Ecological Consulting

Basic Consultation

This service is meant to get you started restoring the ecological health of your property, whether you want to plant a prairie, clean up your woodland or make your home landscape more sustainable. One of our skilled ecologists will visit your property with you for 1-2 hours to discussing the opportunities you have and challenges you face. After the visit, we'll spend a few hours in the office developing a custom report for you with more information to help you make a positive change to your land. This might include:

  • A list of plant species found on your property.
  • Information on how to control the weeds and invasive plants that we find.
  • A recommended planting list for your specific site conditions.
  • A basic outline of recommended management actions.
  • Recommendations for further reading.

This service starts at $120. If you choose to hire us to do some of the work for you, the consultation fee will act as a credit, providing you a discount towards our land management services.

"The advice was good, sensible, doable -- and wasn't advice saying that I should spend lots of money on only their services. It was advice that I could follow on my own, could use Good Oak, or another company -- my choice. I really liked this impartial and professional approach."
- Carroll in Madison

Natural Areas Management Planning

A management plan is intended to provide you with a vision and planning framework for restoring ecological health to your land. Natural Area Management Plans generally include:

  • A list of clearly defined goals which you can use to keep track of the progress of your project over time.
  • A recommended timeline for ecological restoration activities.
  • A set of priorities for management that will allow you to tackle the most pressing ecological issues first.
  • Discussion of how to best integrate your recreational interests into the ecological restoration plan.
  • A list of Grant opportunities that apply to your project.

By focusing your resources in the most efficient manner possible the management plan can pay for itself by preventing wasted efforts. And it may literally pay for itself, having a management plan will help your chances of receiving financial support from government agencies. Overall, you will get a clear understanding of what must be done and what resources you will need to do them, turning an amorphous idea to rehabilitate your land into a clear vision for the future.

Natural Areas Inventory

Natural Area Inventories can provide you with a profoundly deeper understanding of your land. They will help identify conservation opportunities, such as rare plants, that you may not know you have, as well as ecological issues that need addressing. When we perform a natural area inventory, we research the past and current ecological status of your site. The Natural Areas inventory will be customized to your needs aspects of the inventory can include:

  • Providing and interpreting the original land surveyor's notes from the early 1800's.
  • Tracking down and interpreting historic aerial photos and current satellite map resources.
  • Mapping out the natural communities on your site using GIS/GPS technologies.
  • Performing a Floristic Quality Assessment (FQA). During an FQA, we inventory every plant species on your property which provides us a quantitative method for determining the quality of your natural areas.
A natural area inventory is critical to get a good understanding of the composition of the natural areas on your property before you begin restoration work. And if you are looking for financial support for restoration work, this is often the first step necessary to apply for grants and public funding.

Home and Commercial Site Planning

If you're buying a new property, or want to make the most of the property you already have, contact us about site planning. We can evaluate the condition of the site, and help many issues, just a few issues we may address include:

  • how to plan construction to best integrate it into the natural environment
  • managing water on your property in a sustainable manner
  • how to landscape your site to save energy and water
  • how to prevent and restore ecological damage resulting from construction
  • which trees, shrubs and perennials will thrive with your specific site conditions
  • where you have the best opportunities for restoring your natural landscape
  • ... in general, to plan to establish a more environmentally sound property

Site planning requires expertise in both landscape design and ecological restoration, disciplines our team members excel at.

Sustainable Landscape Design

If you'd like to add native plants to your yard or tackle some of the invasive problem plants yourself but don't know where to start, we can provide you with the information you need. We will start by visiting your property to assess the issues you are dealing with, answer questions or concerns you might have about your landscape, and help you come up with a plan for creating a more low maintenance yard that meets your needs and goals.