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THE MILL RIVER GREENWAY INITIATIVE: A COLLABORATIVE PROJECT: FALL 2011


Organizing Fellow:
Reid Bertone-Johnson, Landscape Studies & Manager, Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station

Coordinating Fellow:
Andrew Guswa, Engineering

The Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability (CEEDS) and the Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute invite faculty to participate in a new format, collaborative short-term project to explore the opportunities presented by the Mill River Greenway Initiative. The Mill River Greenway is a working group of local citizens who aim to protect the Mill River watershed, preserve its cultural artifacts, enhance its biological health, encourage recreational activity and create a greenway along the river. This environmental design project in our backyard would benefit from the knowledge and creativity of faculty in multiple disciplines and departments, including ecology, hydrology, and ethics, Exercise and Sport Studies, Government, Art, Landscape Studies, and Economics: What are the ethical and political issues that arise from such a joint effort? How does the preservation or transformation of this space impact the environment and eco-system? How does this project compare to other similar efforts around the country or the world? What are the potential gains for community health and wellness? What is the design potential in transforming such a space? What are the costs and benefits? Supported by CEEDS, the Landscape Studies Program, the Mill River Greenway, the Connecticut River Watershed Council, Grow Food Northampton, the Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW), and the Office of Planning and Development for Northampton, this effort to develop the greenway is truly collaborative in its reach, and has the potential to link the College and the community in new ways.

A short-term project, supported jointly by CEEDS and the Kahn Institute, serves as the starting point for this interdisciplinary collaboration. Over a day and a half, faculty will explore the Mill River site and discuss ways the Initiative could enhance their own teaching and scholarship. Anticipated outcomes from the short-term project (for individuals or groups) might include curricular initiatives and research possibilities. CEEDS also anticipates offering budgetary support for integrative environmental projects in which students, faculty, and staff work together toward solutions to environmental challenges, and ideas for these could be generated by this short-term project.

The project will include a dinner on Thursday, a field trip to the Mill River on Friday morning, and breakfast and lunch on Friday. Interested faculty should email the Kahn Institute’s Director, Rosetta Cohen (rcohen@smith.edu) by October 7, 2011 to apply. In your email, please include the title of the project and explain why you are interested in it, what you would bring to it, and what you hope to gain from it.

PROJECT SCHEDULE:

  • Thursday, November 3, 4:30pm-8:30pm
  • Friday, November 4, 8:45am-4:00pm


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