Milwaukee Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

A Green Collaboration

Three Ecopreneurs Work Together for a More Sustainable Milwaukee

Bradley Blaeser and son, Benjamin, planting and mulching

Bradley Blaeser and son, Benjamin, planting and mulching

At a time when some companies are struggling to survive, three local business owners have come together to show how true entrepreneurial spirit—and the magic of collaboration—can help a business thrive, even in a down economy. Working together with a shared vision for a greener Milwaukee, Bradley Blaeser, Darrell Smith and John LaPointe are able to create and maintain sustainable outdoor spaces by providing ecological landscape design and practices, sustainable organic lawn care services and eco-friendly water management.

In 2006, Blaeser began his natural landscaping business, The Green Team, which provides sustainable landscape management for properties ranging from small residential homes to large commercial and municipal landscapes. Committed to reducing the universal carbon footprint, The Green Team offers services that include installation and management of rain barrels and compost and native gardens. Blaeser uses environmentally friendly tools such as rechargeable motors and engines that run on used vegetable oil.

Blaeser worked out of his home throughout his first year in business, renting storage space during his second year. Although he didn’t want to continue working this way, he could not afford his own business space. Darrell Smith spraying compost tea

Enter Darrell Smith, president of Earthcare Natural Lawn and Landscapes, a company specializing in ecological landscape design and organic lawn care services. A chance meeting sparked a conversation in which the two discovered that they shared similar economic resource dilemmas. After some time together, an idea to share a business space was born.

“We started to realize the advantages of not only sharing space, but also working together in a collaborative capacity,” says Blaeser.

Smith then suggested a third partner to join him and Blaeser: John LaPointe, of Greener Roofs & Gardens, LLC, a company that focuses on ecological water management and creating signature spaces that sustain the planet.

While competing against each other for business was an initial concern, the three entrepreneurs embraced the opportunity and have since enjoyed the benefits of their collaborative efforts. “Although we have some overlap in services, we each bring different gifts and unique services to the table,” says Smith.

LaPointe agrees. “It has given us the opportunity to enhance our own skills and just be ourselves,” he notes. “We can each focus on what we are good at, instead of trying to do everything.”

John LaPointe and son ElijahBecause they each specialize in different areas of sustainable landscapes, the partners often refer clients to each other or work together on projects. Smith, for example, specializes in natural turf care and native landscapes. He uses all-organic methods for fertilizing and preventing weeds—making lawns safe for families and their pets. However, he does not do mowing. That’s where Blaeser comes in.

“Darrell often comes to me to do the mowing for one of his clients,” says Blaeser. “The best part is, we have one another’s input in terms of when to mow, and appropriate mowing heights that improve water infiltration and soil and turf quality. It is beneficial for us and the client.”

The effective management of water in urban and suburban landscapes—including rain gardens, rainwater collection and irrigation, drainage and erosion control—is one of LaPointe’s specialties, and he often receives referrals from both Blaeser and Smith. “We often bounce ideas off of each other and go to one another with questions or problems we may be having,” says LaPointe. “Together, we can come up with sustainable solutions.”

Location: 5402 W. State St., Milwaukee 53202. For more information, contact The Green Team at 414-721-1431 or visit GreenTeamWI.com; Earthcare Natural Lawns and Landscapes at 414-333-4281 or visit EarthcareLawns.com; and Greener Roofs & Gardens, LLC at 262-844-2397 or visit GRGLandscapes.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Ananda Healing Collective Embodies Collaboration, Community

After searching deeper and discovering how acupuncture enabled her body to heal from emotional childhood traumas, Aubrey Poglajen made the mind-body healing connection and embarked on a quest to heal others.

Building Personalized 
Connections After Breast 
Cancer Diagnosis

Since 1999, Milwaukee-based After Breast Cancer Diagnosis has offered comfort and encouragement through a nationwide network of mentors.

Open the Heart at 
Midwest Yoga and Kirtan Fest

Kirtan—call-and-response chants set to music—began in India centuries ago as a spiritual practice and a layman’s way to connect with the divine.

Understanding Reiki

During a reiki treatment, the energy is said to clear and balance our physical, etheric, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies by transmitting high frequency healing energies of unconditional, universal love through the practitioner to the client.

The Elephant in the Room

Suicide is the most feared emergency of them all. It’s a hard topic to discuss, in both clinical and non-clinical settings. It is the elephant in the room, and society needs to have a conversation about it.

A Royal Road to Wellness

At Royal Road Clinic, Royal strives to create an overall relaxing ambiance where people can feel safe and comfortable sharing their stories.

Citizens, Restaurateurs Reduce Plastic Pollution Through 
The Last Plastic Straw

According to the California-based nonprofit Plastic Pollution Coalition, over 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States. In today’s on-the-go culture, straws are typically used only for a short time and then discarded, ultimately becoming a source of plastic pollution in oceans and waterways.

Outpost Natural Foods

Now over 22,000 owners strong, Outpost is a testament to society’s shift toward healthy food awareness.

Reverend’s Spiritual Road 
Led to Light of Grace

Light of Grace is the only Milwaukee area center that teaches A Course in Miracles.

Improving Body Alignment and Function with Rolfing Structural Integration

Local Physical Therapist Kevin McCoy uses rolfing, a a hands-on therapy that reorganizes the connective tissue within the body, to help his patients heal.

Golden Light Healing’s 
Spiritual Journeys Find the 
Heartbeat of Mother Earth

Golden Light trips are spiritual and don’t focus on any particular religion; instead, they aim to help one’s own connection with the divine.

Santhigram Wellness Fosters Health and Vitality Through Ayurveda

Dr. Aruna Tummala, the owner of Trinergy Center for Integrative Psychiatry, is on a quest for a better understanding and holistically treating mental illness.