Light Dark Landscape was founded in 2013 on the principles of sustainability, beauty, and restoration. We work to fulfill the needs of our clients, whether it’s to enjoy a meal outdoors, increase food production, create native pollinator habitat, add a no-mow yard, reduce erosion, repair water issues, or remove invasive species.

Our goal for each landscape design is to create naturalized systems that provide year-round benefit for both humans and nature. Light Dark differs from other landscape companies by our devotion to reducing lawns, designing smart water solutions, and restoring shorelines, prairies, and woodlands.


A portrait of a woman with blond hair smiling at the camera in front of a flowering tree filled landscape for a portrait about her.


Shannon McWalters is co-founder, lead designer, and project manager at Light Dark Landscape. She employs a multidisciplinary approach to design, using historical and ecological methods of research. Shannon trained as a Landscape Architect, receiving her Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota in 2009, where she completed her undergrad in Urban Studies, Historic Preservation and Community Development.


Her training has helped her design at the site-specific level while never losing sight of the big picture and with consideration for how humans interact with place. Shannon’s past experience includes work with the National Park Service, Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Minnesota Food Association, Big River Farms, and Mother Earth Gardens. She loves team collaboration and believes this is how a landscape’s true potential can be expressed. She loves exploring the subtleties in every landscape she finds herself in and wishes she could live outdoors.

Julie Noren is the co-founder of Light Dark Landscape


Julie Noren is a co-founder of Light Dark Landscape where she acts as a project manager, designer and head of the restoration division. Julie has a B.A. in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota and is certified in permaculture design. She’s worked on organic farms in the western U.S. and Italy and completed an internship working with local food systems for the Southeastern Minnesota Food Network.


Julie worked for six seasons at Mother Earth Gardens in Minneapolis, where she learned about plants and developed a love of educating people about plant choices and how to interact with the natural world. She has continued to study and practice organic growing methods, most recently finishing classes in ecological restoration at the University of Minnesota. Both co-founders Julie and Shannon act as Project Lead for the installations of their designs to ensure their continued success.

A woman wearing a hat, blue shirt, and black skirt standing on a cobbled stone path with new plants on either side on a tree-lined street for a portrait about her.


Laura is the associate designer for Light Dark Landscape, steering collaborative project design and the production of design documents for presentation and installation. Since childhood, Laura has been enchanted by plants, art and architecture. Her fascination has led her to study Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA where she immersed herself in the principles of spatial design as an undergrad.


Eventually, her deep love of plants pulled her to the New York Botanical Garden, where she worked as a Herbarium Technician for 4 years. In 2020, Laura brought her love of design and botany together, earning an MSLA in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota. In graduate school, she researched methods to bring ecology, soil science, geology and landscape history into a contemporary landscape design practice. These combined experiences have informed Laura’s approach to plant-focused landscape design that emphasizes sustainable landscape protocols to create ecologically beneficial garden habitats.


Light Dark Landscape values a fun and safe working environment that pays fair wages. We hire a knowledgeable, diverse crew every season. We are lucky to have a great staff who are fun to work with and eager to learn. We also have a valued network of subcontractors to install all aspects of a functioning, beautiful landscape.

If you are interested in being a part of our team, please check out our available positions.

Photo: Lightdark 2018 Crew standing among birch trees


Do you love plants, landscaping, and working outdoors? Are you passionate about sustainability, and do you take pride in a job well done?

We look for team members that value our philosophy and find meaning in working within the field of ecological landscaping to become part of our fun, hard working crew.



About the Position:

The foreman/crew lead position will work under the Project Manager to ensure that our installs run smoothly and efficiently.  A Project Manager will complete most of the materials ordering and work with Foreman during site visits to outline the order-of-operations, it will be the Foreman’s job to supervise the install crew and make sure the install progresses in an orderly fashion in the absence of the Project Manager.  The Foreman will track and report materials and labor costs and supervise load in/load out each day.  The Foreman is also expected to communicate with clients and report any questions or concerns to the Project Manager.

Job Duties:

  • Supervise install crew in loading and unloading work vehicles each day, make sure install crew knows site address
  • Delegate dump runs and materials-loading to install crew members
  • Work with Project Manager to make decisions about daily goals
  • Supervise crew on-site and to ensure safe and timely completion of goals
  • Read plan sets and assist in layout of paths, plants, patios, etc
  • Operate and train install crew on equipment (tamper/plate compactor, power sod cutter, dump trailer, dingo)
  • Record and communicate hours and receipts on a daily basis
  • Receive deliveries on-site: make decisions about where to best store job materials so they are out-of-the-way but accessible; direct drivers where to drop materials
  • Participate in client walk-throughs with Project Manager
  • Participate in crew reviews to ensure a competent and efficient install crew
  • Communicate with clients on-site as needed—relay information and questions to Project Manager
  • Report to Project Managers when change orders are necessary
  • Weekly check-ins with Project Manager


  • Minimum 2 years of industry experience with preferred knowledge of sustainable landscape practices
  • Clean driving record
  • Good communication skills—verbal and written
  • Work independently and problem solve
  • Have a positive attitude/motivate the crew
  • Be able to lift 50+ pounds, work outside in all kinds of weather
  • Experience operating a dingo and other small machinery
  • Good time management; dependability
  • Experience managing people
  • Preferred some plant ID, ability to place according to plan
  • Wood construction experience a plus

This is a full time, seasonal position starting early April through early November.

Wage range: $27-$31 depending on prior experience.

Email resumes to: info@lightdarklandscape.com — put the name of the desired position in the subject line.

Maintenance Manager/Operations Assistant

We are not hiring for this position at this time.

Crew Member

We are not hiring for this position at this time.

© Light Dark Landscape, LLC. – Minneapolis, MN