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.

Matthew Woods is a maintenance manager and operations assistant at Light Dark Landscape.


Matthew Woods is the maintenance manager and operations assistant for Light Dark Landscape. With a wealth of experience ranging from estate gardening to commercial landscape construction, Matt brings a diverse knowledge base to every project. One thing that sets him apart is his strong passion for responsible environmental sustainability, which drives his work and inspires him to create stunning landscapes that leave a positive impact on the planet.


Outside of work, Matt is an avid collector of exotic carnivorous plants and a skilled gardener who enjoys growing a wide variety of peppers. Having studied horticulture and propagation, he dreams of one day owning a greenhouse where he can contribute to the conservation of rare plant species and share his passion with others.

With his unique combination of expertise, creativity, and dedication, Matt is committed to delivering exceptional results that exceed his clients’ expectations while promoting a more sustainable and beautiful world.



Paris Fobbe is a lead crew member on the maintenance team. She has had three years experience working in the field and life-long love for the outdoors. Paris received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and finds a close correlation between art and design with landscaping.


To her, it is an extreme form of collaborative, performance and functional art that is beneficial to all. She lives in the Powderhorn neighborhood with her partner, cat and dog and enjoys working on her own yard in her spare time.



Connor is the assistant project manager for the install team. He’s worked for the rest and now works for the best, this is his second year working for Light Dark, which speaks volumes to the quality of the one landscaping company that was able to keep him around for longer than one season.


Originally from Champaign, Illinois, Connor studied education and political economics in Olympia, WA, and moved to Minneapolis in 2017. There, he served a term with the Conservation Corps and fell in love with outdoor work and landscape restoration. He’s been working with plants and dirt ever since, trying to make outdoor spaces habitable to the bugs and birds


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.

A photo of Light Dark Landscape staff


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.

© Light Dark Landscape, LLC. – Minneapolis, MN