Planning with residents.
COGdesign, the Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide quality landscape design services to community-based groups. As part of this process, we offer meaningful professional experience to student and practicing landscape designers who work on these projects.
While COGdesign's local mission is exchanging pro bono landscape design services for field experience and professional development through a productive client-designer relationship, our
global goals are:
- empowering non-traditional design clients,
- creating an ecologically sound framework for landscape improvements,
- enhancing community quality-of-life through designs which address community
Puddingstone Garden, Roxbury
Nature journal workshops.
To accomplish these goals we work with clients traditionally underserved by the professional design community while developing the essential outreach, design, management, and communication skills among our designers. Through good planning and design, and an educated stewardship, we aim to regenerate overlooked, underused, abused, or poorly planned community landscapes.
Design services are available to any community group which satisfies our eligibility requirements: we do not accept residential projects or projects with budgets able to pay for professional services. While our design services are pro bono to clients, we do require active client participation throughout the design process.
Preparing a stream-side garden.
Our landscape design projects result in plans, models,
plant lists, written reports, cost estimates, and maintenance recommendations
– tools which communities can use to develop and implement their unique vision
for their landscape.
COGdesign's services offer clients, unable to budget for
traditional design services, the opportunity to move forward with their
landscape improvements and ultimately experience the beauty, utility, and pride
resulting from a successful landscape design and inclusive design development
Our clients have included public and private schools,
neighborhood parks, Friends groups, churches, municipal agencies, historic
sites, and community gardens. >> See more
about our Projects
Planting a new garden.
COGdesign began in the fall of 1995 as part of the student organization at
the Radcliffe Seminars in Landscape Design now The Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College (BAC). The requests for pro bono design help and student/graduate
interest in working with community projects encouraged founders to incorporate
as an autonomous non-profit organization with its own board, budget, mission,
and constituency. COGdesign incorporated in 1997 and received legal non-profit status in 1998.
To date, COGdesign has worked on more than 50 landscape design projects in
greater Boston and eastern Massachusetts, in rural, suburban, and urban
is dedicated to providing quality landscape design
services to community organizations that do not have the
resources for traditional design services.
COGdesign acts as a facilitator between these community
organizations, landscape designers looking for
meaningful ways to use their design skills, and
landscape design students looking for "in the
field" design and client experience.
St. Apartments, Somerville
Container gardening workshop for
COG's designers tailor their work to the specific
needs of the client. Typically, projects begin with
focused discussion and review between designer and
community and conclude with a site analysis, drawn or
written plans, plant lists, cost estimates, and
maintenance information. Models are sometimes included.
COG's design services fulfill a critical community
need. Each project results in a unique product --- a
community process, drawn or written plans, cost
estimates---that provides the community with the tools
it needs to develop a vision and then to realize this
vision for its own particular landscape.
Who We Are at COGdesign
Ellen Forrester, gardening coach (center, standing)
High St. Veterans Housing
Board of Directors
- Karen Clay, landscape designer
- Terese D'Urso, landscape historian
- Carolyn Edsell-Vetter, landscape designer/contractor
- Roger Fasnacht, Independent Financial Consultant
- Jean Krasnow, retired faculty, History &
Community Development, Wheelock College &
- Karen Longeteig, landscape designer
- Sally Muspratt, principal, Sally Muspratt Landscape
- Jon Pate, Senior Landscape Architect, Warner Larson, Inc.
Karen Howard, award winning designer, N.E. Spring Flower Show
- Diane Aronson, nonprofit administrator and consumer representative for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
- Monica Fairbairn, Principal, Gardening by Design; former Executive Director, Museum of African American History
- John Furlong, ASLA, landscape architect; instructor, Landscape Institute at BAC
- Nicolene Hengen, MIT Lean Advancement Initiative
- Linda Herman, RN, floral and garden designer
- Karen Howard, President, Howard Garden Designs
- Aideen Jenkins,
nonprofit fundraising professional; Master Gardener
- Clarke Keenan, retired business entrepreneur
- Todd Richardson, ASLA, Principal, Richardson & Associates Landscape Architects; instructor, Landscape Institute at BAC
- Alexandra Schweitzer, Health Care Administrator