Regenerative design depends on a feedback web of many processes for life to renew and restore. On the other hand, even ecologically-informed maintenance of private property usually involves some intervention to arrest succession, maintain access, and preserve other essential functions. How do we embrace principles of regenerative design on private land parcels where functional needs preclude true rewilding? What happens when we invite and then interrupt the feedback loop in some aspects of a place, but not in others? We’ll review transformations of different sized local properties and explore how we can maximize ecological benefits for our natural and social communities when our loftiest goals may be out of reach. Projects will include a small urban wild near the “Mass Pike,” a barrier beach restoration where wind dominates, the partial-rewilding of a suburban McMansion, a transformed agricultural parcel, and others.
Laura Kuhn is a self-taught designer, who brought her experiences in theatre arts and choreography to the design of outdoor spaces in 1997. After initially working in the nursery business, she started her own business in 2000. Laura Kuhn Design Consultation creates custom artistic and wild spaces for private clients in the New England region and beyond. Ms. Kuhn offers services in landscape design strategy and restoration; project coordination and construction; oversight for urban oases, small parcels, estate gardens, and rural landscapes; edible gardens; and outdoor dining spaces. Her certifications include MCH, MCLP, and NOFA AOLCP. She currently serves on MNLA’s Government Relations Committee. In the past, she enjoyed serving as Advocacy Chair for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD), serving on the MCLP certification committee for Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professionals, and most of all, teaching at the Landscape Institute.