Landscapes of Place

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Landscapes of Place (tm)

We offer Landscape Restoration Planning and Design, Ecological Restoration and Land Stewardship in eastern Wisconsin.  Typical projects include long-term engagements with landowners of 5 to 500 acres, providing assistance in analyzing current ecological conditions, defining desired sustainable goals and designing step-wise and adaptive implementations with measurable outcomes.  With a long-term commitment, lands of a range of local ecosystem types and initial conditions are candidates for our hands-on restoration planning and design services.

Nancy M. Aten, PLA, ASLA, 
   Landscape Architect
Dan Collins, PE, Program Manager
   and Restoration Consultant


FOG, June 2014
Dan teaching with aquatic macroinverts, 4th grade, June 2014

Nancy, design-to-music exercise
Nancy, design-to-music in front of 250 attendees, Connecticut and Philadelphia, January 2014

Dan teaching - with snake
Dan teaching - with snake (photo: Joey Z)

Nancy leading WWA hike, Oct 2014
Nancy leading WWA hike, October 2014 (photo: Katie B)

Restored sedge meadow (ongoing)
Restored sedge meadow (ongoing)




Stella Niagara Preserve

Congratulations to the Western New York Land Conservancy and Make Communities for the 2016 WNY APA Public Outreach Award for the Stella Niagara Preserve Vision Plan, which includes our work.

Sandhill Crane
Snapping Turtle
Blue-Spotted Salamander
Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Earth Day, 2016, Lake Michigan Basin: Nancy Aten, founder of Landscapes of Place, announces the establishment of a board of directors to ensure that the long-term ecological strategic vision of the firm is maintained. The board members: Blue-Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale), Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor), Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), and Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis). “We have always looked to these advisors when making decisions regarding restorations, implementations and allocation of resources; we are happy that today we can recognize them formally.” Dan Collins, the firm's Program Manager, says “I think you will not find a better group. They represent diversity of Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species, not to mention geography, hydrology and ecosystem".

The firm intends to continue its decades of work to protect, preserve, restore or reestablish ecological systems particular to a place that are ecologically sound, high functioning, and much needed today. “It is both a tremendous comfort and a responsibility to know we will have their watchful eyes on our work", said Aten.

Nancy Aten

Profile of Nancy Aten in Society for Ecological Restoration News.

Design with music

Nancy and Darrel design to music video, from New Directions in the American Landscape conference.

Dan in wetland

Dan Collins and Nancy Aten honored with a 2014 Wetland Award from Wisconsin Wetlands Association

Dan on WPR for wetlands
Dan on WPR's Larry Meiller Show with Katie Beilfuss:

Healthy Wetlands and Their Advocates

Coolest map ever. From the team at HINT.FM.
Revisited Ideas series
From our Revisited Ideas series: watch Creek as Cathedral.


of occasional essays



May/June 2016
Wetlands hike-leading season! Includes The Ridges' Festival of Nature, Door County Land Trust, Climate Change Coalition of Door County, FOG, Friends of Gibraltar Schools, and Bjorklunden.

Nancy presented keynote at UW Arboretum's 2015 Native Gardening Conference in Madison. 
Co-taught week-long field class for New York Botanical Garden at Black Rock Forest Consortium.
Led hikes for Natural Resources Foundation, Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Door County Land Trust, Friends of Gibraltar Schools, The Ridges and The Latitudes hiking group. 
We spoke at Wisconsin Wetlands' 20th Anniversary Wetland Science Conference. Dan: Achieving balance and success in a wetland complex infested with one million stems of reed canary grass. Nancy: A twist for conservation plans: More doing and less planning, in the 1700-ha Bay Shore Blufflands SNA.
We hosted wetland hikes as part of a team working with Wisconsin Wetlands Association for outreach to wetland landowners. Get your own copy of My Healthy Wetlands!

Landscapes of Place showed our Conservation Master Planning work for Bay Shore Blufflands at Lake Michigan Day, UW-Manitowoc’s Lakeshore Water Institute. Great to connect to new colleagues!

Landscapes of Place led Festival of Nature hike: Spring Wetlands below the Escarpment, Bay Shore Blufflands.

We presented at the 2014 SER Midwest-Great Lakes Conference in St. Paul, "The development of an ecological restoration approach and suite of site-specific projects for conservation of a Door County, Wisconsin landscape using concepts from A Pattern Language".

Nancy spoke in Philadelphia and Connecticut at the 25th anniversary of NDAL, New Directions in the American Landscape, and performed a design sketching demonstration.
Landscapes of Place led symposium: Practitioners of Intimate Restoration at SER 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin.  Dan spoke on Nurturing your community to watch, witness and work.

Nancy and Dan led Natural Resources Foundation field trip Jens Jensen's Legacy in Door County, with the wonderful Roy Lukes. 
Landscapes of Place presented at Riveredge Nature Center's Science For Everyone on the natural history of the Milwaukee area.

Nancy presented keynote address at Milwaukee Wild Ones Conference: Your Wild Garden as a Portal to the World

Landscapes of Place presented an interactive design/sketching session, How to Design with Native Plants at Riveredge Nature Center's Knee Deep in Prairies seminar.

Landscapes of Place presented at SER Midwest-Great Lakes Annual Conference in Ann Arbor on participatory restoration.  Nancy elected to SER Midwest Board of Directors.

Nancy spoke on participatory restoration at First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee Sunday Forum.

Landscapes: Wild, Forgotten, Restored.  Exhibit at Urban Ecology Center of monotypes (unique prints) from Nancy Aten and Dan Collins.
Nancy spoke at the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design, Unsolicited Design: Using Your Voice.

Dan interviewed by WUWM's Lake Effect on the State Stewardship Fund and its practical implementation in Wisconsin.


Landscapes of Place TM / Milwaukee Area and Door Peninsula, Wisconsin