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Plant Communities of Eastern MA: Vital Context for Landscape Design
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Plant Communities of Eastern MA:  Vital Context for Landscape Design


When: Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Where: United States
Contact: Meredith Gallogly

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Plant Communities of Eastern Massachusetts: Vital Context for Landscape Design

Taught by Patricia Swain RiceNatural Communities Ecologist

October 4, 2017 | 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Location: Great Hall Lodge at Camp Cedar Hill,  265 Beaver St, Waltham, MA

CEUs Available: MCH (0.5 credit), APLD (1.5 credits) & NOFA-AOLCP (pending).

This workshop is largely in the classroom, with an optional short field walk at the end.

The central purpose for this workshop is summed up by the landscape designer Darrel Morrison, who wrote, “The naturally evolved associations of native plants within a particular range can provide both information and inspiration for the design of gardens and landscapes that are ecologically sound and aesthetically satisfying.” Quite simply, a solid understanding of plant communities is indispensable for any designer of native landscapes. There is no one better to teach us about the natural plant communities of Massachusetts than Pat Swain, an ecologist who led the effort to update the official classification of these communities for the MA Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program, using data collected from extensive field inventories across the state. She will discuss how a plant community is defined, and give an overview of the climatic, geologic, and disturbance conditions that influence the species assembled in these communities. Come learn about communities that are common in eastern Massachusetts, with a focus on the plant species present and structure of successional types that may be models to reproduce or mimic in landscape design. The lecture portion of this workshop will be followed by an optional 45-minute field walk through adjacent woodlands in Waltham.

Pat Swain Rice recently retired from the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species program, where she worked as an ecologist for nearly 30 years. She now teaches a wide range of classes on plant communities, botanical identification, and survey techniques. She holds a PhD in Ecology from the University of Minnesota.


For more information, visit us at, or call 781-790-8921.

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