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Congratulations to Cornell Plantations!  The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the Nevin Welcome Center has LEED Gold status.  More on the building and its sustainable landscapes at the Cornell Plantations Website and here.

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Wolf Landscape Architecture is excited to be teaming with The Lighthall Company to help the Friends of the Public Garden rejuvenate that historic landscape’s Boylston Street edge.  Working with The Growing Tree and Bryant Associates, Inc., we are developing an integrated strategy that will revitalize not only the area’s plantings, but also the soil and hydrology on which they depend.

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In construction: Reclaimed cobbles on a sand bed form a permeable pavement.
When completed, it will be strong enough to support the weight of a truck but
porous enough to allow the natural percolation of storm water into the soil below.
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When the New England Wild Flower Society and the Ecological Landscaping Association collaborate on an event, you know it’s going to be good.  This fall, they are sponsoring two full-day workshops: At the Roots: Air Tool Workshop led by Rolf Briggs and Matt Foti on September 27, and At the Roots: Understanding and Managing Healthy Soils led by Peter Schmidt and Dawn Petinelli on September 29. There’s great new work going on in the science and technology of roots and soils, and these workshops explore the frontiers. Hope to see you there!

New press on some favorite projects: In the May/June issue of GreenSource Magazine, Bill Hanley’s article on the design and sustainability of Cornell Plantations’ Nevin Welcome Center and its landscape, here.  And in Meg Muckenhoupt’s blog Green Space Boston, a description of the “cool oasis” at the Prudential Center’s sitting grove, near the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, here.  Many thanks to both authors for their thoughtful coverage of the landscape!

Many thanks to everyone who joined the recent tours of the Rose Kennedy Greenway!  Special thanks go to the Ecological Landscaping Association and the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy for sponsoring and hosting the May 31 tour, and to the Fenway Garden Society for organizing the tour on June 12. Personal thanks to Stuart Shillaber, Anthony Ruggiero, and Lisa Milanytch Mykyta for sharing their knowledge and time, and to Penny Lewis, Maureen Sundberg, and Mike Mennonno for making the tours happen.  The weather was great, the turnout was strong, and it was a pleasure to learn from participants and fellow guides, to explore the connections between design and management, and to spread the word about Boston’s first organically maintained public parks.

Landscape Architect CeCe Haydock has penned a thoughtful review of the ELA conference, here.

Two exciting gigs coming up in March:

On the 7th, I’m speaking at the Ecological Landscaping Association’s annual conference.  My presentation focuses on ecological design strategies for urban landscapes. And on March 17 I’ll be speaking at the Boston Flower and Garden Show, inviting home gardeners to explore ways of making their landscapes both more ecological and more beautiful.

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2011 has been an excellent year for new collaborations!  Wolf Landscape Architecture has teamed with Brown Walker Planners to help the Town of Harvard, Massachusetts develop the first phase of its Master Plan.  Update: Congratulations to the Town of Harvard, the Master Plan Steering Committee, and Brown Walker Planners: The Phase I Master Plan won overwhelming approval at Annual Town Meeting!

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Boston’s Big Dig is finally complete, but its downtown parks continue to develop, thanks to the stewardship of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. This spring, I had the privilege of helping the Conservancy tune up a landscape that I had originally designed in 1998.

The Greenway’s Urban Arboretum is a block-long passageway between two highway ramps.  To mark its south end, I had laid out a compact grove of trees which would offer pedestrians a moment of shade and serenity. In the years after construction, however, some of the grove’s trees began to fail, taking with them the vision of a green refuge.

So when the  Conservancy called me this spring, I jumped at the opportunity to help set things right.

The new design builds on what’s worked and replaces what hasn’t.  All of the original Baldcypress trees are thriving, so the design adds six more, filling the circle and framing the path. Under the trees, a ground layer of ferns, woodland perennials, and native groundcovers will evoke the textures and dappled greens of a forest.

Work began in June with the planting of the ground layer and the installation of drip irrigation. We’ll be back in the fall to plant the new Baldcypress trees.

More on the Urban Arboretum, here.

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