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Author: Robert Clinton

2018 Summer Meeting

2018 Summer Meeting –
Coastal Erosion Field Tour

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Friday Field Tour

Coastal Erosion

August 10, 2018

Wakefield, Rhode Island

SWCS Members & Government Staff $35

Non-SWCS Members $50

The Soil & Water Conservation Society’s (SWCS) Southern New England Chapter (SNEC) is hosting an annual Summer Meeting for SWCS members and the public at the South Kingstown Land Trust Barn on Friday, August 10 in Rhode Island.  Rhode Island government staff will discuss the BeachSAMP, followed by a Field Tour to coastal erosion sites along the South Kingstown Town Beach, lunch, and a SWCS SNEC membership meeting.


Teresa Crean, Community planner and coastal management extension specialist with the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.  Teresa will present  Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan and Coastal Resiliency Tools.  Teresa joined CRC/Sea Grant in 2008 and is currently facilitating municipal-scale projects in Rhode Island that address coastal adaptation to climate change and sea level rise. This work involves evaluating the results of mapping exercises to clearly communicate challenges and opportunities to municipal stakeholders while collaboratively considering policies and projects that may increase resiliency in the face of potential impacts from coastal hazards and storm events. Teresa has also has worked on renewable energy planning, marine spatial planning and coastal community planning, addressing public access and working waterfront issues. All of her work employs a research and planning process that integrates the best available science with open input and involvement from a broad range of stakeholders, decision makers and the public. Teresa also has worked for non-profit regional planning commissions and for planning/design firms in the private sector. She earned a Master of Landscape Architecture (M.L.A.) from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, a B.S. in Environmental Policy/Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan and is a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  Teresa’s e-mail address is

Samantha Apgar, is a UConn PhD Student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and will present “Tidal marsh bird nesting adaptations and consequences as sea levels rise”.  Samantha’s current research focuses on the ways in which birds that nest on the ground in tidal marshes are adapted to nest flooding. She is interested in how these existing traits make each species more or less at risk of extinction due to sea level rise. Her work focuses on the nest structure, egg structure, and chick and adult behavior of four avian tidal marsh specialist species (the Saltmarsh Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow, Willet, and Clapper Rail).  For a copy of Samantha’s SWCS SNEC presentation, please contact her at  Her presentation is too large to download here.

Dr. Bryan Oakley is from Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) will speak on “Shoreline Change in the Matunuck area”.  Bryan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Earth Science Department at Eastern Connecticut State University and a part-time researcher in the Department of Geosciences, at the University of Rhode Island. He has broad experience in marine surveying, habitat mapping, coastal and glacial geology. My interests are wide-ranging, spanning the Quaternary geology of New England.  Dr. Oakley can be reached at and you may CLICK_HERE to see his presentation.

Janet Freedman, a Coastal Geologist at RI Coastal Resources Management Council will lead the “Shoreline change field tour-a look at adaptation approaches and more” at coastal sites along the town beach (approximately 2 miles)! Janet Freedman is a Coastal Geologist at the RI Coastal Resources Management Council. She is responsible for developing and implementing policy related to coastal hazards, shoreline changes, and sea level rise. She coordinates with federal, state, local and non-government partners on issues dealing with erosion control technologies, the beneficial re-use of dredged materials, climate change impacts and habitat restoration. Janet is a member of the Education and Outreach Committee of the RI Flood Mitigation Association, the RI State Hazard Mitigation Committee, the Providence Harbor Commission, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council Coastal Hazards Committee, and the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems Board of Directors. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island Department of Geosciences where she studied late Pleistocene climate change and its present day implications.  Janet can be reached at

Debbie Surabian will give an overview of the Coastal Zone Soil Survey (CZSS)”.  Debbie is the State Soil Scientist for Connecticut and Rhode Island with the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. She has over 20 years of experience with USDA NRCS as MLRA 12-6 Soil Survey Office Leader serving 8 northeast states and Soil Conservationist serving Florida. She is experienced with describing, classifying, mapping, and interpreting terrestrial, anthropogenic, and subaqueous soils, using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and identifying soil characteristics of natural and disturbed soils.  Debbie’s e-mail address is

Click here to see the Summer Meeting Flyer & Schedule

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2017 E&SC Field Days

2017 E&SC Field Days

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Fun in the Sun!  Credits earned!  Connections made!

Erosion & Sediment Control Field Days

19 20 October 2017

URI East Farm, Building 75 | Kingston RI 02881

—->  Check back in the spring for info about Field Days 2018

A full day of training for professionals working in soils, erosion control, water quality, public works, engineering, roads, planning and consulting.  

A terrific learning opportunity as well; students attended for free, courtesy of the RI Nursery & Landscape Association. 

Presented in conjunction with Team E.J. Prescott and partners RI Department of Environmental Management, RI Nursery & Landscape Association, Rhode Island State Conservation Committee and IECA Northeast Chapter.

These Field Days are a collaborative effort between the private and public sectors to share information and promote a better understanding of the latest tools available to protect soil and water resources.  An array of options, both for controlling sediment and for designing & installing more effective long-term erosion control solutions, were on full display at the eight field stations spread out at URI’s East Farm.  Our goal was to provide information that was immediately useful to all who attended.

The Southern New England Chapter’s expenses in delivering the
E&SC Field Days were covered by SWAMP THINGS sponsorship from


Soil Erosion and Sediment Control – Why do we care?
                        Allison Hamel | Principal Environmental Scientist
                        RI DOT Office of Stormwater Management

Soil Erosion and Sediment Control – Tools & Resources for RI
                        A review of RI DEM’s Policies and Resources
                         Brian Lafaille, PE |Principal Sanitary Engineer
                         RI DEM Office of Water Resources

Rhode Island Soil Erosion and Sediment Control HANDBOOK (rev 2016)

Rhode Island Soil Erosion and Sediment Control FIELD GUIDE (2016)

Rhode Island Stormwater Design and Installation Standards Manual (Dec 2010)

Phone Download Instructions  for the three above-listed RI DEM documents

Soil Erosion Control Tools and Resources for RI     

EJP Stormwater Field Guide    


(approx 30 min at each outdoor demonstration site)

  • Turf Reinforcement Mats | North American Green
  • Porous Pavement Systems | Presto Products (EJP)
  • Stream Crossings | Advanced Drainage Systems
  • Jobsite Sediment Control | Filtrexx
  • Soil Amendments | Bowman Supply
  • Innovations in Bentonite Clay | AquaBlok
  • Vegetated Solutions | Presto Products
  • Flocculants | Applied Polymer Solutions
  • Erosion Control and Soil Amendments | Profile Products


  • RI DEM:  4 CEU’s for Class I, II, III, & IV OWTS Licenses
  • Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association:  1 RICH credit
  • EnviroCert International:  6.0 Professional Development Hours

A signed Certificate of Attendance with the agenda on the back was provided to attendees at the end of the day.  Sign-in and sign-out required for OWTS credits.


 Agenda   (PDF) 

8:00 a.m.     Check In  | Vendor Exhibits & Networking

8:30 a.m.     Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:45 a.m.     Soil Erosion and Sediment Control – Why do we care?
                        Allison Hamel | Principal Environmental Scientist
                        RI DOT Office of Stormwater Management

9:30 a.m.     Soil Erosion and Sediment Control – Tools & Resources for RI 
                        A review of RI DEM’s Policies and Resources
                         Brian Lafaille, PE |Principal Sanitary Engineer
                         RI DEM Office of Water Resources

10:00 a.m.   Break & Vendor Exhibits

10:30 a.m.    Classroom Recap / Q & A / RI DEM Field Guide smartphone download

11:00 a.m.     Rotation through Field Stations
                          (approximately 30 minutes at each outdoor demonstration site)

12 noon         Lunch & Vendor Exhibits

1:00 p.m.      Field Stations continued

3:30 p.m.      Closing remarks & Wrap-up

Questions about the program?  Contact Jason Normandin at 

(401) 333-1317 or

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2017 Summer Meeting

2017 Summer Meeting –
Tour of Dam Removal Sites!! Mill River Restoration (Taunton, MA)

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8 Aug – chapter meeting postponed; extra time will be spent at dam removal sites

Friday 11 August 2017
8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Tour of Dam Removal Sites!!

Mill River Restoration (Taunton, MA)

The SWCS Southern New England Chapter is pleased to  present a tour of dam removal sites led by Beth Lambert, Aquatic Habitat Restoration Program Manager at the Massachusetts Division of Ecological Restoration.  Beth has been managing the projects and has abundant hands-on knowledge.   “There are two completed dam removals with very different floodplain wetland characteristics; it will be interesting to compare and contrast trajectories.”

Based on survey feedback, this program will include intermediate- to advanced-level content.

There is plenty of parking at the dam sites, but leaving cars at the hotel and carpooling is also an option.

13 July 2017 update:
Mike Burke, PE, Water Resources Engineer at Inter-Fluve, will tag-team with Beth Lambert to present project information.

Beth will focus on all things sediment in her presentation – sampling plans, permitting, disposal and more.

23 July 2017 update: 

Venue for the indoor portion of the Summer Meeting

Holiday Inn Taunton-Foxboro Area
700 Myles Standish Boulevard
Taunton, MA 02780

8 Aug 2017 update:  

The Southern New England Chapter Meeting has been postponed; the extra half-hour will be spent on the dam removal sites.  

AGENDA   floor plan

8: 30 a.m. – 2nd floor Lobby
 – Registration

9 a.m. – Lincoln Room
 – Sediment Management on Mill River Restoration Dam Removal Projects
Beth Lambert | Aquatic Habitat Restoration Program Manager, MassDER

Beth will cover the MA regulations, sediment testing, options for sediment management, and will compare & contrast the two sites to be visited during the field tour.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Field Tour
 – Whittenton Dam and State Hospital/Hopewell Mill Dam Removal Sites

The tour will be led by Mike Burke, with Beth chiming in.  Some background will be provided about the Mill River Restoration Project as a whole for context, but the focus will be on dam removal and all that entails.

 – Channel Design and Construction
Mike Burke | Water Resources Engineer, Inter-Fluve

Mike will provide detailed information during the tour about the considerations and process involved in designing stream channels in dam removal situations.


Payment by credit card, check or invoice are accepted; options are presented after attendee info has been entered. 

  • SWCS Member – $35

  • Government – $35

  • Non-Member – $45

  • Student – $25

Blue Light Special – $125.00

for new members only — includes a 1-year SWCS and Southern New England Chapter membership at the $90 Professional level

Register 3, Get 1 FREE!!! 

25% off the standard rate when 4 or more attendees register together.

  • Member/Gov Group     $26.25

  • Non-Member Group    $33.75

 From the MassDER website at

The Mill River is a tributary to the dam-free Wild and Scenic Taunton River which in turn flows into Narragansett Bay.  National attention focused on the Mill River in 2005 when Whittenton Dam came close to failing during an extreme flood.

Whittenton Dam

The crisis catalyzed the City, agencies and NGOs to examine the public safety benefits of removing three aging dams on the Mill River.  With guidance from MassDER and others, the Mill River Restoration Partners  and dam owners began to explore removing the three obsolete dams and building a fish ladder at a fourth.

Now, the Mill River Restoration Project is underway:

  • Hopewell Mills Dam was removed in 2012.

  • Hopewell Mills Dam, before…

  • … during…
  • … and after removal
    • A fish ladder was constructed at Morey’s Bridge Dam in 2012.
    • Whittenton Dam was removed in 2013.
    • West Britannia Dam will be removed in the fall of 2017.

Mill River Restoration Project Vital Statistics

Town:  Taunton

Major Watershed:  Taunton

Subwatershed:  Mill River

Partners:  MassDER, Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, The Nature Conservancy, American Rivers, Save the Bay, NOAA Restoration Center, US Fish and Wildlife Service,  USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, MA Division of Marine Fisheries, MA Department of Mental Health MA Department of Transportation, Mass Audubon, Taunton River Watershed Alliance, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Program, dam owners

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2016 Winter Conference – Swamp Things

2016 Winter Conference –
Swamp Things

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    Eversource Energy – Millstone Line Separation Project, Waterford, CT / Photo Credit: Devleena Ghosh-Brower, Tighe & Bond, Inc.
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    National Grid – Line 015S, East Longmeadow, MA / Photo Credit: Katy Wilkins, Tighe & Bond, Inc.

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    Installation of composite Mabey Mats – Warwick, RI / Photo Credit: Jeff Peterson, VHB
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    Mabey DuraBase® Mats being installed on a jobsite in Mickelton, NJ. After the mats are removed, vegetation springs back / Photo Credit: Julia Delligatti, Mabey Inc.

SWAMP THINGS (2016 Winter Conference)

*** S O L D   O U T !! ***

F R I D A Y   1 1   M A R C H   2016

AGENDA (pdf)  –   SPEAKERS (pdf)


Publick House Historic Inn – Sturbridge, MA


Eversource, Tighe & Bond, National Grid, Mabey Inc and VHB are confirmed participants.

Eversource Energy – Millstone Line Separation Project, Waterford, CT / Photo Credit: Devleena Ghosh-Brower, Tighe & Bond, Inc.

Conference Resources:

Speaker Biographies





SWCS is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization.  The Southern New England Chapter is currently funded entirely by event income, membership dues (< $500/year) and sponsorship.  FY 2016 is a rebuilding year for the SNEC, so we decided to aim high in our request for financial support, so that we can both put on a quality event and pursue other ways of serving our members.

The response was incredible!  Combined with selling out, we raised enough to definitely fund another training event in 2016 in addition to our annual Summer Meeting.


National Grid is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast.  Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions.  In addition, National Grid offers energy efficiency solutions for businesses in all of its service territories.  See how you can save energy, and improve your business.

Thank you for your EARLY BIRD contributions, BRONZE Sponsors!!

Thank you, BRONZE Sponsor

Thank you as well to our SUPPORTER

CT and MA FORESTERS:  Credits Assigned
Thank you, Chris Martin & Dave Kittredge, for setting this up.

SWAMP THINGS was approved for 1.5  Continuing Education Units for CT Certified Forest Practitioners.

The MA Forester Licensing Board approved SWAMP THINGS for 5 “CATEGORY 1” Continuing Forestry Education credits.

If you did not pick up your Certificate of Attendance, please contact Christine at and specify which state(s).

Timber “swamp” mats have been used for decades on forestry and linear energy projects to facilitate low-impact, temporary equipment access across wetlands and waterways.  Composite material products emerged more recently and continue to be developed.  Environmental regulations governing temporary wetland crossings in southern New England are evolving; requirements for the same project may vary by location.

SWAMP THINGS brought together regional experts in the fields of energy transmission management, wetland crossing construction and environmental regulation to describe how wetland crossings are designed, permitted, constructed and restored.  Manufacturers and suppliers of timber and composite mat systems exhibited and promoted their products as solutions to access issues.  State-agency foresters discussed BMPs to protect water quality.

The conference program also included an exam review session for Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control®.  For information about the CPESC® Program (including links to the Certification Portal to apply on-line for professional certification), go to

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2016 Summer Meeting

2016 Summer Meeting –
COMPOST | Turning Waste into Wealth

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a half-day event on

Friday AUGUST 5th


Turning Waste into Wealth

Bear Path Farm, West Whately and
UMass Amherst Holdsworth Hall

Group Discounts available!

The SWCS Southern New England Chapter 2016 Summer Meeting will feature a tour of the composting operation at Bear Path Farm, led by farm owner Bill Obear and Mike Mahar, Bill’s partner and Bear Path Compost co-owner.  Katie Campbell-Nelson (UMass Extension) will provide guidance on compost sampling and other practical information.

The residues-to-riches story will continue at UMass Amherst, with presentations by Geoff Kuter (Agresource) and Hotze Wijnja (Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources).  A video by Masoud Hashemi and Atakan Kadi (UMass Amherst) will be shown during lunch:  Low Cost Aerated Static Composting Systems for Small Acreage Equine Operations.

The event will conclude with the Southern New England Chapter Annual Meeting, which is open to all.

Click HERE for program details, links to handouts and speaker information.

Compost information HERE.


Registration Rates

  • SWCS Member:  $35
  • Government:  $35
  • Non-Member:  $45
  • Student:  $25
  • Blue Light Special:  $125 — includes 1 year SWCS / Southern New England Chapter membership at the $90 Professional level and registration at the Member rate — for new members only

Fee includes a half-day parking permit for UMass Lot 45 and Lunch.


Register 3 or more, Get 1 FREE!!   

—–>>>  25% off each ticket  <<<—–

This discount applies to groups of any four or more SWCS Members/Government or groups of any four or more Non-Members who register together.

DIRECTIONS to Bear Path Compost, farm parking and UMass Lot 45

Our host sent these instructions for parking on the farm:Google maps does not show the proper location of Bear Path Compost (formerly Bear Path Farm).  You should actually continue north on Webber Road for an additional 1/4 mile.  134 Webber Rd. is the next mailbox on the right.  You will see a large red roofed barn and a small building next to the driveway that has a Tree Farm sign on it. Attendees should then pull into the driveway, turn around and go back the way they came for 200 yards or so and go left where a sign says COMPOST ENTER.  This is also the entrance to the West Whately cemetery.  At the bottom of the road is a building where we keep our equipment etc. and there is plenty of parking down there.

You can see the red roof of our barn on the Google map as well as our house which is gray near a line of pine trees.  When you look at the the Google map you will see the tree line creating what appears to be an upside down representation of Massachusetts (I never noticed this before).  The clearing between the forested “Cape Cod” and the rest of the forested state is in reality the West Whately cemetery.  The road that accesses West Whately cemetery was built over 200 years ago and joins Webber Road parallel as opposed to perpendicular.  Not the greatest road layout for modern vehicles.

Let me know if you need any more directions / parking information.  I will likely send you a handout in the next few days.

Mike and I are looking forward to meeting you and your members.  Take care.



Managing Phosphorus in Organic Residuals
Applied to Soils

Composts, Biosolids, Manures, and
Other Organic Residual Sources

A symposium presented by the University of Massachusetts
Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program

Wednesday 2 November 2016
8:15 a.m. -4 p.m. in Marlborough, MA


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2015 Summer Meeting

2015 Summer Meeting –
A River Runs Through It: Daylighting of the Neponset River at Gillette Stadium

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Thursday August 6th at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA

More than a decade ago, the New England Patriots’ constructed the new Gillette Stadium.  A significant side project was the restoration of a long stretch of the Neponset River adjacent to the new stadium’s parking lot.  The SNEC 2015 Summer Meeting featured a tour of the site a decade later, where attendees witnessed for ourselves the progress of the maturing habit; followed by a presentation (posted below) of project details in a stadium conference room.  SNEC members and friends adjourned to a nearby restaurant for the Chapter business portion of the program, which included a tally of election results and discussion about the future of the SWCS Southern New England Chapter.

The tour and presentation were arranged by the Ecological Landscape Alliance.  Thank you, Penny Lewis and Tom Benjamin!

Thank you as well to our hosts, Woody Benisek-Beal and Stephen Morrison of the Kraft Group.

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    bio-engineered stormwater BMP inside the stadium
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    wetland plantings are diverse and thriving
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    planting design info appears on slide # 49 of Tom’s presentation (below)
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    acres of riparian corridor, including upland meadow, were restored with native species
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    scour protection at culverts
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    bio-engineered stormwater management for parking area
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    The pedestrian access is a berm that doubles as a flood control structure – see slide # 39 of Tom’s presentation, below
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    Looking south/upstream at “rapids” and other habitat features – see slide # 45 of Tom’s presentation (below) – towards a low-flow weir
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    The site tour started on the pedestrian access walkway from the T station, which offers a great view of the daylighted river.
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    Neponset River, looking north/downstream – conceptual design info begins on slide # 34 of Tom’s presentation (below)
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    Tom Benjamin of Ecological Landscape Alliance (right) with hosts Woody Benisek-Beal and Stephen Morrison (left) of the Kraft Group
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    Success!! Neponset River at Gillette Stadium, 18 July 2015

In the 1940s, racetrack construction on the site had originally forced the river underground.  Gillette Stadium needed parking and the silt-clogged system needed “daylighting” and restoration.  Tom Benjamin was hired by the New England Patriots/Kraft Group to enhance daylighting and re-create the riparian habitat for a one-mile section of the Neponset River including all aspects of the landscape design, from the master plan through to construction documents.

The daylighting project removed two blocked culverts and reconnected disrupted sections of the river, diverting flow back to the Neponset River’s historic alignment.  Wetland mitigation and flood control provided major drivers for this fast-tracked project that proceeded from concept to implementation in less than one year.  The primary flood control structure, a large berm, served as an access path to the stadium’s railroad station, adding to the project’s visibility.  Tom leveraged complex wetland compliance elements to maximize the visual impact and biodiversity values of the restored river corridor’s natural edge to developed portion of site.

Tom Benjamin’s project presentation:
Neponset River Restoration Project for the New England Patriots (16 MB)

Project Highlights:

  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Award for Excellence (2002)
  2. Extensive bioengineering and re-vegetation efforts
  3. A river corridor functioning as an established natural system restored back to its original alignment

Article by Tom, published in the April 2003 issue of Landscape Architect magazine:
Neponset Article_LA Mag-Ecology_April 03

Tom Benjamin is an independent registered Landscape Architect and LEED-accredited Professional (AP BD+C) practicing design and sustainability consulting, and is Principal of Wellnesscapes.  Tom has more than 20 years of experience in environmental design and sustainability work that often focused on green design including energy, waste, water and food systems.

In addition to residential restoration, Tom’s site planning work emphasizes low cost, low maintenance landscape solutions for healthcare, academic and senior institutions, public facilities, commercial and residential developments, large-scale solar farms and community farms/gardens.

Tom teaches sustainable landscape design at the University of Massachusetts.  He is the recipient of multiple awards, including three for his sustainable landscape design work at Kent Hospital in Warwick, RI.  Tom is a Board Member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA).

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