Jim initially attended Paul Smith’s College of Forestry and later transferred to UCONN earning a BS in Environmental Horticulture. He designed landscapes for an East Lyme nursery before starting his own business in 1976. During winters, he worked for WJ Tree Service harvesting witch hazel, pruning orchards and maintaining street trees.
In 1988 Jim applied for the Grounds Supervisor position at Connecticut College where he worked until he retired in 2018. At CC, his priorities were tree maintenance and the replacement of overgrown shrubs requiring excessive pruning with naturalistic plantings. No flowers or perennial gardens existed when he arrived. He created the college’s Living Gift Program, receiving enough funds to plant 60 trees and create 12 perennial gardens, many of which he had a hand in designing. During his tenure he taught pruning classes for the CC Arboretum, tree identification, foraging for wild plants, and maple syrup production. CC won a national award for the Integrated Pest Management program that Jim wrote and implemented in the early 90s. The City of New London awarded a “Best Landscaping” award to the college during his time as supervisor.
His proudest achievement was starting Sprout Garden, a student run vegetable garden, now managed by the CC Botany department and part of the curriculum.
“I was asked to join the WLT board by founder and longtime friend Sally Taylor. My love for the outdoors and my enthusiasm to give back to the community make it a pleasure to be a part of the WLT.”