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Putting Down Roots: Revitalizing the John Brown House Museum’s Great Lawn

The location of more than 100 concerts, the starting point of thousands of walking tours, and a beautiful spot of quiet contemplation for countless visitors, the great lawn of the John Brown House became a shadow of its former self as its ancient elms were ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease. It became clear to the Rhode Island Historical Society, the stewards of the property, that drastic action would need to be taken to bring life back to one of the largest, publicly accessible greenspaces on Benefit Street. In this talk, RIHS Executive Director C. Morgan Grefe will explore how the RIHS approached its revitalization plan and process, known as “Putting Down Roots,” to not replicate this historic landscape, but rather seek inspiration from the past, with an eye to sustainability, climate changes, and the evolving needs of our communities.

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