The Trustees of Reservations recently acquired 89 acres of property in the Town of Shirley, Ma which hosts a beautiful natural landscape of forests, wetlands, and a running brook as well as cultural landscape features such as open fields, meadows, an old cranberry bog as well as a significant conifer collection and mature specimen trees. Stewarded by a family since 1891 as a summer home and permanent residence in more recent years, the Trustees in formally opening the property to the public, embarked on a master planning process to establish a greater vision for the property, to develop the visitor experience, and specifically to locate a visitor center as well as bathroom facilities, and to provide parking on the property.

 The planning process included historic research of the property and its land uses, topographic analysis, conducting an existing tree assessment and management plan, design of pedestrian and vehicular circulation, program analysis and investigation into partnering opportunities, and guidelines for future development. Working with the Trustees and the local community, and through analysis of the rich, cultural resources, a master plan was created for this community park that highlights the preservation of its natural features, trails and water bodies, as well as the cultural landscape features in the creation of an arboretum and pollinator garden, preservation of the open grasslands and continued maintenance of the historic cranberry bog.

Lisa Giersbach, Principal





The current site of the Concord Museum is a confusing series of buildings with problematic pedestrian circulation, and poor visibility to the main entry and parking. The master plan for the museum site proposes the creation of a cohesive campus landscape which contributes to the programming of museum activities as well as reflects the museum’s sense of place as a gateway to the Town of Concord. Parking as a program element was redesigned to feel clear and easy to navigate as well as integrated into the landscape. Adding entries to the site from both Lexington Road and the Concord Turnpike make the museum more accessible and visible to the public, and a sequence of public spaces from parking to courtyard to entry will engage visitors from the moment they enter the site.

 The proposed landscape planting reflect the rural, historic vernacular of orchard trees, large shade trees and open meadows. The planned plant typologies work to both tell the story of the history of Concord and to integrate the site into the larger landscape. Surrounding the building, the new forecourt and courtyard areas provide a variety of spaces that can be programmed to accommodate many uses and to create a strong, indoor-outdoor relationship.

Lisa Giersbach, Principal

Elizabeth Gourley, landscape architect, Elizabeth Gourley Design

Barbara Keene, Tree Specialists, horticultural preservationist



THE OLD LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM, Stonington, CT with Oudens Ello Architects


The rehabilitation and addition to the Old Lighthouse Museum dating to 1840 for the Stonington Historical Society includes reconceiving of the site and the visitor’s experience in the landscape. The lighthouse sits at the entrance to the harbor of Stonington, Connecticut’s only port facing on the Atlantic. A new addition which creates a new visitor’s entrance and gift shop is to be constructed at the rear of the building, preserving the historic facade of the structure. New paths, plantings, an open terrace area and site walls present the historic face of the building and choreograph a procession to the new entrance to the museum. Stone treads set within the lawn, gently bring people down to the perennial gardens and open lawn area overlooking the ocean. The landscape extends to the roof top of the new addition in the creation of an extensive green roof which will help with storm water retention, and cooling of the building in the hot summer months.

Lisa Giersbach, Principal