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; Earthcare Natural Lawns and Landscapes at 414-333-4281 or visit; and Greener Roofs & Gardens, LLC at 262-844-2397 or visit

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

VegOut Health Fest Celebrates Healthy Lifestyles

Now in its second year, the FM 102.1 VegOut Health Fest will feature more than 50 merchants and vendors offering wellness information, products and services; healthful food; educational lectures presented by health experts; and beer, wine and cocktails.

Wellness Body, Mind & Spirit Expo Brings all Modalities Under One Roof

The North Shore Wellness Body, Mind & Spirit Expo unites people from all over the region, making new connections with alternative health practitioners easy, stress-free and fun.

Meet Community Supported Agriculture Farmers at Local Farmer Open House

Community supported agriculture, a model in which consumers buy a share of a farm’s harvest each growing season and get direct access to their fresh, locally grown produce, fosters connections between farmers and consumers while encouraging ecologically sound farming practices.

Life Coach Intertwines Multiple Skill Sets to Help People Achieve Goals

Keridak Silk specializes in helping people resolve issues with love or family relationships, as well as building confidence in all aspects of life.

Dr. John Whitcomb

John Whitcomb, M.D., director and founder of Brookfield Longevity and Healthy Living Clinic, has always fostered a passionate curiosity for discovering the “why” behind illness.

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.