Dec 8th Workshop: A New Way of Seeing the Landscape

Tools for Helping Engineers and Licensed Designers Develop with Natural Resources in Mind

December 8, 2015 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Noble Hall Lounge - Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier
This course is approved for 2 Non-Soil credits for Licensed Designers
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Go to the full agenda.

Civil engineers and licensed designers are key players in land development, providing advice to their clients that can influence how land is subdivided, developed, and managed in Vermont. These decisions create the built and natural landscapes that characterize the identity of the state.

Much of Vermont’s economy, including real estate, second home development, tourism, working lands, and recreation, is built on this brand and relies on a high-quality landscape. Part of what contributes to a high quality landscape are healthy watersheds, intact and productive forests, and wildlife habitat

Given the importance of a scenic and healthy landscape to Vermont, this workshop-style training will focus on developing with natural resources in mind. It will provide engineers and licensed designers with background information and strategies for a) including natural resources in discussions with landowners; b) maintaining viable working forests; (c) promoting strategic site design for natural resource conservation; (d) reducing forest and habitat fragmentation; and e) encouraging options for forestland management and conservation during the land development process. 

For engineers and licensed designers, fluency in discussing how natural resource and community values relates with clients is a value-added service for clients – an important skill as consumers of all kinds have increasing awareness of, and interest in, “green” approaches.

This session will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss best practices on the ground and perspectives on the realities of working with clients

The curriculum will include:

  • ways to talk with clients about developing with natural resources in mind
  • presentation of strategies (regulatory and non-regulatory) and site design
  • considerations for shaping development patterns to benefit the landscape, while also
  • being mindful of typical landowner expectations and engineering constraints
  • ways to talk with clients about the benefit of promoting long-term ownership of
  • forests
  • background information on the value of keeping forestland and habitat intact – why
  • this is important
  • a hands-on modeling exercise that utilizes the tools presented in the lecture

By the end of this session, participants will:

  • understand the value of developing in a manner that supports the functions of a parcel for
  • maintaining healthy forests, wildlife habitat, and water quality functions
  • understand how different development and conservation techniques can be utilized
  • to maintain natural resource values
  • gain tools and techniques to help minimize forest fragmentation and promote healthy
  • intact forests
  • learn ways to talk about these issues with clients