Historic Landscapes as Venues for Sustainable Design

Historic Landscapes as Venues for Sustainable Design completes a four-part lecture series at Green-Wood

Historic Landscapes as Venues for Sustainable Design

Green-Wood | Park Slope

Historic Landscapes as Venues for Sustainable Design is the final installment of a four-part lecture series to envision how to change a historic site without losing any of the character or majesty at Green-Wood on Thursday, December 14, 2017, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Designed natural plantings seek to re-start a process that nature continues over time. Larry Weaner is the expert’s expert in the field of creating natural landscapes, a practice which blends environmental science and fine garden design. Over the past 20 years, Weaner has led an annual state-of-the- art conference on natural landscapes, New Directions in the American Landscape (NDAL), now entering its 29th year.

Weaner has just completed the first phase of redesigning one of Green-Wood’s steepest slopes, just east of the Historic Chapel. By planting this slope with low meadow and woody plants, he has re-interpreted this highly visible area with flora that might have grown at Green-Wood in the earliest days of the cemetery, created habitat for pollinators and wildlife, and reduced the need for mowing.

In this presentation, Weaner will discuss this project and others, and the ways in which historic landscapes, like Green-Wood, can serve as pioneers in the field of sustainable design.


$15 for members of Green-Wood and BHS / $20 for non-members


The Big Picture is a four-part lecture series bringing together visionary designers and garden managers to discuss what makes this historic landscape (and others like it) so special, and how it can be both preserved and re-imagined.

Part One; Thursday, November 9, 2017: Matthew Urbanski presents Come In: The Entrance Experience.

Part Two; Thursday, November 16, 2017: Faye Harwell, founding partner of Rhodeside and Harwell presents Deep Diving and Truly Knowing Green-Wood.

Part Three; Thursday, December 7, 2017: A panel discussion featuring Todd Forrest (The New York Botanical Garden), Melanie Sifton (Brooklyn Botanic Garden) and Joseph Charap (Green-Wood) on Managing the Designed Landscape: Curating Collections in a Time of Environmental Change.

Part Four; Thursday, December 14, 2017: Larry Weaner is the expert’s expert in the field of creating natural landscapes and presents Historic Landscapes as Venues for Sustainable Design.



Founded in 1838 and now a National Historic Landmark, Green-Wood was one of the first rural cemeteries in America. By the early 1860s, it had earned an international reputation for its magnificent beauty and became the prestigious place to be buried, attracting 500,000 visitors a year, second only to Niagara Falls as the nation’s greatest tourist attraction. Crowds flocked there to enjoy family outings, carriage rides, and sculpture viewing in the finest of first generation American landscapes. Green-Wood’s popularity helped inspire the creation of public parks, including New York City’s Central and Prospect Parks.

Green-Wood is 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths, throughout which exists one of the largest outdoor collections of 19th- and 20th-century statuary and mausoleums. Four seasons of beauty from century-and-a-half-old trees offer a peaceful oasis to visitors, as well as its 560,000 permanent residents, including Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Charles Ebbets, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Horace Greeley, Civil War generals, baseball legends, politicians, artists, entertainers and inventors.

A magnet for history buffs and bird watchers, Green-Wood is a Revolutionary War historic site (the Battle of Long Island was fought in 1776 across what is now its grounds), a designated site on the Civil War Discovery Trail and a registered member of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System.