CNU New England award

Reuse Design of the Iconic Crook Point Bascule Bridge

PRESS RELEASE

Sandwich, Mass., October 2, 2023 – Horsley Witten Group, a full-service environmental consulting firm providing sustainable and resilient design solutions, has been honored with a regional award for its reuse design of the iconic Crook Point Bascule Bridge and revitalization of the Seekonk River shoreline in Providence, Rhode Island.

Horsley Witten Group, along with project partners Jonathan Harris, Abernathy Lighting, and the City of Providence, received the 2023 Excellence in Urbanism Award on Thursday, September 14th at the Fall Summit of the New England Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU New England). In selecting the 2023 winners, CNU New England prioritized projects that contribute to the creation of walkable, sustainable and equitable places in New England. The project proposal is also the winner of an international design competition hosted by the City of Providence.

The award was accepted by Horsley Witten’s Jon Ford, Johnson and Wales University Professor Jonathan Harris, and Joseph Mulligan III, director of planning and development for the City of Providence.

 

“I am so grateful to be accepting this award on behalf of Horsley Witten Group and our team of collaborators,” said Jon Ford, Senior Associate-of Community Design . “We knew it was important that our design focus on climate-based resiliency, provide a welcoming environment for all, and to celebrate the bridge structure’s iconic status, while creating improvements that are realistic and cost-effective – we are looking forward to working with the city to implement the vision.”

The Crook Point Bascule Bridge originally built in 1908 to provide a direct link between the Providence, New York-New Haven, and Hartford rail lines, once connected the cities of Providence and East Providence over the Seekonk River. It has been fixed in the upright position since its abandonment in 1976, becoming a local icon and point of fascination for local neighborhoods and beyond.

Horsley Witten Group’s design calls for a series of unique riverfront public spaces to connect people physically and visually to both a restored riverbank and a celebrated bridge structure, the existing remnants of which were originally planned for demolition. The CNU New England Jury noted how the project underscores the need to preserve and renew historical landscapes which in turn affirm the continuity and evolution of urban society.

 

Richard claytor, Jr., P.E.

Sr. Water Resources Engineer

HOW WOULD YOU BEST DESCRIBE THE HORSLEY WITTEN GROUP (HW) AND THE WORK YOU DO TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF THE A|E|C AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONS?

HW is a small business planning, engineering and environmental service consulting firm. Much of our work involves ensuring that clean and plentiful water is available for use by humans and nature. We do this through careful short- and long-term planning, assessment of natural resources, and designing solutions to ensure a sustainable future for people and the natural world alike. HW is also engaged in making communities a better place to live, work, and play; our mission is to address both environmental and social challenges with sustainable solutions.

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS ONE THING ABOUT THE HORSLEY WITTEN GROUP THAT IS A DIFFERENTIATOR FROM OTHER FIRMS IN YOUR INDUSTRY?

HW is a mission driven firm, and this informs all aspects of our decision-making process, particularly as related to our staff and wanting them to feel proud to work here.

HOW DO THE HORSLEY WITTEN GROUP COMPANY VALUES IMPACT THE WAY YOU OPERATE ON A DAILY BASIS OR MAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS?

Similar to answer above, our values drive our day-to-day decision making; from the projects and work we pursue, to the clients we work with, and the outcomes we strive to achieve. We frequently ask how a given project aligns with our values. These values are not static nor were they defined by a small group of HW staff. These values can evolve over time or as conditions change and they are truly our shared values.

BEYOND THE REQUISITE TECHNICAL SKILLS, WHAT SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN YOU HIRE SOMEONE TO JOIN THE HORSLEY WITTEN GROUP TEAM?

We seek out and attract people who really want to make a difference in protecting our natural resources and enhancing the communities where we live. Our staff are committed to making our world a better place.

WE NEED MORE PROFESSIONALS IN THE CIVIL ENGINEERING AND ENVIRONMENTAL INDUSTRY TO KEEP UP WITH THE PROJECT WORK DEMANDS. WHAT IS THE HORSLEY WITTEN GROUP DOING TO ATTRACT THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS INTO THE INDUSTRY?

We work in partnership with local high schools and trade schools to expose future professionals to the kind of work we do. Our staff volunteer annually at local high schools to engage STEM students in a few technical areas covered by our engineering and planning practices, for example. In the last several years, we’ve been very active in the X-CEL Education program working with students in Greater Boston’s underserved communities to expose students to sustainable career paths in the technical and geographic areas where we do business.

WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO BECOME AN ENGINEER, AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR CAREER ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I was an analytical-type child, and I enjoyed the order and precision of engineering and I loved nature. Civil engineering afforded me a career that combined the natural and built environment and I gravitated to the earth-sciences (water, soils, geology, etc.). I’m most proud of the people who work for HW and their collective aspirations for the future.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF LEADERSHIP ADVICE YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD SHARED WITH YOU SOONER?

I had a mentor who often repeated the adage “the client is always right,” and that’s true, except when it’s not. But what was never said, was you can choose your clients and you can both be right. It took me several years to recognize that when we work together with shared values so much more can be accomplished.

LOOKING FORWARD, WHAT ASPECTS OR TRENDS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL INDUSTRY ARE THE MOST EXCITING FOR YOU?

That is a difficult question. Certainly, the technological advancements in data collection, management and manipulation allow us to do so much more, with more accuracy and in less time. That’s exciting. But equally exciting are the challenges brought on by climate change. Though troubling, they are also motivating, and it often involves water, maintaining or restoring  quality water supplies for the future, managing the risks of changed precipitation characteristics that cause or contribute to flooding and/or drought, reacting to sea level rise and associated coastal impacts,  all while protecting or enhancing nature and human interactions are  important now and will only be more so in the future.

 

NEWS RELEASE

Planning Industry Veteran to Lead Environmental Consulting Firm:

SANDWICH, Mass., June 20, 2023 – Horsley Witten Group, a full-service environmental consulting firm providing sustainable and resilient design solutions, has announced the appointment of Nathan “Nate” Kelly to the position of president.

Kelly succeeds Richard Claytor, Jr., P.E., who will remain with Horsley Witten Group as senior water resources engineer and will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors. Claytor led the firm for over a decade and is a prominent leader in the stormwater management field.

An accomplished environmental planning professional, Kelly joined

Horsley Witten Group in 2001, most recently serving as the firm’s principal planner and leading its Providence, R.I. office.

Kelly has been instrumental in the growth of Horsley Witten Group during the past two decades, having provided professional planning, zoning and facilitation services to more than 50 municipalities throughout New England. He is also widely recognized as a leading expert in the disciplines of comprehensive planning, affordable housing, regulatory reform, village and downtown planning, low impact development and watershed assessment.

In his new role, Kelly will assume overall responsibility for Horsley Witten Group’s strategic planning, business administration, financial management, marketing, business development, DEI efforts and human resources.

“The environmental, economic and social challenges facing our communities are considerable and only getting more urgent as the effects of global climate change take hold,” said Kelly. “I look forward to leading Horsley Witten Group and our world-class team of environmental engineers, scientists, and planners to create and implement sustainable solutions that mitigate the effects of and adapt to climate change.”

“Nate is a perfect choice to usher in the next era of environmental stewardship and growth for Horsley Witten Group,” said Claytor. “His collaborative leadership style, experience and proven expertise in developing solutions for a wide range of issues will serve Horsley Witten Group well, now and into the future.”

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Boston College and a master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University.

He was appointed to the Rhode Island State Legislature’s Land Use Commission in 2021, and regularly provides training services for the Cape Housing Initiative and MassHousing. Kelly has also served as president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Planning Association.

 

 

Robert J. Esposito III

CAD technician

The Horsley Witten Group is proud to announce that Bobby Esposito has joined our engineering and landscape architecture team as a CAD Technician in Sandwich and Providence. We are hopeful his role will grow into a CAD Manager position. Bobby’s current assignment will ensure that all CAD drawings meet all of our standards by ensuring they are accurate, consistent, clear, and presentable. A Smithfield, RI native, Bobby’s past experience includes a traffic/transportation internship at a prominent engineering firm, and an architectural CAD Technician position at Brown University.

Bobby earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Design & Configuration Management and two Master of Science Degrees in Data Analytics and Engineering Management from Johnson & Wales University at the Providence, RI campus.  Bobby was a member of the JWU National Society of Leadership & Success Program, JWU Emerging Leadership Program, and the Alpha Beta Kappa National Honors Society.

In his free time Bobby enjoys playing basketball and watching New England professional sports. He enjoys being active and can often be found leading all types of landscaping projects. Hiking is also a favorite activity, and we look forward to sharing our holiday hikes and other activities with him. Welcome to HW, Bobby!

 

kynoch real-munroe

Environmental Scientist

Horsley Witten Group is thrilled to share that Kynoch Reale-Munroe (Ky) has joined our water resources team in St. Croix, USVI! Prior to joining HW, Ky administered research projects related to monitoring terrestrial erosion and its impacts on water quality, coral reefs, and bioluminescent bays; potable drinking water quality in cisterns and city water; and  invasive marine species.

Ky earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Idaho State University and her Master of Science Degree in Natural Resources with a concentration in water quality, water resources, and aquatic ecology from the University of Connecticut. Raised in Idaho, Ky learned early on that water can be scarce and later on contributed to a water research project at her parents’ home in Manchester, CT when they learned their private well contained contaminants.

She is currently working on a USVI bird habitat restoration project and reducing land-based sources of pollution in the east end watersheds of St. Croix. Ky has experience leading research groups, collaborating on interdisciplinary projects, administering grants, and teaching as a university adjunct research professor. She co-founded the non-profit Caribbean Oceanic Restoration and Education Foundation (CORE) and is Chair of the Board of Directors for the St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA). Her main focus will be working on HW’s Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico projects as well as other projects that require a knowledge of natural resources and monitoring/statistical data analysis support.    

Whether teaching and mentoring emerging Caribbean scientists at the University of the Virgin Islands, leading diving research projects about lionfish over population in the reefs, co-founding a non-profit to teach locals about lionfish fishing (Yes, she had the record fish back in 2011 at 13”!), or protecting precious mangroves, Ky has the knowledge and passion to help solve tough issues that affect our environment.

When Ky is not working, she can be found at her computer researching her family genealogy that includes a background originating in Scotland and Italy. She also enjoys playing tennis, making jewelry, hiking, and snorkeling. We look forward to learning more about Ky and our staff, clients, and partners will truly benefit from her experience.

 

michael easler, rla

Senior landscape architect

Horsley Witten Group is excited to announce that Michael Easler has joined our design team in Sandwich, MA as a Senior Landscape Architect. Michael has a wealth of industry experience with design, planning, and project management in the Northeast primarily focused on public park, playgrounds, and universally accessible trail design. Michael looks forward to collaborating with our engineers and designers on ecological restoration, planning, and park design projects.  

Michael earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design with a minor in Sustainability Studies from the University of Minnesota, and his Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Whether researching aqueous sedimentation processes in Utah, planting native prairie and wetland habitats for the Nature Conservancy, researching Olmsted-designed landscape for the NPS, or teaching an introductory digital visualization course at Northeastern University, Michael is always learning and applying his knowledge with an emphasis on environmental priorities to his work.  

Raised in the Midwest, Michael spent his early years camping with family and the boy scouts, hiking, building electric cars, skiing, and enjoying the outdoors. When Michael is not working, he enjoys spending time outside appreciating nature with his wife and young son, exploring the coast, the mountains, and urban landscapes of New England, sometimes all within the same day. A sunrise in Chatham and a sunset on Mount Greylock makes for a fantastic day! Welcome to HW!

 

 

Jamie McCarthy

Environmental Scientist

We are excited to share that Jamie McCarthy has joined our team in Exeter, NH. Jamie earned her B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida in Tampa and her M.S. in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. A Massachusetts native, she grew up spending a great deal of time outdoors and developed a love for nature at an early age. Early aspirations led her to seek out becoming a veterinarian.  Jamie is eager to engage in site remediation projects, peer reviews, and the many nature-based design projects ongoing in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

“I am excited to get started with projects. I look forward to being outdoors and getting involved at all levels” – Jamie

Jamie’s recent consulting experiences will help her assist our scientists focused on natural resource surveys and wetland delineations. Prior to beginning her career in environmental consulting, Jamie led initiatives to implement resource management planning with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. She coordinated ecological restoration projects for staff and volunteer groups and created exhibits for visitors to enjoy, which involved several carpentry projects. Jamie currently serves as Board Secretary for the New England Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and volunteers on education, training, and outreach committees for both SWS and the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC).

 

When Jamie is not working, she enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew, taking in standup comedy shows, visiting museums and galleries, and watching nature and true crime documentaries. Welcome to HW Jamie!

 

 

Casey Chatelain

Environmental Scientist

We are excited to announce that Casey Chatelain, formerly of the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition in Osterville, has joined our project team in Sandwich. Her work at the BCWC allowed her the opportunity to collaborate with many partners from EPA, TNC, USGS and the Town of Barnstable and this experience will be an asset to our clients. She worked with the Barnstable Land Trust and has served on the Town of Barnstable’s Water Resources Advisory Committee. Working hand and hand with these various organizations, Casey contributed to important, innovative, alternative, septic system projects. She looks forward to working with our project teams on a variety of ecological restoration and water resources projects.

I hope to make towns like Brewster, MA a better place for all with my knowledge and experience”  – Casey

Casey earned her B.A. in environmental studies from the College of the Holy Cross and her M.O. in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. A New York native, she grew up spending summers sailing in Cotuit and loves spending time on Cape Cod. She currently serves on two boards for the Town of Brewster: The Conservation Commission and the Board of Health.  When Casey is not working, she enjoys all that Brewster has to offer, exploring the outdoors while walking, gardening, bee keeping, and spending time with her husband and their eleven-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever Elly.

 

a day well spent

Washington Irving Middle School
Roslindale, MA

Recently Gabby Queenan, Jonas Procton, Ellen Biegert, Steve Stanish and others participated in a Green Infrastructure training exercise with students from X-Cel Education, Conservation Corps. Gabby’s professional area of expertise as an environmental planner is water focused, mainly evaluating GI opportunities, and collaborating with community leaders to explore options for GI projects, as well as outreach and community engagement.

HW: Why is this training opportunity important?

GQ: Volunteer opportunities like this one, put our work in a different context. It is definitely an added  bonus to revisit a project and learn from it. I think there are some direct benefits to leaving our consulting bubble for the day and talking to young people about the benefits of GI. We are prompted with new questions and perspectives that make us think creatively about how these solutions can address challenges within communities.

HW: What did you take away from the experience?

GQ: My favorite part was the one-on-one conversations with the students. They are preparing for their wastewater treatment operator’s exam, and I enjoyed hearing their first impressions. Their big picture questions were appreciated by all.

The biggest thing I thought about was what happens to our project sites after our work is done. Is there something else we could be doing to make maintenance easier for the client?

 

If I had to choose one word to summarize the day, it would be “fulfilling!” – Gabby

HW: What is your advice to others who might be considering this volunteer opportunity?

GQ: I would tell staff and associates that it is a pretty unique opportunity and a chance to really see our projects in a different light. Programs like this can help reinforce with the next generation that GI works, and it is worthwhile to learn about how to keep these solutions operating successfully for the long term. Also, a day outside away from my desk was very much appreciated! It was a fun day, and the students were interested in learning from our experiences.

HW: How can we bring in some of our planning work into these trainings?

GQ: We could provide some background perhaps in a different session on how communities are making decisions about whether to include GI. Planning paves the way for these projects. This could take place pre-tour, by having a conversation about why this project became a priority and what were the challenges encountered. Conversations like this might be a good primer before an on-site visit.

HW: Concluding thoughts about the day?

GQ: People really enjoyed the training. The students were curious and asked tough questions. Questions included: How effective is GI as a strategy? What kind of nutrients will this remove? During the landscaping of the bioretention areas, they wanted to know about weeds, invasive plants, and why planting native plants matters. I was a little nervous about fitting in the time for this opportunity, but if I had to choose one word to describe the day it would be “fulfilling.” I am glad that I made time and I feel good about our project work at the school and look forward to hearing about the students’ next steps. It is important to be available to volunteer as you always take something good away.

To learn more visit: X-Cel Education

 

 

Gemma Kite, P.E. is a talented engineer and water industry professional who has nurtured a relationship with a Boston based non-profit, X-Cel Education (X-Cel). Through networking with the Charles River Watershed Association, she met Aaron Dale, Program Manager of X-Cel Education’s Conservation Corps. Once they talked, she realized HW’s staff expertise and skills might match the training priorities for the program, and she launched a volunteer program. Many of these students are considering career options that do not require a four-year degree, like wastewater and drinking water treatment system operations. Currently X-Cel is graduating 30 students per year.

 

“X-Cel’s goal is to provide training and exposure for young people in the environmental and conservation areas. X-Cel Education improves economic opportunity in underserved Greater Boston neighborhoods through accessible, individualized, and free high school equivalency education, post-secondary preparation, and career readiness development.”

X-Cel Education

 

Wastewater Training  &  Stormwater Management

 

The wastewater sector may not sound appealing to many, but truth be told, it is a growing field that is not going away anytime soon. X-Cel’s program offers classwork combined with hands-on field training with professionals, like the engineers and scientists at HW, to learn and hone the skills they will need as treatment facility operators. The trainings help to increase the students’ awareness of environmental career paths and other opportunities. Students learn how to take samples and witness wastewater operations  during tours of nearby treatment facilities. Through HW, participants have also learned about stormwater management  practices by helping with site maintenance and meeting our engineers.

 

Partnerships

 

HW and fellow engineering firm Woodard & Curran are corporate partners to X-Cel Education. We have teamed together to offer training at client sites including The Pinehill’s LLC. wastewater treatment plant. After two successful trainings held last year, six trainings are planned for 2022. Our favorite part of the training is sharing our career choices and milestones one-on-one with the students! We look forward to participating in future training events where we can meet new people. 

 

Future Opportunity

 

We hope that by reading this blog post and learning about X-Cel Education we can bring much needed attention to the program and the participants. Currently Gemma is considering co-authoring a presentation at a water focused conference that will also help spread the word. X-Cel has only a handful of partners and is looking for more connections that can expand on the training opportunities . Woodard & Curran have found that it is a great avenue to find young wastewater operators. You can read about their experience at their site.

 

Next Steps

 

Learn more about X-Cel Education.

What other training opportunities are a good match for this program?

Reach out to Gemma Kite to start a discussion.