Designer, arborist, contractor, plantsman, educator, thought leader and environmental steward. Shawn has been creating exceptionally designed and artfully developed gardens in both California and Nevada since 2006. Highly collaborative, with a strong attention to detail and a knack for problem solving, he helps his clients realize outdoor living spaces that they will connect to for years to come. Shawn combines extensive horticultural experience, strong composition skills, and environmentally sensible practices with a wide palette of visually and textually interesting climate appropriate plants, breathing new life and a sense of place into every garden.
As a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corp, a Kiss the Ground Soil Advocate, and activist in the movement to care for the environment, Shawn has been presenting on regenerative landscapes and their impact on climate change in his new presentation series Climate Reality: Regeneration of the Landscape. His personal mission is to connect with the natural world, tread lightly on the land, nurture biodiversity, protect water, and bring people together.
Landscape designer, environmental steward, and community activist. Gisela combines her unique skill set to create California-friendly gardens and outdoor spaces that collectively nurture and respect our natural resources. Her inherent design aesthetic and sensibility aligns with the bigger mission of SMGA to connect people with the soil, their gardens and to nature.
Working with the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development’s Summer Night Lights Program, she created edible gardening workshops for under-resourced communities and discovered the impact a connection to gardening nutritious food can have on inspiring and bringing a community together. Inspired by this experience, Gisela is eager to continue keeping her hands in the dirt and boots on the ground through public work and with ecological restoration projects.
As an invaluable member of the SMGA team, Gisela creates comprehensive construction document drawings which include a supportive knowledge of MWELO requirements. Gisela’s experience and comfort working with several city departments ensures that our clients projects are handled in a timely and efficient manner.
Scotty is a landscape architecture student at UCLA. Here in the SMGA offices, Scotty does a bit of everything — from admin and marketing to site analysis and project design assistance. He has a BA from Wesleyan University in Economics and Environmental Studies where his research focused on cap and trade, carbon tax models, and alternative currencies. His work experience is primarily in environmental nonprofit management, most recently as Director of Operations of the Northern California Solar Energy Association. Scotty has a deep love for nature and adventure, with a particular interest in coastlines (as a surfer) and Antarctic climates (inspired by a season of work at McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica).
Leigh is an educator, eco-sensitive designer and horticultural interpreter at the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. She has trained many county agencies in regenerative practices as well as conducting hands on workshops with local schools and professional groups. Her love of collaboration and education infuse all aspects of her work, leaving participants with a profound sense of empowered accomplishments. Currently she holds multiple artist’s residencies at the LA Arboretum, Metabolic Studios and New Horizon School. She has received a Global Citizen Award from the United Nations, an Angel Award from the City of Los Angeles and an Outstanding Citizen Award from the County of Los Angeles.