Marie Stella, MA, MS, is a landscape historian and designer with Graduate Certificates in Landscape Design and Landscape Design History from Radcliffe College, Harvard University. Her design firm specializes in environmental landscapes, and in initiatives to foster the preservation of open space.  She lectures frequently and leads local and foreign Garden History Tours. Marie teaches at The Landscape Institute, Boston Architectural College.  Her design projects include a 3/4 acre environmental New York City Park, “El Jardin del Paraiso,” and a Teaching Herb Garden at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Wellesley, MA.  She is a Gold Medal winner at the New England Flower Show, and has exhibited at The Urban Center, New York City, and the National Conference of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.  Marie is  Past President of the Environmental Consultants’ Council, GCFMA.

CAREER GOAL: To research, plan and implement the construction of environmental landscapes, to foster the preservation of open space.

EDUCATION: Radcliffe College, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Graduate Certificate in Landscape Design, 1994; Graduate Certificate in Landscape Design History, 1998 Lesley College, Cambridge, MA, Master of Science in Management New School University, New York, NY, Graduate Program in Fund Raising New York University, New York, NY, Master of Arts in History Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY, Bachelor of Arts in History

EMPLOYMENT: Director, Beaver Lodge Environmental Learning Center, Shelburne Falls, MA. Environmental Landscape Design, historic landscape documentation and research, adjunct faculty in landscape design at universities, lecturer for cultural organizations and horticultural societies, organizer of foreign garden history tours.

CURRENT TEACHING POSITIONS: Graduate, undergraduate and certificate courses. Adjunct faculty, Landscape Institute, Boston Architectural College.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS: New England Landscape Design and History Association, Ecological Landscaping Association, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, (NESEA), Accredited in Organic Land Care (NOFA), Landscape Design Council, Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, (Master Certification), National Council of State Garden Clubs (Accredited Environmental Consultant), Master Gardener. Past President, Environmental Consultants’ Council, GCFMA

Gold Medal, New England Flower Show, Boston, MA Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) US Green Building Council, Washington, DC

EXHIBITIONS: Urban Center, New York City National Conference of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, New York City Landscape Institute, Harvard University National Solar Tour, 2008- 2011.

CURRENT PROJECT: Beaver Lodge, a PLATINUM LEED rated home and sustainable landscape, offering one to three day intensive field study of all ages.

PRESS/TV: Northeast Sun  Green Buildings Open House Showcase, Design New England Magazine, Discovery Channel, Planet Green TV, Renovation Nation

Beaver Lodge Environmental Learning Center Illustrating the Integration of Art, Technology and Environment

Frustrated by a year-long intensive search for the ‘right house’, it finally became apparent to me that if I wanted to pursue a green agenda, I would have to construct my own environmentally engineered home. I was intrigued by the challenge of striving for LEED Platinum. As a Landscape Historian and Designer, The Renaissance ideal of the harmony of art and technology influenced me, and drives the design of systems for my teaching and landscape laboratory, “Beaver Lodge.” Surrounded by acres of forest protected by conservation restrictions, the house overlooks a large pond thriving with wildlife.


My holistic approach addresses environmental responsibility, sustainability and attractiveness. I give a great deal of thought to the aesthetics of each situation I encounter, balancing the function of innovative, emerging technology with minimal negative impact on the ecology of the site.


I believe “Beaver Lodge” reflects its local context and provides constant intimate contact with natural systems. Shifting views inside and outside are linked with arbors, patio and deck in a transparent house that is one room wide and sited for passive solar orientation and maximized daylighting. The healthy, stress-less atmosphere provides both relaxation and engagement. We can follow Thoreau’s advice to build our own home, as a bird builds its nest: 

                  If you build castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them. —Walden