Milwaukee Edition

Landscaping Company Rooted in Sustainable Practices

David Fischer and Mike Herrenbruck, co-owners of Eco Harmony Landscape & Design, LLC, met while enrolled in the horticultural program at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). During childhood, they each had an appreciation of the outdoors. While growing up in Wauwatosa, Fischer spent time camping and hiking. Herrenbruck, who was raised in Port Washington when the area was still mostly rural, frequently played outdoors.

While the two took divergent paths to get there, they ended up sharing many classes at MATC and became good friends. In 2008, both achieved their Associate of Applied Science degrees in horticulture. After graduation, Fischer moved to Hawaii for six months, where he worked and lived on a permaculture farm. Herrenbruck worked for a landscaping company, and when he heard that Fischer was return ing to Milwaukee, he invited his friend to work with him. The men began exchanging ideas about starting their own business, and in late 2010, struck out on their own to form Eco Harmony.

Beginning with one pickup truck and a wheelbarrow, Eco Harmony has grown into a full service landscape company with seven employees. Environmentally sustainable landscaping is a large component of the business, and Herrenbruck says they’re one of the few specializing in environmentally conscious services. They offer design-and-build consultations where they choose native plants, natural stone and water management options such as natural-looking rain gardens and placement of rain barrels.

“With any project we do, we try to incorporate dealing with water on-site,” Fischer explains. “One of the major contributors of water pollution is storm water runoff, which goes into the rivers and eventually, into Lake Michigan. Effectively dealing with water on each individual property helps the greater good in reducing the water runoff.”

Both Fischer and Herrenbruck in corporate education into their approach to landscaping. While a sprawling green lawn may look luxurious, it requires much mowing and fertilizing, which in creases pollution. But native plants such as purple cone flower, columbine, blue flag iris, black-eyed Susan and milkweed attract butterflies and birds.

Herrenbruck cites as an example a yard where they planted a combination of 75 percent native plants to 25 percent non-native. “That season, the amount of butterflies in her yard was unbelievable,” he recalls. “It’s rewarding to pay attention to wildlife engaging with plants and see how the plants have something to give back.”

Eco Harmony sources the majority of its plants and materials from local nurseries, greenhouses and quarries. They also offer permeable pavers that allow water to seep through and be diverted to desired areas.

Eco Harmony belongs to several landscaping organizations and shares communal office space with Hoppe Tree Service and its offshoot business, Urban Wood Lab, which mills fallen trees for buildings and tables instead of chipping or chopping them for fire wood. Fischer and Herrenbruck enjoy belonging to a group of businesses that are like-minded in their goal of sustainability.

Fischer feels rewarded by trans forming backyards and outdoor spaces into living environments. He also feels good about providing jobs for people and keeping dollars in the Wisconsin economy by working with local suppliers. “I like being a positive business and generating work for people,” he says. “Hopefully, by doing all of these things, we can make a difference.”

Herrenbruck stays inspired by nature. “I’m a huge advocate for design. You don’t build a house without a plan. Look at nature; there’s rhyme and reason for everything that happens, and I’m charged by the intricacy of how it all works. You can’t really replicate it, but you can add to it and engage in your environment.”

Eco Harmony Landscape & Design, LLC, is located at 6117 W. Bluemound Rd., in Milwaukee. For more information, call 414-627-5858 or 414-810-5858 or visit EcoHarmonyLandscaping.com.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings of Milwaukee. Connect at SJulson@wi.rr.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

City Homesteading

Across the country, people in communities of all sizes are crafting ways to grow food, build eco-homes and live in harmony with the environment and each other.

Make a Date with Yoga This Valentine’s Weekend

Rosie Rain is hosting a special event, Kundalini Yoga for Lovers and Friends, on February 10 from noon to 2 p.m. at Yama Yoga, in the Historic Third Ward.

Milwaukee Hypnosis & Wellness Center 
Expands Hypnosis Training

The MidAmerica Hypnosis & Mindset Training Center, a division of the Milwaukee Hypnosis & Wellness Center, is currently offering certification and mindfulness training through in-person and online classes in a new, larger location.

The Green Team Adds Winter Services

The Green Team, a natural and sustainable landscaping company, is offering new winter services that include junk hauling, light moving, logistics and other related projects utilizing their fleet of trucks.

Body Mind Spirit Expo Returns 
to Milwaukee

The Body Mind Spirit Expo will share a weekend of insights and life-affirming wisdom from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 10, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 11, at the Grand Stay Hotel & Suites Milwaukee Airport.

Top-Ranked Women’s Herbal Conference

The seventh annual Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference will be held on June 1, 2 and 3 in Almond, Wisconsin, and registration is now open.

1212 Bodyworks Moves to 
New Location

Emily Yenor, physical therapist and owner of 1212 Bodyworks, has moved to a bigger space near Goerke’s Corners: 20720 West Watertown Road, Suite 100, in Brookfield.

Parenting and Education Conference Addresses 
Goodness, Beauty and Truth

The Great Lakes Waldorf Institute and Lifeways of North America, along with Prairie Hill, Tamarack and Madison Waldorf Schools, is hosting their sixth community education conference.

Midwest College of Oriental Medicine

Natural Awakenings caught up with Dr. William Dunbar, Ph.D. and president of Midwest College of Oriental Medicine, to learn how acupuncture can be a solution to today’s opioid crisis, and how the school is poised to prepare students for the integration of acupuncture into Western medicine.

Letter from Publisher

We may expand and grow by giving, practicing gratitude and forgiveness, taking responsibility for our own lives, creating strong social networks, and having a sense of purpose.

Big Breakfast, Lower Body Mass

People that make breakfast their largest meal of the day have lower body mass, while those that make dinner the biggest meal are likely to weigh more, a recent study concluded.

Zinc Inhibits Throat Cancer

University of Texas researchers have found that zinc supplements can inhibit or slow the growth of esophageal cancer cells.