On Sunday, March 24, 2024, Alec Webb and Megan Camp, president and executive vice president of Shelburne Farms, walked attendees through the site’s transformation from a Gilded Age agricultural estate to a renowned education non-profit on a mission to inspire and cultivate learning for a sustainable future. 

Webb, a descendant of the farm’s founder, explained how the farm thrived until the Great Depression struck. In 1972, after decades of deferred maintenance, the Webb family turned the property into a working farm and non-profit with an educational mission designed for grade-schoolers. 

The Farm Barn. Photo by Mark Roessler.

Now, through decades of hard work, Shelburne Farms has developed several popular educational programs. This success has enabled them to restore dilapidated buildings and purchase back some of the private land sold decades before. 

Camp shared that the ideals of equity and environmental stewardship that inspired Frederick Law Olmsted over a century ago remain the cornerstones of their educational philosophy and strategic goals to this day.  

Learn more about Shelburne Farms and its Olmsted heritage on the Olmsted Trail.

Watch the presentation above or on our YouTube channel here.