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.
MEET OUR STAFF
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.
Landscape Designer, Estimator, and Field Ecologist
Anne comes to Marek Landscaping with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation and Natural Resource Management from Indiana University and is completing an associate degree at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Landscape Horticulture with a focus on Landscape Design. Her passion is designing beautiful and resilient landscapes that provide ecological benefits for wildlife, pollinators, and our shared waters. Plant healthcare, green infrastructure, and sustainable landscape construction are strong interests and areas she continues learning about to further strengthen her design work.
After college, Anne worked for land trusts and environmental consulting firms doing prescribed burns and environmental restoration, solidifying her love for working outdoors and with plants. Shortly after, she discovered a passion for small scale, sustainable agriculture and worked on several farms before landing in the Driftless region of northeast Iowa. There, she ran a small farm business for six years, growing organic produce and raising pastured poultry for her community.
She is excited to be back in Milwaukee, her hometown, continuing her education in horticulture, sustainable landscaping, and restoration with a newfound passion for landscape design. When she isn’t at work, Anne is most likely spending time with her dogs, kayaking, hiking, cooking, or trying new restaurants.
Project Manager and Office Ecologist
Amber joined Marek Landscaping as a project coordinator after spending many years in various roles in the cycling industry. She has recently earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental management, in addition to an associate degree in business administration. She has a special interest in conservation, wildlife ecology, and forestry, and regularly seeks out additional education opportunities on these subjects. As project coordinator, Amber enjoys supporting the variety of projects that Marek Landscaping takes on and learning as much as possible along the way.
Outside of work, she prefers to spend as much time outside as possible, and is obsessed with fishing, hiking, camping, and racing cyclocross. If she must be indoors, you’ll likely find her reading, baking, or crocheting, waiting for the sun to shine!
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.
Land Stewardship Team Lead
Growing up in Illinois, Allison moved to Milwaukee for college, getting a bachelors in biology from Marquette University. During her time in undergrad, she was able to work in several environmental microbiology labs and discovered a passion for research. She went on to get a Masters in biology at UWM where her thesis project looked at how algae affect the cycling of silicon in Lake Michigan. Wanting to get out of the lab and into the field, she got interested in native gardening in her time in grad school and changed her entire front yard on the east side to native plants. She enjoys being able to do the same thing for other people and helping create niches for native plants to thrive in natural landscapes. Previously she worked as a horticulture intern for the village of Shorewood and throughout grad school she taught labs for Anatomy and Physiology in addition to full time research projects. During her free time she volunteers at several organizations such as the Friends of Lakeshore State Park, Urban Ecology Center, and the River Revitalization Foundation. She is SCUBA certified and likes to explore underwater ecosystems across the world. When she is not working you can find her drinking coffee, playing board games, walking her two dogs, or working in her garden.
Doug is from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and has been a part of the Marek Landscaping team since April of 2022. A childhood spent fishing and roaming the nature of urban edges, Pond Life – A Golden Nature Guide, volunteer weeding with friends in high school at the Gottfried Prairie and Arboretum, and the essays of Aldo Leopold were formative for this self-described naturalist. He started his college education in Stevens Point and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh prioritizing coursework in bird, fish, and plant identification, ecology, and field research.
He was a survey botanist for the US Forest Service in the Nicolet National Forest, a forestry technician for the Wisconsin DNR in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, a buckthorn control associate for the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog, and served in quality, production, planning and sales roles of metal fabrication for Nemesis Metals in Fond du Lac. The unique skill set and perspective gained from these experiences allow him to contribute to almost any project.
Every day is an adventure at Marek with a mix of prescribed burning, plant removal, planting and construction projects which suits him nicely. He enjoys getting outside and collaborating with colleagues to find best practices in restoration and new opportunities to connect people with nature. Creating the structure that allows for access to and enjoyment of the environment is a welcome change.
Outside of the company’s activities Doug participates professionally and voluntarily in plant and bird focused projects (Wisconsin Bird Monitoring Surveys, Christmas Bird Count and Crane Count, Swift Night Out, Wisconsin floristics projects). He maintains membership in both the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and the Botanical Club of Wisconsin and welcomes opportunities to lead volunteer invasive plant control efforts with the Stewards of the Northern Kettle Moraine
Life is good and best enjoyed when sharing the joy in every moment with others. Making time for family and friends and walking the family dogs are his priorities while hiking, fishing, birdwatching, live music, and reading are his hobbies. Although he has had to hang up his rugby boots after over two decades of playing and coaching he is looking forward to sharing a love of nature for others as a guide while seeking to further the mission of stewardship of the planet and striving toward a greater balance.
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.