Landscape Architecture

SDG Among ASLA's "Unsung Heroes"

The American Society of Landscape Architects circulated a survey among its Professional Practice Networks asking members to identify the firms they most admire. Searle Design Group came up among the list of lesser-known practices.  "Members identified general categories of practice that often go under-recognized, such as 'the nameless public realm landscape architect' and the educators and mentors who shape and encourage up-and-coming landscape architects: 'The greatest unknown (or unheralded) landscape architect is the one who reaches out and has a positive impact upon educating the next generation.'"  

Education has always been at the core of SDG's practice. Pictured below, Founding Principal Colgate Searle critiques RISD student's work at Harvard Forest in Petersham, MA (Summer 2015).


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!

A Visit to Crosby Arboretum in Mississippi #ASLA2016Expo

This week Taber and Melissa are at the American Society of Landscape Architects annual conference in New Orleans.  The Expo is an opportunity for members of the profession from across the country to gather and contribute to current discourse.  

Today the SDG team toured the beautiful Crosby Arboretum in Picayune, MS.  The master plan and landscape design for the Arboretum won the ASLA Honor Award in 1985 among many other accolades for its quality of design and cultural as well as ecological services.

"The Crosby Arboretum is dedicated to educating the public about their environment. This mission is carried out by preserving, protecting, and displaying plants native to the Pearl River Drainage Basin ecosystem, providing environmental and botanical research opportunities, and offering cultural, scientific, and recreational programs. The Arboretum displays three basic habitats found in this ecosystem. They are a Savanna exhibit, a Woodland exhibit, and an Aquatic exhibit. Both drastic and subtle changes in landscape patterns can be observed within each exhibit. In addition to the 104-acre interpretive site, the Arboretum also collectively maintains 700 acres of off-site natural areas that are preserved for scientific study."

Stay tuned for more adventures from down South!

End-of-Summer Celebrations

To celebrate the end of a great summer, Searle Design Group went on a field trip to Garden in the Woods in Framingham, MA and Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA.  

We explored the living museum at Garden in the woods - a collection of native new england plants and habitats set among varied terrain carved long ago by glaciers.

At Tower Hill we embarked on a guided tour with their Director of Horticulture who shared the history of the site and discussed the future of their sustainable management practices in the face of climate change.

Feast your eyes on some of the beautiful colors and textures we saw:

Join us for DesignWeek at Roger Williams Park Botanical Center!

DesignWeek is an annual celebration hosted by DESIGNxRI spotlighting talent and innovation in the Rhode Island design community.

This year Searle Design Group's Taber Caton will be offering a can't-miss opportunity to tour the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and learn how SDG's sustainable vision for the grounds of New England's largest indoor garden became a reality.

Learn more and register for this free Eat and Speak Luncheon event on September 22 at noon at 1000 Elmwood Avenue in Providence, RI.

Welcome Jess and Rebecca!

Jess Wilson is one of two interns joining Searle Design Group for the Summer.  She has just completed her first year of the MLA I program at RISD.  Jess comes from a background in Architecture and received a B.S. from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island.  She is an ASLA student member.  


Rebecca Ladd is also joining Searle Design Group for a summer internship.  She has just completed her second year of the MLA I program at RISD.  Rebecca has a background in Interior Architecture and completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  She is the treasurer of the RISD ASLA student chapter.  

We're presenting at Green RI hosted by @AIARhodeIsland and @iidaNE

Come by and hear our and others presentations, tour the gardens, and attend the Sustainable Design Showcase #GreenRI


Roger Williams Park Botanical Center
1000 Elmwood Avenue – Providence, RI

SDG is hiring a summer intern

Searle Design Group, LLC is hiring a summer intern. We are looking for a student who is enthusiastic about landscape architecture and is able to demonstrate previous experience in an office/work setting.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • excellent graphic abilities: SketchUp, AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite a must, video editing a plus
  • proficiency in both verbal and written communication
  • ability to meet deadlines and work efficiently
  • openness to critique and review - both giving and getting

What we can offer:

  • experience working on complex public, environmentally challenged, historic sites
  • an extremely hands-on office where you will be involved in almost every aspect of the landscape architecture business
  • the combined knowledge of 2 RISD graduates and a RISD landscape architecture professor with many years of experience
  • location on the historic East Side of Providence

To apply, please submit your resume and portfolio to

East Greenwich Library cuts the ribbon

SDG was honored to be a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Reading Terrace and outdoor wi-fi access area at the East Greenwich Free Library today. Many talented and generous people contributed to this project: not least of which was the Damon Company and their sub-contractors who made our designs a reality, and the Library Board, all of whom were such a joy to work with... Many thanks to this wonderful group. We hope to work with you all again in the future in some capacity!

EG Lib ribbon cutting