ExpiredWorkshop at the NY – NJ Trail Conference Headquarters (Mahwah NJ)

Darlington Schoolhouse. The workshop will build a dry stone wall between the road and the front of the schoolhouse
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  • Site Preperation workshop
    This one day workshop will teach proper preparation for building, with a focus on setting up batter frames and sorting stone.
    April 15, 2016
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wall Building Workshop
    This two day workshop will teach how to to build dry stone walls Level 1 (beginner) and Level 2 (intermediate)
    April 16, 2016 - April 17, 2016
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Photo simulation of dry stone wall to be built during the workshop at the NY - NJ Trail Conference
Photo simulation of dry stone wall to be built during the workshop

NOTE: There will also be a second similar workshop at this location to finish this wall Memorial Day Weekend May 28th – 30th.  Registration for the May dates will be available soon.

Be sure to read about the workshop format and levels below so you can select the registration options that are right for you!

The Event:

The Stone Trust is excited to announce this workshop being held in partnership with the New York–New Jersey Trail Conference.  The Trail Conference partners with parks to create, protect, and promote more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the greater New York metropolitan area. More than 1,700 Trail Conference volunteers give over 93,000 hours per year building, maintaining, and monitoring some of the nation’s finest networks of foot trails.

This workshop is ideal for both beginner and dry stone wallers, enthusiasts, homeowners, and contractors alike.  This is a special workshop where some of the top dry stone walling instructors in North America will be teaching the art and craft of dry stone walling on this historic site.  It is a great opportunity for those in the greater metropolitan New York City area to lean about dry stone walling without a long distance trip.

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More About This Workshop:

The Site and Stone:

This will be the first of two planned workshops to build a permanent wall in front of the Trail Conferences’s new headquarters at the historic Darlington Schoolhouse in Mahwah NJ.  This workshops will build a free-standing wall which will be three feet tall and run for over 160 ft.  The wall will be built using the standard structural practices.  TNYNJTC LOGOhe style of work will aim to match the historic dry stone walls and fences of the area.  There are several cheek ends and curved section for the more advanced participants.

The workshop will take place in front of the Darlington School House so there is indoor space for the morning introductions, and the worksite is fairly level and well prepared.

The wall will be built with a variety of local fieldstone and quarried stone.  There is stone from the site; nearby Ramapo College has donated local fieldstone; and quarried stone from Hillburn Granite has been donated as well. In all over 100 tons of stone will be used to complete this wall.

The site where the dry stone wall will be built - there are some stones there already
The site where the dry stone wall will be built – there are some stones there already

Workshop Format:

This workshop will have 2 parts that need to be signed up for above separately.

  • Friday April 15th is a site preparation workshop.  This can be viewed as an add-on course to the main workshop.
  • Saturday-Sunday April 16th and 17th is the main workshop where the focus will be building the wall.


On Friday, workshop participants will learn the needed site preparation for building a wall.  Participants will be lead through discussions of sourcing and selection stone to use, and preparing the foundation.  For the better part of the day, participants will be learn from and working along side the instructors setting up batter frames and sorting stone for building.

Knowing how to efficiently build sturdy batter frames and understanding how to use string lines are two of the trickiest aspects for many dry stone wallers.

Learning objectives for Friday:

  • How to set up a site for efficient dry stone walling
  • How to build and set up batter frames and string lines
  • How to prepare a sturdy foundation for dry stone walls
  • How to efficiently sort and lay out stone to speed up the building process
Darlington School House. The stones across the front are approximately where the wall will be built
Darlington School House. The stones across the front are approximately where the wall will be built


On Saturday, the workshop will begin with an brief introductory presentation on the correct structural practices of dry stone walling.  You will get a sense of how walls should be built before starting on the wall.  From there we will head outside and each workshop participant will have their own section of wall to work on.  Over the course of the day participants will be guided though setting foundation stones, packing hearting, and building the ‘first lift’ which is the lower half of the wall.  By the end of the day we will aim to have the wall built about 1/2 way up, with through stones on the wall.

On Sunday the wall building will continue.  We will have some additional presentation time, but the continued focus will be on getting the wall up to completed height.  Special attention will be paid to capping off the top of the wall.  Rather than the coping vertical coping traditional in other areas, we will be using heavy cap stones to stay in keeping with the local historic walls.

Over the course of the two days of walling we will discuss and demonstrate tools, shape stone, and even use “feathers and wedges” to split down large stones.  Because this will be a permanent wall, rather than a workshop wall that is frequently rebuilt, we will be building to a high standard of quality.

Learning Objectives for Saturday and Sunday:

  • Knowledge of the correct basic structural rules to follow when building
  • Understand the terminology of dry stone walling
  • Ability to identify and manage stones for maximum value
  • Ability to identify properly built walls
  • Know safe construction practices


Driving directions and further workshop information such as what to bring will be emailed to you upon registration.

Full payment is required for registration.  To register, go back to the top of this page, select the number of people you are signing up from the pull downs, then click “add to event cart”.  You will be guided to secure online registration and payment. Paypal is the preferred method of payment.  Any major credit or debit card will work and you do not need a Paypal account.   You may also choose to print out an invoice and mail a check (follow the directions on the invoice).

Workshop Levels:

The Satuday-Sunday workshop has two levels to select from.

  • Level 1:  If you have little or no dry stone walling experience and have not taken any previous dry stone walling workshops Level 1 is for you.  Selecting this level means you will be working on a straight section of wall, which is where the basics need to be learned.  Many people find it is useful to take more than one level 1 workshop before moving to level 2.
  • Level 2:  If you have taken one or more workshops in the past or have a lot of past stone working experience level 2 is right for you.  In this workshop as a level 2 workshop participant you will either be working on a curved section of wall or a cheek end (wall end).  These are both features that are more difficult to build and require some previous experience working with stone.


[image_with_text image=’https://thestonetrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/wall-site-from-enterance.jpg’ title=” title_color=” title_tag=”]

Wall site as viewed from the front entrance to the Trail Conference headquarters



Licensed Landscape Architects can receive 7.5 LA CES credit hours for attending the site prep workshop day and and 15 credit hours for the two day walling workshop.  Take both for 22.5 credit hours, almost 2 years worth in 3 days!   These workshops make a great break from the office and you will come away with an incredible knowledge base about dry stone walls that can be applied directly to your projects!


The instruction for this workshop will be lead by 3 of the top Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA-GB) Certified Dry Stone Walling Instructors in North America.  All three are frequent instructors at The Stone Trust Workshops.  The maximum ratio of participants to instructors will be 10 to 1, giving all participants lots of individual instruction time.

Jared Flynn Dry stone waller
Jared Flynn

JARED FLYNN is a native Vermonter who’s passion is the preservation of Dry Stone Walls. As a founding member of The Stone Trust in 2010, his efforts have supported dry stone enthusiasts and professionals with access to all things related to walling.  Jared has continued to be heavily involved with The Stone Trust as a board member and Center Coordinator.   He is a professional waller with his own business since 2000, Jared Flynn Stonework. As a professional member of the DSWA-GB since 2005, Jared is a Certified Instructor, and one of 6 Advanced Level DSWA Certified Wallers in the USA.

Jared also holds a Journeyman Certificate from the Dry Stone Conservancy of Kentucky.




Brian Post with completed wall
Brian Post

BRIAN POST starting building walls at age 10. Since then he has continued working with stone whenever possible. In 2006 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. As part of his studies he spent 4 months in England, Scotland, and Wales working with several wallers including DSWA-GB Master Craftsmen.

Brian is one of 6 wallers in the USA to hold an Advanced Certificate from the DSWA-GB, and is a Certified Instructor. Brian is also a Licensed Landscape Architect in the State of Vermont. Brian regularly works both in the design studio and in the field. In 2010 he started his own firm, Standing Stone Landscape Architecture.  He is a professional member of the DSWA-GB.  Brian has been a board member of The Stone Trust since 2012, and spent 2 years as President before becoming the Executive Director in 2015.




Michael Murphy dry stone waller
Michael Murphy

MICHAEL MURPHY is a frequent instructor at The Stone Trust and he is a member of the Board of Directors. He is a DSWA-GB Certified Intermediate Waller, who is currently working on attaining his Advanced Certification.  Michael is a DSWA Certified Instructor, and professional member. He is also a Dry Stone Conservancy (DSC) Journeyman Waller. Michael has worked extensively in Vermont and Michigan, and is the owner of The Nature of Stone. He is an excellent instructor, with a joy of walling and teaching.  After taking a workshop with Michael you will be back for more!

The NYNJTC will also have staff members Ama Koenigshof, and Kevin Simpson on hand as well.  Both have taken workshops and attained their Initial Level Certification at The Stone Trust.



As this is a specially contracted workshop, not part of The Stone Trust’s standard schedule of events, membership discounts will not be given.  There is also no discount for NYNJTC members, though we hope you will support both organizations by becoming members.