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Graduate program in sustainable landscape planning & design



G rad u at e pro g ram i n s u s t ai n ab le lan d s cape plan n i n g & d es i g n

Paul P . OCawood . B O X 1Hellmund 79 | 332 SOUTH DEERFIELD ROAD | CONWAY, MA 01341-0179 Director Mollie Babize Associate Director Lynn Barclay Development Director David Nordstrom Associate Director

August 24, 2011

A Reference for John C. Lepore

I have known John Lepore since September 2010, in my capacity as professor at the Conway School of Landscape Design, where he successfully completed a master’s degree in sustainable landscape planning and design.

BOARD of TRUSTEES Arthur Collins II ’79, Chair Collins Enterprises, L.L.C. Stamford, CT Jack Ahern Landscape Architecture University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA John S. Barclay Wildlife Conservation Center UCONN, Storrs, CT Rachel Bird Anderson Public Health Professional Minneapolis, MN Richard K. Brown, Vice-Chair Sheffield, MA Jonathon Ellison ‘94 Les Jardins Ellison Gardens Ayers Cliff, QC Carol Franklin Andropogon Associates Philadelphia, PA Nat Goodhue ‘91 Goodhue Land Design Stowe, VT Nicholas Lasoff ‘05 Lasoff Landscape Design Bennington, VT Bob Pura President, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA Allen Rossiter Lincoln, MA Aaron Schlechter ‘01 Environmental Consultant Wilton, CT Virginia Sullivan ‘86 Learning by the Yard Conway, MA Susan Van Buren ‘82 TerraLogos Energy Group Baltimore, MD Seth Wilkinson ‘99 Wilkinson Ecological Design Orleans, MA Emeritus Trustees David Bird (d. 2007) Gordon H. Shaw ‘89 Bruce Stedman ‘78 Walter Cudnohufsky Founder; Director, 1972-1992 Donald L. Walker, Jr. Director, 1992-2005

Students at Conway complete three real-world design and planning projects for real clients, while working at a fast pace and under strict deadlines. In all his Conway projects, John paid close attention to the needs of clients and stakeholders—individuals, municipalities, non-profit organizations, and communities—and used his ecological knowledge, analytical abilities, people skills, pedagogical experience, and design and planning skills to deliver smart and effective designs and management plans. John’s fall project was for a steeply sloped, heavily wooded property in a small New England town. The owner sought help to site a home and food production areas, and to restore and protect the site’s natural features, including a wetland. John conducted extensive analyses of the site’s legal constraints and natural conditions, including mapping slopes, soils, drainage, and vegetation and the larger ecological and regional contexts. The final design he developed logically identifies the most appropriate location for the home, septic system, and gardens; stabilizes soils and repairs slopes; reduces erosion and drainage problems; and protects the wetland. In his winter project, John collaborated closely with two classmates to study the natural and social conditions, regional ecosystems, agricultural history, and community needs of a town concerned about losing its agricultural lands. His team developed criteria and a process to help the town’s government officials and residents assess and prioritize farmland for preservation. He was a key facilitator of two large town meetings and was responsible for developing the GIS methodology at the heart of the project. In the spring of 2011, John and two classmates successfully completed a challenging landscape management plan for a large reservation within an urban-suburban community. The site is an important wildlife corridor, contains critical habitats, and protects the town’s drinking water aquifer; it is also a well-used recreational resource. The team facilitated community meetings and conducted extensive research, on the site and using GIS. The management plan they created presents various strategies for managing the resource to improve its ecological health and meet community needs. John enthusiastically took on these and other challenges with energy, resourcefulness, discipline, and good humor. He is strongly committed to protecting, rehabilitating, and regenerating natural and social landscapes, and has extensive knowledge of ecology, natural systems, wildlife habitat, and plant communities. He is collaborative by nature, effective in a variety of environments and communities, and familiar with the bureaucratic workings of government and institutional offices. He is an extremely hard worker who completes projects well before deadlines; is generous with his time and knowledge; and is both a gifted teacher and an open-minded learner unafraid to approach a new situation with a beginner’s mind. He is a pleasure to work with and I recommend him without reservation. Sincerely,

Ken Byrne Professor of Humanities

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

332 South Deerfield Road, PO Box 179, Conway, MA 01341-0179 | tel: 413-369-4044 |

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