation organization in the US, the New England Wildflower Society (NEWFS), has had an informal relationship with CSLD for more than seven years. The society has provided speakers, seminars, adjunct faculty, and a venue for field trips. It has been an employer of CSLD graduates and a fount of potential students for many years. That relationship has evolved since the 2003 Taylor Education Award was given to CSLD by NEWFS for a “strong and long-lasting commitment to furthering the public’s understanding and appreciation of native plants,” a relationship that has now been formalized by joining the two organizations with a strategic partnership. This partnership is a critical piece of CSLD’s strategic plan for the school that will include, among other things, an expansion of the current lectures and seminars with co-sponsorship of high-profile lectures. (See page 8 for more details about Conway 2020.) During the second week of July, 2007, NEWFS sponsored a pair of highly successful workshops with Bill Cullina and Darrel Morison, titled: “Native Plant Materials for Professionals” and “Landscape Design as Ecological Art,” respectively. Additionally, Sue Reed ’87, former CSLD faculty member, will be giving several courses for NEWFS during 2007 and 2008. In 2003, NEWFS undertook a major expansion to the west with the purchase of seventy-five-acre Nasami Farm in CSLD’s backyard—Whately, Massachusetts. Sharing the same watershed as CSLD, the new NEWFS facility was purchased and is being operated to supply native plants to New England on a larger scale than ever before. In spring 2004, a CSLD student team created a master plan for the site. Recently, CSLD students have visited Nasami Farm on field trips, and during this past spring two students from the class of 2007 provided garden design consulting to visitors as part of an event at Nasami Farm. NEWFS Director of Education,
Fall 2007 Lecture Series The second annual fall lecture series, held on the CSLD campus and co-sponsored with The New England Wildflower Society, was a major success with the lecture room filled to capacity. Speakers and their topics were: Larry Weaner, Breaking the Rules: Creating Natural Landscapes in the Real World Joan Iverson Nassauer, Cues to Care: Thoughtful Ways to Design and Present Messy Ecosystems Dale Hendricks, Native Plants for Sustainable Landscapes
Spring 2008 Conway Public Lecture by Randall Arendt Conservation planning advocate Randall Arendt will speak on behalf of the Conway School of Landscape Design and the Highlands Communities Initiative (of the Trustees of Reservations) in a public lecture: Conservation by Design: A Practical Strategy for Preserving Town-wide Open Space Networks, Monday, April 28, 2008, 7pm, Conway Town Hall. Mr. Arendt is the author or co-author of more than 20 publications, including the award-winning Dealing with Change in the Connecticut River Valley: A Design Manual for Conservation and Development (now in its fourth printing). He is Senior Conservation Advisor at the Natural Lands Trust in Media, Pennsylvania, and is the former Director of Planning and Research at the Center for Rural Massachusetts, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he also served as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning. In 2003, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute in London. In 2004 he was named an Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and in 2005 he received the American Institute of Architects’ Award for Collaborative Achievement. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.Phil. in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was a St. Andrew’s Scholar. See www.greenerprospects.com/bio.html for copies of reports by Mr. Arendt. A special gathering for alums and friends of the school will take place around the lecture. Mark your calendars and watch your mail for details!
Greg Lowenberg, looks forward to more joint ventures with CSLD, particularly with fee-based seminars and workshops as well as CSLD providing courses that may be applied to NEWFS Certificate Program in Native Plant Studies.
Conway Fields Panel at SFABA In October, CSLD sponsored the Shelburne Falls Area Business Association Fall Breakfast. As part of the breakfast, Kim Erslev, CSLD
faculty member and owner of Salmon Falls Ecological Design, organized and facilitated a panel discussion about sustainability that the SFABA’s executive director, Arthur Schwenger, characterized as “most informative, professional, and impressively succinct.” Other panelists included Mollie Babize ’84 of Walt Cudnohufsky Associates, Ashfield; Nancy Hazard, Former Director of the Tour de SOL, presently owner of WorldSustain; John Hoffman, Wilder Brook Farm, Charlemont;
Chris Martin, Sunhammer Green Builders, Shelburne Falls; Jonathan Tauer, former CSLD trustee, of Celluspray Insulation, Colrain. Art Schwenger stated further, “Comments received from numerous sources have been entirely positive. Those in attendance have expressed appreciation for the knowledgeable and helpful presentations by every
one of the panelists. … [M]any conversations have been inspired by the presentations especially the focus on how the issues [of sustainability] affect our local interests and the suggestions about actions that can be taken to do something about it.” The school congratulates and thanks all the participants for representing the school so well.
Welcome Class of 2008! The class of 2008 continues the CSLD tradition of diversity of experiences unified by commitment to environmentally sound land-use planning and ecologically sensitive landscape design. This group of eight men and eleven women is perhaps the most geographically diverse group to attend CSLD with eight students
Class of 2008 and instructors boating on the Connecticut River
CONWAY SCHOOL AND ALUMS IN THE NEWS “Ten Months, One Quantam Leap,” Landscape Architecture Magazine March 2007 The March 2007 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine contained an eight-page campus profile of CSLD that was remarkably accurate in its depiction of the students’ experience. Though the article was very licensure-centric, the piece by Jane Roy Brown did a fine job of reintroducing the school to the LAM readership with experience-based descriptions of the curriculum, school activities, and student-level familiarity. Jane Roy Brown truly immersed herself in this project by serving as a residential client for the fall term projects, attending a charrette with Darrel Morrison, and being a hovering observer with many years experience in the landscape architecture community. The 2006 article followed up on the 1985 article about the school in LAM that was written at a time when the school’s future seemed uncertain. Also appearing in the March issue of LAM were excerpts, which first appeared in con’text 2006, from Darrel Morrison’s graduation address to the class of 2006.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. (Harper Collins, May 2007) Amy Klippenstein ’95 was featured enthusiastically in the pages of Barbara Kingsolver’s newest New York
Times bestseller, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. The author describes an instance where she intended to impress some friends in Ashfield with her “June-ripened treasures” (tomatoes) and is overwhelmed by “the magician’s” (Amy’s) tomatoes’ superior flavor and appearance. Kingsolver resolves to visit Amy’s farm, which she manages with her partner, Paul Lacinski. Her visit to Sidehill Farm in Ashfield abounds with an amazing level of detail and loads praise on Amy’s attention to detail, inventiveness, and expertise. Congratulations Amy!
“Wild Ideas Take Root in Garden,” The Greenfield Recorder, August 29, 2007 An interview with David Jacke ’84 by reporter Richie Davis appeared in The Greenfield Recorder late this summer. The sympathetic interviewer covers a wide range of topics from natural ecosystems to energy use in agro-industry with a focus on Dave’s belief that “the environmental problems we’re confronting in the twenty-first century call for a dramatic cultural shift” and ways of implementing that shift in our own backyards. You can find out more about Dave’s award-winning book on the subject at www.edibleforestgardens.com. Aaron Schlechter
having lived abroad and two carrying foreign passports. One student relocated with her family from Santiago, Chile to nearby Ashfield. The class of 2008 contains thirteen who have worked in landscaping or planning or are self-described
“avid gardeners.” Two students operated their own landscaping companies and have come to CSLD to enhance their skills and build their businesses. Their interdisciplinary backgrounds are extraordinary with ten students who have science educa-
tions and experience, nine who have humanities backgrounds, and another four who have experience in the fine arts. We wish them well as they are poised to leave their mark on CSLD as much as CSLD will on them.
David Brooks Andrews
A Fond Thank-You to Ilze Meijers Since July, 1992, Ilze Meijer’s upbeat, energetic personality has supported the spirit and the mission of the Conway School. For many of us, Ilze was the warm, beating heart of the School. Nestled in her office with a view of everyone who tromped into the kitchen, a.k.a. the administration building, Ilze was the soul of patience and encouragement and was deeply committed to helping all students make the most of our time at CSLD. How did she do the million and one things the school required and still manage to smile and cherish each of our little triumphs and disasters? Ilze was the ultimate Earth Mother, doling out financial aid, help with housing, and steamy cups of soup just when they were most needed. She was the one who unraveled the mysteries of town and curriculum and made sense of it all. Did you need directions to a great swimming hole? Ask Ilze. And where could you get copies of your drawings made by 8 am? Ilze always knew the answer or the direction needed to find it. Ilze worked tirelessly, devoting herself to assist scores of Conway students with everything from their financial aid to putting together their presentation graphics. In the words of a colleague, “Nothing happened at CSLD without Ilze’s help or knowledge. She liberated us all from a multitude of small chores, and kept the school afloat by presiding over the Byzantine federal rules of financial aid. For attending the yearly FAFSA seminars, Ilze has earned an elevated place in heaven. The big names get the applause and their names in bronze. Ilze was the safety net under all of us, and her name is permanently on my list of friends.” Two special moments remembered: “Ilze is the most generous person I know, and my favorite times watching her were not when she was mega-tasking behind her desk, but when a student in crisis arrived with a child in tow. Ilze stopped all the droning adult activities and brought out her basket of toys, the markers, the colored paper and her ingenious creative mind. Watching Ilze play always humbled me to the way she sees the world as it is made daily before her. I miss our book discussions
and I miss her insights into the people that swirled around her.” “As a California native, the icy plains of Conway were quite a shock to my system. Although I had lived in NYC as a child, Conway’s isolation, short days, and lack of restaurants were a test. I recall trudging into the kitchen after getting the fire going for my chore one early January morning when it was close to eight but still inky out. Ilze strode up the steps carrying a picnic basket on her arm; wearing a smile on her face. She had gone ice skating the night before. She set her basket on the kitchen table, and went on to share the tale. My frozen heart warmed a bit. Throughout that winter, whenever I felt despondent I reminded myself of her joy.” Above all, Ilze wrapped us in her firm belief that we were there for a reason and would find a way to realize our dreams through our year at CSLD, and that while we were there she would do everything in her power to help us succeed. At graduation, she sent us forth to do good work to help the planet, knowing that we would plunge into busy lives and hardly ever take the time to look back and say thanks. So let us say THANK YOU ILZE loudly and clearly now. We hope you know that you are part of everything we do to make the world a greener place as a result of the path you cleared for us along the way! Thank you to Chet Cramer (former faculty), Alma Hecht ’02, Maureen Buchanan Jones (former faculty), Robin Simmen ’01, Lesya Struz. ’01, and Francie Yeager ’01 for contributing to this story. Ilze Meijers served as Office Coordinator and Financial Aid Advisor for Conway from July, 1992 to June, 2007, and helped to ease the school through several crucial transitions during that time. Among them, she assisted in the transition of two directors, and shepherded CSLD’s physical relocation from the farmhouse on Delabarre Avenue to its present location. Alums and friends interested in thanking Ilze for her service to Conway can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Karen Lamson ’01
David Bird 1928–2007 David Bird, age 79, died in his sleep in his South Dartmouth, Mass. home on October 29, 2007. He was a linguist, specialist in eastern European affairs, political consultant, and social activist. In addition to his wife, Jeanne, David leaves two sons, Marten and Matthew, a daughter, Rachel Bird Anderson, and a brother, Charles Sumner Bird III. More details of David’s many faceted life can be found in an obituary published by the Boston Globe. (See www.csld.edu/whatsnew.htm for link.) The Bird family has unanimously and generously designated the Conway School as the recipient of any memorial gifts that friends may wish to make. In addition, Walter Cudnohufsky has established a David Bird Scholarship Fund for Conway students.
Remembering and Honoring David Bird, Trustee Emeritus From Walter Cudnohufsky, Founding Director, CSLD
From Rachel Bird Anderson, David Bird’s Daughter
David Bird attended a grant writing workshop in the mid 1970s. He and I were teamed up by chance to share our stories, intentions, and desires. David was an instant convert and enthusiastic supporter of the “Conway School Idea.” He was ready with challenging questions, valuable information, insight, and connections. He became a self-selected devotee to this small familial design and planning school. He appreciated its dedication to sustainable environmental design and the making of vital communities. David became a cherished friend, mentor, facilitator and ultimately savior of the Conway School! The Conway School has lost its trusted coach, its first and long time Board of Trustees Chairman. As is often the case with a working board, David worked hardest himself. It was most comforting to have him at the rudder for those many years. David had a knack to see the truth and to serve the underdog, the needy, and the unrecognized. He rightly took pride in the school’s several accomplishments and in its hard won struggles. The uneven and often challenging economic times did not make it easy for a school that insisted on not relying on grants with strings attached. Legal wrangling for non-profit status and accreditation for this unorthodox school also needed David’s attention. He appeared instantly and focused when any crisis would arise. He and Jeanne hosted trustee meetings on many occasions. David was practical and protective and asked only to serve, which he did selflessly. David brought students, projects, and lecturers to the school, occasionally giving a seminar himself, something he enjoyed immensely. Mostly, he brought support and wisdom! He led staff and alumni retreats and phonathons. He loved to listen to the life stories of the school’s annual crop of new graduate students. The school and I personally have been the beneficiaries of uncommon generosity. Missed most of all is David’s humanity, his ability to be a good friend.
Several times over the years I accompanied my father, David Bird, to the school. I am so glad for each and every memory of the Conway School trips. Each trip unveiled to me just a little bit more of a vista on the special school he cared so much about—the people, the premise, the place, the energy. Especially in the last years, it was one of the few places he wanted to visit— to see for himself what was happening—to be with. It will forever remain a special place to me, as it was so near and dear to him.
From the School David Bird’s contribution to the Conway School of Landscape Design was prodigious. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that without David Bird, the fledgling school may not have survived its early years to grow into the nationally-recognized school of landscape design it is today. Serving as Chair of the Conway Board of Trustees in the ’70s and into the ’80s, David marshaled his skills as a lawyer together with his great determination and persistence to help achieve legal status and initial accreditation for the Conway School. After stepping down as a board member, he was named Emeritus Trustee. Among the top donors in the history of the school, David’s early financial support matched his input of time and expertise and was critical in keeping the school afloat; his support of the 2002 capital campaign for the new campus was key, and he continued giving annually and generously to Conway. Conway was honored that in the past five years, David attended all of the school’s major celebrations: the 2002 brunch introducing the new South Deerfield St. property to alums and friends; the 2005 retirement celebration honoring retiring director Don Walker; and the 2006 inauguration of Paul Cawood Hellmund as director, where he attended and—never missing an opportunity to help the school define itself and move forward—contributed to the discussion at board chair Art Collins’ workshop on “The Permanent Conway.” Thank you, David. We will miss you.
Douglas Guey-Lee ‘08
Landlords for the Ages—Don and Betty Fitzgerald As I enter their house to pay the rent Betty asks, “Would you like to join us for a game of dominoes?” I oblige, and we sit They provide students with around the kitchen a home away from home. table for a few rounds of Mexican Train. Apparently, it’s a spinoff of Chicken Foot. I’m in no position to argue, I’ve never played either. I’m just happy to be invited. As the nineteenth Conway student to rent from Don and Betty I can only wonder if I’m the first ever to play a game of dominoes with them. Perhaps I am, but it’s hard to believe after living under the Fitzgeralds for the past several weeks. In my short time here, they’ve graced me with an emergency roll of toilet paper, more homegrown corn than I could ever eat, and a generous dose of Massachusetts hospitality. Hospitality comes naturally for Betty who was born and raised here in Ashfield, Massachusetts. Spend some time with her and she’ll tell you the story of how she and Don met swimming in Ashfield Lake as teenagers. That’s where fate met the young, industrious man from Greenfield and the jovial, young lady from the Berkshire foothills. You can still visit them today, living happily at the top of Norton Hill Road. There you’ll find them in their second Ashfield home built by Don himself. Their first home was the two-story colonial next door. Don purchased it some time ago so Betty’s parents would have a place to stay when they visited the area. Being the industrious man he is, he decided to remodel the house room-by-room. No sooner did he finish that house when he sold it to buy the smaller Cape Cod next door set on a lavish
Courtesy of Cynthia Hayes Tanyan ‘95
Back row: Nancy Braxton (Assoc. Director CSLD), David Evans '76, Shari Bashin-Sullivan '84, Cynthia Hayes Tanyan '95, Paul Hellmund (Director, CSLD). Front row: Donna Eldridge '86, Bill Halleck '86, Helen Anzuoni '88.
ten acres. Since it was a smaller home, Don tirelessly went back to work by building a complete basement apartment for Betty’s parents to stay in. With borrowed wood from the first remodeling, the basement apartment began to take on a life of its own. It would later become the second home for many Conway students. Each year for the past nineteen years, Don and Betty have rented the apartment to Conway students. Betty’s parents are no longer with us but the apartment still harbors weary, studio-trodden Conway grad students. Described in the rental guides as “highly recommended,” it’s no wonder that they were the first and last vacancy I called. Talking to Betty on the phone I was assured that, “We have everything you’re going to need; we’ve been doing this for a long time.” They were right. Indeed, Don and Betty are no strangers to the Conway School. They were there at the beginning when Don salvaged books from his school administrator’s job in Springfield and donated them to our fledgling library. They have donated firewood that keeps students warm. To this day, they’re spotted taking notes at Mondays’ lectures and wishing the students well on graduation day. Each winter they leave Ashfield for better dominoes games in Florida while their geraniums and I will be left behind to fend for ourselves. Together, the geraniums and I will be in the studio hoping to make it through another New England winter. I hope to return them come springtime in the condition they were given to me and to other students before me. Don and Betty have done so much for Conway and its students; keeping their geraniums healthy can only be a small token of our appreciation.
California Alumni Gathering, October 2007 Thanks to the gracious hospitality of Shari-Bashin Sullivan ’84 and the energetic co-hostessing and outreach of Donna Eldridge ’86, as well as the support and help of their husbands and children, Director Paul Cawood Hellmund and Associate Director Nancy Braxton participated in a wonderful gathering of Conway California alums at Shari’s beauti-
Douglas Guey-Lee ’08
ful home in Orinda, California on October 27. On a sunny afternoon, eight of the fifteen Conway graduates who currently live in California attended this first-ever West Coast event, representing eight Conway classes and including some who drove several hours to be there. Attending were: Helen Anzuoni ’88, David Evans ’76 (see his note on page 15), Jeanne Furstoss ’81 (whose daughter, Elisabeth Bowler, a prospective Conway student, also attended), Bill Halleck ’86, Continued on page 23
A Vision for CSLD An Evolving Continuum BY PAUL CAWOOD HELLMUND
of their days at Conway, working in the old sugar house on Delabarre Ave. or going to contra dances with Walt or playing volleyball with Don and classmates. Even more enjoyable and meaningful is when they say—as they often do to me—Conway changed my life! It is clear that despite thirty-five year’s worth of changes in outward trappings, buildings, and personnel, there are things that are fundamentally part of Conway, things that have always been here, things that change lives. We have to make sure we never lose those elements of our school. We have to make sure we know what those elements are. Lately, the faculty and staff have been thinking about the essence of a Conway education, those things that are at the heart of our educational approach. For one thing, our curriculum will always feature working on real projects for real clients. Also, our unique emphasis on communications—written, oral, and drawing—is central and helps set the school apart. We emphasize rigorous design process and are skeptical of flashy, placeless design. We care about ecological integrity and people. We want to make a difference in the world. Those things shouldn’t change. Within those changeless precepts, however, there are many fresh opportunities for our school. For example, we are getting requests from other countries for design and planning assistance, and we are getting students who are anxious to work in those parts of the world where some of the environmental and social needs are greatest. The school’s mission to explore, develop, practice, and teach design of the land that is ecologically and socially sustainable has never seemed more relevant. We see this in the highest application rates in the school’s history and in increasing numbers of financial supporters. There are so many positive signs about the school’s future, so many opportunities knocking at our door. Conway trustees, faculty, staff, and students have been discussing the future and invite your comments on their ideas, which are outlined on the next page. T IS FUN TO HEAR ALUMS SHARE REMINISCENCES
Improving and Greening Our Hilltop Campus The Conway School’s move to our current hilltop campus was a giant step forward. Steadily, we have
been making improvements to our new home and considering what more needs to be done to make the facilities and property an even more fitting setting for our educational processes. Over the last several years, groups of alums and students have conducted various studies that have helped us better understand the campus and our building. The most recent campus study was carried out by the firm of William Richter ’77 of Avon, Connecticut. Starting in January 2008, a team of students will help us bring together all the previous studies as part of their winter term project. It is an opportune moment to be pursuing campus improvement. Never has there been such widespread appreciation for the role of campuses in sustainability education, and the Conway School has much to draw on in taking its next steps in developing its own campus. Thinking about our campus improvements comes in the midst of a burgeoning campus sustainability movement in the US and around the world, as well as widespread interest in sustainability in nearly every sector of society. A friend of our school, Prof. David Orr of Oberlin College, is an important leader in the campus sustainability movement. He has written extensively about what colleges should be doing to move toward greater sustainability. (See, for example, his “Educating for Life,” www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=795.) He suggests steps that we are considering very seriously, such as reducing institutional use of fossil fuel, eliminating discharges of wastes, and assessing the life-cycle of all major purchases. Our fundamental values as a school help determine the sustainable path ahead, including how to pursue it. Key concepts in sustainability as we teach it include taking the long view, collaborating, being flexible and scrappy, and solving problems iteratively, but not prematurely. The Conway trustees recently approved, in principle, the following priorities for campus and institutional improvement. These will be reviewed over the coming months. ■ Make our existing school building more energy efficient in keeping with our focus on sustainability. ■ Clear vegetation near the school building to provide solar access and reduce energy use. Use these cleared areas for demonstration gardens. ■ Build a trail to help pedestrians get from the hilltop into town. ■ Draft a land stewardship plan for the entire property.
■ ■ ■ ■
Design and install a “green” modular building so we can have an adequate-sized classroom quickly, but without limiting future development. Raise money for scholarships. Document baseline conditions of the school’s use of energy and other inputs. Research carbon neutral and other sustainable options for the campus by looking at other relevant institutions. Engage potential collaborators to determine shared
A Future to Grow into: The Existing Graduate Program Stays Central
interests. Continually review and revise master principles that tie our actions to our beliefs. Start to raise funds for implementing, as well as maintaining, these priorities.
Would you like to give the winter project student team—and Conway staff—any suggestions about the future of the campus? Send your comments to email@example.com.
Our curriculum will continue to teach our core values, even as it evolves to meet the specific needs of changing times. Our focus will always be on our graduate program in sustainable landscape planning and design and the life-long nurturing of our graduates. Some of the components described below will only become possible once the appropriate facilities exist. The Conway School of Landscape Design will have two main components, along with reorganized administrative support:
Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning & Design Masters Degree Program with about twenty students. It would include:
Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning & Design. 18–20 graduate students per year who matriculate in our current graduate program.
International Service Masters Degree Program. 1–5 students per year who complete the regular graduate program, but then return after service (Peace Corps, Vista, etc.) as a Conway Visiting Design Fellow.
The Conway Institute for Regenerative Design. It would be funded by research grants and project fees and would complement the graduate degree program. It would include: ■
Conway Institute Research Group, which would focus on applied landscape research. Institute partners would be non-profit organizations, agencies, and businesses. Alums could participate in research that interests them and that draws on their practices. Continuing Education, which would be taught by alums and others and would include on-campus and off-campus workshops. Because of the significant number of Spanish-language alums and because of the heightened needs there, we would offer instruction in sustainable design in Latin America in Spanish. Conway Visiting Design Fellows Program, which would invite accomplished designers, planners, ecologists, policy makers, lawyers, and environmental writers from North and South America for a 1–3 month residency. They would participate in instruction and pursue their own work. There would be 2–3 fellows per year. They would receive a modest stipend and in return contribute to teaching in the graduate program. Conway Design Press, which would work with an existing publisher to create a Conway imprint to disseminate books that include useful approaches to practical aspects of landscape planning and design. Work to be featured would come from the research group, alums, and student projects. Conway Design Professional Practice Incubator Space, through which recent graduates could rent space and have services at the school (once there is room) for up to one year as they build their professional practices. Graduates might also rent space from alums in other parts of the country.
Conway and Panama: A Series of Fortunate Events
On the Chagres River
CONWAY ALUMS COULD BE FOUND the sights and sounds of the rainforest village of Achiote on the Costa Bajo of Panama and also working with villagers to help develop aspects of their ecotourism infrastructure. That was only days after a team of Conway students made their final winter-term project presentation to an enthusiastic audience just fifty miles away, in the nation’s capital city. On that same day, Matthew Arnsberger ’98 (part of the Achiote team), Conway advisor Edwina von Gal, and I represented our school’s board of trustees in presenting an honorary degree to Panamanian sustainability expert Charlotte Elton. This hubbub of activity in Panama grew out of a series of events and conversations with people interested in design and planning in Latin America. Several years ago, I started collaborating with Conway honoree Charlotte Elton and the non-governmental EXPLORING
organization she works for—the Panamanian Center for Research and Social Action. She introduced me to a tropical native plant expert who suggested I contact landscape designer Edwina von Gal, because of her work on a proposed native plant park in the capital city. I learned that Edwina had been involved in reforestation efforts in the interior of Panama, on the Azuero Peninsula, an area that has been heavily deforested. We invited Edwina and her collaborator, Yaletrained forester Mark Wishnie, to give a public lecture in Conway on their work in Panama. Edwina told of her transformation from a landscape designer for the rich and famous (she has been dubbed a “landscape design diva” by the press) to one who is focused on developing a biological corridor across a heavily deforested area and otherwise improving the environment. Mark described his efforts in founding Proyecto de Reforestación con Especies Nativas (PRORENA) at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. PRORENA works in environmental education and reforestation. The conversations were non-stop among students, faculty, and our visitors over those two days. Before they left Conway, both Edwina and Mark agreed to serve as informal advisors to the school. They asked us to develop a winter-term student project that would help them envision a biological corridor for the deforested Azuero Peninsula, where they have been working. This became Conway’s first international, student project and a team of four members of the class of 2007 took on the work: Alicia Batista, Karen Chaffee, Brandon Mansfield, and Victoria Schroth.
Panama (Azuero Peninsula in outline)
Panama student team
Paul Cawood Hellmund
BY PAUL CAWOOD HELLMUND
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Class of ’07 Azuero design team with planting coordinator for PRORENA, Diogenes Ibarra: (l to r) Karen Chaffee, Diogenes Ibarra, Alicia Batista, Victoria Schroth, and Brandon Mansfield
A few short months after that initial visit by Mark and Edwina, the student team was boarding a jet for Panama and a week of site reconnaissance and interviews in both the capital city and the more remote project site. (See page 25 for more details about the project.) At the end of the winter term, the students headed back to Panama again, and I accompanied them to hear their final presentation and launch our alum trip to Achiote. Another happy coincidence happened as we were preparing to leave. As the students and I sat in the departure area at Hartford’s Bradley International Airport, up walked Conway School founder Walter Cudnohufsky, who happened to be traveling on the same plane on his way to Costa Rica. That was a special, encouraging send-off. The four students had the privilege of visiting Panama, but all of us got to learn about a fascinating conservation effort in a challenging situation. Conway’s Second Honorary Degree On that second visit, the students presented their work to a large and enthusiastic crowd in the visitor center at Metropolitan National Park, Panama City. Matthew Arnsberger ’98 was the first of the alum trip participants to arrive in Panama and he joined the audience for the student presentation. After that presentation, he joined Edwina von Gal, me, and others in conferring an honorary degree on Charlotte Elton. (This was just the second such degree Conway has conferred. The first went to Oberlin College’s David Orr.) It was a pleasure to recognize Charlotte for her considerable contributions to Panama and the broader world. After Matthew presented her with the honorary degree on behalf of the Conway trustees, Charlotte addressed the gathering. Her comments in part, here translated from Spanish, were:
my friends, colleagues, and especially my husband Rafa, who taught me to see Panama with fresh eyes and has supported and encouraged me in all my enthusiasms, interests, and efforts since the day we met in 1971, whether he agreed with them or not, and a special thank you to Panama, which, as you from Conway know, is a very special and welcoming place. I have always felt welcomed and have been received with open arms from day one in 1969, when I came to work as a volunteer junior professional with the United Nations Development Program. And thanks to my daughters, who have kept me sane, human, and humble, and who keep me in constant awe of the endless possibilities of creation.… What have I learned and what am I still learning about sustainable design and its potential contribution to sustainable development? I don’t think I’m doing anything particularly original. I think I have been very fortunate to be able to make interventions at key times, in special places, with extraordinary support and participation by people and institutions that care. Maybe that is the key, people who care— PASSION, or Mistica as they say in Spanish.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Thank you for this great honor you have given me. Thanks to all of you here today, Charlotte Elton's husband, Rafael Spalding, looks on as Matthew Arnsberger ’98 presents her with an honorary degree.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
We need to analyze situations at different levels, the context, the global, national, local, individual, how they all relate, which leads to greater understanding.… Without something making sense to people, there is no way they will change. The context includes the political, socio-economic dynamics, and the environment, and particularly important in this is the non-tangible, the spiritual, ethical dimensions of our understanding and relation to the landscapes and surroundings we live in.…
That night, Azuero Foundation president Luis Varela held a festive banquet at his home, overlooking the Bay of Panama, to honor Charlotte Elton and recognize the Conway students. A Gathering of Conway Alums and Friends Two days later, our Conway group was assembled in Panama City, and we got oriented to the city and country, viewing the site of the new Museum of Biodiversity (designed by Frank Gehry and now under construction) and the famous Panama Canal locks. In addition to Matthew Arnsberger, trip participants included Judy Gianforte ’85, Sue Crimmins ’97, and Gioia Kuss ’99, and friends of the school, Laura D’Angelantonio and Susan Urich. We headed for the tiny village of Achiote. Achiote is a village of friendly inhabitants, who warmly welcomed us. Also joining us in Achiote was native plant expert and advocate Marianne
Conway's Latin American Initiative If you are interested in Latin America or speak Spanish, please let us know if you would like to help advance our efforts there. Go to www.csld.edu/alumniresources.htm and follow the link “Conway Alums in Latin America” or send us an email (Spanish@csld.edu) to give us information about your interests.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
I like to think that just maybe in the work I have done, for which you are conferring me this honorary degree, I and others in the Panamanian Center for Research and Social Action have touched other people’s lives and some places with these insights that we have learnt along the way. Thank you for this honor. Top: Charlotte Elton (l) and local guides (r) Filipe Martinez and Marianne Akers introduce trip participants, (l to r) Sue Crimmins, Matthew Arnsberger, Laura D'Angelantonio, Judy Gianforte, and Gioia Kuss, to the marvels of the rainforest. Bottom: Visitors (clockwise from l: Gioia Kuss, Matthew Arnsberger, Laura D'Angelantonio) collaborate with local host Daniel Holness (r) on land protection strategies for the Toucan Community Center.
Conway to Collaborate on Design Workshop in Panama Adrian Benedetti, director of Summit Park in Panama City (www.summitpanama.org), has invited the Conway School to help teach a three-day workshop at Summit in January. The three-day workshop, organized by Fairchild Gardens will be taught in Spanish and will present basic concepts of landscape design. Conway’s Michael Cavanagh ’02 will be teaching with Fairchild’s April Dominquez, a landscape designer who served in the Peace Corps in Panama. Michael, who has his own design firm in Rhode Island, has been working in the Dominican Republic and speaks Spanish. The workshop will be held at Summit Park in Panama City.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Far left: Judy Gianforte inspects palm fruits. Left: Laura D'Angelantonio makes a record sketch of Piña Beach.
Connections: CSLD and the Peace Corps Michele Albee Devaney ’02 is currently in Romania. Nat Goodhue ’91 and Floyd Thompson ’74 served in Chile. Danielle Allen ’06 was in Morroco. Some have come to Conway after the Peace Corps, others before they served. There has been a long informal association between the Peace Corps and the Conway School, and we would like to build on those experiences. We want to attract more students who would like to come to Conway before they head out to such international service. It would be helpful to be able to share with them the experiences of alums who have already been in the Peace Corps. Eventually, we would like to develop a more formal relationship with the Peace Corps, such as that agency has with other institutions of higher learning. To be able to take these steps we need more specific information from our alums who have served in the Peace Corps or other such service organizations. Please go to the school website (www.csld.edu/alumniresources.htm) and click on the link at “Conway Alums in the Peace Corps” or send us an email (PeaceCorps@csld.edu) to give us your information. You can also leave us a voicemail message at (413) 853-3034.
Akers. We were treated to natural and cultural heritage tours and then we started in on projects, working with villagers. Gioia, Laura, and I helped evaluate the feasibility of purchasing a property as a buffer for the community center. Matthew did a measured drawing and materials list for reconstructing the oldest home in the village. Sue and Judy planned a permaculture interpretative trail. And Susan helped reorganize the gift area of the community center where we stayed. Having real projects to work on over those days in Achiote with real people made all the difference in how we experienced Panama. We got to know villagers much better by working with them on issues that mattered to them. Knowing people also meant we got to see aspects of village life that a typical tourist would never see. It is our hope that the projects will help villagers move in some small ways toward their goal of greater self-sufficiency. Our time in Achiote seemed to fly by, and soon we were saying goodbye to our new friends and headed back to Panama City and our homes in the north. To a person, trip participants said they felt they had gained much more than they had given. And I can attest that they had given much. Another Participant’s Perspective For more information on the Panamanian isthmus and an interesting perspective on the parallels to corridors in New England, see the article by participant Gioia Kuss ’99 in the spring 2007 issue of the Middlebury Area Land Trust News. Nota Bene Just as con’text is going to press comes word of additional opportunities for Conway in Panama. We have been invited to help teach a workshop in Panama on landscape design. (See box accompanying this article for more details.) And, a person attending the final student presentation for the Azuero project has asked if his organization might sponsor a future Conway student project examining the feasibility of a new Panamanian national park.
Conway Class Agents: A Pivotal Group BY IAN HODGDON ‘06, CLASS AGENT CO-CHAIR
HIS YEAR MARKS THE THIRTY-FIFTH CLASS
at the Conway School. Thirty-five graduating classes coming out of one of the smallest graduate schools in the country is a sure sign that CSLD’s message and teaching process is important to many individuals. The success of the Conway School is, in part, due to the support from its large body of alums. Two recently formed groups, the Alumni Association and the class agent program intend to strengthen, even more, the connection between the school and its alums. In the class agent program, two graduates from each class are invited to represent fellow classmates and to help maintain connections to the school and to each other. These connections are made through phone calls, email, letters, and personal visits. Class agents and alums also volunteer their time during CSLD events. Class agents for the class of 2006, Ian Hodgdon and Brian Trippe, organized phonathons in Amherst and Salem, Massachusetts respectively. These phonathons were well attended and mobilized financial support for CSLD and reconnected fellow classmates and alums. (For phonathon details see page 34.) During its first year, the class agents adopted a mission statement and created a structure for helping class agents to maintain their connection with classmates. At the May 2007 Development Committee meeting, a class agent steering committee was formed to provide support and direction to the larger body of class agents, develop ideas, and recruit new members. Also adopted were
Mission of the Conway Alumni Association and Class Agents The Conway Alumni Association, and the class agents formed within, supports the continuity of CSLD’s mission by fostering connections among the school’s graduates across years, regions, skills and interests. –Adopted December 9, 2006
plans to create regional meetings of alums for the purpose of networking, sharing professional successes, and of course, having a great time. The steering committee is aiming to hold two regional meetings in the near future. Suggested locations include the Boston and Washington D.C. areas. West Coast alums have recently met with Paul Hellmund, Nancy Braxton, and each other during Paul and Nancy’s information session trip this fall. (See related article on p. 7.) Stories of class agents reconnecting with their fellow classmates and the fruitful results from alums volunteering their time during CSLD events reveal how important and pivotal this group is as the school embarks on establishing the “Permanent Conway.” Conway School alums have always felt a deep connection to fellow alums even though many have never met. Class agents are beginning to create a larger dialog among alums. This deepening dialog brings all alums closer to each other and to the Conway School. The success of the class agents and Alumni Association will surely ensure the success of the Conway School.
Class Agents Need Your Help With eighteen alums currently signed up as class agents, the CSLD Alumni Association has a strong core from which to grow. We need your help, however, in order to reach our goal of one or two class agents from each year. If you’re already in touch with some of your classmates, why not expand that circle and help ensure the success of the Alumni Association and the Conway School? The school can help you with contact information and other means to help you stay in touch. Contact Nancy Braxton today and do your part in keeping the Conway experience alive (firstname.lastname@example.org; (413) 369-4044 x 5).
Alum David Evans ’76 Shares His Post-Conway Experience with Prospective Students
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Where Are They Now:Two Alums’ Stories Prior to Conway, I was a student of ornamental horticulture and pomology at Ohio State, while managing the landscape maintenance staff of a thirtyacre historical estate. The day-to-day field experience of maintaining a beautiful, mature landscape, combined with the stimulation of the classroom, was a great mix that rapidly advanced my understanding and skill. Conway proved to be a similar combination of doing and learning. Although I didn’t have an art or design background, I believed that I could learn these skills, especially within the real-world grounding of the Conway School. In 1975, the alternative nature of the school seemed revolutionary, and a perfect antidote to the character of traditional education. In that context, I came to Conway to learn how to design and build landscapes. Although I shared the environmental values of the school, I was most interested in design, graphics, and construction. The nature of the projects I chose, Walt’s gifts as a teacher, and the shared wisdom of my colleagues, ultimately established the design foundation I’d hoped for. Walt helped me to see the range of skills required of a good landscape architect, and out of that, the importance of being a generalist. Over the past thirty years, my desire to be broad-based in my professional skills has been at the heart of my career journey and, I now see, essential to my current work as an urban designer. Another memorable learning is the verbal and written communication skills demanded of the program. Although I didn’t attend Conway in search of these skills, they are the most critical component of my professional success. Conway is the foundation of my career. In the spirit of my desire to be a generalist, I’ve worked for multidisciplinary design firms, owned a design/build business, worked as a development planner, designed and built numerous public landscapes, and now lead my own urban design and landscape architecture practice in California. Following twenty years of professional practice after Conway, I received a Master of Urban Design from UC Berkeley in 1997. I’ve taught for several years in the UC Berkeley Extension program in Landscape Architecture, and am currently serving on the UC Berkeley Advisory Board. Recently, I was certified by the National Charrette Institute to lead highly participatory community design projects, which is a logical extension of the communication skills established at Conway.
Conway is as relevant and revolutionary as ever. Knowing if the fit is right requires either a clear understanding of what you want, or the courage to jump in and swim, and see where the “rushing” waters take you. Either way, it will probably change your life. See the work of David’s firm at: www.sfedesign.com. Share your post-Conway experience with prospective students. Go to to the alumni area of our website, www.csld.edu/alumnipage.htm and fill in the questionnaire. Or you can send your story to the school through the post office.
Bruce Stedman ’78, Named Executive Director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network This past August, the Marine Fish Conservation Network (Network)—a national coalition of more than 190 environmental organizations, commercial and recreational fishing groups, aquariums, and marine science groups—announced the appointment of Bruce J. Stedman as its new executive director. Bruce has been active in marine and environmental policy for more than twenty-five years. “Throughout his career, Bruce Stedman has shown a passion for ocean conservation and an aptitude in bringing different parties together to solve environmental challenges,” said Jay Nelson, president of the Network’s board of directors. “He brings exceptional experience, skills, and talent to the Network, and we could not have asked for a better fit for this unique organization.” His love for the ocean has a long history, beginning with salmon fishing and a trip to the Oregon coast as a child. Trained in marine biology at Friday Harbor Laboratories (University of Washington), land planning at the Conway School of Landscape Design, and environmental planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stedman has directed five other environmental non-governmental organizations and companies. As a marine biologist, he participated in research projects involving basic ecosystem analysis and animal behavior, and was part of a four-person team that designed and built The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Washington. He has also taught academic courses in negotiation and conservation biology at Harvard University. Stedman is the director of the Ellie Dorsey Marine Conservation Fund, a small charity funding marine research that continues the work of his late wife. Stedman lives in Washington, DC with his two children. Bruce is an emeritus trustee of Conway. We congratulate him warmly on his new appointment. For more information about Bruce and his work, see www.conservefish.org.
Communities, Design, and What the Buddha Inspired: A Sri Lankan Perspective JONATHON ELLISON ’93 REPORTS ON HIS YEAR IN POST-TSUNAMI SRI LANKA
Jonathon Ellison ’93
gives way to a complex game of asymmetry… [which] is fundamental to Buddhist thought: that there can be no perfection in the world of men; imbalance is what creates all movement and energy.3
Ancient Sri Lankan design
THE ANCIENT MONASTERIES and palaces of Sri Lanka maintain highly sophisticated landscape designs, intentionally interrupted by natural features. The Sigiriya gardens, as grand as Versailles but older by a thousand years, has its vast symmetry broken by a meandering stream. The main esplanade leads to a spectacular and chaotic tumble of caves and natural outcrops, where buildings and temples appear precariously perched on boulders.1 Sri Lankans have a 2,500-year history of designing landscapes with water, and of striving to keep in harmony with their natural surroundings.2 And the respect for the natural environment has a spiritual connection: Formality often gives precedence to the vagaries of the landscape—axes shift to accommodate boulders or streams, symmetry
Buddhist thinking requires the Wruksha Devata deity to be at peace before a sacred tree can be cut. For three consecutive nights, robed monks meditatively display poetically brilliant attitudes towards landscape by placing lanterns around the tree to be removed.4 When this respect for landscape is combined with Buddhist Sinhalese asymmetry, combined again with the potential of environmental design, the results can be deeply inspiring. Sri Lanka is currently known for its disproportionately high number of talented architects and designers. This is largely due to a vernacular renaissance that was begun fifty years ago by architects Geoffrey Bawa, Ulrik Plesner, and Minette de Silva (Asia’s first female architect). They were inspired by a contemporary embracing of local tradition and response to place and environment and included artists Barbara Sansoni, Ena de Silva, and Laki Senanayake, among others.5 All of these twentieth century greats were themselves hugely influenced by ancient vernacular designs of monasteries, palaces, and traditional Sinhalese, Buddhist, Tamil, and Hindu art. This devotion to locality inspires professionals from India, Malaysia, Singapore, and beyond, looking to Sri Lanka for influential designs speaking of place. Sri Lanka is dotted with ruins, temples, monasteries, and lost cities from before the Christian era. It has a mixed population of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Islamic communities of largely mixed Singhalese, Tamil, and Muslim ethnicities who speak mainly Sinhala, Tamil, or English. They are some of the friendliest people you will ever find, and it is where my wife Ann, our teenage sons, Jevon and Gabriel, and I lived for a year, from 2006 to 2007.
Unlike all other arts, which may portray the contradictions of daily life, in particular with under-development and terrorism, architecture must celebrate life. I am weary of an architecture which is merely serious or even just a façade, devoid of the wit and humor of life. I also dislike insensitive impositions on the landscape.… For me [art] is enough if it provides a meditative refuge from the trauma, the tragedy, and the occasional bomb in Sri Lanka.6
During the 2004 tsunami, almost fifty thousand Sri Lankans perished, tens of thousands of children became orphans, and over one hundred thousand homes were destroyed. Many coastal Sri Lankans will share their stories of the horrific waves that tore apart their lives. Facing continuing civil conflict, they also speak openly about rebuilding their communities, while maintaining a general distrust of both their government and the industry of foreign aid. Many bemoan the highly centralized government machinery, the inadequate needs assessments and consultation, corruption, and a lack of transparency and accountability in the devel“It was within opment process. Many crave independence from external this landscape of loss assistance, and many in the and hope, humor and south worry that a prolonged culture of dependence design, conflict and could lead to unrest. In many places, people express humanity, disaster concern about development and development organizations carrying out relief work with explicit that I came to undermandates or implicit agendas stand my Conway for religious conversions.7 But Sri Lankans generSchool training within a ally speak of Sri Lanka with global perspective.” pride. They know the geographic, touristic, design, and cultural potential their beloved country holds. Many long for a peaceful resolution between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, but are weary of the military and that occasional bomb. People speak openly of the past, such as the peaceful transition from British rule, when Tamils, Muslims, Christians, and Sinhalese Buddhists ran a non-secular government, clearly separating state and religion.8 Sadly, many Tamils are leaving for good, sometimes followed by Sinhalese who are tired of the army in the streets. It was within this landscape of loss and hope, humor and design, conflict and humanity, disaster and development that I came to understand my Conway School training within a global perspective. I was hired at the Colombo School of Architecture where I taught environmental design and site
Jonathon Ellison ’93
We started as guests for three months at the SOS Children’s Village of Pilyandala. Housing a village school, administration buildings, and a makeshift Buddhist temple, it is home to two hundred orphaned children, their adoptive mothers, and aunties. But what stands out is the playful atmosphere of the buildings and site, and the way they speak of family and children. Colorful homes cluster around gardens and walkways, asymmetrically framing larger courtyards for playtime, prayers, cricket, and soccer. When we first arrived, it was dusk. We left behind a landscape of cluttered streets, rickshaws, vendors, and buses exhausting thick, black plumes of carbon. We were welcomed into a tropical oasis of trees, flowers, courtyards, colors, candles, Sri Lankan houses, monkeys in treetops, humor, and children. Lots of children. It was the full-moon Buddhist festival of Vesak Poya, and the village was aglow with lanterns. Here, Ann gathered her Ph.D. research in second language acquisition as she worked with Sinhalese teachers teaching English to Sinhalese children who asked Sinhalese questions about the English teacher from Canada trying to speak Sinhala. It was also where I became “uncle” to two hundred kids who played soccer and cricket with my sons, where laughter, humility, and corner kicks made up for what we lacked in language. The orphanage is associated with an SOS organic farming project, where older boys are given the chance and experience of growing high quality, nontoxic, sustainable farming produce which is then sold in the cities. The village design was influenced by need, by site, and by historical design aesthetics, rather than by the designs of foreign donors. Its architect, C. Anjalendran, once associated with Bawa, and whose craft has been described as an “architecture of dignity,” explains:
Empty houses and foreign aid
planning. I worked with fourth-year students, and was design critic to fifth- and seventh-year classes. Some of the students were brilliant, budding designers who could teach us here how to better integrate building and site. They were also hungry to learn more about sustainable planning, ecological site analysis, and restored landscapes by design. Our classes and tutorials focused on design development, presentation techniques, and every aspect of planning and landscape design. Poetry of Michael Ondaatje became culturally appropriate when discussing the richness and flow of presentation language. We confronted the received knowledge that the seventeenth century French architects were the real masters at bringing straight lines to gardens. The students were challenged to understand the global perspective of their ancient landscape masterpieces: asymmetry, devotion to environment, straight lines, and all. We took their master plan concepts for the new National Dance Academy, and infused ideas of recycled rainwater, native plant “Design is then a communities, urban forests, rooftop gardens, interactive solution responding streetscapes, and communito need, to site, ty involvement. The students were eager to see to climate, to water, North American projects, and to entire including restored grasslands by Darrel Morrison, communities, and the tiny, but wonderful gracefully accepting urban forest gardens of Ruth Parnall and Don the needs of our planet Walker. As they learned about and her people as the filtering qualities of a moral obligation.” aquatic plants, some students sat glued to the internet images of John and Nancy Todd’s ecological designs filtering water and waste in the Chinese Baima canal, their harnessing of wind power on Cape Cod, or their Bioshelter on Prince Edward Island. They were intrigued with the Todds’ concept that waste is just a resource out of place.9 The real epiphanies were the ensuing discussions that the once glorious, but heavily polluted, canals and lakes of Colombo City could now be seen as having enormous design potential. And even their beloved Geoffrey Bawa harnessed the wind to pump water at his Lunuganga estate and had designed an office tower with windows that utilized the wind to ventilate without air conditioning, even during the monsoons. Through meetings, volunteer work, and consulting, I was involved in projects addressing the humanitarian and environmental impacts of the tsunami, and of
subsequent relief and reconstruction efforts. I witnessed how damage to life-supporting ecosystems (coral reefs, coastal forests, wetlands, and mangrove swamps) increased risks to human health and the livelihoods of those in low-lying coastal areas. The residents of these areas, however, are some of the first to confirm that the neglect for the coastal environment in the past greatly contributed to intensifying the impact of the tsunami.10 Some of the projects were brilliant stories of local and foreign initiatives of appropriate humanitarian, communal and creative design. Others were costly failures, relying on ideas of well-intended foreign consultants, but devoid of community input. A recurring theme in both environmental and conflict-impact assessment is the danger of not using long-term, country-specific solutions to address specific needs: Sri Lanka is not Bosnia, it is not Rwanda…. And this is what must drive the parameters, the possibilities and the limits on development programming on the island. This is not to suggest that there is not much to learn from systematic comparative studies between Sri Lanka and other violence-prone countries…. But it is to say that the applicability and utility of such efforts will be heavily dependent on our ability to fit those experiences into the very particular and very specific reality of Sri Lanka, not the other way around.11 I helped with a foreign-funded housing initiative designed and built by Sri Lankans, and was privileged to learn the concept of needs analysis relating to gender. The women in the village needed easy access to water and firewood; they needed issues of proximity to school, playground, graveyard and latrines addressed; they needed culturally appropriate and above flood-level house designs; and they needed control over their own commercial ventures. My contact with The Shining Life Children’s Trust UK kept reminding me that if you assist the men of the village, you will make the mens’ lives easier, but if you assist the women, the entire village will benefit. A women’s cooperative of batik and craft makers, run by the talented Ena de Silva, had successfully applied for a grant from Canada and built a small workshop and restaurant that now employs forty women. Starting with their idea and a no-stringsattached donation, they now successfully furnish exclusively designed fabrics to top Sri Lankan architects and designers, and are completely independent. The most interesting and successful projects were funded by foreign agencies only after they had been contacted by the local people. They addressed need and site, and had been conceived, organized, and designed by Sri Lankans. These exemplified the
Jonathon Ellison ’93
Prayers before Community Meeting
brilliance of Sri Lankan culture, design, and knowhow, and the appropriate function of foreign aid. Near the eastern village of Pottuvil, my sixteenyear-old son, Gabriel, and I ventured into the conflict zone as part of the educational dad trips we would take after first checking with our high commission. We drove to Yala National Park, but the army turned us away because of the conflict. We then happened upon a monastery where Hindu monks invited us for lunch. They later directed us to a project by foreigners, which they had always found particularly odd. A donated village, built prior to the Tsunami, had been located directly on the shores of the Indian Ocean, using the best materials available. Proof of their sound engineering was they were still standing after the forty-foot wave hit that coast, at almost eight hundred kilometers per hour. Yet, row after row of new houses stood empty. The villagers explained that had they been asked, they could have told the foreign NGO not to build those culturally-inappropriate houses so close to the graveyard, so close to the ocean, and so far from fresh water. With Colombo architect Deepali Mody, I assisted on a master plan for the Sri Baktha Hanuman Hindu Temple, surrounded by the steep, mountainous landscape of tea. The idea was to replant native species, restore a stream, create a swimming pond, stop erosion, locate several buildings and create a self-sustaining organic farm. My experience in using Sri Lankan coconut fiber carpets to stabilize planted riverbanks in Canada and the US enabled me to introduce this idea to my Sri Lankan colleagues. Doing so encouraged Sri Lankan designers to use a Sri Lankan product to solve a Sri Lankan problem. This led to a presentation on bioengineering to Dr. Chitrangani Jayasekara, director of the Coconut Research Institute, and her colleagues at Bandirippuwa Estate, in Lunuwila. They watched, with admiration and pride, as my laptop displayed their local products restoring stream banks on the other side of the planet.
Environmental design is an attempt to have sites and buildings graciously altered by need and creativity, based on ecological, location-and-culture-specific solutions. It attempts to answer the 1994 World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity that human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. It must be recognized as one of the few remaining paradigms with a future.12 Environmental design has the added challenge of convincing individuals, communities, and governments to allow for ecological systems to drive design and planning, through creativity and through craft. Design is then a solution responding to need, to site, to climate, to water, and to entire communities, gracefully accepting the needs of our planet and her people as a moral obligation. Let us hope, it is the kind of planning that governments, such as Sri Lanka’s, refer to when trying to develop a post-tsunami, forwardlooking plan for coastal zone management.13 The opportunities that presented themselves in Sri Lanka reinforced how my Conway experience has become more relevant than ever. I am particularly thankful for that inflexible part of my training that addressed how design can be brilliant only once the need and the site are understood. For more of Jonathon Ellison's photos of Sri Lanka, visit www.csld.edu/srilanka.htm. Robson, David. 2007. Boulder Gardens: Their Significance for Contemporary Architecture in Sri Lanka. Lecture to Ruk Rakaganno, Colombo. 2. Robson, David. 2002. Geoffrey Bawa: the Complete Works. London: Thames & Hudson. 3. Robson. 2007. 4. De Silva, Nimal. 1996. Landscape Tradition of Sri Lanka: Philosophy, Principles and Practises. Colombo: Devco Designers and Publishers. 5. Meng, Tan Kok. 2000. Ed. Asian Architects - C. Anjalendran: An Architecture of Dignity. Singapore: Select Books. 6. Meng. 2000. 7. UNEP. 2005. United Nations Environmental Programme, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka: Post-Tsunami Environmental Assessment, Geneva: UNEP. 8. Robson. 2002. 9. Todd, Nancy Jack. 2005 A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design. Washington, DC: Island Press. 10. UNDP. 2005. United Nations Development Program, Disaster Relief Monitoring Unit, Human Rights Commission Sri Lanka, Colombo University Community Extension Centre. 2005 The Report of People’s Consultations on Post Tsunami Relief, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Sri Lanka. Colombo. 11. Bush, Kenneth. 2001 Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment Five Years On: The Commodification of an Idea. Berghof Research Center. www.berghof_handbook.net/uploads/ download/dialogue1_bush.pdf 12. Todd. 2005 13. UNEP. 2005. 1.
Collaboration for Sustainability Highlights from the 2007 Graduation Ceremony
At graduation, Rick Brown greeted the class of 2007, their family, and friends on behalf of the Conway School Board of Trustees. He then introduced graduation speaker and Conway alumna Wendi Goldsmith, who received an honorary degree from the school in recognition of her leadership in ecological design, planning, and restoration. Here are some excerpts from Rick’s introduction: Under Wendi’s leadership as president and founder of the Bioengineering Group, Inc. in Salem, Massachusetts, she and her firm have gained national recognition for their work in project design and implementation of the restoration of lakes, rivers, and tidal areas as well as land areas affected by water bodies. Bioengineering Group is the lead firm in the redesign of the Louisiana Hurricane Protection System, created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A graduate of Yale University in geology, geophysics, and the environment, she graduated from CSLD with an MALD in 1990. She also earned her MS from UMass Amherst in plant and soil science. We welcome her warmly.
From Graduation Speaker, Wendi Goldsmith ’90 Never forget sustainability. Never, never forget sustainability. Never, never, never forget sustainability. I tip my hat to Winston Churchill for the inspiration to keep my message as simple and succinct as his famous commencement address—Never Give Up. We’ll get back to an explanation of precisely what I mean by my message. First let me express my congratulations to the Conway School class of 2007. I have been in your shoes, and although I recall my time here with much fond nostalgia, I also remember the hard work, made harder by the intimacy and intensity of the crucible in which this unique school conducts its program. There is no corner to hide in here. Everyone is always on the spot. Always challenged to be rigorous and persuasive, to pay attention to your project site, your client, your colleagues, and also other stakeholders and applicable issues. You all deserve much credit for your accomplishments. I know of no other design school that prepares its students so meaningfully to be effective advocates for decisions and actions that lead to environmentally sustainable outcomes. In part, it
Courtesy: Greenfield Recorder
From an Introduction by Rick Brown, Trustee
was this pervading ethic of stewardship that attracted me to Conway as a student. Never Forget Sustainability. What does this mean? Sustainability has become something of a buzzword, bandied about often and seldom defined. I know for me sustainability is defined well in terms of largescale ecosystem process. In particular for terrestrial ecosystems, a landscape is sustainable when, despite active dynamic change, the overall pattern remains consistent over time. For instance a mosaic of forest types may exist across the region, with some patches being disturbed by fire, by flood events, or landslides, but the percentages in the mosaic remaining constant. In response to disturbance, new species will be colonizing, stabilizing the land, maturing, adding back organic matter to the soil, and eventually becoming replaced by other species who thrive in the restored conditions. This process of natural succession can take decades or centuries, and provide complexity which in turn supports biodiversity. The eventual climax forest community may persist for centuries or millennia. But the overall pattern and processes will endure, in theory, forever. The overall productivity of the area will fluctuate but it will never be systematically declining. This is the core element of sustainability: a system that endures, with resiliency.
One of the tenets of sustainability is efficiency, and to achieve efficiency, natural systems rely upon built-in recycling mechanisms. In order to have thriving and efficient landscapes, water must be kept on site, only leaving through evaporation and transpiration via plant tissue, or through infiltration which also recharges deep and shallow groundwater. In this way organic matter accumulates in the soil, and nutrients are cyclically processed, regenerating and building vegetation and animal biomass over time. On a daily/weekly basis all rainfall interacts through vegetation and through the biologically rich and active root-filled soil layers where much biochemical alchemy takes place, capable of buffering and correcting many water quality problems. OK—what does this have to do with design? More often than not, nothing! That is why I am urging you: Never Forget Sustainability. Most of our allied professions have a long habit of forgetting it, or never bothering to considering it. In fact, it is only recently that we have come to learn how to think about these problems meaningfully in the first place. Back in the 1950s, a group of senior researchers at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) devised a simple monitoring project to record the condition of smaller, normally ungaged streams in Maryland. Indeed, based on the stories I heard, it sounded like a nifty way to get out of the beltway back near home, and enjoy some fieldwork with friends on Friday afternoons. On occasion, beer was consumed! Much to their amazement, after a decade of this ritual, the scientists began to notice that there was an unmistakable trend: the streams were flooding more. The intensity and frequency of large flow events was changing. At first this appeared to be violating the basic tenets of geology which require that the system always works in the same way, according to the principle of continuity. So if the stream behavior was changing, it must be due to another changed variable. But what could that be? In the past major climate change caused hydrologic regime changes that geologists studied. More recently, it was understood that forest clearing and intensive farming could cause major hydrologic impairment. People understood that effect. But what was new and different in the DC suburbs in the 1950s? It turns out that the scale and pace of new construction, especially tied to the interstate highway system and the residential sprawl patterns it facilitated, were making a quantitative difference in how rainfall interacted with the landscape. This team of researchers, which included Luna Leopold, Chief Hydrologist of the USGS and son of the conservation icon, Aldo Leopold, was shocked to imagine that seemingly innocuous new development patterns were altering our watersheds. I had the chance to chat with
Luna Leopold before his death about this wake-upcall moment, and I believe his land ethic and background in ecology and conservation were key elements in becoming aware, not just his science skills alone. This is step one in the practice of planning and design in support of sustainability: solid interdisciplinary thought process. The magnitude of the hydrologic impacts Leopold and his colleagues were observing is not surprising in hindsight, however. Out of World War II came a new breed of machines capable of performing earthmoving at a pace never previously envisioned, and the pace has only escalated in recent decades. The agricultural tractors of the ’30s were adapted to the tanks of the ’40s, and returned from war as the bulldozers of the ’50s. Families had cars, and this allowed people to live away from where they worked, to build larger homes with manicured yards, and a network of driveways, parking lots, and highways to make it all work. Even the green-looking lawns and parks, it turns out, shed water almost “I know of no other like asphalt. So we introduced not only roofs and design school that paved areas, designed prepares its students intentionally to shed water, but also many so meaningfully to be other areas that were disturbed in ways that led to effective advocates for the same result. The ramdecisions and actions that ifications were serious, and as a result flood lead to environmentally management regulations sustainable outcomes.” were promulgated around the nation. These rules addressed the issue of detaining peak flows in order to prevent major increases to rare floods, such as the 100-year recurrence interval type flood. These rules did not address other hydrologic impacts tied to daily and weekly flows. It took until the 1980s for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to understand how much urban stormwater runoff has an impact on water quality as it rinses down stormdrains, and eventually into our streams and lakes the detritus of urban living: oil and grease drippings, worn paint particles containing toxic metals, anti-corrosive materials like chrome and zinc grit, and a host of solvents and pesticides used in maintenance. Every time you need to repaint, why is that? Because the weathering of our construction materials scatters it all over the urban landscape. Traditional stormwater gutter and pipe systems conduct the materials directly to receiving waterways. It took years for EPA to come to grips with how to handle this diffuse and ubiquitous
Director Paul Hellmund holds a photo of the class of ’73, CSLD’s first graduating class.
form of pollution. And the solution to this pollution is nothing other than sound planning and design in the first place. We must provide the space and the time on sites to mimic the natural pattern of rainwater handling. That’s where all of you fit in. At this point, you should be starting to share my concern for incorporating sustainable patterns of hydrology into the built environment, finding a place, even in the most dense urban settings, to allow natural processes to perform their cleansing cycles of breakdown and conversion of pollutants. I am happy to report that many effective—and appealing—methods exist. I realize many Conway students have been trained in some of these. But to plan and design them effectively requires true collaboration between different disciplines, including ecology, hydrology, soil science, engineering, and landscape architecture. Let me tell you a tale to illustrate how these practices have evolved, what they often consist of, and most important, what really makes a difference in the outcome: My firm was added late to the design team for the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Purification Facility and Park during 2001, after the design had commenced. Although the initial image of “green” was present in the concept design, it lacked functional definition. For instance, the architects liked how a green roof looked but did not know how to handle its design in a purposeful way. All the design team members were interested in incorporating sustainable design into the process, but no one was empowered to play this role, and to define what would be needed to achieve this, and to follow through to rally all the design team members to accountability in its pursuit. After the project was complete, we were described by several teammates as the firm that kept
the large team working together, understanding each others’ roles and identifying and implementing complementary strategies, and our role was defined as “sustainability consultant.” Our main focus was to set the key design parameter for the entire site as a full replication of the predevelopment hydrology. This approach required that the design keep all water up near the rooted zone of the soil where evapotranspiration and nutrient removal can happen, and to provide time and space for infiltration and groundwater recharge, while also addressing runoff management, chiefly by avoiding letting it happen in the first place. Because our approach was founded on watershed stewardship, which was part of the client agency’s mission, our design elements, including a magnificent green roof, wet-meadow vegetated bioswales for collecting and conveying runoff, and a sculpturally elegant pond with diverse habitat features, all survived multiple rounds of a value-engineering process. Additionally the project was conceived and implemented to conserve energy, reuse materials, and indeed recycle the site itself which had been used intensively for industrial and infrastructure purposes since the time of Eli Whitney. The project as originally planned in a different form was initially resented and opposed by the neighboring public, but has become a welcomed resource with a strong purpose in setting a living-laboratory example of how to build in urban settings with low environmental and community impacts. The design is the winner of numerous awards, including most recently the American Institute of Architects prestigious Committee on the Environment Award. Key to this success story was a strong community engagement process linked to clear design principles and a sound interdisciplinary process that resulted in pride for the Bioengineering Group along with Steven Holl Architects, Michael van Valkenburgh Associates, CH2M Hill and other team members as well as the project owner whose purposes it fulfills magnificently, right down to saving money! As I have often observed, by embracing sustainable design fostered through a sound interdisciplinary process, the team often manages to find the “sweet spot” where many seemingly intractable details fall magically into place. I hope I have given you a view into how sustainable design gets done. When I say the key is Never Forget Sustainability, it is often the one and key step that needs to be taken—the start of a process that develops a life of its own. Each project is a chance to transact restoration. We just have to trigger the process to bring people together to work out contextsensitive and site-tailored solutions to design. We should no longer be living in a world where developers and industry are bad, and some environmental
good guys operate in a separate sphere. This approach never worked. Saying “No!” does not educate, inspire, or produce the funding to make change happen (except in rare and special instances). Saying “Here’s how…” engages people and helps them meet their needs while causing less impact, or better yet correcting and healing past impacts. We can help spin off these developers, highway departments, and large box retailers as agents of restoration. All projects have a budget, and you can help identify how to spend it wisely, but don’t forget to address sustainability, especially in terms of water function. Focus on the water, and my experience shows that other parameters fall into place. Often you will find
yourself to be the only one at the table in possession of the knowledge or perspective to find the opportunity to transact sustainable design. You will have to be advocates and facilitators, as well as designers, throughout your careers. The Conway School has given you the background you need to be articulate communicators, through written, oral and graphic presentation. You already are well equipped, and you will need to continue to add to and refresh your knowledge over time. You will also need to simply Never Forget Sustainability, and to help remind others every chance available. Thank you and good luck to you all!
Graduates from left to right: Sarah Hills, Brandon Mansfield, and Karen Chaffee Photos: Mieke Zuiderweig
School News | continued from page 7
Alma Hecht ’02, and Cynthia Hayes Tanyan ’95. The gathering was remarkable for that high-volume, non-stop, animated exchange of introductions, ideas, and work that occurs whenever Conway alums get together! It was tremendously rewarding for Paul and Nancy to hear passionate accounts of the value and impact of the rigorous Conway training on the careers and lives of these alums. In addition, Paul presented the draft Conway Campus Study, some preliminary ideas for making the facility and campus more sustainable, and the Conway 2020 Vision (see pages 8–9). They received a range of terrific suggestions for the future of the school, including workshop offers and outreach ideas. We look forward to continuing the vitality of the exchange that began on this historic occasion. Thank you Shari and Donna, and thanks to all for coming.
In addition, Paul and Nancy had a delightful meeting with Susan Rosenberg ’95 in her Palo Alto home on Friday evening, October 26, and Nancy was given a marvelous and memorable tour by Tom Sargent ’79 of his latest project, developing a conference center at a former army base, Ft. Baker, Sausalito on Monday, October 29. Thank you Susan and Tom! It’s terrific to be in closer touch with so many of our West Coast graduates, and we hope to see many of you at the Conway campus in the near future!
Departing Trustees We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to two trustees who have contributed their time, wisdom, and energy to further the goals of the Conway School. Joining the board in 2004, Clémence Corriveau ’02 conceived of and implemented the CSLD silent auction in 2005. Her
efforts resulted in contributions amounting to nearly ten percent of unrestricted giving for that year. Owner of Ecological Landscape Design in West Hartford, Connecticut, Clémence has, more recently, hosted Conway students during their Great River Road Trip. Also joining the board in 2004 was Donald Richard ’77, Vice President of John G. Crowe Associates, Inc., Belmont, Massachusetts. Besides his work on the board, he has served as a critic for CSLD formal presentations. We are grateful to both of these individuals for their hard work and dedication to the school. We look forward to a continuing relationship with each. Thank you Clémence and Don!
New Trustee Robbin Peach ’78 will join the CSLD Board of Trustees in February 2008. Read about her in the upcoming issue of con’text, summer 2008.
Student Projects 2006–2007
Room for Birds and Business The O’Connell/Swanson Residence, Plainfield, Massachusetts Designer: Nicko Rubin
Separating Public and Private Spaces Vince O’Connell and Kathy Swanson’s home sits along the top of a north-facing ridge in a small clearing on the southern end of their property, surrounded by a healthy, mixed evergreen and deciduous forest. Much of the northern end of their twenty-eight-acre lot, which borders a state forest, has been designated potential habitat for rare or endangered species. Stonework abounds on the site, including an historical stone wall marking the western property boundary. The clients sought a design to accommodate delivery trucks for their home business, provide orderly parking for three cars, screen an undesirable view of the garage from the house, create clear pedestrian pathways, and define separate outdoor spaces for private and public use. In the final design, public and private spaces are separated by a variety of native trees and shrubs that provide food and cover for birds. Many existing shrubs are relocated and massed, while an area north of the house is transformed into a low-maintenance zone of managed succession. Selective thinning of trees allows more light onto the site, encourages growth of understory plants, and creates a more interesting and varied forest edge. A large white pine south of the house is topped and limbed at a safe height to create standing dead, vital, and interesting habitat. The drive is relocated, separating it from the private space of the house by a narrow band of trees. A glimpse of the house is afforded through the trees en route to the garage, where comfortable parking and
The O’Connell/Swanson Residence—Final Plan
turnaround for three cars or a shipping vehicle are provided. A stone entry pathway, announced by a stone landing and wide arbor, leads down several steps to the eastern door, while a stone patio on the south side of the house, shaded by large beech trees, offers easy access to the kitchen and living spaces.
This section shows the dormer on the south side of the garage creating a welcoming arrival and allowing light in to the upstairs space. The roof over the front door deflects water shed by the main roof and announces the entrance to the business.
FALL PROJECTS. CSLD students begin their year working with area clients on their residential properties. Projects may involve siting a new house, reducing erosion, reorienting driveways, or making a property more habitable for wildlife. Through careful observation, students come to understand the relationships among natural systems. Although the focus is on a small area, the residential project is never simple. Students learn design principles through application of a problem-solving process. This involves eliciting and interpreting client needs, developing a proposal for design services, analyzing and assessing site conditions, researching legal constraints, conceptualizing design solutions, and developing specific plans and recommendations.
A Bridge for Biodiversity Azuero Foundation, Panama, and Edwina von Gal, Landscape Designer Designers: Alicia Batista, Karen Chaffee, Brandon Mansfield, and Victoria Schroth
A Conceptual Plan for a Biological Corridor in the Southern Azuero Peninsula, Panama Though it comprises just one percent of the world’s total landmass, the isthmus of Panama is home to a staggering eight percent of the world’s known species. Increasingly, however, vital connectivity throughout Panama is being lost, causing species to become extinct or endangered at an accelerated rate. The Azuero Peninsula, which extends ninety kilometers into the Pacific Ocean from central Panama, includes a variety of ecozones, ranging from dry tropical forests to cloud forests to mangroves, and provides critical habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic and some of which are endangered. The degraded condition together with the remarkable potential of the landscape in the southern Azuero led the Azuero Foundation, a nongovernmental organization with conservation aims, and Edwinda von Gal, a landscape designer, to commission a feasibility study from CSLD for a biological corridor in the region. Biological corridors can combat habitat fragmentation by acting as “hallways” through which wildlife can move between habitat areas. Corridors can support migration, genetic exchange, and escape from degraded areas. The student team traveled to Panama to become familiar with the landscape and to meet with scientists, landowners, ranchers, developers, government officials, and environmental organizations. Local community members described the ecological changes that had occurred during their lifetime and expressed WINTER PROJECTS. In the winter term, projects increase in scope and complexity and are undertaken by teams of students for public and nonprofit clients. Students identify and map natural resources and immerse themselves in local government issues, state regulations, and regional contexts. The long-range plans that result conserve fragile ecosystems and place human activities where the land can sustain them. This winter, CSLD undertook its first international project.
Landscape profile illustrating the pastoral matrix on the Azuero Peninsula: One corridor design strategy could be to plan land uses in highland areas in order to minimize erosion and runoff and avoid mudslides, floods, and other potential problems which could severely affect the lowlands.
a strong interest in trying to reverse the effects of deforestation. This community input, along with a review of case studies of other biological corridors in Latin America, helped the team develop a set of conservation principles related to ecology, scale, and participation that guided their design process. Strategies for establishing a corridor in the final plan include targeting riparian corridors and existing forest blocks for preservation, restoration, and expansion; introducing silvopastoral systems; reforesting; expanding and diversifying living fence systems; developing economic incentives for environmental services; and creating educational programs with vocational components to foster awareness and stewardship of the environment.
Silvopastoral System Schematic: A silvopastoral approach introduces trees into cattle pastures. The trees not only improve the soil, but they also provide habitat for wildlife, lumber, and food for cattle or humans.
Adaptive Reuse of an Industrial Mill Site Kosudaville, LLC, Turners Falls, Massachusetts Designers: Kate Dana, Priscilla Miner, and Annie Scott
Design Feasibility Study Uniquely located on a narrow man-made island in the village of Turners Falls between the Connecticut River and a hydroelectric power canal, the Griswold Mill property—active between 1874 and the 1940s—waits to be reinvented. The client sought a design for mixed-use development of the 2.91-acre site, which includes two brick buildings, the larger of which has partially collapsed. Less than an acre of the site is pervious—the southern third of the property is entirely paved. This project explored the possibilities and limitations of the property with an emphasis on stormwater management, site restoration, access and circulation for pedestrians and vehicles, and connections between the site and the local community. The Griswold Cotton Mill site could become a key hub of activity in an island greenway that serves both future residents of the former mill and the greater community. To explore ideas about the future of the north end of the island, twenty-four people who live or work in Turners Falls participated in a short, intensive design workshop. A conceptual island greenway incorporates many of the ideas expressed at the meeting, including adding bike paths to connect green
An island greenway could connect green spaces on the island from tip to tip. Pedestrian and bicycle links, public access to the waterfront, and year-round, diverse functions would help to knit the village together with the historically industrial island.
spaces, residences, and new retail and business locations; reopening and retrofitting bridges that link the island to the village center; defining green spaces that provide opportunities for recreation, reflection, and points of interaction with the river; and transforming the northernmost end of the island into a public park. The final plan provides for separate housing and commercial spaces. Intensive and extensive green roofs, a rain garden, and a retention pond collect, retain, and recharge water on site, while a shaded, porous parking area with bioretention islands helps to collect and process stormwater runoff. A natural playground area includes creative landforms, native plantings, and natural materials like boulders and logs to stimulate children’s creative play and curiosity about the natural world. A public path along the eastern edge of the property next to the canal provides access to the mill for residents and an inviting space that connects to the rest of the island and downtown Turners Falls. Design Detail for Green Roofs: Both intensive and extensive green roof systems are proposed for the building. In the proposed plan, approximately half of the roof is covered with decks for residents to relax and enjoy the view. The intensive roof garden design could include some seasonal food production and outdoor sculpture.
SPRING PROJECTS. CSLD student teams spend the third term working with community and nonprofit clients to develop site-specific design plans for parks, town centers, and riverways. Students base recommendations on ecological conditions and on assessed community needs. Final designs illustrate foot and bike paths, planting choices, and other relevant details.
Other Community Projects 2006–2007 WINTER PROJECTS Earthlands: Petersham, MA Jennifer Campbell, Kate Dana
Earthlands, an intentional community and social justice activist organization, seeks to educate in sustainable technologies, conserve its land through a land trust, and model ecological, residential living. The plan identifies clusters for development of the Program Center, University of the Wild, and residential community, while preserving surrounding land and providing boundaries of noise, activity, and privacy within the 355-acre property. Brush Mountain II: Northfield, MA Nicko Rubin, Ross Workhoven
Requesting a study that examines the habitat, environmental, and recreational values of a 123-acre parcel, the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust proposes to identify areas for limited development and conservation restriction. As part of the planning process, the student team also sought to engage realtors so that they are better equipped to inform their clients of conservation options and benefits and help sell land with conservation restrictions. Open Space and Recreation Plan: Leicester, MA Priscilla Miner, Annie Scott
The update of this rural town’s previous OSRP included identification of water, agricultural, and recreational resources as well as an assessment of progress in reaching the goals of the previous OSRP. The projected plan provides specific but flexible recommendations for preservation of natural and cultural resources, provision of recreational opportunities, remediation of degraded lands, and education to build a strong constituency of open space and recreation advocates. Master Plan: Middlefield, MA Kathy Connor, Sarah Hills
A small Berkshire hilltown with large tracts of state-owned and protected lands, Middlefield has a small tax base, but values its rural character and is concerned about an influx of residential development. In spite of aging facilities, the residents place protection of natural resources as their highest priority. The Conway team’s contribution to the master plan identifies natural, historical, and cultural resources, as well as land use. Wapack National Wildlife Refuge: New Hampshire Brian McGowan, Sean Roulan, Andrew Ward
The refuge encompasses 1,700 acres in southwest New Hampshire, adjacent to Miller State Park and other protected lands. The student team contributed to
the park service’s 15-year Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the refuge with a chapter on the affected environment and management alternatives for the refuge. Issues of trail erosion, trail access, public-private partnerships, and staffing and budget constraints are addressed. SPRING PROJECTS Hayden Woods: Lexington, MA Sarah Hills, Brandon Mansfield
Hayden Woods, a 79-acre conservation area, is topographically and compositionally diverse, with upland areas and low-lying wetlands, comprising several different ecosystems and forest types. The design set includes highlighting the ecological and historical aspects of the area, delineating access points and potential new trails, determining appropriate uses, providing educational opportunities within the site, and linking the site to other open space. The Great Pond Conservation Area: Waltham, MA Kathy Connor, Brian McGowan
The Waltham Land Trust wished to determine if a 25-acre wetland should be conserved and how it should be managed. In spite of dense urban development and areas of disturbance where invasive plants have taken hold, the wetlands and adjacent Hardy Pond offer excellent habitat for 140 species of birds. The management plan offers means for restoring trails, diminishing invasive plants, and easing the conflict between the proposed conservation area and adjoining urban areas. Yestermorrow Design/Build School: Warren, VT Alicia Batista, Ross Workhoven
The Yestermorrow School is undertaking a 5-year plan to expand its programming and double its number of students. Focusing on the 5-acre “school zone,” the master plan for the 35-acre campus addresses spatial concerns such as the need for new buildings and more parking in a way that reflects the school’s sustainable designbuild mission while considering the environmental, functional, and legal issues affecting the site. Earthlands Institute for Environmental Awareness: Petersham, MA Sean Roulan, Nicko Rubin
Earthlands IEA seeks to become a model for sustainable living through innovative green buildings, renewable energy, and local food systems. The master plan for its 355-acre property supports the institute’s mission of “promoting living and learning in harmony with the earth and all life.” The plan
includes the integration of a residential community and a new University of the Wild, an alternative higher education degree program promoting “global ecological citizens.” Allen’s Meadow: Wilton, CT Jennifer Campbell, Karen Chaffee
The Parks and Recreation Department of the town of Wilton, Connecticut required a master plan for the 72-acre Allen’s Meadow Park. Most of the park is taken up by ball fields, but the periphery is home to diverse riparian, meadow, and scrubland habitat, where some rare and endangered birds are found. The program involves creating trails and shade, and defined spaces for a vast array of user groups. French Park: Egremont, MA Victoria Schroth, Andrew Ward
A 40-acre recreation area—including a horse ring and two baseball diamonds—a wetland, and a woodland comprise this 153-acre town park. Meetings and surveys identified a need for a trail system, expanded parking, outdoor classrooms, and a designated camping area. The master plan recommends improved legibility and access as well as the connection of the two distinct park segments through ecologically sensitive trail design and a comprehensive management plan. Strathmore Campus Master Plan: Turners Falls, MA Kate Dana, Priscilla Miner, Annie Scott
The Swift River Development Group sought to transform the former Strathmore Paper Mill complex, comprised of ten buildings with an area totalling over 250,000 square feet, into a campus that would support a film school and production studios. The master plan for the site examines use of outdoor spaces, including rooftops, pockets of land surrounding the buildings, and pedestrian and bicycle paths. Connections to the downtown area, Franklin County Bikeway, and Great Falls Discovery Center are recommended. Millers River Site—Feasibility Study: Montague and Erving, MA Kate Dana, Priscilla Miner, Annie Scott
The Swift River Development Group (SRG) wished to consider the purchase of a 49-acre property on Millers River. SRG asked the team to explore the possibilities and limitations for environmentally sound development, including potential uses for storage, parking, and recreation. The feasibility study includes analysis drawings of the property and alternative conceptual site plans. Legal restrictions, zones of use, vehicular and pedestrian circulation and access, and other influencing factors are addressed.
News from Alums If you didn’t meet the deadline to get your news into this issue of con’text, you can still let your friends and classmates know what you’ve been up to in the spring issue of con’text. Mail your news to Nancy Braxton at the school or submit it via the web at www.csld.edu/alumnipage.htm. Look on the left-hand side for a link to the survey. And don’t forget, if you enjoy keeping in touch with your classmates and the school, you’re invited to become a class agent. Ideally, we’d like two for each class. For an update on class agents and the alumni association, see the article on page 14 or get in touch with Nancy Braxton, Associate Director of Admissions, Alumni Relations & Development, at email@example.com or (413) 369-4044, ext. 5. Many of the firms and individuals mentioned in the News from Alums have websites. We regret that space and typographical issues do not allow us to include them in the News, but links to firms where CSLD alums are prominently featured can be found at www.csld.edu. If your site is not listed there, we encourage you to contact the webmaster for inclusion. Links to further news about alums are also included on the CSLD site and are referenced in this section of con’text. 1974 Floyd Thompson writes from Warrenton, VA, that he continues as National Program Lead for Tourism, Recreation, and Byways Programs. He coproduced the award-winning video, Lifelines, Your National Forest Roads. He is a national implementation team member for the USDA Forest Service new Open Space Conservation Strategy. 1975 Class Agent: Betsy Corner (firstname.lastname@example.org) 1976 David Evans—See article on p. 15. 1977 Class Agent: David Paine email@example.com William C. Richter, Vice Chair of the Conway Board, has just started the next $25 million phase of The Hartford Riverwalk along the Connecticut River. The north portion of the Riverwalk has been fully completed and has received accolades. His second granddaughter, Alexa, is a new joy in his life. And he just received the commission to prepare a renovation master plan and construction documents for Bushnell Park, the significant historic city center green space in Hartford, CT to also include new water features as part of the city's clean water project. 1978 Class Agent: Susanna Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
See the article on p. 15 about Bruce Stedman’s appointment as Executive Director of Marine Fish Conservation Network. Additionally, his son, Connor, is a second-year student at Hampshire College, and his daughter, Nora, is a junior at Sandy Springs Friends School. 1979 Class Agent: Lila Fendrick (email@example.com) 1980 Class Agent: Byrne Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sharyl Green and Peter have recently moved to Burlington, VT to be part of Burlington Cohousing East Village, billed as the most complex, dynamic housing project Burlington has ever seen. It opens in November 2007. She writes, “We’re very jazzed to be reducing our footprint on the planet and creating a village as well—mixed income, quite sustainable.” Sharyl continues teaching third grade in Jericho, which has made a big commitment to place-based education at a new local park called Mills Riverside Park. She did a climate-change study at the park last year with her students, who embraced the concepts fully, built models and painted huge murals, wrote and performed, created Power Point shows laced with art and their own writing, and explained the carbon cycle to their families. Their son Aaron is twenty and will graduate from NYU in May with a degree in metropolitan studies, focus on cultural analysis and change, globally, of course. ■ Alongside various residential projects, Mary Parker has been on the lecture circuit in western Mass., where she has given talks on garden design as well as Italian, British, French, and Japanese gardens. She has also lectured on Edith Wharton’s gardens in Newport, Lenox, and France. 1981 Class Agent: Elizabeth French Fribush (email@example.com) Mike Gibbons, ASLA, married Julia Mullen this past May. They reside in Raleigh, NC, where Julia is an attorney working in
the City and County of Durham. Mike is a senior project manager with Chas. H. Sells in Cary, NC. 1982 Class Agents: Suzanne Barclay (firstname.lastname@example.org), Susan Van Buren (email@example.com) David Myers has retired from 24 years of teaching English as a Second Language at the University of California Riverside (UCR). During those 24 years, he and his wife Sandy have adopted a son, become very committed Christians, and have become proud grandparents of two lovely little girls. He describes it as a great life. While his time at CSLD did not result directly in a career in landscape design, it was instrumental in his getting that position at UCR. It also afforded him the opportunity to design a few personal landscapes, including where they now live in southern California. The design capabilities acquired at CSLD have also given him an eye for design in several extracurricular areas, including a bit of furniture design and construction and a growing interest in digital photography. (Grandchildren, remember!) He reports having very fond (though fading!) memories of the Conway experience with Walt and Don and the tiny facility on the river. ■ After a twenty-five-year career, Peter Van Buren has left the wine business to form a new company that has nothing to do with alcoholic beverages. Together with two architect partners, he started TerraLogos Green Home Services. Designed to eventually be a one-stop shop for homeowners interested in greening their dwellings, they are initially focusing on Home Energy Inspections. The inspections identify a home's hidden energy leaks and then provide customized recommendations for fixing them. Their solutions reduce a home's energy usage, energy bills, and environmental impact as well as make the houses more comfortable and healthy. He states, “It's great to get back to what I really wanted to do!” ■ Susan Van Buren, a Conway trustee, has joined the board of directors of 1000 Friends of Maryland, dedicated to promoting statewide policies to preserve open space and revitalize communities. Her daughter Adrienne moved to Bristol, England, with her family, and her daughter Melissa had a second child, a little boy named Nilo (named after his Italian grandfather). 1983 After six years with Sustainable Ireland and Cultivate Sustainable Living Centre, Erik van Lennep has moved on to set up a new venture, TEPUI Design, a European consultation and design collaborative created to research, promote and apply living technologies as concrete responses to climate change, beginning with energy,
News from Alums
1984 Class Agent: Kathleen Kerivan (Kathleen_Kerivan@antiochne.edu) Jane (Sexton) Hemmingsen has helped with Nashua, NH’s tree inventory and continues to add to the Nashua Public Library’s perennial gardens, including a garden for and maintained by the handicapped. 1985 In July, Judy Zimicki Gianforte started half-time work as the first staff person for her local land trust in Cazenovia, NY. Her job is to run the stewardship program for thirty easement and in-fee lands as well as to develop new easements and purchase of development rights for farmlands. She expects to spend lots of time raising funds, restructuring the board and helping all those involved return to their mission and intent. 1986 Carrie Makover states that she still hasn’t figured out how to be "retired" and so continues working part time doing website design and management, including serving as Conway’s webmaster. 1988 Class Agent: Will Waldron (waldron88@ csld.edu) Although life got her sidetracked, Helen Anzuoni has accomplished one of her goals since attending Conway: to become a registered landscape architect. She hopes to receive reciprocity in the state of California so that she can work in the entire region of Lake Tahoe, where she lives.
■ Deborah Lea Doran is now a hypnotist, certified with the National Guild of Hypnotists. Her practice, Flowing Stream, LLC, is located in Groton, CT.
1990 Edward Landau writes that he is very busy, but reports no significant changes, while Patricia Finley writes “Old age dictates changes! Now I wield oil paint and pastel rather than chisel and mallet. And creativity abounds in other forms: two great-granddaughters delight and amaze me.” Her attempts at a Conway-approved garden still provide dirty fingernails and aching joints. ■ Chris Vance was recently featured in a Miami Herald article about his collection of European and Turkish pots that he has installed as part of designs “at the historic Taurus bar in Coconut Grove (now Cefalo's in the Grove), as well as on an estate on Indian Key and houses on Key Biscayne and in Coral Gables and the Venetian Isles.” (Miami Herald) ■ Wendi Goldsmith—See graduation speech on p. 20. 1991 Class Agent: Annette Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org) Kent Freed has just passed his fifth anniversary at H+L Architecture, and now has six LAs working with him in a firm of over one hundred. Their work is primarily in healthcare and education projects in Colorado. This year, they designed their first green roof for a high school in Monument, Colorado. 1993 Class Agent: Amy Craig (email@example.com) Jonathon Ellison—See article on p. 16. ■ Monika Taylor-Schreiber is now in Portugal. 1994 Katherine Anderson is about to start a certificate program at the University of Washington in Therapeutic and Healing Gardens. She states, “I am reviewing the report for Gould Farm, the winter term project I did with Grey and Daniel, in preparation. I must say, it’s pretty good!” 1995 Class Agent: Art Collings (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cynthia Ella Tanyan (formerly Hayes) has changed her name by taking her greatgrandmother's name Tanyan. She had the
Cynthia Ella Tanyan '95
opportunity to design a bicycle pump track in a residential backyard landscape, which was featured on a leading pump track website (leesbikes.com). The green roof and meadow project she completed last year was professionally photographed by Saxon Holt and will be featured in an upcoming book on meadows (Timber Press). 1996 Last year, after living in Seattle for eight years, Sheila E. Finn Page and family, Matt, Declan, Oliver, and the dog, moved to Natick, MA, and she writes. “Yup, I am officially a Page. Although we miss our house and friends, we are very much enjoying being near old friends and family. Matt is going to law school while I am busy with the kids and, of course, landscaping our new yard.” She would like to catch up with old school buddies: finnpage@ finnpage.com. 1997 Class Agent: Susan Crimmins (email@example.com) Candace Currie has been promoted to Director of Planning & Cemetery Development at Mount Auburn Cemetery, where she’s responsible for the construction of an innovative approach to memorialization and burial—granite inscription panels—which will enhance the perimeter of the cemetery as well as extend the life of Mount Auburn as an active cemetery. ■ Serge van der Voo has completed Healthcare Garden Design Certification with the Chicago Botanic Garden. He is a member of the 'Country and Eastern' music group Orpheum Bell which just released its debut CD "Pretty as You". He is planning a mini, East Coast tour for fall '08 starting in Brooklyn. “Iron Horse…here we come!” 1998 Class Agent: Matthew Arnsberger (firstname.lastname@example.org) Jim and Christine McGrath ('97) continue to live in Pittsfield, MA with son, Ian, and new baby, Kyle. Jim recently left the helm of the parks department and now heads the city's new Park, Open Space and Natural Resource Program. Christine continues to practice landscape design, freelancing for a number of firms in the area while also maintaining a steady stream of her own clients. ■ This year has been a wonderful mixture of new and old adventures for
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Helen Anzuoni '88 Paul Cawood Hellmund
waste, and water issues. Living technologies include green roofs, living walls (for air filtration), living machines (water purification), and other strategies and systems which combine technology as we imagine it in the twenty-first century, with ecosystem functions as Nature has imagined them from the beginning. Erik writes, “It is an exciting and somewhat daunting move, and typical of my life, after a period of information intake during which a lot of inspiration and data have settled into place, I have now jumped in with both feet to create something new. Well, I do think it's important to reinvent oneself periodically, and seven years seems to be my own cycle for this.” Check out the link to his website on the school’s webpage. ■ Peter Owens has signed onto a research team from the Hood Center for Families and Children at Dartmouth Medical School, where he’s looking at the relationship of the built environment to adolescent health. Examining 26 towns and schools across NH and VT, his work focuses on developing and testing environmental measures of community form and key physical characteristics. The project is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
News from Alums
Wynne Wirth. It began by getting back into the work scene after two years of full time mothering and homesteading, while working part time for Energyworks (Pat's renewable energy contracting business) as part of the startup crew at the new branch in Portland and living part time in the city. She also picked up some landscape design work for Thomas Wirth Associates’ busy season in the spring and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity’s Green Build project, as part of a team doing the first LEED Energy Home in Maine. She continues, “By June, we were back on the farm full time, cultivating our gardens, raising chickens, living the ‘simple’ life, and enjoying the growth of my now growing pregnant belly. This fall, we are stocking lots of beautiful food away for the winter, and the baby is due around Halloween. Owen (my threeyear old) thinks it's a girl, but we will see. Our most exciting adventure of all is our involvement in a core group starting up a cohousing community in Belfast, ME since last April. I have been visiting many communities on the East Coast and doing tons of networking to educate myself and make our project fly. We have land under contract. I will be the landscape designer for the project. If all studies and marketing go as planned, we will have 150 acres surrounding the community of agriculturally preserved land (functioning farms) and 30 acres for the ‘ecovillage.’ We are planning to be twenty-six households (super energy efficient/affordable) and a common house with gardens, orchards, and small-scale livestock. See mainecohousing.org to follow our progress. Finally, we (Pat and I, along with cohousing peers, architect, and builder) are building a prototype house for the community on our land here in Liberty, which we plan to live in for the next few years while the community takes shape (a 2-3 year process). In summary, the cohousing project along with a new baby and building a house promises a challenging and exciting year of growth ahead!”
1999 Class Agent: Cindy Tavernise (email@example.com) Unable to resist the lure of the wide open spaces and big sky, Kathleen and Paul Esswein uprooted themselves once again and migrated to Carson City, NV, where they’re nestled up to the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada. They’ve been here a year and think this will be home for the foreseeable future. They have ample opportunity to bike, hike, ski, and snowshoe, while still being able to enjoy a very active arts scene and some very good cuisine. Paul is employed as the Planner for Lyon County, NV, just to the east of Carson City, where he is
responsible for current and long-range planning. Lyon County has been among the fastest growing counties in the country for the last five years and is just beginning to understand the consequences of an antiplanning attitude, both in terms of its fiscal impact and degradation of the environment. The department's challenge is to develop a county-wide master plan that puts forward effective policies and objectives to direct growth in a responsible manner along with the planning tools that will provide the incentives and mechanisms to enable the planning commission, board of supervisors, and the development community to achieve the county's long-range vision. As is to be expected in that part of the country, water is a big issue and perhaps the most complicated they have to deal with in planning, aside from local politics. Paul has completed several courses and training workshops on water law in the west, and hopes to complete AICP certification within the next year. ■ Gwendolyn Nagy-Benson writes, “While I have spent the past seven years raising my two daughters at home, this year I took on a hefty volunteer project organizing and overseeing a weekly farmers' market at my church. All products were grown or made in Connecticut and ranged from organic produce to honey and maple syrup to free-range beef and eggs. It was a successful first run and I hope to help it continue in future years.” ■ Cindy Tavernise has done a number of residential designs and paintings and received the 2007 West Hartford Art League Open Juried Exhibition Award. Check out the link to her website on the school’s website. 2000 Janet Curtis is a policy coordinator with Environmental Justice and Urban Environments at the Mass. Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. ■ Treesa Rogerson has had an incredible year surfing, traveling, and making music. She taught board surfing in Hawai’i, successfully competed kayak surfing in Basque country, and realized a dream by performing her music in public. 2001 Class Agents: Chuck Schnell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Robin Simmen (email@example.com) Robin Simmen married her longtime sweetheart, Michael Conway, on the beach in Southold, NY this summer, accompanied by lightning, thunder, shafts of sun, and a double rainbow. For pictures, visit smallfryphoto.com/RobinandMichael. Robin is now the director of GreenBridge, the community environmental horticulture program at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. With 500,000 new residents projected in Brooklyn by the
year 2030, GreenBridge has just completed a year-long strategic planning process, setting forth a new mission and set of values, as well as a commitment to three new initiatives and three ongoing programs: a new Brooklyn Urban Gardener certificate program to train community volunteers; a new community gardens program emphasizing food and environmental horticulture; a new Street Tree Stewardship initiative in conjunction with Million Tree NY and PlaNYC 2030; the Brooklyn Compost Project; the Greenest Block in Brooklyn Contest; and Making Brooklyn Bloom, an annual community greening symposium. 2002 Class Agent: Michael Cavanagh (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cindy Bright has a new part-time position as the Five College Coastal and Marine Science Program Coordinator: “It's been fun getting back to academic life, and a bit challenging technologically. But I like it, and I'll be happy to have summers off.” In her new job, she’ll be working closely with Joanne Benkley, whose husband, Mark Benkley, graduated CSLD in 1993. ■ Michael Cavanagh has completed master planning and initial installation for Waldorf Association School, a 28-acre site in Richmond, RI. He participated for the first time in the Rhode Island Flower and Garden Show, Providence, RI and was awarded first prize in design creativity. He was awarded a contract for and began work on a 6-acre wildflower meadow and public park installation for the Town of Middletown, RI. He has continued master planning on the 42-acre ocean front, historic Castle Hill Inn and Resort, Newport, RI. When home, he was continually chased around the house by an uncontrollable two-year old boy. ■ Michele Albee Devaney and her husband are presently serving in the Peace Corps in Romania until at least May 2009. They have been living in a medium-size town (50,000 residents) for five months and are just now starting to work on some projects. She is working with the local city hall on public participation, public awareness, and building public-private partnerships. Long-term, she hopes to help the staff write a general plan. Her husband works with the local unemployment office and is working to improve their quarterly job fairs. They have also reached out to the community and are working with a local youth organization, the Rotary Club, and some high schools. ■ An article about Alma Hecht and her gardens will appear in the May issue of Natural Home magazine. She won the Best Small Residence remodel award from Build It Green and was runner-up in People's Choice. ■ Laurie Tanenbaum writes, “I've continued working on/expanding the
Paul Cawood Hellmund
News from Alums
Alma Hecht '02 in a garden designed by Shari Bashin-Sullivan '84
Paseo Prairie Garden in its third year, and we're about to build a performing deck, tables, and benches. Next to a heavily used elevated entry, bus line, and a wonderful multi-generational mural, the garden watches a thousand commuters a day come and go. Having witnessed my first schoolyard landscape suffering the effects of 90 degree days without enough watering, I realized it was time for school and community-based training programs. I'm working on that grant with the same community organization, Logan Square Neighborhood Assoc., that collaborates on the Paseo Prairie Garden. The primary components of the program will teach school parents and unemployed neighbors how to research the environmental justice issues of their neighborhood, design, installation, hardscape, and landscape maintenance. Very exciting! Eldest daughter, Cory, received her master’s degree in restorative justice in education, and the youngest, Megan, prepares to enter nursing school to better put her interests in community health to work. My husband, Nick, continues supporting doula programs he designed in the Chicago area as well as training in other states.” 2003 Class Agent: Lauren Wheeler (email@example.com) Madeleine Charney continues as library liaison to the Stockbridge School of at the UMass Library. She was recently selected as book review editor for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Information and is engaged to be married to Rudy Perkins. ■ Matthew John Farrington works for a private landowner helping to manage several properties totaling approximately 750 acres of woodland and farmland. They have reclaimed abandoned farmland for raising belted Galloway cattle and have rebuilt several historic post-and-beam structures. His work ranges from creating and managing maps of the properties to installing salvaged trim in period structures to building fence. His wife, Andrea, is busy with two-and-ahalf-year-old Graham and Milo, born Sept. 25, 2007. ■ Bill Joyce writes, “I have been continuing my apprenticeship with Isabelle Greene. I have been on my belated honey-
moon to the Grecians islands! Finally! I have passed four out of five of the landscape architecture exams and am taking the fifth in December.” He hopes to be a licensed L.A. by early 2008. ■ Heather NicholsCrowell and family have been in Edinburgh for two years now and are planning to stay one more year. Aaron is still working at EDAW. Rowyn is four years old and has acquired a slight Scottish accent! Heather is a landscape designer working with Direct Gardens, a small design-build company that does mostly small urban gardens. Energy is expensive, outdoor space is at a premium (90% of designs include siting the clothesline!) She is getting an interesting perspective and will be returning to the States with lots of inspiration. ■ Lauren Wheeler writes, “Jenny Reed and I have been working hard with our company Natural Resources Design, Inc. Eighty percent of our business is residential design, but we have recently been awarded a grant by Washington, DC Department of Environment to install eight 'Green Yard Clean Stream' demonstration gardens in each of our eight wards. NRD worked with local municipalities and environmental organizations to introduce ("daylight") a stream and LID in local parks. NRD has had our work featured in Landscape Architecture, Washington Gardener, and Smart Homes and we anticipate an article on school rain gardens in Organic Gardening. Lauren has been the on-screen landscape designer for Curb Appeal (HGTV), providing sustainable solutions for the 2007–2008 season.” 2004 In December, Joshua Clague and his wife, Tracey, welcomed a new arrival to their family, Ewan Nathaniel Clague, and have since been very busy learning parenthood on the fly. Josh continues to work for Scenic Hudson (NY) as a conservation planner and GIS specialist. He recently completed a scenic and natural resource analysis of properties along the Hudson River that has been used to establish land acquisition priorities for the organization. ■ Lupin Hill is enjoying her new job as a design assistant with Huntington & Kiest Landscape Architects, a small residential LA firm in Portland, OR. ■ Crystal N. Hitchings is still working as assistant planner to the City of Augusta. She’s mainly responsible for processing development applications, making sure they meet land use ordinance criteria, and preparing staff reviews for the planning board. She’s also been doing a lot of research for upcoming ordinance revisions, including Traditional Neighborhood Design standards and buffer yard standards, which, she says, “are both right up my alley and a lot of fun—aside from the hours upon hours I
spend staring at a computer screen!” She’s working two other part-time jobs in planning and landscaping and otherwise practicing positive visualization to help her sell her house and find a job somewhere westward—the northwest coast, preferably. ■ Robin MacEwan and Fritha have moved back to the Pioneer Valley and are happily settling in to their new home and reconnecting with old friends. For the time being, she continues to work for Jones & Stokes as a restoration planner. 2005 Class Agents: Linda Leduc (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sandy Ross (email@example.com) Shawn Callaghan writes, “In August I got married to Jaime Smith at Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT. We spent two weeks island-hopping in Hawai’i for our honeymoon and enjoyed hiking the diverse ecosystems of this amazing part of the planet. EarthView Design is continuing to grow and create wildlife habitat in the Boston area. ■ In southeast PA, Eric Korn, President of Natural Land Designs, Inc., remains busy designing and installing rain gardens, emphasizing native plants, installing patios, ponds, and restoration projects for residential clients. A recent vacation brought Eric and his girlfriend to VT where they hiked and camped along the Long Trail near Stowe. ■ Nick Lasoff has been working with the Town of Bennington, VT on several designs for improving streetscapes and the appearance of public facilities. He was recently featured on a television broadcast of the Vermont Master Gardeners. His work with the CSLD board of trustees and development committee continues, and he’s entering his second year of editing con'text. Solo appearances with the Battenkill Chorale in Cambridge, NY have been well received by critics and the public. He and Barbara are still enjoying summer visits to Prince Edward Island. ■ Todd Lynch says, “Howdy!” and writes “Janet and I moved from Cambridge, MA to Haydenville, MA a few months ago, and I recently began the two-year MLA program at UMass Amherst in Ecological Landscape Planning and Design. It has been great to be in the valley again among the bears, coyotes and turkeys.” ■ Del Orloske works for New Environments in Norwalk, CT. His projects have ranged from mitigation for Con Ed to residential projects. In May, he made a presentation on sustainable design for Earth Place in Westport, CT at the Eco-fair. Del continues his association with the ashram in Catskill, NY and continues to pursue landscape design as a healing profession. ■ Lincoln Smith writes about his firm Graham Landscape Architecture, “We are at the forefront of ecological landscape
News from Alums
architecture in Annapolis and DC. We're a wonderful, small office, based in historic Annapolis, specializing in high-end residential design.” ■ Johanna Stacy and her partner have bought a house not far from Acadia National Park in ME. She has taken a job as an assistant nursery manager at A.C. Parsons Landscaping on Mt. Desert Island, where she maintains nursery stock and creates designs for residential clients. ■ Chris Stevenson is an environmental planner for Cal-Trans in downtown Los Angeles, CA. In the office he writes, meets with citizens, and works with architects; he also gets to work in the field. 2006 Class Agents: Ian Hodgdon (firstname.lastname@example.org), Brian Trippe (email@example.com) Since graduating from CSLD, Clare Bootle has joined the APA and continues to work as a planner for a regional planning organization in Vermont. She currently manages a brownfields assessment program, coordinates disaster planning efforts, and is active in regional housing initiatives. In the spring, she was appointed to the Montpelier Tree Board, a volunteer position which, she writes, “will hopefully help me learn my trees!” She is currently volunteering her CSLD skills to help the City of Barre to undertake a trail-planning project. Lastly and most recently, Mike and she were married on a lake in central Vermont and honeymooned on the west end of Jamaica. “Now my life is settling back into its regular routine!” ■ Ian Andrew Hodgdon is currently working in a land surveying office that also delves into publishing booklets of historical maps of New England. One of his duties entails creating overlay maps of Vermont towns by editing ancient and modern maps to the same scale. These maps are then used by towns to identify ancient and modern town roads that may be on private property. He also practices sustainable landscape design on the side and is working on a design for a 7-acre property on rural agriculture land outside of Albany, NY. He writes, “I stay close to CSLD in many ways. I am a class agent of '06 and an Alumni Association Co-chair, so I am at the school every month. I live in Greenfield, MA with Janna Thompson, and we enjoy attending CSLD public lectures and formal presentations. I hope to be around CSLD for many years and to ensure the school’s success through volunteering my time.” ■ Jennifer McElligott states, “Life has been so busy and so good to me. I took a job as Environmental Protection Assistant with the NPS and I'm really enjoying it. I'm an assistant planner, working on environmental compliance for projects in the park. Josh and I
started building a light-straw clay cabin on our property. It's a stick-built frame with light-stay clay-filled walls. You can see the entire process on our wedding web site (jenniferandjoshua.wedquarters.com) under the ‘Our Land’ tab. We'll start applying the earth plaster this weekend. Josh and I were married in Olympic National Park on beautiful Lake Crescent. It was so much fun!! I did get to attend a NEPA training in Boston last month and brought together Hannah, Danielle, Adam, and Brian (we called little Greg to chat with him on the phone). It was really great to be back on the East Coast and see the classmates.” ■ Brian Trippe is a project engineer at the Bioengineering Group in Salem, MA: “Although initially hired to perform work relating to reconstruction efforts since Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, I've stepped into more of a project management role. I'm currently working on a civil engineering site redesign using a bioretention basin to capture all site runoff and infiltrate it directly to the ground…keeping it on site. The other two projects are with the Army Corps of Engineers in New York. There, we are doing salt marsh rehabilitation studies in Jamaica Bay. In our personal lives, there haven't been too many changes. We’ve sold my condo in Cambridge. My wife, Robin, is doing well. She is training for the NY Marathon in November as a runner for the Children's Hospital Charity Team.” ■ Greg Walzer is the head designer and project manager for the oldest and largest landscaping company in Colorado Springs, Robertson's Landscaping. Although he has to work with nonnative plants, many of his clients do request pockets of native areas, which he always appreciates. Since joining the company he has drawn over sixty residential designs. ■ Hannah Whipple loves her full-time job as a project designer with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. She was sad to say good-bye to her part-time position with the City of Gloucester Conservation Department, “which was a tremendous learning experience.” 2007 Class Agents: Alicia Batista (firstname.lastname@example.org), Priscilla Miner (email@example.com) After driving from Massachusetts to Portland, OR this summer with classmates Kate Dana and Priscilla Miner, Alicia Batista flew back to New York in September and reluctantly accepted an entry level position at a Manhattan landscape architecture firm. The reluctance arises not from the job, or the firm, both of which are quite nice, but from the fact that she is now back in the insanity that is NYC. Although she now spends much of her time outdoors,
looking for opportunities to plant trees in the sidewalks of the city. In 2008, Alicia hopes to make her great escape, either back to western Mass. or to a more livable city (Portland?). Alicia recently attended a superb two-day workshop on grading, which was taught by Sue Reed ‘87. ■ After taking the summer off to catch up on sleep and refuel the batteries, Jennifer Campbell worked on some design and installation work for a few of her own clients. Much more interesting for her has been working with Chris Conners, a visiting instructor at CSLD and incredible landscape designer in New Hampshire, as well as a new position with designer Julie Messervy in Vermont. ■ Since graduation, Kathy Connor has been doing residential design while looking for a planning job and working on her 175-year-old house. ■ Brian McGowan has started work with Seth Wilkinson ‘99 doing restoration design and project management on Cape Cod. ■ Driving cross country in Ross Workhoven’s and Kelly Morris’s (2007 Conway Design Fellow in Residence) (cursed?) Subaru, Priscilla Miner reports, “We had a swell time visiting small cities, national parks, and various mechanics along the way. We also saw Brandon Mansfield in his new old home in Jackson, Wyoming. Brandon has formed an LLC to do design-build work and is hoping to buy a native plant nursery in the area. [He’s also a partner in a steel fabrication business and is working on starting a biodiesel cooperative as well as a non-profit focused on sustainability.] When we (gratefully) left the car in Portland, Oregon, we saw Ross and Kelly, who are settling back in, and spent a day with them on the coast.” ■ Nicko Rubin writes, “I am living in Montpelier, VT. This summer I have had opportunities to volunteer at two music festivals. At the Northeast Kingdom Music Festival, I worked with the Cardboard Tech Instantoot and also helped set up the Rise Up Music Festival. I have left Iron Bridge Woodworkers and have found a few small but interesting landscape related jobs in the area, consulting, as well as labor at a wholesale nursery in Craftsbury, VT, and harvesting produce on an organic farm in Plainfield. I spent a couple of days helping with the permaculture class at Yestermorrow. There is an active and excited group of permaculture heads in the area I have been able to meet. I am taking a weekly course on ancestral skills with Earthwalk, a wilderness awareness program based in Plainfield, VT. My sister, who lives next door, recently had her second baby, Sadie Anne Kitchen who is beautiful and healthy. I am also planning on starting work soon with Whole Systems Design in Moretown, VT.”
The overall financial health of the school is good, as fiscal year 2007 saw a $66,435 increase in total net assets, while operating expenses remained at the same level as the previous year. In addition to a twenty-eight percent increase in project fees, there was a $33,502 or fifty-one percent increase in unrestricted contributions—the highest unrestricted giving level in the school’s history. Restricted contributions included generous capital gifts totaling over $51,000 as well as a gift earmarked for project development. Additionally, the school received in-kind donations amounting to half the costs of a major FY ’07 capital initiative, the campus master plan study. At the end of the fiscal year, the school’s total assets had not only reached but exceeded the one million dollar mark, and we are very grateful to all who made contributions to the Conway School of Landscape Design in FY 2007.
UNRESTRICTED PUBLIC SUPPORT AND REVENUE Contributions In-kind contributions Tuition and fees Project fees Grant income Workshop fees Investment income (net) Net realized and unrealized gains/loss on investments Net realized gain on sale of property Miscellaneous income
99,244 41,150 407,800 80,835 0 0 13,386 0 0 3,085
65,742 1,200 414,800 62,913 4,600 8,190 12,831 (8,104) 500 2,222
Total Unrestricted Support and Revenue Net Assets Released from Restrictions
443,772 97,994 33,404 55,000
444,645 92,703 36,856 6,250
49,187 1,936 (5,495)
1,579 1,070 (3,509)
TOTAL UNRESTRICTED SUPPORT AND REVENUE AND NET ASSETS RELEASED EXPENSES School activities Administration Fund-raising Other expenses TOTAL EXPENSES INCREASE (DECREASE) IN UNRESTRICTED NET ASSETS TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED NET ASSETS Contributions Investment income and interest earned—scholarship/loan fund Net assets released from restrictions INCREASE (DECREASE) IN TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED NET ASSETS NET ASSETS AT BEGINNING OF YEAR NET ASSETS AT END OF YEAR INCREASE (DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS
Thank You One and All! FY 2007 Restricted Gifts CAPITAL CAMPAIGN DONORS. The board of trustees, faculty and staff of the Conway School of Landscape Design are deeply grateful to Eric and Jane Molson of Quebec, Canada for a major gift of $46,346, granted by the Lincolnshire Foundation. This gift was used to underwrite a range of physical improvements to the school that have greatly facilitated students’ work and work product and have enhanced everyone’s entrance experience. (More details are found in the article on page 2.) We also wish to extend our continuing deep gratitude to Bill Gundermann for his 2007 gift of $8,000 pursuant to his 2002 ten-year capital pledge of $50,000, which further contributed to these wonderful improvements.
MASTER PLANNING. The Conway School is also grateful to Bill Gundermann for an additional gift in the amount of $5,715. Inspired by Paul Cawood
Hellmund’s Designing Greenways, this gift was offered on a matching basis to support a Conway student project, a planning manual for towns in New York, Massachusetts, and the larger New England region. We are working on finding the best partners for such a timely initiative, which will result in a practical product of wide-spread use.
CONWAY SCHOLARSHIPS. In 2001, the CSLD Board of Trustees established two $500 scholarships: the Walter Cudnohufsky Scholarship, awarded to a student continuing in the field of landscape design, and the Donald L. Walker, Jr. Scholarship, awarded to a student newly entering the field. Each scholarship is based on need and merit, including the promise of a high level of success in the Conway Master of Arts program as well as an expectation of contributing to the field of sustainable landscape planning and design in line with the school’s mission.
STATEMENT OF ACTIVITIES FOR THE YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 2007 (with comparative figures for 2006)
Summary of Operations FY 2007
Annual Report Fiscal Year 2007
2007 REPORT ANNUAL
We extend our gratitude to Randy Griffith, Marcia Curtis and Nancy Knox, whose contributions to the Scholarship Fund during FY ’07 were of great value in supporting this ongoing scholarship program. Thank you! As we enter the eighth year of the school’s scholarship initiative, please consider making a restricted donation to the Conway Scholarship Fund.
Alumni FY 2007 Annual Fund Kudos! TRUSTEES. This year, the Conway Board of Trustees responded unanimously and generously to Development Committee Chair Rick Brown’s request to set the tone and pace of the FY ’07 annual fund drive by making pledges and gifts at a leadership level. By the end of the calendar year, at-large giving ultimately produced the highest giving level in the history of the school. Thank you, Conway Trustees!
PHONATHONS: The FY ’07 Phonathons held on Saturday, December 9, 2006 in Amherst and on Saturday, February 24, 2007 in Salem Massachusetts once again proved to be important vehicles for the annual fund. They raised $11,200 or twelve percent of the FY ’07 unrestricted giving. We are grateful to the alumni volunteers and those who made their facilities available for these efforts, and we extend particular kudos to co-class agents Ian Hodgdon ’06 and Brian Trippe ’06, who organized the Amherst and Salem Phonathons, respectively, and to Trustee/ Development Chair Rick Brown, who rallied the troops at the Salem venue. ■ Amherst, MA, at the office of Blair, Cutting and Smith Insurance Agency: Carla Cooke, Sue Crimmins, Ian Hodgdon, Kate Kerivan, Nick Lasoff, Chuck Schnell, Cindy Tavernise, Janna Thompson, Nancy Braxton, Ilze Meijers, Paul Cawood Hellmund ■ Salem, MA, at the Bioengineering Group office of Wendi Goldsmith ’90: Judy Thompson, Wendy Ingram, Adam Bossi, Ben Groves, Ian Hodgdon, Wendi Goldsmith, Lauren Snyder Lautner, Janna Thompson, Brian Trippe, Rick Brown, Nancy Braxton END-OF-YEAR CHALLENGE. In April 2007, as the end of the fiscal year approached, an anonymous alum of the school volunteered a large donation on a matching-challenge basis to rally alums’ giving to the annual fund drive. Two other anonymous alums joined this initiative with major pledges, and a $10,000 alumni matching challenge was issued. The response was beyond gratifying—it was awesome! The following individuals (also included in the annual fund donor
list on page 36) came forward with gifts that, together with the initial challenge, came to $17,050 or eighteen percent of unrestricted giving in 2007. This amazing show of support for the school was instrumental in producing the highest unrestricted giving level in the history of the school and surpassing the annual fund goal. We offer our happy and grateful thanks for your belief in the mission and ongoing curriculum of this unique graduate school. Jennifer Allcock Matthew Arnsberger Michele Bongiorno Kenneth Botnick Peter Bowry Nancy Braxton David Buchanan Joan Allen Casey Donald Chamberlain Jill Ker Conway Phyllis Croce Abbie Duchon Christopher Elkow Carolyn Ellis Jonathon Ellison Paul Esswein Kent Freed Sean Gaffney Alma Hecht Carl Heide Faith Ingulsrud David Jacke Judith Janoiwak James Jensen Annice Kenan Kathleen Hogan Knisely
Charles Leopold Mark Leuchten Jude Lichtenstein Todd Lynch & Janet Bertucci Dean Maynard Ann Georgia McCaffray Andrea Morris John Nuzzi Del Orloske Robbin Peach Barbara Popolow Linda Prokopy Virginia Raub Alison Reddy Walter Reynolds Design Associates Teresa Rogerson Clarissa Rowe D. Thomson & Barbara D. Sargent Bruce Stedman Robert Edson Swain Alison Trowbridge Mrs. M.E. Van Buren Laurence Zuelke
FY 2007 WISH LIST RESPONDERS. We had a worthy response to our School Equipment Wish List published in the Fall 2006 con’text. These gifts greatly benefited Conway students and staff. We extend our thanks to Bill Richter, who donated a plotter, and to Todd Lynch, who gave the school a laptop and a laser printer.
FY 2008 Development Initiatives FY 2008 ANNUAL FUND APPEAL. We need your support to achieve the board-established goal of $86,500 in unrestricted giving in order to balance the budget this year. Although ambitious, the response to the FY ’07 annual fund appeal makes us certain that this goal is attainable. Please join the Conway board and others who have responded to date! Send your gift in the enclosed envelope, or you can make a credit card donation on our website (www.csld.edu) through PayPal. You may also receive a call from a class agent, classmate, or alum during one of several phonathons to be held this year. Thank you in
As we conclude Conway’s thirty-fifth anniversary year, please consider a planned gift to the school. Planned gifts will be used to launch a Conway endowment fund to ensure the perpetuity of this unique institution. The Conway endowment will enable us to realize such goals as providing substantial student scholarship support and underwriting the campus/facility master plan now in process. Thus, in making a planned gift to Conway, you are helping ensure that the school’s important mission of sustainable landscape design will be carried out into the future. As a donor, you can make a planned gift in a number of ways that can provide benefits for you and your family as well as for Conway, such as a bequest, life income gifts, charitable remainder trusts, or charitable gift annuities. Bequests are the most simple and straightforward way to endow Conway’s long-term future. Educational institutions have found that about eighty percent of all planned gifts they receive come in the form of bequests. Bequests are the easiest planned gift to accomplish. Without parting with a current asset, and regardless of your age, you can include the Conway School of Landscape Design in your will. Any asset may be used, and a charitable bequest has many additional benefits: ■ Unlimited federal estate tax deductibility ■ Confidentiality ■ Simplicity ■ Revocability ■ Minimal cost Your bequest to Conway can take several forms: ■ An unconditional outright gift ■ A residuary gift, i.e. a gift of all or a portion of the assets remaining after specific bequests have been made ■ A bequest designated for the Conway endowment: Conway will invest your gift in its endowment fund and can credit the interest to the annual fund in your name each year
THE CONWAY LEGACY CIRCLE. Through the Conway Legacy Circle, the Conway School of Landscape Design recognizes the leadership, commitment, and generosity of those alums and friends whose bequests or life-income gifts ensure the future of the school and advance the quality of a Conway education. By publishing the names of these donors, we would like to thank them publicly and encourage other members of the Conway community to follow their lead.
Susan Crimmins ’97 Bill Gundermann Anna James ’99 Carrie Makover ’86 Bill Montgomery ’91
We welcome all alums and friends who have made planned gifts—regardless their size—into the Conway Legacy Circle, and we invite all of you to consider taking steps to accomplish your personal, family, and philanthropic goals through gift planning. If you have provided for the Conway School of Landscape Design with a planned gift and wish to add your name to the list of Conway Legacy Circle members, or if you would like further information to assist you in your planning, please contact Associate Director of Development Nancy Braxton. As with any gift to the school, a request for anonymity will be honored. firstname.lastname@example.org; (413) 369-4044 x 5.
School Equipment Wish List Over the years Conway’s graduates and friends have been very generous in sharing computers and other equipment that they may have outgrown. Please contact David Nordstrom (email@example.com, (413) 369-4044) if you have any of the following and would like to make a donation to the school. Such donations may be tax-deductible for you. Please don’t mail or deliver anything to the school before finding out if it is still needed. Thanks! Your gift could make a big difference. We especially need a large-format color plotter because of our growing use of digital products. Furniture and miscellaneous equipment: ■ ■ ■ ■
Barcode reader (for use in the library) Binoculars (for field trips) Soil auger (e.g., 4" regular, with extension and cross handle) Power drill (for general building maintenance)
Computers and printers: ■
Large format color plotter (Epson 2400, 2200 or R1800 or HewlettPackard, other than HP 10, 20, or 30ps) Laptop computer running Windows 2000 or XP, with DVD/CD-ROM writer (docking station would be helpful, but not required) Apple laptop computer (G4 or newer) Apple tower computer (running Mac OS 10)
ENDOWING CONWAY’S FUTURE: PLANNED GIVING.
Anonymous Jennifer Allcock ’89 David Bird, Trustee Emeritus Rick Brown
advance for supporting Conway’s 2007–08 programs through your generous donation!
2007 REPORT ANNUAL
Donors FY 2007 This was an extraordinary year in Conway’s annual fund history. The level of giving exceeded our goal by 26 percent with donations approaching $100,000, and the number of alums and friends who supported the school increased by 20 percent. This outpouring of generosity underwrote 17 percent of the school’s operating expenses and made it possible to offer another excellent year of our unique graduate program. The board of trustees, faculty, and staff of the Conway School of Landscape Design extend deep appreciation to the following individuals and organizations for their contributions credited to the school’s 2007 fiscal year. This list includes unrestricted annual fund/phonathon gifts, gifts-in-kind, and restricted donations (except capital campaign gifts, reported on page 33). We extend our warm and whole-hearted thanks to all of you.
John F. Ahern Jennifer Allcock James Allison Katherine Anderson George Anzuoni Helen Anzuoni Matthew Arnsberger Henry Warren Art Mollie Babize & Mary Quigley Gary Bachman Jack Barclay Suzanne Barclay Hatha Gable Bartlett Mark Bethel David Bird Cynthia Boettner Michele Logrande Bongiorno Clare Bootle Charlie Bosson Kenneth Botnick & Karen Werner James Bouwkamp Peter Bowry Nancy E. Braxton Richard K. Brown & Anita Loose-Brown David Buchanan Karen Burnier Kianpour Jerrilee Cain Anne Capra Joan Allen Casey Donald Chamberlain Seth Charde Joshua Clague David Coleman Arthur Collings Arthur Collins Carolyn Collins & Dorothy Varon Jill Ker Conway Carla Manene Cooke Emma Cooke Clemence Corriveau Susan Ernst Corser James Cowen Susan Crimmins
Phyllis Croce Walter Cudnohufsky Candace Currie Ruth Cutler D. Alex Damman Esther Danielson Anya Darrow & Louise Harrison Sunnifa Deehr Dennis Delap Brian Dobyns Harry Dodson Deborah Doran Gregory Drake Abbie Duchon Mark Edelman Marlene Eldridge Donna Eldridge Jon & Barbara Elkow Carolyn Ellis Jonathon Ellison Paul Esswein Benjamin Falk Elizabeth Farnsworth Matthew Farrington Lila Fendrick Patricia Finley Donald & Betty Fitzgerald Erin Flather George & Kristen Flather Kristin Fletcher Adeline Fortier Mary A. Fowler Andrew Franch Kent Freed Elizabeth French Fribush Friends of Yanner Park Sean Gaffney Esta Gallant Kornfield Mary Garrett Wilson Dennis Gemme Michael Gibbons Elisabeth Gick Wendi Goldsmith Nat Goodhue
Bradford Greene Greenfield Savings Bank Randy Griffith & Marcia Curtis Benjamin Groves Alice & Jim Hardigg Lynn Harper Carl Heide Paul Cawood Hellmund Jane Sexton Hemmingsen Brian Higgins Lupin Hill Ian Hodgdon David & Marcia Holden Betsy Hopkins Jeff Horton IBM Wendy Ingram Faith Ingulsrud David Jacke Leslie A. Jakobs Judy & Bob Janowiak James Jensen Daniel Kaden Barbara Keene Briggs Annice Kenan Kathleen Kerivan Robert Kilroy John Klauder Amy Klippenstein & Paul Lacinski Cynthia Knauf Kathleen Hogan Knisely Nancy Knox Gary Koller Claudia Kopkowski Selina Lamb Edward & Sandra Landau Elsie H. Landstrom Nicholas Lasoff Lauren Snyder Lautner Richard Law Robert Lemire Charles Leopold Mark Leuchten Jude Lichtenstein
C. Todd Lynch & Janet Bertucci David Lynch Barbara Mackey William MacLeish Carrie Makover Margaret Maley Robert Marquand Terry Marvel Dean Maynard Hope McAndrew Ann Georgia McCaffray Heather McCargo Tom & Susan McCarthy Tim McClaran Jack & Tip McIntosh Janet McLaughlin The Reverend Canon Robert J. Miner William & Melody Montgomery Terry Moore Andrea Morgante Andrea Morris Darrel Morrison Moser, Pilon, Nelson Architects James Mourkas Melissa Mourkas Michael Nadeau Gwen Nagy-Benson Jennifer Nawada Kristin Nelson Marilyn Nordby John Nuzzi Gary & Mary Oggiani Del Orloske Peter Owens Wendy Page Mary Parker Robbin Peach Martha Petersen Roger Plourde Barbara Popolow Janet Powers Linda Prokopy Steven Prothers Heidi Putnam Ginny Raub Peg Read Weiss & Frederick Weiss Alison Reddy Sue Reed Sarah Drew Reeves Sandra Relyea Walter Reynolds Design Associates Christopher Rice Richter & Cegan Inc. William & Sally Richter Ann R. Roberts Andrew Robertson Melissa Robin & Michael Caplan Gary Robinson Tom Robinson Teresa Rogerson Susan Rosenberg
David Rosenmiller Al & Selina Rossiter Selina Rossiter & Alexander H. P. Colhoun Clarissa Rowe Joel Russell The Sallie Mae Fund D. Thomson & Barbara D. Sargent Sheafe Satterthwaite John Saveson Aaron Schlechter Charles Schnell Barbara Scott Angela Seaborg Gordon H. & Joy Shaw Robin Simmen Angela Sisson Robert Small Andrew & Nancy Smith Karen Bess Lincoln Smith Peter Smith Richard Snyder Susan Space Bruce Spencer Johanna Stacy Bruce Stedman John Steele Danny Stratton Lesya Struz & Joris Naiman Virginia Sullivan Robert Edson Swain Janet Taft Brian Tamulonis Cindy Tavernise Betsy Taylor Thomas J. Fredrick, CPA Richard Thomas Judith Thompson Michael Thornton Karen Teide Janna Thompson Brian Trippe Turner Trippe Alison Trowbridge Jean Tufts Mrs. M. E. Van Buren Peter & Susan Van Buren Liz Vizza Marcella Waggoner Will Waldron Donald Walker & Ruth Parnall J. Jackson Walter Hap Wertheimer Miles Weston Bob & Judy Wilkinson Seth Wilkinson Wynne Wirth Amanda Wischmeyer Marion Withe Gwendolyn Wood Eric & Barbara Young Laurence Zuelke
We make every effort to acknowledge everyone’s generosity. If a mistake has been made, please accept our apology and contact us so that we may correct the error in our records.
Arthur Collins II ’79 (Chair)
Letter from the Chair
William Richter ’77 (Vice Chair)
Dear Conway Friends:
BOARD OF TRUSTEES Collins Enterprises LLC Stamford, CT Landscape Architect West Hartford, CT
University of Massachusetts, LARP Amherst, MA
Williams College Biology Dept. Williamstown, MA
John S. Barclay
University of Connecticut, Wildlife Conservation Center Storrs, CT
Richard K. Brown Darrow School New Lebanon, NY
Nat Goodhue ’91
Goodhue Land Design Stowe, VT
Amy Klippenstein ’95 Farmer Ashfield, MA
Nicholas T. Lasoff ‘05
Lasoff Landscape Design Bennington, VT
Robbin Peach ‘78
Independent Advisor Mattapoisett, MA
Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School Cambridge, MA
Aaron Schlechter ‘01 Ecological Consultant Norwalk, CT
Virginia Sullivan ‘86 Learning by the Yard Conway, MA
Susan Van Buren ‘82
Rawlings Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Baltimore, MD
Seth Wilkinson ‘99
Wilkinson Ecological Design Orleans, MA EMERITUS TRUSTEES
David Bird (dec. 2007) Gordon H. Shaw ’89 Bruce Stedman ’78 PAST DIRECTORS
Walter Cudnohufsky (1972–1992) Donald L. Walker, Jr. (1992–2005)
ADVISORS John Hanning ’82
GIS Database Specialist Montpelier, VT
Executive Director, Franklin Land Trust Shelburne Falls, MA
David Lynch ’85
MA Capital Asset Management Watertown, MA
How do you measure success? At Conway we measure our successes every day. This year we have had the highest number of applications for enrollment in the history of the school; the annual fund achieved the highest level of giving ever with the trustees leading the way in contributions; the projects were more numerous than any year to date; the school sponsored its first trip to Panama for students and alumni in March; and Landscape Architecture magazine published a major article on the school. And best of all, a campus study was presented to the board in May that illustrates the potential for the future of the school. The Conway message for environmental conscience and sustainable design is being broadcast nationally. That is success, but we have much more to do. Yes, this is an exciting time for the Conway School. In his third year, Director Paul Hellmund and his capable faculty and staff are initiating new programs to complement the core curriculum. They have developed sound fiscal controls, overhauled the school’s catalogue, and developed new forms of communication, including website postings and the con’tours newsletter in electronic form. The dedication and hard work of the staff, faculty, and trustees is bearing fruit and we thank all those who have contributed and are contributing. Conway now has a thirty-five-year track record to build on and a mission that is deeply relevant to the world in which we live. From humble beginnings in 1972, the Conway School has emerged as potentially the only graduate program in the country teaching a holistic approach to land planning and sustainable design. The results speak for themselves. Conway graduates are now making a difference in a wide range of careers from community and urban development to wetland and habitat restoration to open space planning for towns and land trusts. Our successes are part of the initiative to create the “Permanent Conway.” That is the initiative that will ensure the school will have the resources to go another thirty-five years and beyond. There is unprecedented support from an action-oriented board of trustees to accomplish this goal and you will hear more about this in the months to come. It is an exciting time for the school and I hope that you will visit soon and witness the success that is Conway. Faithfully yours, Art Collins ’79
Carrie Makover ’86
Planner, Web Designer Fairfield, CT
Professor Emeritus, University of Georgia New York, NY
Learning by the Yard Conway, MA
Land Use Attorney Northampton, MA
Investment Advisor Hartford, CT
Chair, Board of Trustees
The Class of 2007 Front row (kneeling): Ross Workhoven, Karen Chaffee, Sean Roulan, Kate Dana, Andrew Ward, Priscilla Miner. Back row: Victoria Schroth, Nicko Rubin, Sarah Hills, Annie Scott, Karen Reedy, Jennifer Campbell, Alicia Batista, Kathy Connor, Brandon Mansfield, Brian McGowan, Ken Byrne (faculty), Paul Cawood Hellmund (Director)
Conway School of Landscape Design 332 South Deerfield Road P.O. Box 179 Conway, MA 01341 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
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