Project #3: Pioneering Stewardship Plan

Pioneer Valley Regional School

Essential Question: How can the largest public school land holder in Massachusetts increase its open air educational and recreational landscape use while rebuilding the declining diversity?


This project demonstrates my Resilient Landscape Planning & Design approach very effectively.


Area: 89.4-acres



Rough Goals: Identify where an outdoor confidence ropes course should be located.


Refined Goals: After site analysis and lots of stakeholder input from teachers, administrators, students, parents, community leaders and professionals, two goals emerged: sustainable land use practices and open-air education and recreation destinations.

Teachers, students, community members from the four sender towns to the regional school along with farmers, administrators and other professionals were involved in project development.
The project developed into two comprehensive goals with four specific actions.
Rich, lush wetlands surround the west side. One has become a certified vernal pool.
Bright yellow and red burning bush, a tenacious invasive plant has escaped maintained areas close to the school building and intruded into the surrounding woodland.
High in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, Pioneer Valley Regional School is the largest public school land holder in in the state with 89.4-acres
Most runoff carrying exotic invasive seed drains south east into Critical Natural Landscape buffer areas where rare and endangered species live.
During the last 30 years, focus for Pioneer has been on building infrastructure, while the landscape has been mostly ignored. The pink shows the extent of native and naturalized landscape lost to thirteen exotic invasive plants.
Red arrows show areas where trails need relocating due to erosion and closeness to wetlands.
Priority habitat and threats to these precious areas along with excessive runoff and exotic invasive plants became the focus the site’s management plan.
The Preferred Design identifies management areas and locations for student open-air facilities such as outdoor classrooms, a confidence ropes course and a wetland viewing platform.
Green roof, Putney School, Vermont

Future Lands Design’s RLP&D can help you with planning while maintaining an eye to the future of your town. Contact us to find how reasonable our services can be in launching your dream project.

One design included a number of solutions that will reduce energy consumption, conserve water, and engage students in open-air education. Here is an example of a green roof in nearby Putney School.
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Future Lands Designs, LLC., offers the unique Resilient Landscape Planning and Design (RLP&D) approach to recognize the role of Natural Capital (NC) in order to plan for changing conditions as you establish goals on your property.


Natural Capital (NC) includes the interaction of all life as well as climate, weather and natural resources that affect human survival and economic activity.