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First-Ever Intro for Landscape Architects and Designers

On a sunny spring Saturday, eleven professionals from the adjacent field of landscape architecture and design arrived at the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont for hands-on experience building a dry stone wall. Several came from firms with national scope designing at municipal and institutional scales. Others came from smaller local design-build companies, including a workers’ coop. One student of architecture joined the workshop and one woman holds credentials in both architecture and landscape architecture. Training through the Stone Trust has long qualified for LACES continuing education credits, but this is the first workshop specifically designed for design professionals. Part of the Stone Trust’s Dry Stone Walling for Green Infrastructure Initiative, this training intended to bridge the knowledge gaps across two professions. With the extensive Master Feature Stone Wall Park, the Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont provides the ideal setting for such an experience.

Adapted from the 1-Day Introduction to Dry Stone Walling, this session abbreviated wall building and extended discussions and a stonework features tour. Hands-on walling teaches you how a wall is constructed and why it is built that way. Building helps designers understand the amount of time and practice it takes to construct a functional, durable, and aesthetically pleasing dry stone wall. With that exposure, design professionals can better estimate pricing at the front end, know how and where to source materials, communicate about stonework to clients and contractors, provide specifications and quality expectations for the end result, and evaluate the quality of stonework as it is installed.

As the only known Master Craftsman with a degree in landscape architecture, lead instructor Brian Post was the right person to instruct the session. Both Brian and co-instructor Dan Morales-Walsh bring extensive experience of building the features designers incorporate into project plans. Together they guided instruction intended to expose designers to the five basic principles of dry stone walling while also addressing planning and installation of projects.

As evening fell, the group gathered in the Scott Farm’s Apple Barn to continue design-build conversations and enjoy a supper generously sponsored by Maine Stone Scapes.

Thanks to everyone for bringing curiosity, enthusiasm, and expertise to the day. The Stone Trust looks forward to planning similar events across all training sites, and to continuing to create learning opportunities for professionals across the building trades.