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Landscape Master Plan

Yellow graphic with text saying How can Smith's landscape adapt to climate change
Green graphic with text saying How can Smith's landscape be inclusive
Orange graphic with text saying How can Smith's landscape educate

The Smith campus has long been recognized for its magnificent landscape. For those of us who are students, alumnae, faculty or staff, the gardens, pathways, pond, glades and lawns shape both first impressions and lasting memories of our time at Smith.

Graphic showing three evolutions of the campus layout, with captions 1888, 1914, 1996 and a question mark representing 2020

Over the course of the 2019–20 academic year, the Landscape Master Plan Committee is overseeing the development of a new landscape master plan (LMP) for Smith College. We have partnered with MNLA, who will lead the landscape master plan. The LMP will be a comprehensive, 20-year plan that will guide the evolution of Smith’s outdoor campus landscape to meet current and future opportunities and challenges. The LMP will address how the campus landscape can manifest Smith’s values, educational goals, and strategic priorities.

Since the last landscape master plan was completed more than 20 years ago, changes in student priorities, pedagogy, technology, climate and landscape management practices have resulted in the need for a critical reassessment of the college’s landscape.

The LMP will establish an overarching philosophy for the landscape and a mission statement for Smith College for the next 20 years with regard to:

  1. Inclusivity: Capacity of the landscape to strengthen and advance social and cultural identity and promote health and well-being;
  2. Education: Capacity of the landscape to be a teaching and learning environment that fosters stewardship and scholarship;
  3. Adaptation: Capacity of the landscape to be resilient to the forces of climate change and prioritizes regenerative ecological function.

We envision a collaborative process to develop the LMP. Students, faculty, alumnae and staff are encouraged to join the conversation.  Your comments, concerns, ideas, and values are essential to evaluating and prioritizing the multiple facets of information, analysis, and decision-making that are encompassed in a successful LMP. Through your involvement, the LMP can identify synergies and strategic changes that will inform comprehensive solutions to complex issues affecting Smith’s landscape.

Over the course of the fall and spring semesters there will be multiple opportunities for you to share your input at meetings with the master plan team, provide online interactive feedback, and stay informed through the LMP online magazine, Groundswell. Each phase of the project will be accompanied by a new issue of Groundswell magazine to both inform the community of the project development and to collect their feedback and comments.


Graphic showing three maps of the campus layout, with captions saying Rome, Linger, Move and Learn

Landscape Master Planning Committee

  • Tim Johnson, Botanic Gardens Director
  • Dano Weisbord, Executive Director of Sustainability and Campus Planning
  • Beth Raffeld, Senior Vice President, Office of Alumnae Relations and Development
  • Jim Gray, Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations
  • Elisa Kim, Assistant Professor, Architecture & Urbanism
  • Steve Moga, Assistant Professor, Landscape Studies
  • Jack Loveless, Associate Professor, Geosciences
  • Nancy Bradbury, Professor, English Language and Literature
  • Tess Abbot ’20, Environmental Science and Policy Major
  • Julia Mettler-Grove ’21, Government Major