con text Conway School of Landscape Design Alumni Magazine, Fall 2008
Conway School of Landscape Design Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning & Design
The mission of the Conway School of Landscape Design is to explore, develop, practice, and teach design of the land that is ecologically and socially sustainable. The Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit corporation organized under Chapter 180 of the General Laws, is a training school of landscape design and land use planning. As an equal opportunity institution, we do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital or veteran status in the administration of educational, admissions, employment, or loan policies, or in any other schooladministered program.
Facts in Brief Founded in 1972 Graduate Program in Sustainable Landscape Planning & Design Ten months (September through June) of applied study
We: ■■ provide graduates with the basic knowledge and skills necessary to practice design of the land that respects nature as well as humanity ■■ develop ecological awareness, understanding, respect, and accommodation in our students and project clients ■■ produce project designs that fit human uses to natural conditions.
in an integrated format. Core instruction relates directly to term-long projects. Emphasis. Ecologically and socially sustainable design of the
Size. 18–19 graduate students.
Core Faculty. Seasoned professionals, trained in landscape
School News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
land, integrated communication skills, individual educational goals, learning through real projects with real clients.
architecture, planning, architecture, permaculture, and regenerative design. Master teachers, adjuncts and over 50 guest speakers each year bring additional depth. Degree Granted. Master of Arts in Landscape Design,
authorized by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. Accreditation. New England Association of Schools and
Colleges, Inc. Location. Scenic western Massachusetts near the academic,
cultural, and natural resources of the Five Colleges and the Connecticut River Valley. One hour from Bradley International Airport, Hartford, Connecticut. Campus. 34.5 acres of wooded hilltop located one-half mile
east of Conway town center.
Where Are They Now: An Alum’s Story . . . . . . . . . . 5 Running the Proposed Sustainable Sites™ Through its Paces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Conway School Launches David Bird International Service Fellowship . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Conway’s International Connections . . . . . . . . . . 10 Fall 2008 Public Lecture Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Graduation 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Recent Thinking on Timely Topics: Research by Conway Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Facility. 5,600 square feet with four wood stoves and passive
Student Work: Projects 2007–2008 . . . . . . . . . . 26
solar design, spacious design studios with individual drafting stations, library, classroom, design/print area, and kitchen.
News from Alums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
From People in the Park student project, p. 29 Drawing by ?
Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Letter from the Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
From the Director Staff Faculty Paul Cawood Hellmund Director & President
Landscape Design & Graphics/Core Faculty
Regenerative Design/ Core Faculty
Planning Adjunct (Winter term)
Administration Nancy E. Braxton
Director of Admissions
Director of Development & Alumni Services
David Nordstrom Associate Director
Past Directors Walter Cudnohufsky Founder, Director (1972–1992)
Donald Walker Director (1992–2005)
Conway School of Landscape Design 332 S. Deerfield Road PO Box 179 Conway, MA 01341-0179 (413) 369-4044 www.csld.edu con’text is published semi-annually by the Conway School of Landscape Design, ©2008 by Conway School of Landscape Design, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.
Nicholas T. Lasoff Editor
David Brooks Andrews
Strengthening the Conway Community through Enhanced Communication
Fall greetings! We have as a major goal increasing and enhancing the flow of information between and among alums, school friends, and Conway. We value the strengthening of community that results, a strengthening that goes beyond the members of any one class to embrace the whole community. This is why we encourage you to visit the school, give any of us a call, or drop a note. Also, please send us your news (both personal and professional) for sharing in con’text and with prospective students. Starting with this school year, con’text will be coming to you twice a year. There is too much news to wait a whole year. Also, with a more timely appearance of con’text comes the opportunity for more interaction. Therefore please send us your comments on what you are reading in these pages so that we can share them with faculty, students, and other readers. To send us comments on con’text you can: ■■ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. ■■ Mail: Letters to the Editor, con’text, 332 S. Deerfield Road, PO Box 79, Conway, MA 01370. ■■ Call our reader response line (413) 853-3034 and leave a voicemail message. Remember to leave your phone number if you’d like a return call. Two issues a year of con’text—expect the next one after the New Year—gives us the opportunity to feature recent student work more prominently than before. Let us know what you think of the projects you see described here. Do you have any suggestions from your time as a student or from your current work? We’d love to hear them. It helps us to provide a better educational experience. In the 2007 issue of con’text, we had much progress to report. That progress has continued. The application rate has increased yet again. We considered more than fifty applications for the nineteen places in the Class of 2009, and this will be the second year with a full class. We have been blessed again with your generous financial support, which allowed us to meet our 2008 Annual Fund goal. Three students in the 2008 winter term helped us further develop concepts for the campus as a living laboratory for green technologies, indoor and out. We have received significant contributions to Conway’s first international fellowship, honoring Trustee Emeritus David Bird (see page 8), including a $15,500 gift from David’s extended family, as well as other gifts. Our institutional collaborations have allowed us to broaden our reach. The Highland Communities Initiative of the Trustees of Reservations cosponsored our winter public speaker, conservation planner Randall Arendt. New England Wild Flower Society has also continued to be a strong partner, cosponsoring both our fall public lecture series and our summer workshops, now known as the Conway Summer Landscape Institute. It is with a great deal of pleasure that we welcome Kim Klein as our new Director of Development and Alumni Services. Kim has served as an advisor to Conway over the last six months and brings considerable experience and enthusiasm to the position. See page 2 for more about Kim. We hope you enjoy this issue of con’text. Let us know what you think of it!
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Terry Blanchard Graphic Design
Nancy E. Braxton Paul Cawood Hellmund Nicholas T. Lasoff Priscilla Miner Jono Neiger David Nordstrom Contributing writers
P.S. Look for upcoming Conway events in the Boston and Washington D.C. areas this year, as well as information on the 2009 Conway Summer Landscape Institute.
2 con text
Kim Klein Joins Conway as Director of Development and Alumni Services Beginning in September, Kim Klein became Conway’s first full-time director of development and alumni services. Kim is already known to Conway: she served as a consultant on long-term development strategies during the period January–June 2008, when she demonstrated not only her strong and experienced capabilities in the development arena but also enthusiasm and commitment to the Conway mission of sustainable landscape planning and design. A resident of Shelburne Falls, Kim brings an extensive and varied background in development work to help meet Conway’s needs and create its future. For the past two years, Kim served as major gift officer for special initiatives at Hampshire College, with responsibility for coordinating a $6 million initiative for a new film and video center. Previously, she was director of development and marketing for the Louisville Ballet, marketing and campaign director for one of the largest arts funds in the country, program manager and gallery curator for an interfaith foundation, and executive director of Scenic Kentucky. Her many community activities include creating a proposal for a Millennium Trail in Louisville Kentucky, and proposing and receiving designation for a Kentucky Scenic Byway historic River Road in Louisville and Cordell Hull Highway in Mammoth Cave. Kim holds two BAs from the University of South Florida (Tampa), one in fine arts with a concentration in photography and one in mass communications. Kim has received high praise for her successful past development work, ranging from foundation grant proposals to major donor cultivation to annual fund drives. Rick Brown, trustee and chair of Conway’s development committee, commented that “we are indeed fortunate to have Kim on the Conway staff, bringing her great organizational skills, strategic planning, forward thinking, and mission-oriented perspective, together with her noted patience, to current and future Conway initiatives.” Her responsibilities include developing the annual fund, long-term capital initiatives, the David Bird International Service Fellowship, the new Conway Legacy Circle, and the nascent alumni association.
Jono Neiger ‘03 Conway Core Faculty In fall 2007, Jono Neiger ’03 expanded his involvement on the Conway teaching staff from spring-term adjunct the previous academic year to a half-time position as a core faculty member with a focus on regenerative design. Jono is a conservation biologist with seventeen years experience in land stewardship, ecological studies, restoration, and conservation commission staffing. He served as director of Lost Valley Educational Center’s Land Steward and Permaculture Apprenticeship Program in Oregon for five years, founded and served as coordinator of the Lost Creek Watershed Council in Oregon for four years, was restoration ecologist with the Nature Conservancy of California for two years, and served as conservation commission agent for the Town of Palmer, Massachusetts for four years. Jono has been a permaculture teacher and designer since 1996, working to help organizations and individuals further their goals for stewarding their land and creating productive, regenerative human ecosystems. Currently the principal of Regenerative Design, a permaculture design and consultation firm in Leverett, Massachusetts, Jono’s responsibilities at Conway include teaching surveying in the fall term. Conway Master Teachers Five professionals who have served as return guest speakers, critics, or workshop leaders over the years at Conway, have been designated as master teachers for the current academic year. Throughout the school year, along with long-time Ecology Adjunct Bill Lattrell, each of these especially gifted teachers will support the core faculty and further strengthen the Conway curriculum through offering multi-day workshops, giving lectures and/or leading field trips on topics of their expertise.
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Elizabeth Farnsworth, Master Teacher/Biology, is a biologist and scientific illustrator. Co-author of the updated edition of the Petersen Field Guide to Ferns of Northeastern and Central North America, she is also illustrating the forthcoming Flora of New England for the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS), as well as illustrating books on fern ecology. Elizabeth has a BA in Environmental Studies from Brown University, an MS from the University of Vermont, and a PhD from Harvard University. She led a popular Conway-NEWFS 2008 Summer Landscape Institute workshop on Botanical Illustration: from Microscope to Landscape. (See article, p. 9)
Dave Jacke ’84, Master Teacher/ Permaculture, has been a student of ecology and design since the 1970s. The primary author of Edible Forest Gardens (2005), he has run his own ecological design firm, Dynamics Ecological Design, since 1984. An engaging and passionate teacher of ecological design and permaculture, and a meticulous designer, Dave has consulted on landscape projects in many parts of the United States, as well as overseas. A cofounder of Land Trust at Gap Mountain in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, he homesteaded there for a number of years.
C. Dana Tomlin, Master Teacher/ Geographic Information Systems (GIS), is a world-renowned expert in GIS. He is the developer of the Map Analysis Package software and originator of Map Algebra. His current research examines the use of digital cartographic techniques in spatial pattern analysis and land use allocation. Holding a PhD from Yale University Graduate School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, he also has an MLA from Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BSLA from University of Virginia, School of Architecture. Dana is currently a member of the landscape architecture faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and also teaches at Yale University. He teaches an introductory GIS workshop at Conway and serves as an online resource to students.
Joel Russell, Master Teacher/ Land Use and Conservation Law, has been at the forefront of smart growth, land conservation, and new urbanism, with thirty years experience as a planning consultant and land-use attorney. Drafting land-use ordinances that emphasize quality design, the creation of a sense of place, traditional neighborhood development, and the preservation of open space and environmental resources, he is a national authority on how to contain suburban sprawl and a principal co-author of Codifying New Urbanism (2004). Helping preserve over 25,000 acres of land through working with twelve land trusts, Joel has been active in the land conservation movement since 1982. He co-founded and served as executive director of the Dutchess Land Conservancy in New York and is currently a fellow of the Glynwood Center in Cold Spring, New York, where he’s developing an advanced training program in land use regulations that address climate change and sustainable development. Joel served on the Conway School board of trustees from 1992 through 2001, as chair from 1997 through 2001, and is now a Conway advisor.
Priscilla Miner ‘07
During academic ’08–09, local author William H. (Bill) MacLeish will be in residence as a Conway Fellow. The youngest son of poet, writer, Librarian of Congress (1939–1944) and Conway resident Archibald MacLeish, Bill MacLeish is a journalist and the author of many books, including his memoir Uphill with Archie: A Son’s Journey (Simon and Schuster, 2001), The Day Before America: Changing the Nature of the Continent (Houghton Mifflin, 1994), and The Gulf Stream: Encounters with the Blue God (Houghton Mifflin, 1989). Bill is a long-time associate of the Conway School. As Conway fellow, he is pursing his latest work, In Place, exploring the phenomenon that people in our historically restless and mobile continent nevertheless have a clear intention to settle down, to be published in two years by Simon and Schuster. In July 2007, Dave Nordstrom ’04 became a full-time staff member as associate director after serving as Conway’s part-time accounting manager, a position he undertook in November 2004. Covering a range of critical responsibilities, Dave’s student services’ work includes project development, financial aid, student housing, and a range of communications to the class before and throughout the school year. In the financial realm, Dave continues his work as accounting manager, streamlining processes and creating more detailed management reports. He has researched and put into place improved benefits for staff and insurance for the facility. In addition, he is responsible for assessing and managing the physical facility.
con text 3
David Brooks Andrews
New Roles for Staff
Sandy Ross ‘05
Darrel Morrison, Master Teacher/ Design, is a fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and professor and dean emeritus at the University of Georgia. Currently a resident of New York City, he has taught at Conway since 1992. Darrel has been a pioneer in landscape restoration and ecological design and has received awards for his work at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildﬂower Center in Austin, Texas and elsewhere. A gifted teacher, Darrel has received national teaching awards from the council of Educators in Landscape Architecture and the American Horticultural Society. Since 1997, he has been a design and ecological consultant to the Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre sculpture park in New York State.
Bill MacLeish is Conway Fellow in 2008–2009
Nancy Braxton, who joined the Conway staff as administrative director in July 2001, has turned over development and alumni responsibilities to Conway’s new director of development and alumni services, Kim Klein, and is focusing her energies on recruitment of and coordinating the application process for prospective Conway students, as director of admissions. She notes that the 2009 class of nineteen students was selected from an all-time Conway high of fifty applicants, and under Conway’s rolling admissions policy, the class of 2010 already has four students. In addition to admissions work, which include advertising and conference outreach, Nancy is responsible for overseeing and coordinating Conway communications, including the school catalog, fall and spring con’text, website update, and on-line publications.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Priscilla Miner ’07 and Nancy Braxton try out the new campus trail.
removed in front of the studios during the planting project to allow the siding at the base of the wall to dry out. Drainage problems at the front entrance were addressed by installing drain tile leading from the new studio foundation plantings along the south side of the foundation and exiting under the deck. Seth and Doug also created a trail that serves as a short-cut for those walking up the driveway to the school. It is hoped that a trail building weekend can be organized among alums to complete the trail started during Peter Jensen’s workshop in May and to create a trail leading through the shared woodlot to Route 116 exiting near Greenfield Savings Bank.
Campus Updates Capital Improvements Thanks to the generosity of Eric and Jane Molson in fiscal year 2007, we were able to continue to upgrade equipment and fixtures and to carry on the front entrance landscape project in this fiscal year. In February, a color laser jet printer was purchased, capable of printing on 11 x 17 paper and handling heavy-weight stock, perfect for plan set production. A report binding machine was also purchased, allowing all report printing to be done in-house. It is anticipated that these acquisitions will result in annual cost savings of approximately one- to two-thousand dollars and eliminate over 1,000 miles currently driven to and from copy shops. (Model estimates for a mid-sized car project a reduction of about a third of a ton in carbon dioxide emissions.) In addition, our black and white copier has been replaced by an Energy Star rated copier. The frequently out-of-order toilet in the small upstairs bathroom was replaced with a Toto dual-flush toilet, easing our water consumption and extending the life of our septic system. New hearth pads for both studio wood stoves and the repositioning of the stove in Studio West have brought both stoves up to code. Stove pipes and chimney stacks have been replaced or repositioned to create more efficient combustion through improved draw. Crickets were installed on both studio chimneys to help deflect the sliding snow that had taken out both chimneys over the last two winters. Class of ’08 alums Douglas Guey-Lee and Seth Pearsoll helped during July with the on-going front yard and entrance project. A planting bed with a stone border was created in front of the studio windows using many of the plants that were donated last fall by Nasami Farms. The detritus that had accumulated to several inches in height against the wood siding was
4 con text
New Digital Transits To support the part of the fall curriculum that helps students gain intimate knowledge of their sites, we have acquired six theodolites (digital transits). These have made a huge difference in the students’ ability to survey project sites more quickly and accurately. The dependable and sturdy equipment has made surveying less difficult and is something the students are much more likely to run into in the field. Sarah Bray ‘08 uses one of the school’s new digital theodolites, the purchase of which was made possible by generous gifts from Conway alums and friends.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
David Brooks Andrews
Student “Green Team” Undertakes Campus Assessment During the 2008 winter term, a student team worked on a Conway campus expansion and sustainability plan intended to help guide future development decisions at the school. As part of their scope, the “Green Team” members, Sarah Bray, Katja Patchowsky, and Joey Weidle undertook a synthesis of three trustee-approved
documents: Campus Study (Richter Cegan, May 2007), Conway 2020 Vision (CSLD September 2007) and the First Phase Priorities (CSLD October 2007). The students were asked to provide a vision of a sustainable Conway through analysis of existing and future school building(s), outdoor spaces, transportation, and utilities to create a more workable, livable, and sustainable campus. After meeting with the Conway trustees’ campus planning committee and developing a detailed scope of services, the student team began the research stage of the project where
Meadow of native plants
Enhanced coniferous forest Student vision for future Conway campus greening
Perennial permaculture garden
Slope stabilization and erosion prevention
Greywater treatment garden
Where Are They Now: An Alum’s Story Tim Brooks ’87, Landscape Detective Tim Brooks was out of college and working in landscape maintenance when he heard about “this intimidating school with an intense interviewing process.” “Someone I met had had this intense conversation with Walt Cudnohufsky, and he was all worked up about it,” recalls Brooks, a native of Williamstown, Massachusetts. “I was intrigued.” Following that curiosity led Brooks into a career that still fascinates him. It began with Conway’s application. “I remember these long essay questions. I did a lot of thinking that I hadn’t done before.” It was through that “two-week meditation on myself” that he realized he had “the design gene.” When he started the program, he knew immediately that he was on the right track, and he can still summon the excitement of discovery when he talks about the class trip to Canada that kicked off the year. “Somehow that trip was the big event. In the first few days something blew my socks off about how fascinating this design thing is, being able to see how people have planned things that go completely unnoticed but are purposeful and have beauty. And that’s same thing in terms of reading the natural landscape, you see how it changes over time, the processes.” Exploring this new urban environment, he says, “set something off. Don Walker had a term, like ‘landscape archidetectives.’ My college thesis had dealt with game theory, discovery, and detective tales. Now I’m in Canada and we’ve got to solve this mystery: What was the designer trying to do here? Did they accomplish it? It was this Sherlock Holmes element that really grabbed me.” Holmes hooked him again during his residential project, when he used the tools of interviewing and
by Jane Roy Brown, from a fall 2007 interview
surveying to sleuth out the history of the client’s property. “We discovered a pair of ‘bride and groom’ maples outside the house, and a road that had been moved. We noticed a tree trunk that didn’t align with the ‘bride and groom.’ Surveys revealed the contouring for a former roadbed that explained why the current space wasn’t working. Don said, ‘Why not plant a red oak right on the alignment where the road used to go, a little reminder of the past?’ We didn’t end up doing that, but I’ve thought a lot about it over the years, and in my work since then I’ve used the idea of reflecting some historical antecedent.” He cites a recent project for an urban plaza, in which the local historical commission wanted to weave more history of the place into the design. To uncover the land’s past uses, Brooks tracked down old photographs, surveys, maps, and artifacts. “That all links back to Don’s red oak tree. The trees along the old roadbed had been maple, but Don had suggested a red oak—why? Clearly oak was a native of the area, but an oak’s longevity, the age and wisdom that it conjures is significant. It was symbolic.” Tim Brooks is now a principal of Winterbrook Planning in Portland, Oregon. Samples of his current work can be seen at: www.winterbrookplanning.com “Where Are They Now” is a continuing series of portraits of Conway alums. We are grateful to Jane Roy Brown for allowing us to use this excerpt from the book she is writing about the Conway School. We invite you to share your experience at Conway and beyond. Go 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.
con text 5
Conway Bestows Three with Honorary Degrees The Board of Trustees of the Conway School of Landscape Design recognized John Todd, Randall Arendt, and Keith Bowers with honorary degrees in 2008. In presenting John Todd with his degree on March 6, 2008, Trustee Ginny Sullivan ’86, stated: “You inspire us and show us the way to enlist nature in regenerating and sustaining our planet, our home.” The degree recognizes John’s many contributions to our understanding of environmental restoration, alternative technologies, and ecological design. Founder and senior partner of John Todd Ecological Design, president of Ocean Arks International and founder of the New Alchemy Institute, John is currently a research professor and distinguished lecturer at The Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, Burlington. He holds degrees in agriculture, parasitology, and tropical medicine, and a doctorate in fisheries. He is the inventor of The Eco Machine—an ecological engine for the treatment of wastes, production of foods, generation of fuels, and the restoration of damaged aquatic environments. John has published over two hundred articles in scientific, technical, and lay publications, is the coauthor of several books, and has been awarded two honorary doctorates. Following his talk, John spoke to a group of Conway students, alums, and friends about works in progress. On April 28, 2008, in recognition of Randall Arendt’s “visionary contributions to conservation land planning and design,” Trustee Nat Goodhue ’91, whose student work has been cited by Randall in two of his books, presented Randall with an honorary degree.
6 con text
Priscilla Miner ‘07
they investigated carbon neutral and other sustainable initiatives at other institutions. The team also surveyed students and staff to create a baseline of energy use at the school. A charrette was facilitated by the team prior to the February trustees meeting to elicit ideas from trustees, staff, and students. Assisting the students was Conway alum Peter Van Buren ’82, who operates Terralogos Green Home Services, Inc. based in Baltimore, Maryland. He offered to conduct an energy audit using a blower door infiltration test and an infrared camera. Peter created a report which explains results of his testing and makes specific recommendations for increasing the energy efficiency of the school building. Using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as a benchmark, the “Green Team” recommended renewable energy options, water management practices, optimal siting of demonstration gardens, waste reduction methods, land management techniques, creation of outdoor gathering areas and trails, land stewardship protocol, and environmental awareness education.
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Top: Ginny Sullivan ‘86 presents John Todd with honorary degree. Bottom: Nat Goodhue ‘91, left, and Paul Cawood Hellmund, right, with Randall Arendt
Randall then gave a public lecture, cosponsored by the Conway School and Highlands Communities Initiative of The Trustees of Reservations, at Conway Town Hall. His topic, “Conservation by Design: A Practical Strategy for Preserving Town-Wide Open Space Networks,” drew a standing-room-only crowd. Randall is the author or coauthor of more than twenty 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. 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. (See www. greenerprospects.com/bio.html for copies of reports by Randall.) Selected by the class of 2008, Keith Bowers, RLA, president and founder of Biohabitats, gave the keynote address at the Conway School of Landscape Design’s graduation on June 29, 2008. (See p. 13.) Trustee Ginny Sullivan ’86 presented the honorary degree in recognition of Keith’s outstanding contribution to the planet in creating more sustainable landscapes through ecological restoration, regenerative design, and conservation planning. — continued on page 9
Running the Proposed Sustainable Sites™ Initiative through its Paces It’s hard to turn around these days and not hear the word sustainability. It gets discussed in just about every walk of life. Yes, it may have many and divergent definitions and may even in some cases be a means of “greenwashing” (i.e., hiding one’s real intent by making one’s actions seem more environmentally benign than they are). But, there are people working diligently to define what it means to have sustainability as a goal, especially as it relates to landscape design. During spring term 2008, the Conway class researched and critiqued one major new effort to help landscape designers come to grips with sustainability, the Sustainable Sites™ Initiative. Guidelines and standards for landscape sustainability are being developed through the initiative, which is a partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the United States Botanic Garden and a group of other organizations. (See www.sustainablesites.org.) The partners hope to supplement existing green building and landscape guidelines as well as develop a stand-alone tool for assessing site sustainability. The students found many positive aspects to the initiative, which is in the preliminary stages of development, with standards and guidelines to be in place by May 2009 and a complete reference guide expected by 2012. Students took the current draft of the initiative’s guidelines and applied them to their spring term projects and then discussed perceived strengths and shortcomings.
They developed dozens of pages of notes about the initiative and its guidelines and sent them for review to Jennifer Fraulo Strassfeld ’01, who was until recently in Washington, D.C. as Manager for Professional Practice for the American Society of Landscape Architects and one of ASLA’s representatives working on the initiative. In their June 2008 letter to Jennifer, the students identified a range of specific ways the guidelines and standards could be improved, including: ■■ Helping readers more explicitly to understand and make the trade-offs necessary when reaching decisions that affect multiple factors, such as when a design decision will have an impact on both water quality and wildlife. ■■ Explaining to users the relative expense of using one technique or material over another. ■■ Adding wildlife as a separate topic to the guidelines and not just addressing it through habitat guidelines. ■■ Incorporating production of food and other resources in the initiative goals for sustainable landscapes. ■■ Including bioregion-specific topics for each goal, instead of simply treating topics on a national scale. ■■ More directly acknowledging that recommendations for sustainability should be very different depending on how disturbed a site already is. See sample pages of the students’ evaluations of the initiative at www.csld.edu/whatsnew.htm.
Sample student response to Sustainable Sites™ Initiative goals (Jesse Froehlich ‘08)
con text 7
The school is pleased and proud to announce the establishment of a new Conway fellowship, the David Bird International Service Fellowship. The goals of the fellowship are: ■■ to provide opportunities for recent Conway graduates to further develop their design and planning skills through undertaking public service projects outside the United States ■■ to engage and support agencies and public service non-governmental organizations in such projects ■■ to enhance Conway’s graduate program and benefit current students by having returning Bird Fellows in residence at Conway. The fall ’07 con’text reported the school’s loss of Conway’s great friend and champion, David Bird, who died in October 2007. One of David’s most cherished enterprises was ensuring Conway’s success: He served as its first chair of its board of trustees from the 1970s into the ’80s and supported the school generously up until his passing. As the school’s founder, Walter Cudnohufsky, noted, David “appreciated the school’s 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.” In David Bird’s honor, Walt has joined David Bird’s family and friends to establish the David Bird International Service Fellowship. Jeanne Bird and the On May 3, 2008, I had the privilege of attending the memorial service for David Bird, along with several others from our school. I had met David at several functions at Conway, knew that he had been a vigorous supporter of our school, but only at the service did I come to realize more fully what an amazing man he was. Those speaking that morning—including Walter Cudnohufsky—painted a picture of a joyful, generous man of considerable intellect, vivacity, and talent. How fortunate for us that he came to know and love our school and helped guide it through challenging times. His legacy at the school will be long-lasting. What a pleasure it was to meet David’s family that day—his wife Jeanne, and children Marten, Rachel, and Matthew—and to discover shared interests extending into another generation of David’s family. Paul Cawood Hellmund
8 con text
Conway School Launches David Bird International Service Fellowship David Bird’s family: his wife, Jeanne, third from left, and children Rachel, Marten, and Matthew
Bird family feel that David himself would find this fellowship to be a fitting tribute in light of his own international service during his prestigious career. David devoted his life to public service and had a keen interest in the international scene. He was well known as a top political consultant and public servant. David undertook relief work in France after World War II, working in camps for Belgian and Spanish refugees; was employed as a case officer for the federal government for over a decade, specializing in the people of Central Asia; served as coordinator in chief of the US-USSR Health Care Exchange of medical professionals, fostering friendly relations between the two nations; and worked on behalf of the Universidad del Valle in Guatemala as a board member and visionary supporter. At the request of the Bird family, the Conway School’s newly-produced Bird Fellowship brochure was made available to those attending the May 3, 2008 memorial service for David, held in the Allen’s Neck Friends Meetinghouse in Dartmouth, Massachusetts; and the Bird family requested that any memorial gifts be made to the Fellowship. Walt and Susan Cudnohufsky, Paul Cawood Hellmund, and Nancy Braxton attended the service—where Walt gave the lead memorial tribute—and were privileged to spend time with the Bird family at Jeanne Bird’s home following the service. The Conway School of Landscape Design is now accepting contributions to the David Bird International Fellowship fund. This endowment fund has an initial goal of $100,000, and nearly $20,000 has been received to date, thanks to the generosity of David’s family and friends (see article on page 42). When complete, the endowment will provide for an annual fellowship of $5,000 to support international public service work in furtherance of sustainable landscape planning and design. Depending on funding and partnership opportunities, a three- to six-month sojourn is projected for the first fellowship, which will ideally be launched in July 2009. For a Bird Fellowship brochure or more information, please contact: Kim Klein, director of development, (413) 369-4044, ext. 3 or email@example.com.
— continued from page 6
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Conway’s First Service Fellowship Award Kathleen McCormick ’08 is the first recipient of Conway’s Service Fellowship award, which was created by the Board of Trustees of the Conway School to offer a graduating student the opportunity to transition to post-graduate life while serving the community. With Walt and Don’s approval, funds from the Cudnohufsky and Walker scholarships were combined and supplemented by the board for a total award of $2,000. The award can be used for travel, materials, or living expenses during a serviceoriented project after graduation. An eight-member selection committee, made up of Conway board members and alums, selected Kathleen’s project from several student proposals. Entitled “Designing an Outdoor Play Space: Linking Education and Design in Buffalo’s Fruit Belt,” the project will have her working with the director of East Side Neighborhood Transformation Partnership and the Center for Urban Design at the University at Buffalo. The Fruit Belt is a neighborhood of Buffalo that is severely impoverished both economically and educationally. Kathleen will return to the campus during the next school year to give a presentation about the completed project and will write and illustrate an article for con’text. Welcome, Class of 2009! For the second consecutive year, the Conway school year began with a full class of nineteen students. Hailing from eleven states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia), the class of eleven women and eight men brings to Conway a strong commitment to ecology, whole systems design, environmental ethics, connectivity, and sustainability. Their diverse educational backgrounds include Bennington College, St. Johns, Dickinson College, Harvard University, Loyola University, Saint Michael’s College, Maine College of Art, Northern Arizona University, Vassar College, Washington University, Cornell University, and University of Richmond. International living experiences, including Chile and British Columbia, are also common to the class of 2009. Class members’ vocational backgrounds are likewise varied, including horticultural and design work at the Denver Botanic Gardens; social work in residential settings for children and adults with mental, physical, and behavioral needs; elementary school garden coordinator; guiding rafts, cycles, and dogsleds; working as a grower
Conway class of 2009 with faculty and staff
and greenhouse technician in the field of horticulture at Von Trapp Greenhouse; landscape work with the New York City Parks Department; working with environmental organizations including the Thoreau Institute, the Wilderness Society, and the National Park Service; serving with AmeriCorps VISTA on a long-term planning project for the City of Montpelier; holding an AmeriCorps position in vegetation and restoration for Yosemite National Park; serving as a naturalist, teaching applied ecology in Northern California; being an employee of Planet Drum, a pioneer of bioregionalism; and being a backpacking and sea kayaking instructor. Their interests include historic and contemporary agriculture and the ways that landscape is manipulated for the production of food and raw materials; watershed protection and restoration; non-motorized transportation; unique and native wildlife health; social justice; overall connectivity of systems (both natural and artificial); permaculture and natural building; Western herbalism and holistic nutrition; and the bigger question of how we are to live on an increasingly burdened planet. Welcome to Conway, class of 2009! 2008 Summer Landscape Institute with Conway Partners NEWFS and HCI For the second consecutive year, Conway partnered with the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS) to offer popular summer workshops. Held on the Conway campus in late July and early August, the 2008 Summer Landscape Institute was composed of three two-day workshops presented by Conway master teacher Elizabeth Farnsworth, Conway alum Cindy Tavernise ’99 and alum Dave Evans ’76. These highly acclaimed sessions were attended by a total of forty participants. In Elizabeth Farnsworth’s workshop, Botanical Illustration: from Microscope to Landscape, participants investigated the beauty of plants from the perspective of basic plant anatomy and ecology as well as microscopic observation. They learned techniques for rendering technically accurate drawings of the plants and discussed the aesthetic and scientific effectiveness of exemplary botanical illustrations. — continued on page 12
con text 9
Conway’s International Connections Paul Cawood Hellmund
Going to the Dominican Republic with Conway and Yestermorrow by Kathleen Hogan Knisely ’76
Kathleen Hogan Knisely ‘76
My friends thought I was daft, and my husband tried to get me to change my mind. Me, a fifty-six-year-old couch potato, on a seventeenday design-build adventure in the Dominican Republic with a dozen strapping young architects and design students. But it is the empty nest season, and I needed some new excitement. I got it. Tempting me with images of palm trees, I learned via email that Conway was cosponsoring a hands-on trip in January 2008 with the Yestermorrow Design/Build School. I could not resist. Selected by Condé Nast as one of the top ten beaches in the world, the beach at Rincon is magnificent, partly because it is pristine—no electricity, no running water, no sewage systems, and very isolated. Many hours of driving on rutted dirt roads to the tip of the Samana Peninsula brought us to our destination. The villagers are no fools—they know that time will find this paradise, and they hope to use the influx of tourists to advance their interests. The Women’s Group for the Future of El Rincon is dedicated to strengthening their community by creating opportunities for the residents, especially young adults. Their projects include a hike in which youths guide tourists through steep mountain farmland to the nearby Laguna Del Diablo. Our class project created a gathering area, where both the local community and a burgeoning eco-tourist community can congregate. The design process emphasized local materials and involvement by the community. In fact, two Rincon youths joined the class and were invaluable resources. Spirits were only slightly dampened when unseasonable rains blew our tents away from the campsite on Rincon Beach. But the site was quickly restored with all camping amenities imaginable. Once a consensus on a design plan was reached, it was a sprint to build it all in time. We had no heavy equipment to clear and grade this overgrown site with its barely penetrable hard red clay soil. The shovels and picks went flying. Thank goodness the villagers saw us and jumped in to help. The ladies brought warm rounds of gingerbread and thick sweet coffee. The men brought muscle and tools. There was a momentary clash of cultures, when our progressive young women felt pushed aside by the “unenlightened” villagers. Diplomacy saved us as
10 con text
Above: Kathleen Hogan Knisely ‘76 Left: construction of concrete forms in El Rincon, Dominican Republic
our women found there was quite enough digging to do without confrontation, and the deep involvement of the villagers would only help create a sustainable design, with their stewardship. Our concrete forms were created with long poles hacked out of the brush by machete, held with wire, rebar, and reusable plastic mesh fabric. With one form set up in twenty-four hours, we stripped the fabric and went on to the next in a frenzied display. A total 80,000 pounds of concrete was mixed and poured entirely by hand. We finished just in time, and had a huge celebration. Local plant materials were transplanted, including eight coconut palms in an entry colonnade. A central sixteen-foot diameter bench was an eye-catching sculptural focus and a great gathering place for the community and tourists to mix. Concrete pillars and curved walls at sitting height guide foot traffic into the center. Cars have a well designed parking lot on the periphery, with a small plot demonstrating local farm crops. The subtle finishing touches were the mementos we had all brought to press into the concrete pillars, our signatures. The impact of the project went beyond the site. Two Rincon youths were awarded certificates for completing the course, an introduction to the design profession for these very sharp individuals. Some of the participants collected money and sent over a computer, printer, and collection of books for the youth center. One architecture student changed his thesis project to create a master plan and vision for future eco-tourist growth for El Rincon. After finishing his graduate work, he plans on going back to El Rincon to present his ideas to the village. The next Yestermorrow/Conway course in the Dominican Republic will focus on the newly discovered Damajagua Falls, where twenty-seven cascades plummet down thirty-foot stone walls. Join us in January! See: www.csld.edu/whatsnew.htm
Panama City/Summit Educational Workshop, January 2008 by Michael Cavanagh ’02
Complexity. The design process in landscape planning is complex. Even relatively simple sites, projects, and client requests will unfold into deeper sets of issues and choices than are first admitted. Preparation. Almost no amount of preparation on a project can truly be exhaustive or complete. There is always more that can be creatively explored, considered, revealed for genuine solutions to be achieved. Training. There is a specific skill set required to approach the multiple levels of landscape design effectively. Even for those to whom design and
Curled into the forest just out of sight of the famous Panama Canal, and a short trip from the historic capital city, Summit is a uniquely placed combination of zoological and horticultural treasure. Current director Adrian Benedetti is capitalizing on recent trends in eco-tourism while updating the historic park’s management practices, programming, and international networking. As a part of this effort, he has teamed with Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens of Florida in creating an educational program for park employees and local professionals offering training in horticultural practices. A Conway grad, a design practitioner, and a landscape contractor with some experience in Latin America, Conway asked me to participate as one of the instructors in the part of the seminar focused on landscape design. With the lead organization of Christie Jones and the team participation of April Dominguez, both of Fairchild, I presented a three-day crash course on the design process itself, from design principles, site analysis, base maps, and drafting techniques through sketch planning and presentations. We used the vast park as the opportunity to study various site models including the construction site of a new jaguar exhibit due to open in 2009. The program was in its second year, with approximately thirty students participating. In addition to the jaguar exhibit, the seminar explored design processes relating to the overall park layout, a program for tree maintenance, an extensive bamboo walk, a rubber tree grove, and of course, site grading. My role in the program made me aware again of these key elements in the design process:
Conway Invited to Help Train Panamanian Landscape Designers
Top: Adrian Benedetti, Summit’s director, discusses part of the bamboo collection. Bottom: Representing Conway, Michael Cavanagh ‘02, standing, left, helped conduct a three-day crash course.
visualization comes naturally, training, practice, and more training are essential to the process from initial design concepts all the way through to long-term management. It would be unjust not to mention the spectacular beauty of surrounding Summit: the depth of the drama that the canal itself has to offer, the enormous quantity and quality of birding that exists there, and the kindness and the generosity of the local people who made possible my brief stay.
con text 11
Fall 2008 Conway Public Lecture Series
Cindy Tavernise’s workshop, Finding a Landscape Palette though Watercolors, involved working with wash techniques and brushwork, focusing on determining a color palette through sessions on the Conway campus, recognizing the Two participants in Farnsworth’s workshop, basic tools of composiincluding Anita Loosetion, and—in an off-camBrown on right pus session—capturing a broader landscape with views to distant hills. In The Dynamic Planning Process: Conducting a Charrette, two of the David Evans’ workshop participants brought real-world, complex planning problems from their communities that served as case studies for learning the highly-participatory, transformative, threephase, collaborative planning process unpacked in the four sessions. This workshop had a third co-sponsor, the Highland Communities Initiatives of the Trustees of Reservation (HCI), which also co-sponsored Conway’s public speaker series during the academic 2007–2008 year. Attendees of the Landscape Institute were drawn from the Conway School community (alums, advisors, neighbors, friends), the NEWFS membership, and the HCI. They commented that the “outdoor exercise was wonderful: a reminder of how important observation— really seeing—is,” that “the instructor’s enthusiasm for ‘seeing’ is contagious.”
This summer, as the Conway faculty prepared to welcome the new class, school friend Jill Ker Conway invited the faculty (and two of their children) to tour the grounds of her Conway home, which she has nurtured since she was president of Smith College. Here Jill presents one of several sculptures on the grounds.
Priscilla Miner ‘07
— continued from page 9
New England Wild Flower Society will again cosponsor Conway’s annual fall public lecture series. All lectures are on the Conway Campus and begin at 7 pm. Space is limited. Please leave a voice-mail message: (413) 853-3034. Monday, September 15, 7–8:30 pm
Fundamentals of Ecological Planting Design Thomas S. Benjamin, RLA, LEED-AP Tom Benjamin is a senior landscape architect at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., with over fifteen years of experience in environmental design work, often focused on ecological restoration and green design. He will discuss some examples of ecological design work for large projects, and investigate issues and challenges related to soil preparation, plant selection, stormwater pre-treatment, and landscape maintenance.
Monday, October 6, 7–8:30 pm
Rain Gardens: Helping Nature and Having Fun Scott LaFleur, Director of Horticulture, New England Wild Flower Society Scott LaFleur joined NEWFS in 2005 as a graduate of the University of New Hampshire program in Horticulture and the prior owner/operator of a landscape design company, Garden Buds. He will explain how to construct rain gardens, how they help address concerns about storm water pollution, and which native plants can be used.
Monday, November 3, 7–8:30 pm
Landscape Design: Where Art and Nature Meet Darrel Morrison, Conway Master Teacher/Design; Adjunct Professor, Columbia University Landscape Design Program Darrel Morrison is a long-time advocate of integrating native plants, native plant communities, and natural processes into the designed-and-managed landscape. (See bio on p. 2). He will discuss how naturally-evolving landscapes can be used to guide the creation of dynamic landscapes and show how a willingness to permit natural processes can enrich the spatial framework established by the designer.
Monday, December 1, 7–8:30 pm
Understanding Plant Preferences: How Plants Adapt in the Wild and in Our Gardens Elizabeth Farnsworth, Conway Master Teacher/Biology
Paul Cawood Hellmund
Elizabeth Farnsworth is a biologist, author, scientific illustrator, and science consultant serving on the graduate faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the Conway School (see bio on p. 2). Taking a scientist’s view, she will discuss evolutionary roots of common plant adaptations, exploring some interesting physiological and architectural traits as well as ecological affinities of familiar New England species.
12 con text
At graduation, Conway presented commencement speaker, Keith Bowers, with an honorary degree. (See page 6.)
Commencement Speech by Keith Bowers
From an Introduction by Ken Byrne, Core Faculty
Restoring the Future
After graduating in landscape architecture from West Virginia University, Keith started a small design-build firm with a friend, doing conventional residential and commercial design. After a couple of years of financially rewarding but unsatisfying work, Keith bought out his partner, renamed the firm Biohabitats, and started from scratch. By now, tidal wetlands were being protected under the Clean Water Act, so developers were being required to do mitigation and restoration, and there was a great need for critical area management plans. And this is the twentieth year of Biohabitats, whose projects strive to follow the triple bottom line: regenerating ecological processes, biodiversity, and cultural prosperity for generations to come. When you get a chance, take a look at the Biohabitats website. You’ll see scores of incredible projects, from the restoration of Doan Brook and its riparian corridor in Cleveland, to the Bronx Zoo master plan, to stormwater management plans for colleges and whole counties. But one of his most innovative designs may be the firm itself. First, it is multidisciplinary at its core. Drawing together designers, planners, and scientists of all kinds, and regularly partnering with other firms with expertise in other fields signals that the solutions to our pressing problems must be broad, complex, attentive to the social. Second, Biohabitats is headquartered in Baltimore and has bioregional offices (in the Ohio River Bioregion, Southeast, Southern Rocky Mountain, and Great Lakes bioregions) that are defined by areas that share common physical, ecological, and social characteristics. “Conservation planning, ecological restoration, and regenerative design must reflect both the natural processes and the influence of human activity on the landscape.” And, in his spare time, Keith is active in the Society for Ecological Restoration. He served two consecutive terms as the chair of the board, and is now vice chair working on a certification program for ecological restorationists. Crossing boundaries, drawing on the creative tension between designing for the very small and the very large, understanding that only a multi-disciplinary approach can find solutions to the complex problems facing us—these are just a few of Keith Bowers’ many qualities. And we welcome him here today.
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Congratulations to each and every one of you! What an exciting and beautiful day. Your ensuing career, will undoubtedly be exciting, enriching, and, I am afraid, somewhat daunting. Your work is cut out for you! You see, we (you, me, our parents, grandparents, husbands and wives, children, co-workers, friends and neighbors—all of us here today) have gotten ourselves into a little predicament. All around us we are laying witness to the collapse of major ecosystems throughout the globe including coastal mangroves, arctic tundra, tropical rainforests, wetlands, and now oceans, to name only a few. “Human actions are depleting Earth’s natural capital—putting such strain on the environment that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted,” warns the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a four-year study sponsored by the United Nations and published about three years ago with the help of over thirteen hundred scientists. Bit by bit we are extracting, exploiting, consuming, and discarding the earth’s natural diversity at an alarming rate. Stephen M. Meyer in The End of the Wild, reminded us that for billions of years evolution on earth has been driven by small-scale incremental forces (Darwin’s survival of the fittest) and punctuated by cosmic-scale disruptions (plate tectonics, planetary geochemistry, global climate shifts, and perhaps asteroids). Sometime in the last century, all of that changed. Humans are now the driving force behind evolutionary change. Think about that: through some fairly sizable acts, but mostly through billions of small everyday actions, we are now unknowingly controlling the fates of most of the world’s plants
con text 13
Priscilla Miner ‘07
A few of the graduates from the class of 2008, left to right, Beth Hammen, Dillon Sussman, Sarah Bray, Seth Pearsoll, Liz Kushner
and animals. In fact, since the 1960s humans have been consuming more resources than the earth can naturally replenish. That means we are in an everincreasing deficit with the very systems that support life, our life, on this planet. Over the past century, we as a country have led the world in conservation. We were the first nation to establish a national park system; we gave rise to the likes of Henry David Thoreau, Gifford Pinchot, and Teddy Roosevelt, along with John Muir and Aldo Leopold, who are considered by many to be the fathers of our current conservation ethic. We have some of the most stringent environmental protection laws in the history of the world, yet we are failing. Our natural capital, those ecosystem processes that we take for granted like clean air, clean water, healthy productive soils, climate regulation, species diversity, are all in precipitous decline. Beginning in earnest in the 1960s and 1970s, we saw the rise of numerous environmental conservation organizations. The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, The World Wildlife Fund, The Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Natural Resources Defense Council come to mind along with a host of regional and local organizations with ambitious agendas to protect the last great places on earth, save the panda bears from extinction, and initiate conservation research from the four corners of the earth. In fact, according to Paul Hawken, there are more than one hundred thousand organizations across the globe now focused on environmental and social change. So why is our current system of environmental protection, conservation, and environmental advocacy failing? In 2005, Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus wrote a paper, “The Death of Environmentalism.” They argued, among other things, that: ■■ no environmental leader is articulating a vision ■■ environmentalism is defined too narrowly
14 con text
leaders of the environmental movement have failed to figure out who we are and who we need to be. Their conclusion is that environmentalism needs to die a timely death and be resurrected within a robust progressive movement with issues reframed to generate wider public acceptance. Now I am glad I didn’t know that back in the early 1980s. Unlike many of you, my education prepared me for a conventional landscape architecture practice: planting plans for fast-food restaurants; park designs that focused on people, active recreation, and aesthetics; and grading plans for housing subdivisions for communities called Whispering Oaks and Wild Dunes, where the whisper of the oaks were permanently silenced and the wilds within the dunes were flattened to make room for the cookiecutter houses and the ubiquitous automobile. Fortunately, in my senior year of the LA program at West Virginia University, I came across a firm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that was pioneering the science and art of tidal wetland restoration. Except for the work that Aldo Leopold and others did on the restoration of prairies in the Midwest, only a handful of people at the time were engaged in what we now know as ecological restoration. Up until this time, the primary means in which people participated in the environmental movement was to give money to a conservation organization that bought and protected land. Now, here was a firm called Environmental Concern, led by Dr. Edgar Garbisch, that was researching, experimenting, and most important, actively restoring tidal marshes—in the mud propagating and planting smooth cordgrass with a variety of other species, learning about the tidal cycles and their effect on nutrient cycling, energy flows, and plant succession. How cool was this!!! Someone was getting paid to play in the marsh, be outside ■■
on the water, learn about nature, and restore the concepts and apply them to the landscape. Scienearth, all at the same time. tists are trained to develop a hypothesis, conduct I was sold, and more important, I had a mentor. research, evaluate their findings and publish their I started looking into this field called ecological resresults. The trick, I soon learned, was to take their toration. As I did, I discovered that I had absolutely work and apply it to the landscape in a way that no training in ecology or for that matter, the life benefits both the ecosystem and the people who sciences. It was too late for me to begin taking elecinteract with the land. tives in biology and ecology. So I finished out my Through the late 1980s and 90s, we took on a undergraduate degree with a capstone project that variety of ecological restoration projects throughfocused on restoring a peninsula and two adjacent out the country, gaining a national reputation for tidal creeks for the Baltimore County Department restoring tidal marshes, freshwater wetlands, bogs, of Recreation and Parks. Needless to say my professtreams, rivers, deciduous forests, and coastal sors did not know how to evaluate my project techdunes, among others. Through our five bioregion nically. In fact one of them brought offices, our work now spans North me into his office, suggested that I America and the Caribbean, and refocus my efforts on “design” and between both companies, we emOur work is . . . about not waste my time on ecology. ploy well over one hundred people participating in a One of the first lessons I learned providing conservation planning, partnership with was that in order to follow your ecological restoration and regeneradream, your passion, you have to tive design services to more than other life systems, ignore what others think you ought 250 projects a year. an awareness that to do and trust within yourself that About seven years ago I began to you are on the right path. sense a change . . . a convergence all things are connected I graduated and immediately really. A convergence that shook and that we are started a landscape design and my understanding of what we were construction firm. Within two years doing and how it fits within the conco-participants in I bought out my partner’s shares of text of the current environmental the evolution of life. the company, split up the design and movement. A convergence that made construction arms into two separate me think that maybe Shellenberger companies, Biohabitats (the design and Nordhaus have it right with the firm) and Ecological Restoration and Management, “Death of Environmentalism.” A convergence that Inc. (the construction and revegetation firm), and I believe is perfectly timed and suited for you. Let never looked back. me explain. With little to no business background, I quickly First, there is, what I call, the “Blurring of the learned about finance, cash-flow, accounts receivBoundaries.” I mean this both figuratively and able, accounts payable, payroll, hiring, firing, quite literally. If you pick up one of The Nature marketing, sales, computers, customer satisfaction Conservancy’s brochures, what you notice now and . . . well the list goes on and on. One of the is that they are not just about conserving the last smartest things I learned early on was to surround great places on the planet; they are now also about myself with people who knew what I didn’t know restoring and managing them. They have no choice. and who had a passion for what they did. You can They have to. Mainstream conservation organizateach skills; you can’t teach passion and drive! tions have come to the conclusion that we can’t This led me to begin hiring ecologists, biologists, just protect land, we also need to actively restore fluvial geomorphologists, soil scientists, natural and manage this land. With regional and planetary resource planners, civil engineers, project managchanges to our ecosystems, conservation or setting ers, equipment operators, restoration foremen and land aside, is not good enough anymore. We must crew, accountants, office managers, marketing and take an active role, even when sites “look” pristine. proposal folks, etc. This same trend is taking over the land planning, You see, what I have also come to learn about civil engineering, architecture, and landscape my landscape architecture education, is that architecture professions. The new buzz word is it taught me how to take ideas, thoughts, and “sustainability.” Clearly, if we are going to be truly
con text 15
sustainable, that is letting ecosystem function dictate our consumption patterns, then both restoration and conservation and what we term “regenerative design” have a major role to play. Recently, I attended an international summit at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, where some of the leading economists in the world gathered with their counterparts in conservation biology and restoration ecology to begin exploring the role that natural capital plays in the way that we allocate, value, use, and dispose of our natural resources. Perhaps soon we will be substituting the GDP—Gross Domestic Product—with the GNC—Gross Natural Capital. Whether it is corporate management, psychology, quantum physics, or community health, the evidence is mounting that everything is connected in profound and sometimes startling ways. Rarely does our work focus exclusively on restoration or conservation anymore. On the contrary, our work now is as much about revitalizing a community’s town center as it is about restoring a riparian corridor along its riverfront. Blurring the boundaries is happening at an accelerating rate, and you, all of you graduating today, are in a perfect position to take advantage of it. Second, it’s about relationships, not stuff. Throughout my career I have come to notice that “things” take precedent over processes. Perhaps this is a legacy of our educational system (present company excluded) and our consumer-based society. Perhaps because things, or “stuff,” are easier to see, easier to touch, and easier to comprehend than processes or relationships, which are at times invisible, temporal, and infinitely complex. In our practice, we are often asked to develop best management practices to treat stormwater, or restore habitat for an endangered species, but very rarely are we ever asked to explore how hydrologic and nutrient cycles interact with urban street design and automotive engineering, or how species lifecycles are influenced by regional land use patterns and geochemical processes. It is even rarer that we are asked to explore how socio-political systems may be responsible for the precipitous decline of an endangered species and how that decline has physically manifested itself in terms of “habitat degradation.” This is really evident in the current sustainability movement. Many architects, landscape architects, engineers, and planners view sustainability in terms of “things” we can do, or do less of, to reduce the burden we place on the
16 con text
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Bill Lattrell and Tom Sullivan ‘08 chatting at graduation
environment. As if sustainability is about consuming less instead of about our relationship with nature and the myriad ecological processes that support life on this planet. No, it is not about stuff, it is about relationships. It’s about participating in a partnership with other life systems, an awareness that all things are connected and that we are co-participants in the evolution of life. That is why we practice “regenerative” design, regenerating ecological processes and human relationships. We will be well served to heed the advice of my friend and colleague, Tim Murphy, a permaculturalist from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who when asked what makes good design, is fond to reply, “engage in a riot of reciprocity.” I urge all of you to “engage in a riot of reciprocity” as you embark on your new careers. Finally, I have come to learn that restoration is not about restoring the past; it is about restoring the future. When I first started practicing ecological restoration, I came to recognize it as a way of restoring the “past.” That is, restoring some relic landscape that existed at some point in the past, perhaps a generation ago, perhaps a century ago, perhaps prior to European settlement, or maybe at the dawn of the Holocene Epoch about ten thousand years ago. But unlike restoring a vintage automobile or a painter’s masterpiece, restoring an ecosystem requires us to think not only about the past, but also far into the future. Ecosystems are in a continuous state of evolution, responding to planetary events, adjusting to their inputs and outputs, and remaking themselves over and over again. Yes, we need to look back in time to make sure we understand the processes that got us to this point, but more important, we need to look forward. We need to figure out how to restore ecosystems so that they will persist, and
more important, evolve with all of their diversity, complexity, and splendor, while at the same time sustaining us in mutually beneficial ways with all of the world’s species. Let’s circle back to “Death of Environmentalism.” Who is articulating a vision of the future? You can and you should! Vision is a very powerful tool. Combine vision with passion and nothing can stop you. Don’t be afraid to use it and don’t be afraid to take the lead. Remember, “Vision without action is a dream; action without vision is a nightmare.” That’s courtesy of an Honest Tea bottle cap, often my source of profound inspiration. Environmentalism is defined too narrowly, focused mostly on technological solutions to saving “things,” not people and jobs. You can expand the notion of environmentalism. Dare to blur the boundaries, explore connections and forge relationships where none existed in the past. It is about people and jobs and animals and plants and rocks and soils and everything else that makes our world a living, breathing ball of energy. Leaders of the environmental movement have failed to figure out who we are and who we need to be. You, me, all of us, we are perfectly poised to lead a resurrected environmental movement. How? By restoring the future. Restoring the future of our cultures, families and peoples. Restoring the future of forests, savannahs, and grasslands. Restoring the future of oceans, wetlands and rivers, and all of the ecosystems of the world that provide all living creatures with clean air, clean water and quality of life. Restoring the future of predators, of prey, and the intricate web of biodiversity that are critical to the ecological balance of this planet. Restoring the future of our will, of our desire, and of our spirit. And most of all, restoring our fate. As you embark on the next chapter of your lives, I urge you to follow your vision, pour your energy into riots of reciprocity, and restore the future! Paul Cawood Hellmund’s Remarks
In my eyes, today’s speaker and honorary degree recipient, Keith Bowers, is a giant. He has accomplished great things. We have been privileged to
Priscilla Miner ‘07
On the Shoulders of Giants
meet other giants this year. Their examples inspire and encourage us. They remind me of that famous line by Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” We at the Conway School have benefited from the shoulders of giants such as school founder Walter Cudnohufsky, second director Donald Walker, thirtyfive years’ worth of graduates, and many others. For example, you, the Conway class of 2008, have used student projects from previous years as starting points for your own projects—and then taken the ideas further. We all stand on the shoulders of giants. But, then there is MIT professor Hal Abelson’s take on the Isaac Newton quote: “If I have not seen as far as others,” he quipped, “it is because giants were standing on my shoulders.” It seems to me Abelson is really talking about another kind of giant—not the Keith Bowers sort—and maybe not people at all, but more like the problems we face that we somehow fail to turn into opportunities. Poet Peter Henniker-Heaton, captures this choice in his poem “Millstone or milestone,” in which he asks: A millstone or a milestone, which shall it be? Shall I hang it heavy round my neck, And drag it along the road with me; Or stand it up beside the road To mark one more victory? It was that same choice—between feeling burdened or gaining perspective—in a very ancient story that I wish our friend David Arfa were here today to tell. David is a maggid, a traditional Jewish storyteller and married to Conway Professor Kim Erslev. The story is from thousands of years ago when a scouting party is sent out by the wandering Children of Israel. At one point they are hoping at last to have reached the land they had been promised as a place to settle and they send out a dozen scouts. The scouts return with stories of a bountiful land with unbelievable abundance. But, there is a problem. Ten of the twelve scouts report back that the inhabitants of this land were like giants and they themselves felt like grasshoppers in the face of those looming giants. The other two scouts say that instead they saw the promise of the place, reporting that it flowed with milk and honey. Clearly today there are environmental and societal giants of the burdening type looming around us all, problems like global climate change, energy and food shortages, volatile financial markets—
con text 17
Priscilla Miner ‘07
It bears the gnarls of its history healed over. It has risen to a strange perfection in the warp and bending of its long growth. It has gathered all accidents into its purpose. ................................... I see that it stands in its place and feeds upon it, and is fed upon, and is native, and maker. Conway faculty at the 2008 graduation ceremony
giants that threaten to keep us from the promised land and stop us from keeping our promises to the land. But from what I have seen, solving even small aspects of these problems elevates and advances us; it turns the problems into giants we stand upon, not giants that stand on us. There is much evidence in the news lately of this kind of incremental progress, including: ■■ increased public transportation ridership in the face of an energy crisis ■■ a dramatic increase over last year in the sale of seeds and plants and demand for community garden plots, as people try to contain food costs and reduce their carbon footprints ■■ increased home sales along commuter rail lines for reduced commuting time and expense ■■ a major reduction in pickup truck and SUV production at General Motors, which announced that it would slash production by a further 170,000 units this year. These are things many people have been hoping for and they have come in the face of looming challenges. There may be personal pain with these changes, but they are signs of progress. Confronting these issues wisely brings progress. Two friends told me about a suit of armor they saw in a castle in England—Warwick Castle, I believe it was. They said it had obviously seen the heat of battle many times and was pretty beat-up, unlike the pristine ceremonial suits nearby. On its breastplate was the impresa—or motto—of its former occupant: Nulla quies alibi, “no rest elsewhere.” This had been a knight who had not shied away from the problems confronting him. No rest, no reward, no resolution but in dealing with the day’s problems in that day. Perhaps some of you know the Wendell Berry poem: “The Sycamore,” one of my favorites, which reads in part, Over all its [the sycamore’s] scars has come the seamless white of the bark.
18 con text
It has gathered all accidents into its purpose. Today’s and tomorrow’s problems can teach us and advance us if we have the courage and creativity to go forward. Class of 2008: Keep confident in your ability to effect change and to succeed. You have shown you can do the work. No, you don’t know everything, but you have shown us you know how to work and how to learn. You have worked long and hard these ten months. We can attest to that. Of course, people won’t always understand all that you have to offer, and of course you will have to prove yourselves. But be confident that you can make a meaningful difference in the world and that you won’t be discouraged by people who aren’t standing on the shoulders of the same giants. Two friends of mine in Colorado had a homebased landscape design and planning practice. Their kids grew up seeing mom and dad making drawings for their professional projects. One day my friends were called in to talk with the school teacher of one of their kids, when he as quite young. “There may be some problem with your son” the teacher explained. Holding up two drawings, she added “When I ask him to draw a house he draws this. When I ask him to draw a tree, he comes up with that.” My friends looked at the drawings and started to laugh. They blurted out, “Plan view.” Apparently their son was the only one in his class who had already learned how to draw houses and trees in plan view. People will misunderstand and underestimate your abilities, too. From personal experience, I can guarantee that a majority of the people you meet won’t have a clue that a landscape designer might have something to contribute in solving some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. But you can show them your work, can’t you? You have done this work. You have completed projects exploring vital topics such as ecological restoration, regenerative design, and environmental justice. You have worked on projects of scales from backyards to regions—from a quarter acre
Ken Byrne’s Remarks
Recently, we interviewed and accepted the final student for the class of 2009—I know, your chairs have barely cooled and we’re bringing in new lodgers—and it was just over a year ago that most of this class was coming up that driveway for their own interviews. Interviews are important, because we want people to know what we are, and we want to see them face to face, too. We want to know about the things that don’t show up in transcripts, references, essays. We want to know how they feel about doing chores, and if they understand how small and intense this place is. Paul always makes a point of showing them the class photos of years past, on the wall of the stairway, with the frightening hair. Some people felt that I play the bad cop to Paul’s good cop. It’s not true, but a good question to ask is the one that’s a little bit—out of the blue. Maybe pointing to some little thing, some contradictory or incongruous detail. For example: Asked of a person who graduated from college thirty years earlier: “Can you really be an ecologically minded designer/planner if you . . . failed ethics class?” And who knows where that goes after that? But if someone laughs comfortably at himself or at life’s absurdity during the interview, that’s generally a good sign. It shows that the person has the ability to stand outside herself when confronted with something unexpected, some wrinkle in the smooth narrative that we all present to strangers. Laughter is something you will hear any day of the week here. In the studio, during presentations, in a class. It lightens the mood and exercises the muscles, but it is something more; it is a significant and meaningful response. There is, I would argue, a fundamental relationship between laughter and sustainable planning and design. Laughter is many things. It’s a fundamentally social act; it’s a way of saying “I understand you.
con text 19
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Laughter as a Principle of Sustainable Design
Priscilla Miner ‘07
to six-million acres. You have formulated innovative, responsive solutions. Keep confident that there will be a way to connect your skills and aspirations with meaningful work. Now I know that there are prospective students with us today, so I want to clear up a misconception you, and even perhaps some of the family members here may have: that our program is impossibly intense. This is something I have been doing research on this year, trying to gauge the intensity of our very demanding program. I would like to announce today that this is, in fact, all a misunderstanding. I’d like to clarify what people really mean by the phrase, “Conway is intense.” It relates to just two minor facets of our school. The first has to do with surveying. Unlike many design schools we teach surveying because we think it helps students get a profound sense of land and how it comes to be represented on a computer screen or printed on paper. [Holding up a surveyor’s rod.] This is one of the survey rods we use. You will notice that each foot is divided into ten units, not the typical twelve inches. For this reason we say that surveying is not done in inches, but in tenths of a foot or in tenths. Surveying is in tenths. Which has apparently been misunderstood as “surveying is intense.” The second source of confusion about our program’s intensity is that because our building is too small for large crowds we typically hold graduation outdoors, as we are today under these two coverings. So we say that graduation is in tents. Also misunderstood, apparently. So, yes, we start the school year in tenths and we end the year in tents, but that doesn’t mean that every moment in between is intense. Graduates, we are proud of you and confident in your ability to accomplish great things. Confident in your ability to see from the shoulders of giants and confident that you yourselves will become the shoulder-offering giants, comfortable that next year’s class will be better than your class because they will build on your work, and more important, confident that your work in the world will make it a better place. Congratulations. Stay in touch.
We share something.” Some argue that it’s an evolved group response to potential threat; a way of signaling, “Danger’s over.” Why, during the first formal presentations, in the fall, when Mike suffered every possible technological malfunction except zipper failure, did we eventually and wholeheartedly laugh? Are we cruel? Yes, but only when we remind him about it over and over, as I am doing now. At the time, we were saying: It’s OK, this isn’t really that bad. There are no tigers here. Why do we laugh when we hear a joke? One explanation is that the joke plays on the expectation of a pattern— the “A Scotsman, an Irishman, and an Englishman walk into a bar . . . ” sets up a familiar frame that is then interrupted by something unexpected. A word means one thing and then, in the punch line, we realize it also means something else. There is only one joke I can remember, which may be revealing: WWII prisoner of war camp. The warden tells the assembled prisoners, “Good news, today you will all have a change of underwear!” Cheers erupt. After months of this, they will have a change of underwear. Then the warden: “You will change with you. And you will change with you . . . .” We laugh (hopefully) because we are laughing at ourselves, for being tricked, for having misunderstood; as the incongruous gets folded back into the understandable. How to see this in the context of what this school does. There’s this dance between comprehension and bewilderment, order and anarchy, understanding of the system, and acceptance of ignorance.
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Priscilla Miner ‘07
Left: Kathleen McCormick ‘08 and Jono Neiger Right: attendees at the reception following the graduation ceremony
Students deal with patterns and exceptions; incorporating the new into the familiar. Overlaying information—familiar patterns—and seeing something new, the punch line. I take comfort in the view that both bewilderment and illumination are necessary for thought, and that thinking doesn’t come to an end with one illumination, because new bewilderments arise. Just when the pattern becomes clear, when the incongruous is integrated into a new pattern, new incongruities emerge. A Day in the Life at Conway. Where one moment we think we know something and the next we understand that we do not, just at the moment when you think you’ve got it all worked out, a new piece of information, or a new question, or a detail previously unseen makes itself visible—and you realize the solution won’t work. Which is why a place of serious engagement with important global problems, committed to understanding and solving, should be a place where you hear laughter. Not the laughter of cynical acceptance of the way things are, and not the laughter of distraction, but the laughter that says: We are here, together, in community, sometimes baffled by the world that we are also committed to changing. So I wish on you lots of laughter. Laughing not to escape from the difficulties facing us, but to enthusiastically embrace them. Thank you for this year. All the best.
Conway Class of 2008 Kevin Adams, Philadelphia, PA Sarah Bray, St. Louis Park, MN Jesse Froehlich, David, CA Doug Guey-Lee, Arlington, VA Elizabeth Hammen, Telluride, CO Pamela Hurtado, Santiago, Chile Elizabeth Kushner, South Orange, NJ Adrian Laine, Tuscon, AZ Michael Lance, Leominster, MA Amy Livingston, Taos, NM Kathleen McCormick, Williamsville, NY Katja Patchowsky, Kew Gardens, NY Seth Pearsoll, Ceresco, NE Catherine Pedemonti, Cambridge, MA Theresa Sprague, Wareham, MA Tom Sullivan, Turners Falls, MA Dillon Sussman, Northampton, MA Joey Weidle, Baltimore, MD Andrew Weir, Northampton, MA
Liz Kushner ‘08
20 con text
Recent Thinking on Timely Topics Research by Conway Students With this issue’s focus on student work, we are pleased to include some of the class of 2008’s writing as well as an expanded selection of their projects. On the following pages, you will find two short research papers by Kathleen McCormick and Amy Livingston, selected for their general interest to those who work with the landscape. Below are summaries of student papers that are published in their entirety on the school’s website: www.csld.edu./whatsnew.htm In his discussion of the Connecticut River Road Trip, Kevin Adams explores the link between economics and ecology. Reviewing some of the historical and contemporary literature on subject, he connects it to some of the landscapes and exercises that were part of the trip. He concludes that because “divining the economic trends that could fundamentally alter landscape patterns is not easy,” it is less important to make correct predictions than it is to go through an exercise that will lead to more robust plans. Jesse Froelich’s paper gives a brief overview of the landscape of biomass energy production, with a more in-depth discussion of two plant species under current study for their high energy production value: shrub willow (Salix spp.) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). The paper concludes with a discussion of the applicability of these plants on Bloody Brook Farm, a fifty-five-acre family farm in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. Liz Kushner’s paper is entitled “Environmental Education and The Educational Environment: Unpacking Preconceptions about Outdoor Learning Spaces.” In it, she investigates not only general
preconceptions about environmental education, but also her own. As a result, her work includes interviews with practitioners of learning landscapes and reflections on her own learning experiences as well as references to published investigations. Don’t be misled by the humorous title of Dillon Sussman’s paper, “Since Dogs Do What They Do, What Can We Do to Improve the Doo-doo Situation at Dog Parks?” He finds that “there is a surprising lack of professional-quality information about their planning, design, or environmental impacts. In particular the issue of dog waste has been insufficiently addressed. This article explores the aesthetic, sanitary, and environmental problems with dog waste, argues that dog park design has exacerbated the problems and explores methods for improving the handling of dog waste in dog park design.” Andrew Weir reviews the controversy surrounding the use of fungi to remediate dioxin contamination at Fort Bragg, California. Concluding that risks and a lack of evidence about the efficacy of fungi make them poor candidates for bioremediation in this instance, Andrew also looks into bacteria and recombinant technologies as possible solutions.
Walkable Cities A growing body of literature is beginning to identify some of the characteristics of a walkable city. by Kathleen McCormick ‘08
Walkability has been defined as “the extent to which the built environment supports and encourages walking by providing for pedestrian comfort and safety, connecting people with varied destinations within a reasonable amount of time and effort, and offering visual
interest in journeys throughout the network.” The Wisconsin Pedestrian Policy Plan 2020 describes a walkable city as a place where pedestrian travel is knit so well into the community’s fabric that walking is considered a normal transportation choice and not an obstacle or distraction to motorized travel.
con text 21
Student Work: Writing
Michael Lance ‘08
Walkability is the foundation of a sustainable city. Walking is the greenest of all travel modes in terms of energy use and waste generation; the energy for walking comes entirely from biofuels found in the food we eat and the only waste generated by walking is a minute amount of carbon dioxide. Walking is also the most socially equitable travel mode, available to the majority of the population regardless of age or socioeconomic status. A growing body of literature is beginning to identify some of the characteristics of a walkable city. Brown, B., C. M. Werner, J.W. Amburgey and C. Szalay. Walkable route perception and physical features: Converging evidence for en route walking experiences. Environment and Behavior 39:34-61, 2007. This very interesting study asked whether different people exposed to the same environment would perceive its walkability in the same way. Most previous studies have correlated people’s perception of their own neighborhood with self-reported walking, or compared self-reported walking in two neighborhoods with very different designs (suburban vs. new urbanist). Both these experimental designs suffer from the nature-nurture problem. Is the environment really influencing walking behavior, or do people who like to walk choose to live in neighborhoods they perceive as walkable? To try to tease the nature-nurture issue apart, this study took the same people on a walk through two neighborhoods that were different in terms of previously identified walkability factors and asked them to talk about what they were seeing and feeling as they walked. Participants also filled out a questionnaire about the environment after the walk. Key findings were: Participants perceived the high-walkable neighborhood as more pleasant and as having greater traffic safety than in the low-walkable neighborhood. Participants had more positive comments on safety, attractiveness, pedestrian amenities, and social milieu in the high-walkable neighborhood than in the low-walkable neighborhood.
22 con text
The most frequent comments were about the attractiveness of the built and natural environment in the high-walkable neighborhood. Overall this study suggests that there are “universal” criteria for walkability—features that most people will perceive as walkable. The most frequently cited ones were related to aesthetics. This is great news for the landscape designer because a good design is functional and beautiful. Now it becomes a matter of figuring out what those “universal” aesthetic features are. Chang, D. Spatial choice and preference in multilevel movement networks. Environment and Behavior 34:582-615, 2002. This paper presents a “stalking” study. The investigator followed pedestrians through two different urban building complexes, the Barbican and the South Bank in London, to try to understand how people make decisions about walking routes through complex spatial environments. He found that pedestrians’ first priority is to take the simplest and most direct route to a destination, not to minimize the total distance traveled. This means that someone would rather walk a longer route with fewer turns than a shorter route with multiple turns in it. The study applies to people living and working in the area, not tourists, so it may be different for people walking for leisure. For landscape designers, the study shows that if you want people to walk for transportation, give them simple direct routes, not meandering strolls. King, A.C., D. Toobert, K. Resnicow, M. Coday, D. Riebe, C.E. Garber, S. Hurtz, J. Morton, J.F. Sallis. Perceived environments as physical activity correlates and moderators of intervention in five studies. Am. J. of Health Promotion 21:24-35, 2006. This study asked whether physical environment had any influence on the effectiveness of five physical activity intervention trials being funded by the National Institutes of Health. The trials were held in cities with very different demographics—San Francisco, Calif., Eugene, Ore., Atlanta, Ga., Kingston, R.I., and Memphis, Tenn. The intervention trials
Student Work: Writing
focused on different age groups, so it was possible to look at issues of age and ethnicity. Each intervention was designed to get people meeting the Surgeon Generalâ€™s recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Participants completed a survey about the walkability of their neighborhood. The data were used to find what neighborhood variables predicted healthy levels of physical activity. Key findings were: Participants most likely to meet or exceed physical activity recommendation lived in neighborhoods they rated as easy and pleasant places to walk and where they had a chance to see and speak with others while walking. Counter to previous work on walking for transportation, people walking for health tended to live in neighborhoods of single-family, detached homes. Participants not meeting physical activity recommendations lived in neighborhoods with loose or stray dogs. Participants reported walking to run errands (utilitarian walking) if stores were within easy walking distance, if they could see or speak with others while walking, or if there were many different routes to get from place to place. Participants reported less walking for leisure if they lived in neighborhoods with stray dogs or mostly single-family, detached homes. This is consistent with previous work on walking for transportation. Participants reported less walking if they reported speeding cars or a lack of crosswalks in their neighborhood. This finding suggests that traffic safety is a primary concern for walkers. Perceived environmental variables were stronger predictors of physical activity than age, income, race, or ethnicity. Of the neighborhood variables, aesthetic factors (foliage, attractive buildings, and scenery) were the strongest predictors. This raises the possibility that good landscape design can influence walking behavior. Overall environmental variables were modest predictors of physical activity. Moudoun, A.V., C. Lee, A.D. Cheadle, C. Garvin, D.B. Johnson, T. L. Schmid, R. D. Weathers. Attributes of environments supporting walking. Am. J. of Health Promotion 21:448-459, 2007. This study used sophisticated statistical modeling to correlate physical characteristics of neighborhoods, attitude toward walking, and an individualâ€™s
perception of the neighborhood with self-reported walking behavior in a random sample of King County, Washington residents. Residents were called and asked questions about their walking behavior, their attitude toward walking, and their perception of various aspects of their neighborhoods. The sample included people living in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Participants were classified as non-walkers, moderate walkers (< 149 minutes/week) and sufficient-for-health walkers (150+ minutes/week, enough to meet the Surgeon Generalâ€™s recommendation for physical activity needed to maintain good health). A geographic information system was used to quantify 200 physical characteristics of the built environment. Some key findings: Believing that there is social support for walking and biking in the neighborhood was associated with both moderate walking and sufficient-forhealth walking. Therefore, peer pressure may influence walking behavior. A strong belief that air pollution and traffic congestion were problems was associated with moderate walking. Therefore, people may see walking as a solution to societal problems. Tap into this attitude to get more people walking at some level. This raises the question if concern for global warming is another walking motivator. Having grocery stores, restaurants, and retail stores nearby was associated with moderate and sufficient-for-health walking. A finding that suggests that people walk to eat and run errands, which equals utilitarian walking. Having office buildings nearby was not associated with walking. The authors believe that this is because office buildings tended to be clustered in large office parks which were fenced in and had few access points. In other words, they were not easily accessible to walkers. Having trails and parks nearby was not associated with walking is a surprising finding, raising the question if this is because people are walking for utilitarian reasons, not for recreation. Very small differences in distance to destination (0.1 - 0.2 miles) separated non-walkers, moderate walkers, sufficient-for-health walkers. Similarly, higher density development was associated with walking. This finding supports the idea that dense, mixed use development (i.e., new urbanist) will promote walking.
con text 23
Student Work: Writing
Traffic volume and speed were not associated with walking. Having sidewalks along main streets was associated with walking. In general, environmental factors were correlated more strongly with sufficient-for-health walking than with moderate walking. This implies that good design could encourage more walking. Rodriguez, D.A., A.J. Khattak, K.R. Evenson. Can new urbanism encourage physical activity? J. Am. Planning Assoc. 72:43-54, 2006. This study compared physical activity in conventional developments and new urbanist developments. It used questionnaires and travel diaries to monitor physical activity of household heads. Key findings were:
There is no difference in total weekly hours of moderate or vigorous physical activity. However, if hours of activity were classified by location (in-home, in-neighborhood, out-of-neighborhood) participants accumulated more hours of in-neighborhood activity in new urbanist developments than in conventional developments. They reported more walking and cycling trips per day in new urbanist neighborhoods. This finding supports the notion that given the opportunity, people will incorporate utilitarian physical activity into their lives, but argues against the notion that the environment encourages people to increase their total amount of physical activity. More utilitarian physical activity will benefit the environment, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Boom and Bust: The Geologic, Economic and Cultural Flux of the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts For those who may wonder why a factory, farm or business began in its present location, they may be surprised that the answer could lie below their feet. Geologic processes create landscapes, influence soils and drainage, and shape microclimates, all of which create opportunities or constraints for human use of the land. Here we will explore the historical and cultural changes of the place eventually called Holyoke and how the city owes its existence to glacial melt water scouring out a sixty-foot dip in bedrock. Twelve thousand years ago, melt water from receding glaciers of the Laurentide Ice Sheet drained and pooled into lakes that conformed to the valley topography of New England. Glacial Lake Hitchcock, which once stretched from Rocky Hill, Connecticut, to St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was one of those glacial lakes that received runoff and sedimentation from the glacier and surrounding watershed and slowly drained them into the sea. At some point, water cut through the dam (which impounded Lake Hitchcock at the southern end) and the lake drained, cutting deep river channels down to the bedrock. The exposed bedrock at South Hadley has a sudden elevation drop of sixty feet, thus creating a waterfall at this location.
24 con text
©iStockphoto.com/Denis Jr. Tangney
By Amy Livingston ‘08
Thousands of years later, developers recognized that power could be harnessed from the Connecticut River flowing over this particular spot. Before Europeans arrived, this valley was home to the Pequot, Chippewa, Agawam, and Nonotuck tribes who lived, hunted, fished and traded along the Connecticut River. Early European settlers, who migrated north from Springfield, purchased land from the Nonotuck, which was eventually incorporated into the city of Holyoke. Holyoke began as an agricultural community of farmers who grew crops on the fertile floodplain soils deposited by the Connecticut River. These farmers’ descendents later sold this farmland to developers as Holyoke became more industrialized. In the mid-1800s, industrial financiers recognized Holyoke’s potential for becoming a worldclass industrial city because of its water power
Student Work: Writing
resource. George Ewing, sales representative for the Fairbanks Scale Company in Vermont, purchased large tracts of land surrounding the falls from local farmers. After acquiring the necessary parcels of land, the Fairbanks Scale Company then sold the land and development concept to wealthy Bostonians who formed the Hadley Falls Company. In 1848, the Hadley Falls Company built the first wooden dam Twelve thousand which lasted only a years ago, melt water few hours before it succumbed to the from receding glaciers of force of water and the Laurentide Ice Sheet was breached. A third drained and pooled dam was built in 1900 by the Holyoke into lakes that Water Power Comconformed to the valley pany with stone quarried from Vinalhaven, topography of Maine. These stones New England. were milled with precision and numbered so the masons (most of whom were Irish) could then place them in their exact order and location. The process was akin to building a giant three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Water was diverted from the upper portion of the river above the dam and flowed under factory buildings via terraced canals. The industries harnessed the force of the water flow to power the industrial machinery of dozens of paper and textile mills. Finally, the water was collected in a second lower canal and redirected back into the Connecticut River. Once power was secured, the development of the city was rapid. Textile mills began operation first, but they decreased in number as the Civil War cut off cotton supplies from the south. Paper mills dominated the industry and built Holyoke’s reputation as the “world’s largest supplier of fine rag paper” in the 1920s. During its peak industrial period, there were 60,000 immigrants—Irish, German, Polish, French Canadian and Italian—working in the cotton, woolen, silk and paper industries. Then as suddenly as the boom was created, a bust followed, draining the workforce from the city, leaving skeletal structures of old factories that can still be seen today. Holyoke is now home to a growing Puerto Rican community, and the citizens of Holyoke are attempting to rebuild the economic and cultural foundation of the city. Many of the Puerto Ricans
come from rural towns with extensive farming experience and ties to their homeland. They travel to the United States for employment as migrant farmers. Nuestras Raices, a grass-roots organization, promotes community and cultural development by: providing land so people can farm and sell produce; helping citizens start businesses like a bakery and a tropical fish store; encouraging youth involvement in community projects; and gathering neighbors together for weekend pig roasts. It is a dynamic time for Holyoke as its citizens work to rebuild it economically and regain its potential as a vibrant city with opportunity, culture, and improved quality of life. Holyoke’s history is in part directly influenced by geologic processes and partly influenced by circumstances unrelated to geology, and it’s important to explore those differences. Geological processes created the fertile floodplain soils of the ConHolyoke is now necticut River Valley and the opportunity to harhome to a growing ness hydropower, which Puerto Rican led to Holyoke’s mill and farming industries. Geolcommunity, and the ogy indirectly influenced citizens of Holyoke are who immigrated to Holyoke. The building of attempting to rebuild the dam required people the economic and cultural knowledgeable in stone masonry and willing to foundation of the city. move from their homeland, which happened to be the Irish at the time. The farming opportunities from the rich floodplains attracted skilled farmers from a wide variety of nationalities, including the Caribbean community. However, regional economic pressures led to the boom and bust nature of the mill industry and had nothing to do with the local geology. One can’t help but notice the similarity in the dramatic movement of water collecting and draining during glacial periods and the waves of immigrant communities that have come and gone from Holyoke. One wonders what will root and sustain the ties of newly arrived people and what will entice them to stay? Bibliography City of Holyoke—History Page: www.holyoke.org/history.htm Mann, Charles C. 2005. 1491. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Rittenour, Tammy Marie. Glacial Lake Hitchcock: www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/hitchcock.html Rittenour, Tammy Marie. Landforms: www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/landfms.html
con text 25
Student Work: Projects This year, the faculty invited a Conway alum, each practicing in his or her field, to review the students’ final projects from each term. Their extensive and thoughtful comments not only add to the real-life perspective of the students, but also help the faculty guide present and future students. Included here are excerpts from the perspectives of Kirsten Baringer ‘04 and Linda Leduc ’05. (At press time, David Lynch ‘85 had recently received the spring projects for review. We look forward to his comments and will share them when they become available.) We thank each of the reviewers for the considerable time and thought they gave to improve Conway students’ education.
Fa l l
FALL PROJECTS. Conway students begin their year working with area clients on their residential or residential-scale properties. Projects may involve siting a new house or developing a landscape plan, 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 fall 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.
inding positive examples in the students’ work, Kirsten Baringer, design associate at Walter Cudnohufsky Associates, encouraged students to rely more on graphics than words and to use graphics to tell the story of the property, its analysis, and the design solution. As she reflected on her own work as a student, she stressed the benefits of using bubble diagrams on top of analyses to ease the transition from analysis to design. In assessing the context of the projects, she said: “One wonderful thing about every project in the pack was a clear discussion at the beginning of the political, social, and ecological context for the project. They stressed, from the very beginning, the importance of connecting each project to the web of complex relationships it needs to function within.”
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.
inda Leduc, town planner in Palmer, Massachusetts, stressed the usefulness of the work that students did for towns and the usefulness of the process that students were learning. As a regular user of municipal plans, open space and recreation plans and the like, she reminded students to make them accessible and user friendly so that they don’t sit on a shelf gathering dust. She spoke highly of the way that students used graphics that speak for themselves with minimal text. She reminded students of the importance of documenting the public process as a means for ensuring that the report remains valid over time. She ended by saying “The projects are excellent. It is amazing to see how technology has advanced in just the last few years to assist in some great graphic accompaniment. However, color sells, but content keeps the reader/user coming back for more. I think the communities/regions for whom these documents have been created will utilize them with great success for years to come.”
One of the featured winter projects (p. 29) was supported on a matching basis with the client, Adirondack Council, by part of the generous FY ‘07 gift from Bill Gundermann designated for enabling a Conway student planning project (see fall 2007 con’text, p. 33). Once again, Bill, thank you very much! This year, for the first time ever, Conway students and faculty submitted entries to the American Society of Landscape Architects Student Awards competition. The two projects submitted were People in the Park: A Toolkit for Fostering Vibrant Adirondack Communities (Kevin Adams, Elizabeth Kushner, Catherine Pedemonti, and Dillon Sussman) and A Case for Green Infrastructure in Cauquenes, Chile (Jesse Froehlich, Pamela Hurtado, and Seth Pearsoll).
Goldfinch, Liz Kushner ‘08
SPRING PROJECTS. Conway 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.
26 con text
avid Lynch ’85, a Conway advisor, is senior study manager, Division of Capital Assets, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston. During the spring term, he co-led a charrette for the class of 2008 at Worcester State College and he is currently reviewing the spring projects. We look forward to his forthcoming comments on the 2008 spring projects.
Student Projects 2007–2008: Fall
Cultivating Caribbean Culture on the Connecticut La Finca-Nuestras Raices Farm, Holyoke, Massachusetts Designer: Dillon Sussman Dillon Sussman ‘08
Blending Agriculture and Agrotourism La Finca is a community-based farm.
La Finca is a working farm, an agrotourism destination, and a focal point for the expression of Caribbean Hispanic culture in Western Massachusetts. Its thirty acres on the Connecticut River are bisected by an intermittent stream flowing through a gully. Nuestras Raices, the grassroots organization that manages La Finca, leases the southern twenty-six acres from the Sisters of Providence for large-scale agricultural production. Nuestras Raices owns the northern four acres. They are the public face of the site, where visitors shop for vegetables, visit the petting zoo and attend festivals featuring music, Paso Fino horse demonstrations and lechon asado—traditional Puerto Rican barbecue. Nuestras Raices would like to develop permanent infrastructure that will enable the farm to meet its agricultural and agrotourism goals. Two permanent buildings are already in place—a barn and a treehouse/stage. They would like to add a large greenhouse, a store, a restaurant, and on-site parking. Nuestras Raices is particularly involved with the Caribbean Hispanic population of Holyoke. Many Caribbean Hispanic immigrants in Holyoke came to the U.S. as migrant farmers. Nuestras Raices provides opportunities for them to connect to their agricultural past while putting down roots in their new home. La Finca, then, can be seen as a home away from home. Urban Farm La Finca is an island of rich agricultural land in an urban matrix. It is a rare resource for growing food, supplying wildlife habitat, and providing open space for people. In the final plan, six alternative designs for the longterm future of the site explore the relative merits and potential challenges of maintaining working farm plots in a sensitive floodplain; siting buildings and parking without diminishing prime farmland; and efficiently managing the movement of visitors, farmers, and work vehicles across the land. The design also presents a near-term action plan suggesting relatively inexpensive improvements that will not limit future possibilities or have long-term negative effects on the farm’s agricultural capacity. It proposes
Near-term action plan suggesting relatively inexpensive improvements that will not have long-term negative effects on the farm’s agricultural capacity
the rehabilitation of soils in the current parking lot and the creation of a new lot using already degraded land at the site’s entrance. A vegetative buffer between the petting zoo and intermittent stream filters manure runoff. A greenhouse, store, lechon asado, and dining tent are configured to create a plaza and gathering space for staff. The youth garden is moved to the farm’s entrance, which highlights the role of young people in the community. The long-term alternative designs and near-term action plan reflect the community’s cultural heritage and meet the needs of the environment, commerce, and agriculture while creating flexible spaces for both large and intimate social interactions.
con text 27
Student Projects 2007–2008: Fall
The G-Street Center Gardens the Community Turners Falls, Massachusetts | Designer: Kevin Adams
G-Street Parent-Child Development Center Young students at the G-Street Parent-Child 1. Permaculture Development Center (PCDC), a nonprofit Community Garden Concept organization in the Patch community of The tesselation of the property’s back pine edge has been imitated Turners Falls, Massachusetts, along with in the garden as traditional beds their parents and community members, are mixed with forest gardens that will soon be able to eat food grown in take advantage of the nitrogentheir very own garden. The five-and-under fixing black locust currently colonizing the old field on children who participate in PCDC’s Head the site. Start and Early Head Start Community Action programs will learn about gardening, composting, healthy eating choices, and insects and wildlife in a garden on site that they helped to build. PCDC asked Conway for a plan that would use the site to provide outdoor class2. Weekend room and garden space that could be integratFarmers Market Concept ed into the curriculum, promote healthy eating A farmers market would not only connect the G-Street choices and lifestyles, and connect gardening to Center with fresh, local food the larger natural and cultural environment of but also bring food directly the center. They also hoped to use the changes on to a neighborhood with site as demonstrated food needs. Several ten-by-ten-foot stalls an opportunity to build local community. could be placed around the The design proposal includes a range of circular drive that wraps around elements that can be added one at a time as the school building. resources become available. Suggestions include ways to tie the project to the community—and the center acted quickly to get started! In May, students, Two of several concepts for the site parents, and community volunteers set to work building a thirteen-by-eight-foot raised keyhole vegetable bed together. Among the volunteers were Kate Kerivan ’84, a volunteer on PCDC’s gardening committee, and Patch residents Dave Jacke ’84 and Tom Sullivan ’08. PCDC plans to implement other elements of Kevin’s plan “Kevin provided us incrementally, including a compost bin, to which students can with opportunities add breakfast and lunch scraps to, and edible landscape elements, including blueberry and gooseberry bushes, as well as that we would an assortment of fruit trees. “Kevin provided us with opportunities that we would never never have thought of have thought of on our own,” said Marianne Bouthilette, on our own.” education site supervisor for the G-Street Preschool. “We can start small and then build each year to hopefully complete the design.”
28 con text
Student Projects 2007–2008: Winter
People in the Park Adirondack Park, New York Designers: Kevin Adams, Liz Kushner, Catherine Pedemonti, Dillon Sussman
A Toolkit for Building Vibrant Communities in the Adirondacks The Adirondack Park, located in northern New York State, is a unique region of international importance. In addition to being the largest protected area in the contiguous United States, the park is home to approximately one hundred thirty full-time residents. This particular mix of humans and wilderness, private and public land, is a model that has been studied and applied worldwide. Working with Common Ground Alliance, an organization of local leaders representing historically antagonistic constituencies, the Conway team produced a document that reframes the long-standing economy vs. environment antagonism by proposing a view of economy that improves quality of life by building upon natural capital, built capital, human capital, and social capital. The document identifies the Adirondacks’ assets (in each of the four categories of capital) and illustrates place-based “tools” for sustainable community development. When possible, the “tools” are complemented by case studies of positive activities taking place in the Adirondacks or similar regions. Among its many helpful strategies, such as wild-
Transect 1: Forest Preserve Form: No human structures
Transect 2: Managed Forest (includes working forests)
Form: Roads pass through or access natural assets Use: Purely educational, but few structures are spiritual and environmental allowed
Assembling the pieces of sustainability one-by-one
life underpasses and overpasses, agroforestry, urban infill, and the preservation and development of traditional towns, the toolkit introduces the idea from new urbanism of applying transects, a typically ecological analysis, to the human habitat as a basis for replacing twentieth-century zoning codes. Rather than focusing on urban areas only, however, the team tailors the concept to the Adirondack region by proposing five ideal categories: Forest Preserve, Managed Forest, Homesteads, Villages and Neighborhoods, and Town Centers.
Transect 3: Homesteads (includes working farms)
Transect 4: Villages & Neighborhoods
Form: Road networks, natural landscapes, and less concentrated settlement existing together
Form: Smaller less densely developed than towns, but more concentrated than homesteads
Use: Small farms, permaculture, etc.
Transect 5: Town Centers Form: Largest, most densely developed places Use: Large service and employment centers
Use: Mostly residential developments with small service centers
con text 29
Student Projects 2007–2008: Winter
A Case for Green Infrastructure Cauquenes, Chile Designers: Jesse Froehlich, Pamela Hurtado, Seth Pearsoll
Natural Resources as a Foundation for a Sustainable Economy and Healthy Community Cauquenes is a province in southcentral Chile with an arid, mediterranean climate. Agriculture and forestry are the primary economic activities in the region. This project was funded by La Fundación ProCauquenes, a foundation made up of four Cauquenes companies, who desire to foster stewardship of Cauquenes’ vital land resources to ensure long-term land productivity and community vitality in the face of economic hardships and an uncertain climatic future. Conway students prepared a handbook for Cauquenes, designed to introduce the community and local leaders to green infrastructure as a key concept for ensuring ongoing vitality of Cauquenes’ land, economy, and community. Green infrastructure refers to networks of natural resources— both as they occur in nature and as they are designed and managed by humans—that maintain and promote ecological health. The handbook includes recommendations for landowners on how to design elements of green infrastructure on site, as well as guidelines for designing community and regional-scale greenway networks as a way to apply green infrastructure on a larger scale.
30 con text
Vegetated infiltration basins, planted depressions in the ground, collect water and allow it to percolate into the ground while nourishing the plants it contains. As shown, pooled water from these basins can be piped directly to the root systems of other trees, shrubs, and crops on the site.
Featured ecosystems of Cauquenes and example services they provide: A. Marine Food ■■Climate regulation ■■Recreation ■■Nutrient cycling ■■
B. Coastal Food ■■Timber ■■Recreation ■■Storm/wave protection ■■Aesthetic value ■■
C. Forest Fuel ■■Timber ■■Fresh water ■■Carbon sequestration ■■Local climate regulation ■■Food ■■Wildlife habitat ■■Aesthetic value ■■Recreation ■■Flood mitigation ■■
D. Inland Fresh Water Wildlife habitat ■■Flood mitigation ■■Sediment retention ■■Erosion control ■■Recreation ■■Irrigation ■■Municipal water supply ■■
E. Cultivated Food ■■Fresh water ■■Wine ■■Timber ■■Pest regulation ■■Fuels ■■Nutrient cycling ■■Heritage ■■
F. Urban (Parks) Tourism Aesthetic value ■■Recreation ■■Education ■■Water filtration ■■ ■■
Student Projects 2007–2008: Spring
Springfield Museums Landscape Master Plan Designers: Liz Kushner, Theresa Sprague Located in the heart of the city, the Springfield Museums’ campus encompasses four cultural centers: the Museum of Fine Arts, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, and the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. The grounds are also home to the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden, an array of life-sized, bronze statues modeled after the author’s fanciful characters, serving as a memorial to the late creator in his birthplace. With careful design, the museums have the opportunity to make connections out into the community, thus affecting change on a greater scale. The Conway-proposed museum park’s design maintains the strength of the landscape’s existing open green space, while providing shady spaces for strolling and casual encounters. Gardens offer changing colors and patterns throughout the seasons, reminiscent of picturesque landscape paintings, while use of native vegetation celebrates the natural history of the area. Pedestrian paths welcome people from the neighborhood into the park for regular exercise, misting fountains and play spaces in the Yertle the Turtle Garden invite children and parents to play together, and a future café on the quad patio provides opportunities for museums’ visitors and local business people to enjoy socializing over a light lunch. Transitions through enhanced street plantings and enriched pavement at the entrance act as cues to visitors that they are entering someplace special. Moving vegetation from inside to outside the park delineates the museums’ campus as a distinct place.
Sketch of proposed walkway and butterfly garden
Section of proposed outward garden plaza and quad
con text 31
Other Community Projects 2007–2008 Winter Projects
Open Space and Recreation Plan, Ashburnham, Mass.
Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity House Siting Plan, Northampton, Mass.
Douglas Guey-Lee, Elizabeth Hammen, Adrian Lane
Open Space and Recreation Plan Update, Bernardston, Mass.
Acquired by the state to prevent future development, most of this fourteenacre wooded parcel, located in Easthampton and abutting the Mount Tom State Reservation, will be put into conservation. Within the limitations of wetland buffers and zoning, the proposed site for a low-income, two-family home takes advantage of solar gain and suits the vernacular of neighboring homes. A green edge frames the house while creating a transitional area between public and private spaces.
Amy Livingston, Theresa Sprague, Tom Sullivan
Amherst Landfill: Envisioning Reuse, Amherst, Mass.
Residents of Bernardston responded enthusiastically to the public meetings and surveys that shaped this OSRP update, which calls for a citizen-inspired Revised Master Plan for the Town of Bernardston. The OSRP assesses the needs and sets goals for protecting Bernardston’s scenic byways, ridgelines, cultural and natural resources, pristine aquifer, farm, forest, and recreation land, and wildlife preserves while also making sound planning possible for housing and industrial development.
Kevin Adams, Sarah Bray
Conway School of Landscape Design Green Team, Conway, Mass.
Jesse Froehlich, Amy Livingston
Lakes that once powered the milling industry in Ashburnham now harbor many of Massachusetts’ rare or endangered species. Surveys show that residents and the town value these and other resources. This five-year action plan outlines steps to funding and managing land acquisition, encouraging environmental stewardship and community involvement, and understanding the town’s needs or demands on its open space.
Sarah Bray, Katja Patchowsky, Joey Weidle
See article on page 4.
Interweaving multiple functions, the plan for this patchwork of constraints and opportunities includes a snow dump, compost, vehicle storage areas, and a new green headquarters for the DPW; many community functions from soccer fields, nature trails, a running track, a dog park, a sculpture garden, and a site for community partnering; and habitat areas set aside for wildlife. Bloody Brook Farm Master Plan, Deerfield, Mass.
As the owners transition their land from a traditional farm to organic vegetable production, they want it to be sustainable, energy efficient, and integrated into the community. The final design incorporates renewable energy sources and divides arable land into organic vegetable fields and livestock grazing areas. A retention pond provides irrigation and protects fields from flooding. Public and private areas and wildlife corridors are accommodated. Beaver Dam Sanctuary Master Plan, Bedford, N.Y. Elizabeth Hammen, Pamela Hurtado
Mountain Laurel Branch, Joseph Weidle ‘08
32 con text
The plan for this 171-acre site in Westchester County proposes trail management; recommends controlling stormwater, erosion, and invasive species; and advises the reestablishment of the understory vegetation. Bioregional planning and collaboration is recommended for the effective improvement of diversity and habitats and the control of invasive vegetation and overgrazing by deer.
Strawbridge Condominiums, South Windsor, Conn. Kathleen McCormick, Catherine Pedemonti, Tom Sullivan
In the final design for this 62-acre, 258-unit complex, three public spaces concentrate community activity in well-defined areas that are linked by paths and connect with natural areas at the property’s perimeter. New paving and natural drainage systems, as well as privacy and low-maintenance plantings, make drives and parking areas more attractive. Mill Pond Road becomes a tree-lined, residential street where vehicles move slowly and residents can stroll. Riverview Park Master Plan, Lowell, Mass. Dillon Sussman, Andrew Weir
The proposal for this narrow, ecologically degraded, 4.5-acre site with a reputation for danger on the Merrimack River includes plazas with dramatic views, on-site parking, a sculpture play area, a small woodland with trails, riverside paths, lighting, and a dog park. It meets community, needs, addresses safety concerns, and still has room for a small nature area. The Polly Wakefield Estate Master Plan, Wakefield, Mass. Douglas Guey-Lee, Michael Lance, Joseph Weidle
Incorporating the site’s resources and context in the community, the plan recommends sustainable approaches for a tree nursery for arboricultural training and explores locations for indoor and outdoor classrooms, a parking lot, and a potential greenhouse. It includes trail connections within the estate and links to the Blue Hills Reservation, and best management practices for composting, pest and animal control, signage, way-finding, and wetland management. Linden Hill Master Plan, Northfield, Mass. Adrian Laine, Seth Pearsoll
To provide support for boys with language based learning disabilities this boarding school sought a plan that would be cohesive, attractive, pedestrian friendly, safe, readable, and engaging for students and staff. The design separates vehicles and pedestrians, provides organized and informal recreational opportunities, improves the profile of the campus, increases habitat, and reduces maintenance.
News from Alums Let us hear from you! 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 winter 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, get in touch with Kim Klein, director of development and alumni Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 369-4044 ext 3.
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 Conway alums are prominently featured can be found at csld.edu. If your site is not listed there, we encourage you to contact the webmaster for inclusion. Links about alums in the news are also included on the Conway site and are referenced in this section of con’text. 1973
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Mark Bethel and his development and construction company, Arcadia Properties, Inc., recently began Byers Place, a 19-home residential project in central Denver. Mark spent two years planning the project and working with the City’s Community Development Agency to adjust Denver’s Zoning Ordinance to accommodate the project of smaller, high finish, LEED-designated houses. 1974
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Karen Leveille is in her twenty-fourth year at HAP, a regional housing agency in Springfield, MA, where she is its real estate officer. Her current projects include “a sweet 26-unit multifamily development in Amherst where I hope to begin construction shortly, despite persistent NIMBY opposition, and redevelopment of a mill in Easthampton, where my grandfather once worked. My oldest daughter graduated from Bard College this year, and my youngest begins her second year at Beloit in Wisconsin this fall. After 30 years, Tim and I are divorcing; I now live in a little bungalow in Florence where I garden like crazy and paint watercolors.” n In March of this year, Floyd Allen
Thompson III conducted a USDA
Forest Service International Programs consultation with the Chilean National Forestry Service (CONAF) on ecotourism and public use areas management best practices. This summer, he was also a private consultant for an international summit on sustainable tourism development with Columbia University’s Center for US-China Arts Exchange in the northwest Yunnan Province of China (Dalai Lake and Gaoligong Mountain Biosphere Reserves). One result of this work was that on July 8, a Memorandum of Agreement between National Geographic and four federal lands agencies (including the US Forest Service), adopting geotourism principles for sustainable development of federal-related destinations, was signed in Washington DC. 1975
Class Agent: Betsy Corner (email@example.com) Betsy Corner has been working as a mediator and is still on the community land trust land, gardening, living again in an intentional community (early assisted living!), and, of course, trying with many others to prevent the re-licensing of the Vernon, VT, reactor. And she enjoys the occasional opportunity to design. 1976
Class Agent: Kathleen Knisely (firstname.lastname@example.org) David Cox is finishing his role in the Recycling Ag Plastics Project (implementation of a NYS wide infrastructure) before moving on to a new position as ag team leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Schoharie County (Central NY). n Andrea Morgante recently completed a 627-acre conservation project in Hinesburg, VT, protecting habitat for the Indiana bat, 5 miles of river and streams, wetlands, forest, and 150 acres
of prime farmland. Andrea received the US EPA Individual Environmental Merit Award and was nominated for the 2008 Trust for Public Land Annette and Kingsbury Browne Conservation Volunteer of Year. The person who nominated Andrea for the EPA Individual Environmental Merit Award wrote, “Andrea symbolizes what an individual environmental steward is capable of achieving.” 1977
Class Agent: David Paine Tom Long reports from Laurel, MD, that “the 30 years that have passed since leaving CSLD have been an interesting journey away from landscape architecture, but still in the world of design.” He says that in his position as principal designer at Apple Designs, an environmental graphic design firm, “I may not be using plant material or hardscape materials to create places or a sense of place, but I am clarifying the built environment by applying design skills to two- and three-dimensional graphic elements.” 1978
Class Agent: Susanna Adams (email@example.com) 1979
Class Agent: Lila Fendrick 1980
Class Agent: Byrne Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) 1981
Class Agent: Elizabeth French Fribush (email@example.com) 1982
Class Agents: Suzanne Barclay (firstname.lastname@example.org), Susan Van Buren (email@example.com) “As of August 2007,” reports John Hamilton, “I have been working for the City of Vista’s Community Development Department (in CA) as a senior environmental planner. I have also taken and passed the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) exam in November of 2007, and will be a presenter in the San Diego American Planning Association Section’s AICP Exam Prep series of workshops in Spring ’09.” 1983
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? J. Barry Frankenfield, ASLA, design and development administrator for the
con text 33
News from Alums
Conway ’76ers Visit School and Walt by Kathleen Hogan Knisely ’76
City of Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation has been elected to fellowship in the ASLA, which recognizes members for their extraordinary work, leadership, knowledge, and service to the profession over a sustained period of time. He will be formally inducted into the council at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in October. n Erik van Lennep reports from Dublin, Ireland, that his new design consultancy TEPUI is “a
34 con text
woods outdoors. “It even smells the same,” remarked David Evans, appreciating the lingering sweet aroma from wood stoves. After meeting on the Conway school campus, the group was welcomed by Walt and Susan Cudnohufsky at their beautiful Ashfield home, with a tour of the outstanding gardens and Walt’s office studio in the refurbished barn next door. A potluck dinner, including delicious lasagna catered by Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, brought the group indoors where lively reminiscences and tales of current events were traded. A common theme emerged as many shared the sense that it was a season of shifting activities, less concerned with career building and more focus on meaningful and fulfilling work. Events of natural wonder punctuated the evening. A double rainbow arched across the field from Walt’s dining room delighting all, especially David Evans who rarely enjoys the sight of rainbows in his West Coast location. Later, an exquisite night-blooming cereus in the home announced its rare blossom with an intoxicating fragrance, opening for just that single midsummer’s night before closing forever by morning sun. It was a fitting event for a rare evening of old classmates, who closed the evening with resolve to stay connected to each other, and with a renewed connection to the Conway School. As David Cox put it, “It was a real treat to see everyone after so many years and to see the new school. We’ll be back!!”
Paul Cawood Hellmund
What is it about Conway people—always an alternate approach to projects? The class of 1976 held their first ever class reunion thirty-two years after graduation, not a typically celebrated anniversary year. The seed was planted during the spring alumni phonathon, when calls to classmates spread the word about David Evans coming east to Conway from his Oakland, California, home in August to give a two-day workshop, “The Dynamic Planning Process” presented in conjunction with the New England Wild Flower Society and Highland Communities Initiatives of the Trustees of Reservation. David Cox saw the opportunity to pull the class together around the event and sparked the energies of Kathleen Hogan Knisely to organize a reunion. The two were able to contact all twelve classmates in a flurry of phone calls and emails. With the support of Nancy Braxton, they pulled together a program including David Evans’ workshop, a tour of the school facilities, and a video presentation with Conway Director Paul Cawood Hellmund. The roster of reunion attendees included: Arthur Bartenstein (Lexington, Virginia), David Cox (South Worcester, New York), David Evans (Oakland, California), Kathleen Hogan Knisely (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Kathleen Lowry (Conway, Massachusetts), Andrea Morgante (Hinesburg, Vermont), and Gary Robinson (Lambertville, New Jersey). The class was joined by Sterling Hubbard ’75 of Conway, Massachusetts who had the good sense to marry Kathleen Lowry in 1985. “I might have felt more self-conscious at a reunion after only five or ten years,” mused Andrea Morgante, “A little more aware of comparing achievements. This is so relaxed, picking up with old friends like we were just together yesterday.” Kathleen Hogan Knisely agreed, “It’s about sharing all of our remarkable stories.” First time visitors to the “new” campus were amazed by how much the school felt like the old studios in the Delabarre Avenue barn, with the clustered drafting tables under beamed ceilings and the immediacy of
Some of those at the reunion: David Evans, David Cox, Andrea Morgante, Kathleen Lowry, Arthur Bartenstein, Kathleen Hogan Knisely
‘Fourth Sector’ or ‘For Benefit’ company seeking to provide community scale solutions to climate change impacts. We are set up as an international collaborative, and especially excited about developing and promoting so-called ‘living technologies,’ the forefront of the sustainable technologies. I am excited (and sometimes daunted) by the challenges facing us as a society, planet, and new company. I would love to hear from others with
a mind towards collaboration on R&D, project development, products and processes that fit the picture, offers of help, partnership, funding leads . . . the works! So far, we are just about finished with our first contract: drafting policy to include in Dublin Ireland’s city development plan . . . which will require all new development to include green roofs as a storm water strategy, support for biodiversity, and provision of open space.”
News from Alums
Class Agent: Kathleen Kerivan (Kathleen_Kerivan@antiochne.edu) Kate Kerivan writes: “I have started Bug Hill Berry and Flower Farm in Ashfield, MA, making berry products (my black currant cordial and elderflower presse are big hits) selling them at the Ashfield Farmer’s Market with plans to expand via a greenhouse. People might get a kick out of knowing I am doing all this across the street from Walt Cudnohufsky, who is a great neighbor. I will also be teaching with Walt and Chuck Schnell ‘01 at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens in Stockbridge this winter (a certificate course in landscape design), and am writing regularly for the Ashfield News. Last winter, I went with a western Massachusetts U.C.C. delegation to Nicaragua to learn about cooperative farms, and micro loan programs specifically for women.” 1985
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Michael Thornton sends his report from abroad: “It’s July 4 and I’m taking summer classes at Exeter College at the University of Oxford. I was awarded a fellowship by the English Speaking Union to study English Literature. My seminars focus on Romantic Poetry and Contemporary Literature. Many of you know that I regularly retired at night, during my Conway stay, to read Steinbeck or Dostoevsky. Conway alums may know that I became a high school English teacher about ten years ago, after volunteering to teach students about landscape design. I currently teach at a magnet school associated with Denver Public Schools, the Denver School of the Arts. Three years ago I was recognized as one of the outstanding teachers in the district. I love teaching, but still think design and occasionally plant my thoughts around the yard. For those of you who met my wife during my study at Conway, Donna continues to run her corporate empire (read a successful cottage industry) making Altieri bags for musicians around the world. Dexter, who was five when he spent a sabbatical week with the students of Conway, designs modernist furniture after having graduated from the Pratt Institute. His company is Doublebutter, and you can find that on the web. Best wishes to all my former classmates—it’s always a pleasure to hear what you are
doing, so I thought it might be nice to catch you up.” 1986
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Donna Eldridge reports from Lafayette, CA, “After 15 years together, Bob Cleaver and I finally tied the knot on April Fool’s Day (of course!) in Las Vegas. This changes nothing but our tax rate, ugh. Girls, Maddy, 12, and Eliza, 10, are keeping me busy. Our design business continues to thrive and life in California is great. We still collaborate with Shari Bashin-Sullivan ’84 and had a great time seeing alums at her house when Paul Hellmund et al were here.” n Peter Monro writes, “I have a settled life in downtown Portland, ME. I bike or walk to work most days, where I continue to research and write about walkway design with my colleague and former employee Theresa Mattor, who’s completing her book on Maine’s historic, designed landscapes (Downeast Publishing, Fall 2009). I enjoyed teaching a brief seminar on path networks at Conway in May. Jill continues her graphic design business, mostly for state and national environmental groups.” 1987
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Tim Brooks writes from Portland, OR, “Just back from the Rogue River, Oregon’s premier whitewater rafting area, doing some ‘riparian assessment’ or so I like to say. Recently traveled to Colombia, in part to check out Ciclovia, where Bogota closes 70 miles of streets every Sunday and 1.8 million people come out to recreate on bike or foot. Pretty cool stuff. Portland just had its first event and it was a huge success. Portland is growing fast and business is great. I presented a paper at the International Federation for Housing and Planning conference in Copenhagen, and was able to mix in some Danish jokes. (See article about Tim on p. 5). Off to visit Jean Pierre Marcoux ’86 and do our biennial Canada Trip next month . . . Montreal, Quebec, etc. Does anybody remember the Canada Trip?” 1988
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Helen Anzuoni’s landscape architecture firm, Anzuoni Landscape
Kelly Stevenson ‘88 with a welwitschia plant in the Namibian desert
Architecture, opened in June in Tahoe City, CA. n Kelly Stevenson writes from Bangladesh, where he started working for Save the Children about a year ago, “Given there are 150 million people here (in a state the size of Wisconsin), you can imagine that landscape use/design is at a premium. Overall, fascinating place.” Since graduating from Conway, Kelly has also worked in Armenia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Sierra Leone on projects that “have cut across the spectrum of topics and sectors. The CSLD education was an ideal grounding. The focus on understanding context, training in critical analysis, working with clients, working in teams, and the presentation skills have all been critical to the work I have done.” n Ginny Raub continues her work as secretary for the Exeter Conservation Commission. “Although our rulings/decisions are recommendations only to the various town boards and the NH Department of Environmental Services before any applicable permits are granted,” she says, “we take our assignment very seriously and thoroughly. I am learning a lot about stormwater runoff and impervious and porous surfaces.” 1989
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Jim Urban writes, “For the last three years I have been a single father to a wonderful, now 9-year-old daughter (91/2 actually because every day counts at this age). Emily is delightful and a true blessing from God. My stepsons are now 21 (Stephen) and 17 (Christian). Stephen is pretty much on his own and is about to finish his last year of studies in elementary education. He strongly desires to teach K–2 grades and I am sure Emily is the inspiration for this decision. Christian is currently in Europe with the University of Louisville School of Music Ambassadors Program. He is quite the musician and
con text 35
I am his roadie and favorite fan. In January of this year, I returned to work for the City of Jeffersonville, IN as the director of planning & development and will soon assume the responsibilities of deputy mayor. As a Midwestern city of 30,000 in the Louisville, KY Metro area, we face significant growth challenges. EPA stormwater and wastewater discharge standards are at the top of our list. At a time when most of the country is in an economic slump, we are seeing significant industrial and commercial activity. We have an army facility that was decommissioned and is now in our hands. Opportunities and challenges abound. Not much reading between the lines . . . life is great here in Kentuckiana. Joy and love to all of you. Please contact me if you can.” 1990
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? 1991
Class Agent: Annette Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org) Maryellen Sullivan continues to work on residential and community landscape design projects from her business in Dorchester: Rosewood Landscape Design. “I am very involved in my daughter Emma’s and my son Walker’s respective schools and their choir, Boston City Singers,” she reports. “My husband, Chris Douglass, is about to open his third restaurant, Tavolo. It is in a newly constructed, transit-oriented development in Dorchester.” 1992
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Brian Dobyns has been busy over the last nine years “raising two boys, keeping up the home, and working on the local planning board. I recently restarted Piedmont Planning, a conservation land planning company that works with landowners seeking to implement conservation options for rural landscapes.” 1993
Class Agent: Amy Craig (email@example.com) 1994
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Melissa Mourkas reports from Sacramento, CA, that after several years working in the Historic Preservation
36 con text
Office of the City of Sacramento, she has returned to private landscape architecture practice. She is now qualified as a historical landscape architect. Expanding her practice to include commercial work, Melissa has also focused increasingly on teaching. Most recently she team-taught a 21/2 day workshop on “Getting the Lay of the Land— Creating Topo Maps for Landscape Design” at the California School of Garden Design. n Martha Davenport Peterson reports, “My residential design work continues as well as pro bono work on a grant-funded tidal estuary improvement project. Neil and I are also raising an adolescent—our 8-month-old standard poodle, Bouclé.” 1995
Class Agent: Art Collings 1996
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? 1997
Class Agent: Susan Crimmins (firstname.lastname@example.org) Susan Crimmins has “been working with Sean Gaffney (‘04) on the City of Northampton redesign of Pulaski Park. We will be presenting in September to the city and the public along with the other three teams that have donated schemes to Pulaski Park redesign. Pulaski Park is Northampton’s last bit of “Central Park” donated to the city over 100 years ago. Now it is slated to become the entry way to the new Hilton Garden in the center of downtown. Stay tuned for results in the fall after they break ground for the hotel.” 1998
Class Agent: Matthew Arnsberger (email@example.com) Brian Higgins has organized a chapter of Green Drinks in Greensboro, NC, where he is tourism project manager for the Dan River Basin Association. n Jim and Christine McGrath (’97)
still reside in the beautiful Berkshires (Pittsfield, MA) with sons Ian and Kyle. Jim continues to work with the Pittsfield park system, though now he’s doing it out of the city’s community development office as the park, open space and natural resources program manager. Christine continues to practice landscape design while working part-time in the Design and Engineering Department for Unistress Corporation in Pittsfield.
Priscilla Miner ‘07
News from Alums
Ginny Sullivan ’86 and workshop instructor Cindy Tavernise ’99 discuss watercolors during the Summer Landscape Institute.
Class Agent: Cindy Tavernise (firstname.lastname@example.org) “After a nine-month stint as executive director at the New Canaan Nature Center,” Ben Hren writes, “I will be re-joining my wife in London and reconnecting with the Sustainable Schools movement in England, which I helped launch in 2006. I will be designing and teaching a two-year International Baccalaureate course called ‘Environment and Society’ at ACS International School and serving as the school’s Sustainability Coordinator.” 2000
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? Anne Capra lives North Hatfield, MA, and is “working at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in West Springfield, MA as an environmental planner focused on water-quality related issues and brownfields assessment and cleanup. I became AICP certified in November 2007.” She recently visited Conway to help out at an Information Session for prospective students. 2001
Class Agents: Chuck Schnell (email@example.com), Robin Simmen (firstname.lastname@example.org) Aaron Schlechter, Conway trustee, passed the Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) exam on his first attempt in July. “It was quite difficult,” he reports, “and I am happy to not ever have to take it again. Currently, my primary project has me back on the Staten Island Bluebelt in the Sweet Brook watershed working on the largest (quantified by dollar amount) infrastructure project in NYC DEP history ($34,000,000). The project was visited by Mayor
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? William Joyce writes from Santa Barbara, CA, “I am officially a licensed landscape architect! I finally passed all the exams and have received my stamp and ink pad ready for use! I’ve been stamping all my friends and all the white walls in my house with it so far. Soon I will put it to good use! I’m very relieved to have gotten through that gauntlet and am ready for the next challenge (maybe a contractor’s license or starting a business, sky’s the limit).” His wife Nicholem will soon be finishing her PhD. Bill is currently landscape architect at Isabelle Greene and Associates in Santa Barbara. n Selina Wood Rossiter gave birth to Eloise Allen Colhoun on Friday, July 18. Selina’s husband Sandy writes, “With sumptuous dark hair she certainly does not take after her father. A perfect 6 pounds 7 ounces and 19 inches long, she is in excellent health along with Mom. Sandy coached Selina from start to finish, shed a few tears when Ellie finally belted out her first cry, and has been snapping pictures ever since.” (Congratulations to trustee and grandfather Al Rossiter!)
Selina Wood Rossiter ’02 with daughter Eloise Allen Colhoun
Madeleine Charney ’03 under the huppah
Portland, Oregon class of ‘04 gathering: James Allison, Carrie Allison, Crystal Hitchings, Lupin Hill, Jean Akers (former Conway professor), Bethany Atkins, Tim Atkins
Class Agent: Lauren Wheeler Madeleine Charney writes from Granby, MA, “I am now married to Rudy Perkins. Our amazing son Eli was born February 23, 2008.” n Andrew Dean Robertson and his wife Jennifer have moved to Boston from Colorado, where Andrew is now working with Shadley Associates, a landscape architecture design firm. “I am currently working on Westwood Station, which is part of the USGBC LEED-Neighborhood Development pilot program. I look forward to reconnecting with CSLD alums.” n Sam Thonet and his partner Ruth welcomed daughter Juliette Bayley Thonet on July 21. Sam is a member of the Green Schools Initiative at the school where he teaches kindergarten and first grade; he is working to create a certified school yard habitat that students can use as an outdoor laboratory or classroom. “It’s a very exciting initiative and I couldn’t have been as effective and useful without my Conway training and experiences.” 2004
No class agent yet— would you like to volunteer? James Allison recently visited Conway with his wife Carrie. James and Carrie were married on September 8, 2007 and live in Portland, OR, where James works for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. n Josh Clague and his wife “are enjoying our second year of parenthood and all of the joys and challenges that come with it. I also began a new job with the New York State Department of Conservation as a natural resources planner, focusing on park-wide planning issues on state land within the Adirondack and Catskill Parks.” n Lupin Hill reports from Portland, OR, “A group of west coast alums and one east coast alum had a nice visit last weekend. Bethany Atkins
was in town with her husband, Tim, and so we got together for a backyard barbeque at my house. James Allison and his wife Carrie, Crystal Hitchings (who is working as a city planner in Portland, OR), Jean Akers (former faculty), and I were all there. It was great to see everyone and catch up. We ate off the grill and from the garden and made plans to go kayaking this summer. We are all busy doing important work and living the good life. (See photo.) My fiancé, Rich, took the picture.” n Robin MacEwan reports, “Fritha and I have moved back east and are fixing up our new home on the outskirts of Northampton. I have recently accepted a new position of environmental project manager with Stantec Consulting Services. (The 12-minute walk to work sure beats the 1-hour Seattle commute!)” 2005
Class Agents: Linda Leduc (email@example.com), Sandy Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org) Nick Lasoff, Conway trustee, writes from Bennington, VT, that he is still doing mostly residential work, “but have also been doing some designs and plans for the Town of Bennington, where I was recently named to the Planning Commission. My Conway education will surely help as we approach the next iteration of the Town Plan! Still singing and am improving my drawing skills with some pastel classes. Using Vectorworks these days, but drawing by hand is still much more enjoyable.” n Todd Lynch and his wife Janet report that “Sylvia Nyssa Lynch came into our lives at 8:20 pm on Wednesday July 2 at home, as planned.
Todd Lynch ’05 and Janet Bertucci with Sylvia Nyssa Lynch
Bloomberg last fall and covered by the TV networks. His site tour was canceled due to rain. and instead we had a press conference where most of the questions were about former Mayor Giuliani’s presidential aspirations. I am still with Creative Habitat Corp. and we won the bid for oversight of ecological restoration of the Brookfield Landfill. Last year, I completed the Central Dutchess Water Transmission Line (13 mile-long 24” water), 11 miles of which will become a rail trail in the next phase of work. I completed a salt marsh at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck, NY that received a visit from Senator Clinton in April, 2007. In transportation news, I am trying to convert a pet car to EV as vegetable oil is in great demand these days.”
News from Alums
con text 37
We are happy, healthy and blessed to be enjoying this time together.” n Kristin Nelson reports from East Aurora, NY, “I have continued my volunteer work with the Western New York Land Conservancy since graduating in 2005, and at this year’s annual meeting was honored with the volunteer of the year award! The experience has kept me in touch with amazingly dedicated people who want to prevent unnecessary development from destroying our environment. I also began working with Martyn Printing and Design which produces much of the communications from the Land Conservancy—it’s not landscape design or working with plants, but it is about communication and reaching people about what is important. The past year has been about my father’s passing, my daughter’s wedding, finding a job, selling my father’s ten acres to a responsible and ecological buyer, buying an acre of designated wetland in town to protect it from destruction, and helping put together an Open Space Plan for the Town of Aurora. My best to you all!” n Del Orloske writes from Norwalk, CT that he is “busy working hard on several projects right now, from horse farms and stormwater basin planting plans to individual residential landscapes.” He is working full time with a landscape architect designing wetland buffer Del Orloske ’05 plantings using places blueflag native plants. iris along the edge of a horse “Spend half of trail in North my time outdoors Salem, NY. overseeing contractors and laying out the plantings and half of my time behind the drafting table and AutoCAD screen.” Del spoke in April at the Earth Place Nature Center in Westport, CT about sustainable landscaping and led a nature walk on medicinal and edible plants. He also recently gave a two hour raw food vegan workshop on nutrition at Pymander bookstore. n Stephanie Rubin writes, “I am still in California, but have moved south from the San Francisco Bay Area to the much maligned Los Angeles area (better for business). But I have managed to skirt L.A. County and am in lovely, coastal Ventura.” Stephanie is working as a freelance landscape
38 con text
Vermont Alumni Reunion 2008 Conway graduates currently living in Vermont were invited to gather on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 in Burlington for a regional Conway reunion. Director Paul Cawood Hellmund was in town to give a presentation at the University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, entitled “Sustainable Landscapes: Design across Scales,” so we took this opportunity to reconnect with old Conway friends and meet local alums from a wide range of graduating classes. The event was hosted by Danielle Allen ’06 and Ben Dana. Enjoying a spaghetti dinner, alums ate and
talked with views of a spectacular sunset over the Intervale wetlands. Paul brought some examples of projects from recent graduating classes, and participants caught up on the latest news from the school. It was a great chance to meet nearby professionals in the field of landscape design and stay in touch with what’s happening at the Conway School. Thanks to everyone who participated and brought good food to share. We plan to make this an annual event, so stay in touch for more information about next year’s Vermont Alumni Reunion!
Danielle Allen ‘06
News from Alums
From left to right: Benner Dana (fiancé of Danielle Allen), Andrea Morgante ’76, Paul Cawood Hellmund, Sharyl Green ’80, Nicko Rubin ’07, Nat Goodhue ’91, Danielle Allen ’06
architect, and reports, “I just finished designing native landscapes for some ginormous modern ‘eco-mansions’ in Beverly Hills. Lots of solar panels, some wind power, wildlife easement, etc. One of the homes has a waterfall falling through the entire three story height of it and I got to design a three-story wall of plants to set it off. Other than that, I am plying greenroof animal homes, mainly doghouses. This is a very strange way to promote ecoawareness, but it seems to be attracting attention; got in the NY Times a month ago.” 2006
Class Agents: Ian Hodgdon (email@example.com), Brian Trippe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emma Cooke has a new job as mar-
keting assistant at Getty Publications, and reports from Los Angeles, CA, “I’m learning a lot and I’m getting to apply my Art History Degree from Smith . . . which I never thought I would do in the workplace. All of the project management experience I got while at Conway is really helpful. It’s quite something to work for the Getty. It has such a presence in LA. There are banners everywhere promoting the latest exhibitions. There are televisions on the bus I take to work, and there are advertisements for Getty events playing all the time. It’s quite easy to be ‘green’ working here, since the Getty pays for my monthly bus pass.” n Danny Stratten is busy settling into a new home in Bellingham, WA
Very impressive stuff. He is working on all sorts of projects including low income housing, high-end residential design, and historic landscape design projects.” n Marcella Waggoner sends word from Alaska, where she is “currently having an adventure serving with the Bureau of Land Management as an outdoor recreation planner. Prior to this, I spent 13 months as a Habitat Restoration Specialist in southern California. Well, my work has been varied. Cheers to all.” n Ian Warner reports that he is working with a landscape architect on Martha’s Vineyard, “doing all of the drafting work (on the computer) and rendering (most of it on the computer). We specialize in residential landscape design but are also involved in many affordable housing projects. A great situation because there are only two of us in the office and I have my hands in everything. If anyone gets out this way, please give a shout.” 2007
Class Agents: Alicia Batista (email@example.com), Priscilla Miner (firstname.lastname@example.org) As a street tree planting consultant at Abel Bainnson Butz, LLP, Alicia Batista worked under the direction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as part of the PlaNYC 2030 initiative to “green” New York City. She has conducted thorough surveys of city streets to designate appropriate tree planting locations, specify adequate tree pit types, and determine appropriate sizes and species of trees. Recording conditions at each location (such as stumps or dead trees that need removal or the existence of overhead wires), Alicia made recommendations for trees already planted, including pit expansion, sidewalk repair, and fencing or grate removal. This spring, she moved indoors, and is a landscape designer at Abel Bainnson Butz. n Kathy Connor is working as a planner at Laberge Group in Albany, NY. n Brandon Mansfield lives in Jackson, WY where he has started a design/build business (Native Ecoscapes Inc.) “I am working on becoming an arborist and certified green roof professional,” he reports. “In my meager free time, I have been skiing, fly-fishing, biking and just trying to be outdoors.” n Priscilla Miner married beekeeping librarian Adam Novitt in September. Their chicken tractor was a stop on the first annual Pioneer Valley Backyard Chicken Association Coop Tour in July.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
with fiancée Jennifer. In early July, he wrote, “It’s been two weeks now since Jennifer and I moved into our new home here in Bellingham, WA. There are still several unpacked boxes around, and the persistent questions of ‘Where is the . . . ?’ But the bones of the place are taking shape. It’s been nice having so much more space than we did in Seattle. Jennifer’s learning the ropes at her new job at Western Washington University supervising graduate student clinicians in the speech and language clinic. I’m now working in an office of three, continuing my job as a restoration designer with ICF Jones & Stokes. The guys I’m working with are great, and we have a lovely space in downtown Fairhaven. It sure beats the cubicle I had back in Bellevue. The summer’s been nice, as I’ve been getting out into the field more. We’ve got three stream restoration/salmon habitat projects being constructed this summer, so it should stay busy. Bellingham’s been great so far. Jennifer and I can both walk or bike to work. There are farmers’ markets (which also serve as craft fairs) on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven (a historic district in the south of town) are both very walkable and have some nice bookstores and cafés. We’re blocks from the Interurban Trail which connects Bellingham to Mt. Vernon, and travels through greenbelt and parks along the way. I can finally walk to the woods again! We are loving Bellingham and hope to buy a home here in the not too distant future and, of course, there’s a wedding to plan for next summer (no, sorry, we haven’t set a date yet), so we’re likely be plenty busy into the foreseeable future.” n Ben Groves reports from York Beach, ME, “Things here have been good. I have been very busy with design work this spring. I have a number of projects going on, some in the install phase and some still in design. All my projects have been residential design so far. The process I use is very similar to the one taught at CSLD and I find that my clients are very receptive to it. Funny story about one of my designs—I landed a job out on Martha’s Vineyard this spring. Nothing like competing with Ian Warner for design work! Denise and I spent a weekend out there looking at the site and visiting with Ian. He showed us around the island and took me to some of his projects.
Paul Cawood Hellmund
News from Alums
Top: Priscilla Miner ‘07 is escorted down the aisle by her godfather. Dave Nordstrom '04 is to right. Bottom: Classmates of Priscilla gathered after her wedding. Left to right, Sarah Hills, Annie Scott, Alicia Batista, and Kate Dana.
They gathered enough honey from their urban bees to drizzle on sorbet at the wedding. n Nicko Rubin has started up East Hill Tree Farm in Plainfield, VT, where he is growing woody plant species and providing ecological landscape design services, landscape planting, management consulting and education. Nicko recently got a five-year-old Australian shepherd, and says, “He seems like a perfect dog. I have got lots of plants in the ground here and have been happily watching them grow. Eden is on the way. I still feel I am learning at a tremendous rate. Conway set me up for lots of future conversations, projects, and learning.” n Annie Scott is working as the landscape designer for Donald Pell Gardens in Southeastern, PA. n Ross Workhoven has been working on independent residential projects in Ashland and Portland, OR. 2008
Class Agents: Doug Guey-Lee (email@example.com), Amy Livingston (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kathleen McCormick (email@example.com) Jesse Froehlich writes from Portland, OR, where she is working on her portfolio and “getting rolling with the job search.” While she was in California for a friend’s wedding, Jesse stopped by her old office to say hi, and was hired to write two sections of a
con text 39
News from Alums
40 con text
Remembering Janice Woods, Conway Accounting Manager, 1992-2002 by Maureen Buchanan-Jones
After a very brief and sudden illness, Janice Wood died at home on August 27, 2008. For more than ten years, Janice was the business manager for Conway. She was the voice of reason whether it was about fiscal balance, day to day operations, or difficult long-term decisions. Although quiet on the surface, for those who took the time to get to know her, Janice was willing to share her thoughts and laughter. Beyond her careful work keeping accounts accurate, Janice loved organic gardening and cooking and raising chickens. She challenged herself in every aspect of her life, overcoming her fear of swimming and learning to manage her own health and others’ by becoming a holistic health care counselor for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. After leaving Conway, Janice brought her skills to other businesses in the Pioneer Valley and traveled with her partner, Dorian Gregory. They made a pilgrimage by foot across northern Spain to raise money for oppressed women in third world countries. She took quiet pride in achieving her third-degree black belt in Shuri Ryu Karate. Janice was the kind of friend who made difficult days seem possible. We counted on her and she never failed to offer her best. We will miss her. Those who wish to send their condolences to Dorian, may address them to: Dorian Gregory, 214 N. Silver Lane, Sunderland, MA 01375. A memorial service will be held Thursday October 16, 2008 from 4 to 6 pm at the Red Barn at Hampshire College, Rte 116, Amherst, Massachusetts. All attending are asked to bring a pumpkin. Memorial contributions may be made to Valley Women’s Martial Arts, One Cottage Street, P.O. Box 1064, Easthampton, MA 01027; or the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, P.O. Box 160, Hatfield, MA 01038.
planning report for the second phase of a project she had worked on before coming to Conway (The San Joaquin Valley Blueprint Planning Process). “So I guess you could say that was my first official post-CSLD job!” she reports. After backpacking in southern Oregon with a friend, Jesse can enthusiastically recommend the natural hot springs on the Umpqua River. n “After graduating two months ago,” Amy Livingston has been traveling through New Mexico and the Northwest visiting friends and family. “I’ve put off the job hunt temporarily,” she says, “but will be joining those already searching for work soon.” n Catherine Pedemonti and Theresa Sprague have teamed up to work together on a project in Sudbury, MA. “We are working with a client to convert his 7-acre residential property into a fruit and berry farm. Right now we are developing schematic plans for Black Deere Farm that include siting an apple orchard, berry patches, a farm pond, two small farm buildings, road access for a tractor, and a chicken coop. We are also creating garden designs for the area directly around the farm house and pool that are on the site, in order to provide private spaces for the family. On a personal note, Catherine is getting settled into the house in Cambridge that she and Tacita bought during the middle of the school year, and my family and I (Theresa Sprague) have moved back to the south coast of Massachusetts, to the little town of Mattapoisett, located on Buzzards Bay. We’re enjoying being back by the ocean—kayaking, skimboarding, swimming and just hanging at the beach!” n Dillon Sussman is living in Northampton, “wondering where all of his classmates have disappeared to!” He’s pursuing work with landscape architecture or planning firms, especially those that do master planning or ecological restoration. He was drawn back to Conway at the end of August where he drew flowers planted by Doug Guey-Lee and Seth Pearsoll in Elizabeth Farnworth’s botanical illustration workshop (see story about workshops on p. 9; see transformation of Conway’s entryway on p. 4) and met Conway students past, present and future in David Evans’ charrette-planning workshop. n Seth Pearsoll and Doug Guey-Lee remained in Conway after graduation to make some much needed improvements to the campus. Most notably, a
Maureen Buchanan-Jones was Conway’s humanities professor from 1993 to 2003.
trail from the lower part of the driveway to the front entrance was added to make the campus more pedestrian friendly. In addition to the trail installation, Seth and Doug refurbished the gardens of the building’s front facade, installing plants, stone walls and drain-
age. Plants for the cause were donated by Nasami Farm, a local native plant nursery. Seth has since moved to Philadelphia in search of greener pastures, and Doug is regrouping in Virginia for a move out West to Portland, OR.
Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Fund Kudos! Trustees. This year, once again, the Conway board of trustees gave 100% and very generously to the annual fund. The total dollar amount of trustee contributions increased over last year and the percentage of their combined gift amount, relative to the total annual fund, also increased. Thank you, trustees, for your generosity. Phonathons. The FY ’08 phonathons held on Saturday, March 1, 2008 in Amherst and on Saturday, March 15 in Salem Massachusetts once again proved to be important vehicles for annual fund giving: They raised $10,013 or twelve percent of the FY ’08 unrestricted giving. We are grateful to the alumni volunteers listed below and to those who made their facilities available for these efforts, and we extend particular kudos to the 2006 Class Agents Ian Hodgdon and Brian Trippe, who organized the Amherst and Salem phonathons, respectively; to trustee/developmentoutreach committee co-chair, Ginny Sullivan ’86, who was a key participant at the Amherst event; and to Sue Crimmins ’97 and Brian Trippe ’06 for arranging great phonathon snacks. It’s worth mentioning, too, that during the Salem phonathon, no less than three class reunions were planned: class of ’73, thanks to Ed Fuller; class of ’76, thanks to Kathy Knisely (see article on page 34); and class of ’00, thanks to Peter Phippen.
Facilities and Volunteers ■■ Amherst, Massachusetts, at the office of Blair, Cutting and Smith Insurance Agency: Alicia Batista ’07, Jennifer Campbell ’07, Sue Crimmins ’97, Ian Hodgdon ’06, Priscilla Miner ’07, Andrea Morris ’02, David Paine ’77, Chuck Schnell ’01, Ginny Sullivan ’86, Cindy Tavernise ’99, Janna Thompson ’07, Nancy Braxton, and Paul Cawood Hellmund, and “remote/follow-up participant” Kate Kerivan ’84. ■■ Salem, Massachusetts, at the Bioengineering Group office of Wendi Goldsmith ’90: Susanna Adams ’78, Ian Hodgdon ’06, Sonja Kenny ’02, Edward Fuller ’73, Kathleen Hogan Knisely ’76, Peter Phippen ’00, Judy Thompson ’99, Brian Trippe ’06, Seth Wilkinson ’99, Nancy Braxton, and “remote participants,” Trustees Robbin Peach ’78 and Seth Wilkinson ’99.
and 10th year Conway reunion classes joined together to pose a matching challenge to alums and friends of the school in an end-of-year drive to achieve the FY ’08 annual fund goal. Collectively, the classes of 1978, 1988, and 1998 committed $5,500, and their challenge was matched not one-on-one, but by nearly four-toone, bringing in an awesome total of $20,217! Thanks to all those who responded to this challenge (those who made gifts or pledges are listed below and are also included in the annual fund donor list on p. 43), the FY ’08 annual fund goal was met—and even slightly exceeded, with a total un-audited end figure of $87,052. Special thanks to the classes of 1978, 1988, and 1998, and particularly to their class agents and special class helpers for making this drive a great success: Susanna Adams ’78 (class agent) and Robbin Peach ’78 (trustee); Will Waldron ’88 (class agent, retired) and Barbara Mackey ’88 (who issued a successful challenge within the challenge to her classmates) and Matthew Arnsberger ’98 (class agent). Great job, all! James Allison Anonymous Helen Anzuoni Randall Arendt Matthew Arnsberger John Barclay Vance Barr Richard K. Brown & Anita Loose Brown David Buchanan Joshua Clague Arthur Collins Jill Ker Conway Susan Corser Walter Cudnohufsky D. Alex Damman Harry Dodson Arden Edwards Jonathon Ellison Elizabeth Farnsworth Donald & Betty Fitzgerald Clyde & Peggy Froehlich Marion Froehlich Jeanne Furstoss Bradford Greene James & Alice Hardigg Alma Hecht Paul Cawood Hellmund Jane Hemmingsen Brian Higgins Ian Hodgdon Leslie Dutton Jakobs Steven Kellerman Gary Koller Claudia Kopkowski Selina Lamb Nicholas Lasoff Mark Leuchten Lila Fendrick C. Todd Lynch & Janet Bertucci
Barbara Mackey William H. MacLeish Brandon Mansfield Heather McCargo Thomas & Susan McCarthy James McGrath Jack & Tip McIntosh Justin Molson Mary Mourkas Melissa Mourkas Del Orloske Robbin Peach Erin Flather Pearson Janet Powers Linda Prokopy Alan D. Rice Catherine Rioux Thomas Robinson Susan Rosenberg Selina Rossiter & Alexander Colhoun D. Thompson & Barbara D. Sargent Gordon H. & Joy Shaw Debby Smith Bruce Stedman Lesya Struz & Joris Naiman Jonathan Tauer Karen Tiede Mrs. M. E. Van Buren Peter & Susan Van Buren William Waldron Donald L. Walker Jr. & Ruth Parnall J. Jackson Walter Peg Read Weiss & Fred Weiss Robert & Judith Wilkinson Mary Garrett Wilson Wynne Wirth
con text 41
This Annual Report lists, with gratitude, contributors to the 2008 Annual Fund as well as those who gave restricted gifts and gifts-in-kind. It does not include Summary of Operations for FY 2008 or Statement of Activities for the Year Ended June 30, 2008, whose audit was not completed at press time. Those materials will appear in the next con’text, February 2009 after the completion of the audit.
End-of-Year Challenge. This year, the 30th, 20th,
rep o rt
Thank You to Our Generous Donors
Annual Report Fiscal Year 2008
FY 2008 Restricted Gifts Conway Scholarships. In 2001, the Conway 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. This past year, in lieu of awarding the Cudnohufsky and Walker scholarships, and with prior approval from Walt and Don, the Conway board of trustees voted to fund a $2,000 post-graduate service fellowship that has been awarded to Kathleen McCormick, a member of the class of 2008, on the basis of a proposal selected by a committee of trustees and alums. (See article on page 9). We are grateful to the following individuals, whose gifts to the scholarship fund during FY ’08 were used to support this 2008 Service Fellowship. Thank you very much! Susan Crimmins D. Alex Damman
Please consider making a restricted donation to the Conway Scholarship Fund in FY ’09 to support a member of the class of 2009.
David Bird International Service Fellowship Fund. This new endowment fund was established in
the winter and spring of 2008 as a tribute to long-time Conway supporter David Bird, who died in October 2007. (A full article launching the fellowship to the Conway public appears on page 8.) The Conway School is grateful to the following individuals for their contributions designated for or attributed to the Bird Fellowship fund during FY ’08: Alfred Campos & Lorraine Mullings Campos Walter Cudnohufsky Harry & Lucy Fowler Kenneth Howes
Peter J. Ouellette Dorothea Piranian Robert & Rosemarie Scully Dee Dee Shattuck William Waldron
Exciting FY ’09 Update. On August 8, 2008,
Conway received a remarkably generous gift of $15,500 from the Charles Sumner Bird Charitable Foundation at the recommendation of Rachel A. Bird Anderson, David Bird’s daughter. In an accompanying letter, Rachel Bird stated that this significant donation was made on behalf of their extended family and is designated for the Bird Fellowship. She noted that Charles Sumner Bird was her paternal grandfather and “quite an environmentalist himself. He has an incredible collection of trees, plants and flowers, on his property in Walpole, Massachusetts, from his travels around the world. So I know honoring his son in this way would have had meaning to him too.” Rachel underscored her “hope that this contribution can continue to allow for the fellowship to advance towards its aim of affording future (Conway) students to cast their nets beyond the United States in their efforts in land
42 con text
rep o rt
Annual Report 2008
Paul Cawood Hellmund and Nancy Braxton with David Bird’s wife, Mrs. Jeanne Bird, and daughter, Rachel Bird Anderson
stewardship, ecological studies, restoration, and conservation.” The Conway School is deeply honored and gratified by this significant gift from the Bird family to the David Bird International Service Fellowship. We offer our heartfelt thanks to the extended Bird family: Mrs. Jeanne Bird, Marten Bird, Matthew Bird, and Rachel Bird Anderson. William MacLeish Book Project. Local author Bill MacLeish is 2008–09 Conway Fellow, focusing on his latest book, In Place. (See article, p. 3.) The Conway School takes this opportunity to thank Jill Ker Conway for her FY ’08 contribution designated for this special book project.
FY 2009 Development Initiatives FY 2009 Annual Fund Appeal. In FY ’08, we
raised $87,052 in unrestricted contributions, thanks to your generosity. In the new fiscal year, we have established a lofty goal that is about 10% higher, or $95,000. We need your support to achieve this goal in order to balance the budget in FY ’09. Although ambitious, the response to the FY ’08 annual fund appeal makes us certain that this goal is attainable. Please 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 advance for supporting Conway’s 2008–09 programs through your generous donation!
Endowing Conway’s Future: Planned Giving.
As we enter Conway’s thirty-seventh anniversary year, please consider a planned gift to the school. Planned gifts will help launch a Conway endowment fund to ensure the perpetuity of this unique institution and in particular will enable us to provide substantial student scholarship support. In making a planned gift to Conway, you are helping ensure that the school’s important mission of sustainable landscape design will continue to support Conway students who will carry the Conway educational mission into their lives and work for the benefit of their communities and the planet.
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 alumni 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. Anonymous Jennifer Allcock ’89 David Bird (d. 2007), Trustee Emeritus Rick Brown, Trustee Susan Crimmins ’97
Bill Gundermann Joan Cawood Hellmund Paul Cawood Hellmund Anna James ’99 Carrie Makover ’86 Bill Montgomery ’91
We welcome all alumni 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 Kim Klein, Director of Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org, (413) 369-4044 ext. 3. As with any gift to the school, a request for anonymity will be honored.
The board of trustees, faculty and staff of the Conway School of Landscape Design extend our warm and whole-hearted thanks to the following individuals and organizations for their contributions to Conway during the 2008 fiscal year. We deeply appreciate your generosity. Thank you! Annual Fund (unrestricted gifts, including phonathon and Conway matching challenge gifts)
This was another good year in Conway’s annual fund history: the budgeted annual fund goal was achieved and slightly exceeded with a total unaudited figure of $87,052 in unrestricted gifts. And we are very gratified to report that the number of donors in FY ’08 increased significantly—fifteen percent—compared to the previous (’07) fiscal year. In addition, these unrestricted gifts were responsible for underwriting fourteen percent of the school’s FY ’08 operating expenses, making it possible to offer another excellent year of our unique graduate program to the graduating class of nineteen students. Thank you, one and all! $5000 + David Bird The Philanthropic Collaborative Aaron Schlechter $2,500 - $5,000 Anonymous Richard K. Brown & Anita Loose Brown Arthur Collins Mary A. Fowler & The Mary A. & Thomas F. Grasselli Foundation D. Thomson Sargent & Barbara D. Sargent $1,000 - $2,500 Anonymous Nat Goodhue Annice Kenan Mary Mourkas William & Sally Richter Melissa Robin & Michael Caplan Al & Selina Rossiter The Sallie Mae Fund Virginia Sullivan Mrs. M. E. Van Buren $500 - $1,000 D. Alex Damman Lila Fendrick Patricia Finley George & Kristen Flather Kent Freed Clyde & Peggy Froelich Marion Froehlich James & Alice Hardigg Cynthia Knauf Barbara Mackey Carrie Makover Heather McCargo
William & Melody Montgomery Susan Rosenberg Gordon H. & Joy Shaw Andrew & Nancy Smith Peter & Susan Van Buren Peg Read Weiss & Frederick Weiss Lauren Wheeler Eric & Barbara Young $250 - $500 Susanna Adams Henry Warren Art John Barclay Terence Beltramini Kenneth Botnick & Karen Werner James Bouwkamp David Coleman Arthur Collings Glenn Cooper James Cowen Susan Crimmins Walter Cudnohufsky Ruth Cutler Donna Eldridge Paul Esswein Ben Hren Michael Hylton Steven Kellermann David Knisely Lauren Snyder Lautner H. Rennyson Merritt & Janet Taft Janet Powers Walter Reynolds Design Associates Catherine Rioux David Rosenmiller Robert & Rosemarie Scully Lesya Struz & Joris Naiman
con text 43
rep o rt
Unlimited Federal estate tax deductibility Confidentiality ■■ Simplicity ■■ Revocability ■■ Minimal cost ■■
Donors FY 2008
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 benefits:
Annual Report 2008
rep o rt
Annual Report 2008
$250 - $500 (cont.)
Donald L. Walker Jr. & Ruth Parnall J. Jackson Walter Hap Wertheimer Seth Wilkinson Other donors (including those who requested that their giving level not be published) Betsy Abert Kevin Adams Jack Ahern James Allison Amherst Landscape & Design Associates Katherine Anderson George Anzuoni Helen Anzuoni Randall Arendt Matthew Arnsberger Bethany Atkins Gary Bachman Vance Barr Arthur Bartenstein Hatha Gable Bartlett Alicia Batista Michael Below Mark Bethel John Bisbing Cynthia Boettner Adam Bossi Terry Boyle Nancy E. Braxton Barbara Keene Briggs Cynthia Bright Tim Brooks Brown, Moser, Simolo & Kaplan CA Incorporated Alfred Campos & Lorraine Mullings Campos Anne Capra Ralph Caputo Joan Casey Seth Charde Joshua Clague Randy Cole Robert Cole Carla Manene Cooke Emma Cooke Betsy Corner Clémence Corriveau Susan Corser David Cox Phyllis Croce Candace Currie Colleen Currie & Richard Rubin Kate Dana Esther Danielson Mimi Darrow Anya Darrow Robert Dashevsky Harry Dodson Gregory Drake Mark Edelman Arden Edwards
Marlene Eldridge Jon & Barbara Elkow Jonathon Ellison Donald Eunson Elizabeth Farnsworth Donald & Betty Fitzgerald Adeline Fortier Edward Fuller Jeannine Keith Furrer Jeanne Furstoss Alexander Ganiaris Dennis Gemme Elisabeth Gick Wendi Goldsmith Bradford Greene Randy Griffith & Marcia Curtis Bill Halleck John Hamilton Lynn Harper Alma Hecht Carl Heide Paul Cawood Hellmund Jane Sexton Hemmingsen Robert Henke Brian Higgins Ian Hodgdon David & Marcia Holden Jeff Horton Kenneth Howes Jr. IBM Corporation Oliva Imoberdorf David Jacke Leslie Dutton Jakobs Christopher Jayne Edith Katz Sonja Kenny Kathleen Kerivan Bob Kilroy Hannah Kim John Klauder Associates Nancy Knox Patricia Kolbet Gary Koller Claudia Kopkowski Esta Gallant Kornfield Gioia Kuss Selina Lamb Karen Lamson Elsie H. Landstrom Robert Langevin Nicholas Lasoff William Lattrell Jorge Leal Robert Lemire Charles Leopold Mark Leuchten Thomas Long Jennifer Luck C. Todd Lynch & Janet Bertucci Margaret & Andrew Maley Brandon Mansfield Terry Marvel Ann Georgia McCaffray Thomas & Susan McCarthy Tim McClaran
Erika McConnell Brian McGowan James McGrath & Christine Wisenbaker McGrath Jack & Tip McIntosh Janet McLaughlin William H. MacLeish Robert & Mary Merriam Julie Meyer Tim Michel Priscilla Miner Reverend Canon Robert J. Miner & Glee Miner Justin Molson Terry & Cheryl Moore Andrea Morgante Darrel Morrison James Mourkas Melissa Mourkas Robert Mulcahy Gwendolyn Nagy-Benson Jono Neiger Kristin Nelson David Nordstrom John Nuzzi Del Orloske Sheila Finn Page Wendy Page David Paine Mary Parker Robbin Peach Erin Pearson Mary Crain Penniman Martha Petersen Peter Phippen Nata Post Linda Prokopy Heidi Putnam Ginny Raub Alan D. Rice Donald Richard Andrew Robertson Thomas Robinson Clare Bootle Rock David Rosenmiller Sandy Ross Selina Rossiter & Alexander H.P. Colhoun Elizabeth Rousek Ayers Nicko Rubin Joel Russell Sheafe Satterthwaite Charles Schnell Kathy Schreiber Annette Schultz Barbara Scott Donald Scott Judy Sherburne Therese Desmond Sills Angela Sisson Patsy Slothower Robert Small Debby Smith Jeffrey & Dorothy Smith Lincoln Smith Peter Smith Richard J. Snyder
Susan Space Bruce Spencer Laura Stack Johanna Stacy Bruce Stedman John Steele Danny Stratten Robert Edson Swain Brian Tamulonis Jonathan Tauer Cindy Tavernise Betsy Taylor Richard Thomas Floyd Thompson Janna Thompson Judith Thompson J. Michael Thornton Karen Tiede Brian Trippe James Urban Liz Vizza Marcella Waggoner William H. Waldron Ian Warner Rebecca Way Miles Weston Ann Turner Whitman Robert & Judith Wilkinson Mary Garrett Wilson Wynne Wirth
Gifts-in-Kind Each year many Conway alums, friends, and guests donate (partially or fully) a range of professional services to the school, thereby supporting the operating budget through diminishing our out-of-pocket costs. We are very grateful to the following individuals for their in-kind contributions in FY ’08: Jack F. Ahern Mike Badar Shari Bashin-Sullivan Bioengineering Group, Inc. Blair, Cutting & Smith Jill Ker Conway Donna Eldridge Jonathon Ellison Greenfield Savings Bank, Conway Branch Robert Henke Tara Hobby Sterling Hubbard Nicholas Lasoff Carrie Makover Reverend Canon Robert J. Miner & Glee Miner New England Wildflower Society, Nasami Farm Richter & Cegan Inc. Terralogos Green Home Services, Inc. (Peter & Susan Van Buren)
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.
44 con text
Letter from the Chair Board of Trustees Arthur Collins II ‘79, Chair
Landscape Architect & Real Estate Executive, President, Collins Enterprises, Inc., Darien, CT
William Richter ‘77, Vice Chair Richter, Cegan and Associates, Avon, CT
Professor & Head of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Henry W. Art
Director, Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, Williamstown, MA
John S. Barclay
Director, Wildlife Conservation Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Richard K. Brown Darrow School, New Lebanon, NY
Nat Goodhue ‘91
Goodhue Land Design, Stowe, VT
Nicholas Lasoff ‘05
Lasoff Landscape Design, Bennington, VT
Robbin Peach ‘78
UMass McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, Boston, 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 (d. 2007) Gordon H. Shaw ‘89 Bruce Stedman ‘78
Advisors Mr. John Hanning ’82, Montpelier, VT
Mr. Richard Hubbard,
Dear Conway Faithful: At Conway, the annual cycle of students learning and moving on resembles the organic model found in nature. The experience-based learning model has proven to be a unique and desirable program here at Conway. Another successful school year has come to an end and now a qualified class of June graduates stands poised to make a significant contribution to sustainable environmental design in the world. A new beginning comes as another excellent group of students ready themselves to grow in the Conway cycle until it is their turn to take flight next June. The board of trustees’ stewardship of the school remains focused on the initiatives that will make Conway “Permanent.” This is becoming manifest as we mark the milestones along the way. Director Paul Cawood Hellmund has now begun his fourth year running the school; enrollment has increased to capacity with students now signing on for future years; the physical plant has been upgraded; and most important, our faculty and staff have been chosen because they are qualified to excel in the teaching of our timely mission—the responsible and sustainable use of our planet. The board has turned its attention to the task of supporting these and many other initiatives that will continue to make Conway unique and sustainable. One new milestone is the recent hiring of Development Director Kim Klein who will oversee the annual fund and capital giving. She will be responsible for building the financial foundation that will support Conway’s growth and longevity. We welcome her and hope all will get to know Kim in her new role at Conway. There is still much to do at Conway, and we believe we have the people to do it. After all, it really is about the people. The good news is that the mission of the school is being preached by many around the country and overseas. At any time during the year, we hope that you— alumni, friends of the school, and those interested in promoting sustainable environmental design—will come and meet these leaders who are our faculty and staff. I am confident you will leave with a sense of how Conway is promulgating a new vision for the world, a vision that is being taught at Conway and not in many other graduate schools, but is so crucial today. Over time, we hope to engage more of you to help make Conway grow. We have great plans for the continued evolution of the Conway School and hope to share them with as many of you as possible. Thank you all for your continued support.
Arthur Collins ‘79 Chair, Board of Trustees
Shelburne Falls, MA
Mr. David Lynch ’85, Watertown, MA
Ms. Amy Klippenstein ‘95, Ashfield, MA
Ms. Carrie Makover ‘86, Fairfield, CT
Mr. Darrel Morrison, New York, NY
Ms. Ruth Parnall, Conway, MA
Mr. Joel Russell,
Mr. Jonathan Tauer, Colrain, MA
con text 45
The Class of 2008 Front row, kneeling: Jono Neiger (faculty) Middle row: Ken Byrne (faculty), Back row: Paul Cawood Hellmund (Director),
Conway School of Landscape Design 332 South Deerfield Road P.O. Box 179 Conway, MA 01341
Address Service Requested
Non-profit org U.S. Postage paid Permit No. 7 Conway, MA
Magazine of the Conway School of Landscape Design