LDC Award for Excellence - 2016

Renata von Tscharner of Charles River Conservancy Wins Landscape Design Council Award for Excellence


WELLESLEY HILLS, MASSACHUSETTS—September 7, 2016—The Landscape Design Council (LDC) of Massachusetts announced today that Renata von Tscharner, founder and president of the Charles River Conservancy, is the 2016 winner of the Landscape Design Council Award for Excellence, given in recognition of outstanding civic accomplishment.


“Renata von Tscharner created the Charles River Conservancy and developed it into a significant force for making the river a beautiful, clean recreation resource for the entire region,” said Chris Cotter, LDC chairman. “This work of stewardship and renewal, carried out over many years and ongoing still, inspired the Council to select Renata as the 2016 recipient of our Award for Excellence.”


A Positive Force on the Boston Scene—and Scenery


In 2000, von Tscharner founded the Charles River Conservancy, which is dedicated to the stewardship, renewal, and enhancement of the urban parklands along the Charles River. The Conservancy promotes the active use and vitality of the parklands, increases recreational and cultural opportunities, and works to ensure the beauty and integrity of this extraordinary public resource. The mission is to create and maintain a world-class urban riverfront park that may be enjoyed by all.


Each year, approximately 2,000 Conservancy volunteers help to renew and maintain the Charles River parklands. The Conservancy also collaborates with other organizations and coalitions to advocate for increased state funding for better access and good planning and management practices to enhance the landscape, structures, pathways, and amenities of the Charles River Basin.


As president, von Tscharner oversees all aspects of the organization, which has a staff of 6 and more than 15,000 supporters and volunteers. She has decades of experience in not-for-profit leadership, project and fiscal management, marketing, and organizational development. She trained as an architect and urban designer in Switzerland—she earned a degree in architecture and city planning from the Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland—and worked in Paris, London, and as assistant city planner in Bern, Switzerland.


Her professional life has focused on planning and improving public spaces. In 1979, she cofounded the Townscape Institute, a not-for-profit public-interest planning organization that strives for visual coherence of the buildings, streets, and spaces that make up Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her many other accomplishments include working on the Covent Garden Market in London, coauthoring several books, hosting television shows, and teaching at various colleges in the United States.


The Charles River Conservancy


The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the renewal and active use of the Charles River parklands from Boston Harbor to the Watertown Dam. The Conservancy works in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the managing agency of the parklands and parkways, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the managing agency of the historic bridges that traverse the Charles. For more information, visit www.thecharles.org.


The Landscape Design Council of Massachusetts


Organized in 1963, the Landscape Design Council (LDC) of Massachusetts operates under the auspices of National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC) and is a special-subjects group of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Inc. The purpose of LDC is to provide ongoing landscape-design education through speakers, workshops, and tours of outstanding public and private areas. The Massachusetts chapter is the largest Council in the US. It provides judges for the Boston Flower & Garden Show and presents three landscape-design awards of its own.


The Membership


LDC members have completed the Landscape Design Study Program, a series of four 10-hour courses, and passed the required examinations, entitling them to become NGC-accredited Landscape Design Consultants. Members act in an advisory capacity to encourage awareness of the need for good landscape architectural practice, serving as guardians of environmental beauty by applying what they have learned to individual and community projects. LDC members promote environmental interests through work on town committees and boards. Members have been responsible for many landscaping projects at municipal buildings and other public areas in their cities and towns. A number have gone on to earn certificates in landscape design, or Master’s degrees in landscape architecture, and to establish their own businesses.


For more information about LDC, visit www.ldcma.org or contact ldcmass@gmail.com.

Editorial Contact:
Frances Wheeler
for the Landscape Design Council of Massachusetts