As a young child, Michael grew up exploring the forests, farms, fields, and wetlands of Wantagh, NY, a small town on the south-shore of Long Island just 25 miles from Manhattan. He learned first-hand how development can destroy the land and the importance of conservation - all of his childhood haunts were gone before he was a teenager.
He graduated from Cornell University in 1973 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Product and Architectural Design and soon after settled in Walpole with his childhood sweetheart, Kathy. For 25 years he ran his own residential design/build company specializing in creative garden and landscape structures. He now spends his time as the resident designer/builder and educator for Distant Hill Gardens, an environmental and horticultural learning center he and Kathy started on their 58-acre property in 1998.