125 W Melvina St Ste 1, Milwaukee, WI 53212 | 414.272.0242

Welcome to Marek Landscaping, LLC

Marek Landscaping, LLC is a design-build company, founded in 1996, that combines the disciplines of restoration ecology and landscape architecture. Our inspiration comes from nature – the dynamic, diverse qualities of our native prairies, savannahs, forests, and wetlands in urban and rural environments.

Our projects involve native restorations, stream bank and bluff stabilizations, green infrastructure, stormwater management and erosion control best management practices, multi-use trails, parks and landscapes. Our work generally requires environmental documentation, wetland/waterway permitting, and strong stakeholder and public involvement.

Staff disciplines include land restoration ecology, soil science/hydrogeology, landscape architecture, plant ecology/botany, fisheries biology, and a number of construction crew members with backgrounds in landscaping, horticulture, carpentry, arboriculture, and farming.

We encourage our staff to continue their education and broaden their knowledge base. A sampling of continuing education includes; trail building, river and shoreline stabilization, wetland delineation, fish surveying, prescribed fire, stormwater and erosion control design, open-space development, design rendering, blacksmithing, and hazardous material management.

Staff also volunteer with groups, such as Milwaukee Area Land Conservancy, Milwaukee Urban Gardens, Urban Ecology Center, and community gardens to maintain a link with our neighboring communities.

Public outreach and education is an important component of our work. We enjoy engaging with a variety of groups, whether it be leading a tour of a recent project or facilitating a visit to a natural area of interest. Organizations, associations and schools have invited us to lead discussions on topics such as natural areas management and green infrastructure. We’ve gone into classrooms to teach about ecology, landscape architecture, soils, hydrology and more. We welcome opportunities such as these.

We are committed to the best design and construction practices that integrate science, ecology, and art. Our everyday experiences and inspirations are embodied in our work.


Mike Marek

Amber Shesler

Taneal Kendzor

Mara Redding

Dennis Carl

John Menzel

Shawna Wickersheim

Claire Mahon

Mike Marek

President and Landscape Ecologist

In 1996, Mike founded Marek Landscaping, LLC with a commitment to provide sustainable design and installation services using low impact development techniques in Milwaukee and the surrounding area.

Writing specifications and design guidelines is where his 25 years of consulting and field work combine to add value in communication, know how, and prioritization. One of Mike’s earliest achievements in guideline and ordinance writing was way back in 1992 when he was responsible for changing the weed laws of the Village of Elm Grove where he was Forester. This new ordinance language allowed for natural landscaping and prairie plantings on public and private land. Elm Grove was one of the first in the country to adopt this ordinance language and it helped to develop a precedent and model for many to come. He has continued to be a force for positive change in how we design and manage natural areas, parks, shorelines, and green infrastructure, with a long list of innovative firsts. Mike has presented at local, regional and national conferences, including Wild Ones, State of Lake Michigan Conference, Southeastern Wisconsin Watershed Trust, Society for Ecological Restoration, and Partners for River Restoration and Science in the Upper Midwest (PRRSUM).

Outside of work, Mike enjoys freediving, surfing, paddling, skiing, hockey, hunting, fishing, inventing, tinkering, cooking, and camping. These activities are all the better with his two kids Otto and Ali.

Amber Shesler

Project Manager

Amber joined Marek Landscaping as project coordinator in 2021, shortly after graduating with a bachelor’s in Environmental Management and an Associate’s in Business Administration. As project manager, she manages Marek’s wide variety of projects with a passion for doing right by nature and making a positive impact on the environment. In addition to project management, she takes on various HR and administrative functions, and enjoys assisting both the stewardship and construction teams in the field whenever possible. Previously, she has held various roles in the cycling industry, and seasonal positions with WDNR.

Outside of work, she spends as much time outside as possible. Camping, hiking, rock climbing, and fishing are some of her favorite activities that fuel her love for the outdoors.

Office Manager

Taneal comes to Marek with an associate’s degree in applied science with a focus on Interior and Architectural design from MATC, Milwaukee (2012). She spent the last 23 years in the Hospitality Industry where she was able to assist and witness various design projects and major Hotel renovations while cumulating a strong administrative and accounting background. This work helped her build a solid foundation and knowledge of the industry’s needs and a skill set to transition and become an asset to Marek’s growing business.

Taneal loves being in nature doing various activities including kayaking, hiking, yoga, gardening, and camping. She also has an insatiable desire to have a positive impact on anyone she encounters as well as the surrounding community and environment in any way that she can. She often volunteers with various organizations and is currently working with a canine rescue that is near and dear to her heart. Working at Marek has been an exciting industry change for her, she is passionate about learning new things and feels Marek is a wonderfully fulfilling step in her career and appreciates the holistic sustainable approach Marek is known for.

Landscape Designer and Field Ecologist

Mara comes to Marek Landscaping with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (2017). She has spent the last two years doing field work out west, which included conducting botanical surveys, ecological restoration work and native seed collection. This field work helped her gain additional botanical, horticultural & ecological restoration experience, which she now brings to Marek in her dual role on both the design and stewardship teams. Before this, she worked as a design assistant at Vandewalle & Associates for four years, where her work involved using site inventory and analysis to create multi-layered storytelling maps, graphics and design solutions for a variety of different projects.

Mara’s love of the outdoors and wildspaces started when she was young, in the forms of hiking, camping and gardening. These lifelong hobbies have steered her towards a career path in ecological restoration and landscape architecture. Working at Marek allows her to use her planting knowledge, mapping tools, and design sensibility to help create more sustainable landscapes and communities.

Stewardship Crew Leader

Dennis joined Marek in 2023 with the hope of deepening his knowledge of Milwaukee’s natural environment. Dennis is originally from Long Island, New York and moved to Milwaukee in 2019. Dennis has worked and volunteered with Fondy Food Center, Hawthorn Glen, Groundwork Milwaukee, and The Friends of Estabrook Park. At Marek, he most enjoys working outdoors and seeing the positive impact of environmental work.

Field Ecologist / Arborist

John joined the Marek Landscaping team in the summer of 2023 as a field ecologist and arborist. He has been in the arboriculture industry for over nine years, climbing and using aerial lifts to access trees in order to prune, brace, or, in the case of declining, hazardous, and storm damage, remove trees. He graduated from Carroll University with his bachelors in biology and went on to earn his masters from UW Stevens Point. Since joining the Stewardship Division at Marek, John has expanded his knowledge of annual, perennial, and woody plants and native prairie and wetland ecosystems and has enjoyed the camaraderie among his coworkers. His preferred arboricultural challenge is maintaining young trees (over the course of years) to ensure proper structure and health in the landscape.

Field Ecologist

In the fall of 2023, Shawna began her journey with Marek in the Stewardship Division. After just graduating in May with a landscape horticulture degree, together with her five years’ experience in landscaping and arboriculture, she is well suited for her role as field ecologist and arborist. She enjoys learning more about climbing and rigging techniques, as well as expanding her knowledge of and respect for the trees, shrubs, equipment, chemistry, art, design, and planning that goes into successful projects. She has relished the diverse challenges that the green industry has to offer, day in and day out. Before finding her passion for trees, she studied conservation environmental science. She has a true passion for clean water and wetland ecology, and so delights in municipal and residential efforts to restore hydrology, prevent erosion, and conserve native biodiversity.

She enjoys hanging out with friends and family, tending to her indoor plant nursery, cooking, rock climbing, camping and is a regular at her local dog parks with her rescue puppy, Froggy.

Field Ecologist