OUR 2020 ECO-YARDS CREW
My lifelong passion is beautifying landscapes in ways that enhance the natural environment. I have been landscaping most of my life, from helping my parent’s landscape yards as a child, in towns across Western Canada, to beautifying landscapes as an adult. Traveling and living in different landscapes around the world and North America has inspired my designs.
I love flowers, especially designing landscapes with hardy, perennial flowers to provide colour and joy all growing season long. I also love delighting my clients with landscape designs that go beyond their desires and bring them more than they imagined. This involves listening, intuition and sharing ideas.
I’ve taken courses, read lots of books and magazines, visited and spoken to gardeners whenever and wherever I can, and experimented with what works and what doesn’t in many different kinds of yards.
I have worked as an international development educator, public involvement consultant, management consultant specializing in creativity, and as a shamanic healer and teacher.
I work with a crew and sub-contractors who love the earth and beauty and pleasing clients too!
Designer and Supervisor
Kaleigh Schmidt is a Landscape Designer, graduated from Fanshawe College in Ontario through the ‘Landscape Design’ degree program. Passionate about bringing nature into the yards of many she continued her education, getting certified through The Living Centre in Permaculture Design, Forest Gardening, Food Foresting, as well as ‘Shamanu’ an earth wisdom mentorship.
Kaleigh learned about the succession of an ecosystem as well as the significance of soil building practices for optimum garden health. She is dedicated to regenerative designing and has always been infatuated with nature and plants, with growing curiosity and wonderment. She is knowledgeable about the many roles of different plants and their importance within the larger ecosystems of our planet as well as the smaller eco-systems of our lives and bodies. She hopes to copy nature’s intelligence within her designing process.
This has inspired her to create an ebook ‘Urban Nature’, as well as traveling to volunteer on permaculture farms located in Spain and California. Being immersed in the landscaping industry since 2013 she is happy to contribute her skills and knowledge as a team member of Eco-Yards.
Logan comes to Eco-yards with 6 years of landscape experience. The majority of his work has been hardscape projects (paver bricks, retaining walls) and a variety of whole yard builds with hardscape and softscape (plantings, dry rivers) features. Logan also has many years experience working on ice roads in Northern Canada and ski hills in Western Canada.
After spending a season learning permaculture (eco-friendly) landscaping in 2018, he went on to work 9 months at an industrial compost and humanure facility. The contrast between eco-friendly, sustainable landscaping and industrial composting clarified for him that the healthiest and most earth-friendly way to make a difference in the world was through building ecological landscapes that nurture the soil, plants, animals and people.
Logan also has a passion for holistic health and appreciates the systems thinking approach that ecological landscaping provides. 2020 is Logan’s first year with Eco-yards and he is excited to be part of the team.
Eugene has more than eight years of freelance landscaping experience performing various landscaping duties. He was born and raised in Belarus where he gained most of his landscaping experience before moving to Canada. Eugene developed an early appreciation and understanding of the significance of bringing nature closer to humans and living in harmony with nature.
Eugene has always lived near nature and has participated in numerous outdoor activities. He is currently doing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics and Anthropology at the University of Calgary. He is interested in expanding his knowledge about eco-friendly landscaping and creating sustainable gardens and yards. Other interests and hobbies include photography, camping, hiking, river touring and a passion for science.
Lead Hand/ Landscaper
Matthew found a love for plants after eating most of the peas in his Grandmother’s garden. While working towards his degree in Conservation Biology, his love for plants flourished into a an appreciation for ecosystems and the roles plants and animals have in working with humans on the land. This appreciation matured over the next 10 years, culminating in his Master Gardener certification, where his love for the outdoors found professional grounding. Since then, he has followed his gardening passion and his love for music where it leads, including working for a landscaping company in Grande Prairie, consulting with clients to come up with the best landscapaing solutions for them. Now he is back in Okotoks with his 2 dogs Tofino and Taco and his amazing girlfriend, Diana.
Emily was born in Calgary, but grew up in small town Saskatchewan. She will be completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainability and Sociology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in April 2020. Through her education, she has been able to focus on a variety of sustainability issues, and gain a passion for sustainable community building, social justice, and environmental conservation.
For two summers, Emily worked in the forests of Northern Saskatchewan as an environmental field tech collecting data for a Boreal Caribou habitat restoration project.
Emily has always loved nature, wild plants, and being outside, and grew up with a family who are passionate about gardening and the outdoors. She spent most of her summers digging in her grandmothers’ gardens and helping family members with small gardening and landscaping jobs (paver patios, retaining walls). Emily is excited to move back west and start gaining hands-on experience doing sustainable landscaping with Eco-yards.
Ben is a Calgary based Carpenter/ Woodworker with over 9 years of building experience in Alberta and BC. He completed his Carpenters Journeyman & Red Seal certifications through SAIT in 2018. With a background in wood frame construction, he has since expanded into other areas of custom project developments including restaurant renovations (Cafe Koi/ The Allium / Home & Away), custom furniture, cabinetry & landscape carpentry.
He has a passion for creating simple, functional, and unique designs in his work. But when he’s not busy working on wood-related activities he’s been known to curate local musical events like “Galactic Funk”: a special space of groove odyssey through 1970’s funk/disco based sounds.
Here are a few yards and projects designed and installed by our Eco-yards™ crews.
Our Process is beautiful and sustainable too!
Every morning our crews circle up and set the intention to work harmoniously, lovingly, safely, efficiently, all while creating beauty. And they do! They work with joy and respect for each other and our clients. Our clients often say that as much as they love what we have done, they love the energy our crews bring to their home just as much.
We work to avoid using techniques that are harmful to the environment. This is what makes us stand out from other landscaping companies in the city. Here are some of our techniques:
- When we remove sod we take it for composting.
- Cover-over lawns with newspaper rather than hauling sod to the landfill.
- We usually use shovel, pick axe and wheelbarrow rather than bobcats.
- Minimize driving.
- Use materials that are local and organic.