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Participant Submission from an Entry-Level Dry Stone Waller Awardee

“This wall was built for the owners of a house located on top of an old quarry! They wanted a retaining wall built  on top of a piece of old ledge from the quarry. I was able to find local quarried rocks cut from the same vein about five miles away to build this red wall.”–Melanie Grubman

“I would like to be part of a network of individuals near me with similar interests.”

–Workshop Participant, The Stone Trust Pennsylvania

Friends in walling live far and wide, so you may not be familiar with others who share your love for designing and building with stone. The Stone Trust wants to connect you, to develop the experience of camaraderie among dry stone wallers at all levels of experience and engagement. Many of you have a strong desire to share your stories, photos, thoughts, questions, and knowledge. Feel free to send them to

“With stone I want to build to last,

to fit into the landscape,

to build community,

and to demonstrate craft.”

–Melanie Grubman

Melanie’s story of becoming a dry stone waller is rooted in a personal history of trail maintenance and masonry. From her first contact with the Stone Trust in 2020, Melanie has worked to further her craftsmanship and to develop her business acumen as a dry stone waller. She earned Level 1 Waller certification in September 2020. You can see Melanie’s 2020 participant submission here.

In 2021, the Stone Trust awarded Melanie an Entry-Level Professional Waller Scholarship to support training and certification. That year, she experienced the challenges of building a vertical wall end in the spring Walling Skills Intensive. She intended to pass her Level 2 Waller test that year. Life events got in the way.

Fortunately, the scholarship provides three years of funding; you can expect to congratulate Melanie on passing her Level 2 in the not-too-distant future. We’ll send the news and celebrate when she does! At that point, she can certify as a DSWA-Stone Trust instructor. She will join the five other women in North America certified to teach dry stone walling. We certainly need her!

The red rock retaining wall featured above and the stonework below both were a collaborative effort between Melanie Grubman Stonework and RockSteady Hardscapes, businesses owned by DSWA Level 1-certified wallers Melanie Grubman and Colin Brown.

This wall measures seven feet on its low edge and includes thirteen stairs leading into a walkway to the front door. The walls were handpicked from the local quarry.

Everyone who sends a “participant submission” furthers a collective sense of camaraderie. Sometimes your message arrives and we have met in person. Other times, you introduce yourself with your email. Send your thoughts to

Thank you, friends in walling, for sharing your walling inspirations and helping to create a broad, increasingly connected walling community!