Each year, Conway graduate students are immersed in a range of real-world design and planning projects for non-profits and municipalities. Projects emphasize ecological and social sustainability at two scales: regional planning projects in the winter term and large-scale site designs in the spring term. Examples of planning projects include food system studies, watershed plans, climate resilience plans, and comprehensive plans. Large-scale site designs include campus site plans, ecological designs for town centers or neighborhoods, public park designs, redesigns of historic sites, and stream restoration plans to name a few.  

At the heart of this work is a commitment to deep listening and active collaboration with the project partners and their community. Working under the direct supervision of faculty, students create detailed analyses and provide recommendations for actions moving forward based on community engagement.

“If I had a robust staff of 7 or 8 and a half million to a million dollar budget to just do planning and infrastructure grants, that would be great, but that’s not the reality. We can’t get this stuff done without Conway School.”

Aaron Vega, Director Office of Planning and Economic Development, City of Holyoke

The cost to the school to bring forward a project is approximately $26,000, significantly less than a private firm would charge. For project partners in underserved or under-resourced communities, project fees are negotiated on a sliding scale based on a project partner’s ability to pay. The Community Projects Fund makes up the difference to keep the school’s budget on track, allowing Conway to provide support to all communities regardless of their ability to pay.

“Working with the Conway School was a huge leap for us in moving towards our vision to create land-based community space for queer and trans people, BIPOC, and justice movement organizers to heal, nourish themselves, and connect with the land and each other. With the Conway design we now have a roadmap for bringing our mission and plans to life. Thank you so much to the Community Project Fund donors for making that possible!”

– Ash Trull, Meetinghouse Farm

A Comprehensive Plan for Meetinghouse Farm, Providence, RI (Spring 2022)

The Community Projects Fund: Partnerships Made Possible

Established in 2021, the Community Projects Fund supports our work with organizations and municipalities who would not otherwise be able to afford our services. With this fund, we support communities that have been underserved or are under-resourced due to historic and ongoing inequities. The fund allows us to waive a portion or all of the project fees, eliminating barriers to necessary design work. Currently, contributions to the Community Projects Fund support an average of two projects each academic year. To date, the Community Projects Fund has supported four projects including: 

Thank you for your support of this effort. The Conway School will continue to seek projects that serve underserved and under-resourced communities; we trust you will join us.

For More Information

To discuss a possible project, contact:
CJ Lammers, Projects Manager
lammers@csld.edu  | (413) 270-2372

To support the Community Projects Fund, contact:
Lisa DeGrace, Development Manager
degrace@csld.edu  | (413) 203-6771

Community Projects Fund Donors

  • Mollie Babize ’84
  • Belding Memorial Library
  • Gail Berrigan ’18
  • Blue Yak Foundation
  • Bramble Hill Farm
  • Tina Brand
  • Arthur Collins II ’79
  • Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
  • Ruth Copeland
  • Lisa Cyr & Joe Flueckiger
  • Emily Davis ’14
  • Therese Desmond ’79
  • Julie Erickson
  • Roxanne Finn
  • Florence Savings Bank
  • Shayne Geiger ’23
  • Greenfield Savings Bank
  • Griswold Memorial Library
  • Gallagher Kelley Hannan ’14
  • Stephen Thor Johnson
  • Nancy Knox ’85
  • Gioia Kuss ’99
  • Lauren Snyder Lautner ’90
  • Genevieve Lawlor ’11
  • Bill & Shirley Lehman
  • Rachel Lindsay ’15
  • Rie Macchiarolo ’14
  • Laurie Magriel & Deborah Draving
  • James McGrath ’98
  • Mary McKitrick
  • Cara Montague ’20
  • Andrea Morgante ’76
  • Andrea Morris ’02
  • Morey Phippen & Brian Adams
  • Jamie Pottern ’12
  • Lisa Rivera
  • Keith Ross
  • Kirk Sanger
  • Tristam Seidler
  • Ellen Senghas
  • Alicia Silveira
  • Robin Simmen ’01
  • Robert Small ’93
  • Theresa Sprague ’08
  • John A. Steele ’84
  • Stoneleigh-Burnham School
  • Nelle Ward ’14
  • Peg Read Weiss ’79
  • Elisabeth Williams
  • Zoar Outdoor Adventure Resort