SDG Launches First Quarterly Newsletter!

At Searle Design Group we take pride in doing work that is environmentally and culturally sensitive.  To better serve the communities we design for, we want to share our work and engage in discourse on issues that we think are important.  We've launched a quarterly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on our design and construction projects, and promote topics we care about.

The first issue, sent out today, includes:

Completed Projects

  •       Handicraft Club Master Plan
  •       Woods-Gerry Master Plan
  •       RISD President's House

SDG Highlights

  •       PARK(ing) Day PVD
  •       DESIGNxRI

In the News:

  • Vote Yes on 6 and Smart Growth Handbook      
  • Presidential candidates answer questions about climate change

If you missed our inaugural letter today, shoot us an e-mail at and we'll add you to the list!

Join us in voting for the #GreenEconomyBond2016 on #ElectionDay!

The Green Economy bond, supported by the Grow Smart RI organization, recognizes Rhode Island's natural assets as its most valuable economic strength.  This bond aims to put $35 million into protecting our lands and waters while building healthier communities.  

Get informed! Check out these Resources:

The Green Economy Bond 2016 Fact Sheet

Smart Growth Briefing Book for Candidates and Voters 2016 Edition

Grow Smart Rhode Island


Happy #DesignWeekRI!

DesignWeek (September 14-25) is an annual celebration of Rhode Island's unique community of designers put on by DESIGNxRI.  A series of events, lectures, tours, awards, and informal talks spotlight local talent and innovation.

Yesterday, one of Searle Design Group's Principals, Taber Caton hosted an Eat & Speak Luncheon at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.  Taber gave a talk about SDG's master plan for the center which was implemented in 2010. The Botanical Center is New England's largest indoor garden.  SDG's master plan expanded the indoor garden to the exterior grounds, boasting a wide variety of diverse plant communities featuring both native and adaptive plants to create a sustainable vision for the overall grounds. Taber also talked about how this project achieved ADA accessibility in spite of the challenge of working with steep terrain.  Those who attended this event saw the original master plan and listened to Taber speak about the first three phases of construction before embarking on a tour of the grounds. The beautifully maintained gardens would not exist in such great condition today without the help of the volunteers of the Botanical Center Conservancy and Providence Parks and Recreation.

#PARK(ing) Day Highlights

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our PARK(ing) Day installation on Friday!  We had a blast talking to the community about climate change, the role of landscape architects in resiliency planning, and how we can make positive changes for the future. For those of you who missed it, here are the highlights from the day:

We talked to passers-by about current sea level rise projections and what that means for Providence and Rhode Island. In turn they shared their thoughts and ideas with us on index cards and added them to our wall of hope throughout the day, creating a colorful mosaic. Some of our younger participants added to our chalk art of Rhode Island on the ground. Sailing flags spelling out H-O-P-E hung below the banners on the sidewalk.  We used inundation-tolerant plant species to catch people's attention and make an attractive and informative display. The signage shows maps of sea level projections in Providence for 2050 and 2100 and talks about the causes, effects, and solutions to the problems coastal cities like Providence are facing.


DesignWeek by DESIGNxRI September 14 - 25

As one of the local design talents being spotlighted this year, our very own Taber Caton will be giving a lecture and tour of Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. Searle Design Group completed the Master Plan for the center in 2010 to implement sustainable updates to the exterior grounds of New England's largest indoor garden.

This event is taking place THIS THURSDAY September 22 at noon at Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue in Providence, RI and is SOLD OUT as of today. Click here to learn more.

Getting Ready for @PARK(ing)DayPVD! #climatechange #sealevelrise #oceanstate

We've been hard at work planning, modeling, and prototyping a pop-up park to engage the community about the issue of sea level rise in Rhode Island.  The neighbor's cat came over to lend a helping paw with our prototype. If you're curious about what we've been up to, come see us on September 16 from 9-5 in front of the Bank of America Building at 111 Westminster St. in downtown Providence!  Come enjoy cold drinks and fun (there'll be sidewalk chalk), and help us envision a better future for the Ocean State. 

Climate Change Fact of the Day:

  • The average carbon footprint per person/per year in America is 20 metric tons.
  • The average carbon footprint per person/per year for all other nationalities is 4 metric tons.
  • The worldwide target for combating climate change is 2 metric tons.

To learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint, visit (big hint: drive less)

Pawtucket Considers New Commuter Rail to Boston

As traffic continues to get more congested, Pawtucket is seeking out a sustainable solution.  Its location near the Massachusetts border makes it a popular location for people who want to live in Rhode Island and commute to work or school in Boston. With a population of 71,000 it is the fourth largest city in Rhode Island.  The closest train stations currently are South Attleboro Station located 3 miles to the north of Pawtucket city center and Providence station 5 miles to the south.  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is hoping that the re-introduction of a commuter rail station in downtown Pawtucket will alleviate some of the vehicular traffic and encourage more sustainable, transit-oriented development.  If you're interested in following the progress of this project visit: