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A Commitment to Working with Nature

Nature Works Land Care is an Ecological Landscape Construction Company specializing in creating innovative outdoor living spaces for our clients.

We are dedicated to environmentally-friendly approaches through all phases of Landscape Construction-from Design to Installation and Maintenance. We have been a leader in ecological land care in the Tri-State Region for over fifteen years.

Our sensitive approach to landform and hardscaping integrates with our diverse palette of ornamentals, food systems, and resilient native plants to create vibrant, productive landscapes.

The Nature Works Team

The landscape season requires an incredible amount of strength, endurance, and focus to keep everything running smoothly. With the support of our strong team, their smiles, dedication, and hard work, we have the opportunity to engage in meaningful projects with our clients, surrounded by the incredible beauty of the Berkshires every day!

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Rich Lassor

Founder & General Manager

Bio

Richard founded Nature Works in 2006 after recognizing the importance and impact that organics has on our health and our home. With over twenty years’ experience in land care and horticulture, Rich brings his commitment to working with Earth’s natural systems, as well as a passion for helping others connect with nature through their landscapes.

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture with a degree in Landscape Contracting(1999), he is also certified as a “Green Guerilla,” through the Nature Lyceum; the nation’s premier school for organic horticulture. He is accredited through NOFA’s Organic Land Care Program and a member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance. Rich enjoys educating others about organics through public speaking and is an active participant in the local “green” movement.

Richard resides in the Berkshires with his family and is an active member in the community.

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Kendra Lassor

Office Manager

Bio

Kendra has been working alongside founder and partner Richard Lassor since 2006. Her love of organization, order, and service has helped Nature Works maintain its business behind the scenes for the past fifteen years. Born and raised in the beautiful Berkshires, she was captivated by the world of dance and the arts at an early age. Classically trained in ballet from the age of four, Kendra continues to enjoy the ongoing pursuit of arts and movement education through performing and teaching with local dance companies. She also enjoys traveling and exploring unique and beautiful places with her family.
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Zaviere Drumm

Estate Garden & Project Manager
Media Team

Bio

Za grew up on a small horse farm at the base of the Taconic Range. She spent her young life exploring the mountainous, forested landscape of her backyard, growing vegetables and riding horses through pastoral fields and wooded trails. She spent the first part of her working career in hospitality management, soon realizing her passion in sharing her favorite hiking spots and hidden natural refuges with travelers who were also enamored with the natural splendor of the Berkshire Hills. Fueled by a network of local horticulturalists and the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s horticulture and design certificate programs, she changed her careers to align more with her passions in the natural world. After working independently for a few years in local gardens, Za joined the Nature Works team in 2015.

With a formal education that began in sculpture and design, Za has a diverse appreciation for the arts and the use of natural materials. Her ongoing education and strong values give her the building blocks to understand the landscape as a holistic experiential design, connecting people to their gardens and ecology of their world. She most enjoys using her knowledge of horticulture, ecological practices and functional beauty to meld nature with sustainable designs, naturalistic plantings and of course showing clients the value in living with a strong natural connection.
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Luis Rodriguez

Landscape Construction Manager

Bio

A native of Guatemala City, Guatemala, Luis grew up in the fast pace of city life working for his family. In search of new opportunities, he traveled to the US in 2003, and after falling in love with the tranquility and beauty of the Berkshires, decided to call it home. He has worked in the field of landscape construction for over 10 years. His experience has encompassed a wide range of services including irrigation, turf management and large-scale hardscape construction installations. As he developed as a landscaper his passion grew more towards an ecological approach, which led him to seek out an opportunity with Nature Works this past season. Luis thrives on expanding his knowledge through continued education and seminars and also holds several certifications and licenses including; 2A and 1C Hoisting Licenses, and is Osha 10 certified.
Luis is an animal lover and lives with his wife and three kitties in North Berkshire County. When not working, Luis enjoys Formula 1, camping and feeding his vast array of birds and furry friends in his backyard sanctuary built by he and his wife.
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Dottie “Lou” Kratt

Landscape & Garden Manager

Bio

Dottie “Lou” Kratt started out in horticulture at the young age of 14, working in her Uncle’s greenhouse in Hudson, NY. Over the years she has worked at Berkshire Botanical Garden, several nurseries, and was the Propagation and Seed bank Manager of Project Native in Housatonic, MA. Native plants/seeds is her specialty and has over 40 years of horticulture knowledge.
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Matt Kelly

Estate Garden Team Leader

Bio

Matt came to Nature Works in 2019 via the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. While at Kripalu, Matt created a sustainable food waste composting program with the help of the Center for EcoTechnology. Matt was awarded the 2002 Berkshire Grown Chef award for support of local food and farms – nice to enjoy an entire bumper crop for dinner! Matt also helped to create an alkaline battery recycling program with Battery Solutions for the roughly 30 gallons per year used in wireless microphones. Before departing Kripalu, Matt helped to produce many of the programs for gifted luminaries of our time. As an outlet to hone his horticultural skills, Matt enjoys working out-of-doors, providing a satisfying result for happy plants, and always learning from knowledgeable Nature Works team members.
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Matt Mancino

Landscape Construction Team Leader/
Safety Program Leader

Bio

Matt made the transition to Nature Works in 2020 after spending the last few years as an arborist apprentice working on some of the Berkshires finest estates and venues, including Tanglewood and Williams College. Matt found his passion for the outdoors very early on and not only turned it into a hobby but a way of life. He worked as a zip-line tour guide sharing his love for adventure and adrenaline with hundreds of people from all over. Matt worked for the DCR on Mount Greylock as trail maintenance, hiking and upkeeping the 80 miles of trails, as well as educating visitors on the ecosystem and history of the mountain and helped plan their hikes based on their skill set and abilities. Matt brings along his experience as a safety coordinator from one of the area’s largest manufacturing plants and holds his OSHA 30 certification. Matt is leading Nature Works’ safety program to ensure that every aspect of our business is safe, efficient, and innovative.

Matt has devoted many years to living a sustainable, eco-friendly way of life which has helped him develop his family’s property into an edible landscape, not only for himself but for his bees to thrive and pollinate. He shares his love for the outdoors and importance of sustainable landscaping with his two young children who are always eagerly by his side learning from their dad. Matt has spoken at schools throughout Berkshire County teaching young minds the importance of pollinators, the process of pollination and the impact it has on our environment. When not working Matt spends his time hiking the various mountain ranges of the Northeast, identifying and documenting edible native plants along the way and participates in many road, trail, and obstacle course races.

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Ella Hinkley

Landscape and Garden Team

Bio

Recently relocated from Salt Lake City, Utah. Ella is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in geography and a minor in sustainable agriculture and neuroscience. She has served on the Council for International Education Exchange as well as the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs. Both of these programs focus on education in environmental sustainability. She brings multi-year experience in leadership and fieldwork, and enjoys spending as much time outdoors as possible. Some of her favorite activities include rock-climbing, skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. She also enjoys continuing her education in sustainability, permaculture, and gardening.

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Diane Rothbart

Landscape & Garden Maintenance Team Member

Bio

Diane has been gardening for most of her life and spent her summers in college landscaping and maintaining containers. After graduating with a BFA in Painting, she ended up back on the eastern end of Long Island and started working at a high-end garden center in Southampton where she worked for the next eleven years, with the exception of teaching English in South Korea for one year. She has also worked independently creating small gardens and annual containers for residential and commercial clients. Eager to continue her education in the field, she’s taken horticulture and landscape design classes at SUNY Farmingdale as well as workshops at Cornell Cooperative Extension. After spending most of her life nestled between trees, bays and the Atlantic, she now finds herself back amongst the mountains of upstate NY where she is excited to cultivate a garden of her own in her new home.
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Maria Potvin

Landscape Construction
Team Leader

Bio

Maria was born and raised in Stamford, VT. A lover of the beauty and change the four seasons bring, she spends much of her time outside; snowboarding in the winter and working, running, hiking, and taking trips to the beach in the spring, summer and fall. She’s currently enrolled in her last semester at Vermont Technical College where she plans to graduate in the spring of 2021 with an associate’s degree in Landscape Contracting and a second degree in Forestry. She plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture.

Maria joined the Nature Works Team in 2020, where she gained further landscape experience working on the Construction Team, taking on small equipment operation and some comprehensive installation projects. She enjoys being a part of the team and the company culture.

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Connor Williams

Construction Team

Bio

Connor is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College who studied environmental science, natural resource management and sustainability. He has worked as a surveyor technician and also was employed for multiple seasons at Boyd Family Farm in Wilmington Vermont. He enjoys hiking, fishing and camping as well as many outdoor activities.
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Dylan Northrup

Landscape & Garden
Construction Team

Bio

Dylan has been working with the Nature Works team since 2019. Early on, during his High School education, Dylan found immense interest in the Sustainable Landscape Construction and Design industry while in his Horticulture Vocational Program. He pursued a higher education at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts, earning an associates degree in Landscape Contracting. He then went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainable Community Development, and concentrated his studies in Landscape Design and Build. He uses his education, and his love for the industry to connect clients with their outdoor living spaces in relation to their homes. In his spare time, Dylan enjoys traveling, and hiking with friends within the Berkshires and beyond.
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Patti Chiecko

Estate Garden Team

Bio

Patti has tended to the gardens at some of the Berkshires finest historical and estate homes over the past twenty years. Patti has a degree in environmental science and has been working as a gardener since the early 1980’s. She loves to care for her large vegetable garden at home(and she works hard to tend them when she is not working!) and she enjoys harvesting what she sows to make delicious meals. Patti lives in Becket with her husband and cat ‘lil Bit’.

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Luke White

Landscape & Garden Team

Bio

Luke grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, spending most of his time camping/hiking. He attended Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks studying Wildlife Biology, although he became more interested with native flora after taking classes like Dendrology, Understory and Ground Cover Flora, and Forest Ecology. After college, he moved to the Berkshires to be near family. He is currently taking classes at Berkshire Botanical Garden to become a Certified Horticulturist. His experience starting at age 12, includes lawn care, plant knowledge, and wildlife application. Residing in Southern Berkshire County, Luke lives with his girlfriend and two cats, Basil and Aria. Joining Nature Works in 2019, Luke hopes to bring a detail oriented eye to garden maintenance and installation.
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Kirsten Gellella

Estate Garden & Media Team

Bio

Kirsten was born in New Milford, CT. She graduated from the University of Vermont with degrees in Environmental Studies, Botany, and Religion. Since her early years of climbing trees and meandering the woods, Kirsten has found solace in nature. This relationship nurtured a strong commitment to appreciating and protecting the natural world through activism and the arts. Kirsten was co-publisher and creative director for The ReDirect Guide, a directory, resource guide, and media company dedicated to sustainable business practices and healthy living- with regional editions in Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake and Park City, UT and in the Greater Denver, CO area. Kirsten has also run a successful freelance graphic design business for many years, promoting businesses and institutions that share a mission of making the world a better place.

Kirsten moved to the Berkshires from Seattle, WA where she was a Senior Designer for a sustainability consulting firm. Seeking a return to her New England roots, she relocated to the Berkshires with her partner, to raise their two young children. Kirsten joined the Nature Works team in 2019. She is grateful for the opportunity to work outdoors, play in the dirt, and learn as much as she can about horticulture.

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Pia Whyte

Estate Garden Team Apprentice

Bio

Pia grew up in Egremont, MA, where she developed a strong love for gardening and nature. She also loves art, theater, music, traveling, learning, coaching on the Catamount Alpine Race Team, and working on the Nature Works Team. Pia served an internship with Nature Works in 2020 and following her graduation from the Berkshire Waldorf High School began working on the Estate Garden Team last summer. She is attending her first year at UMASS Amherst and is pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture and Design.

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Chloe Whyte

Estate Garden Apprentice

Bio

Born and raised in the Berkshires, Chloe is currently a home-schooled student in her junior year.  Although new to the garden and horticultural world, her love of nature and art has made gardening a fun and natural environment for further education and training, while also being a creative outlet. She is currently working on becoming a certified permaculturist. She’s also interested in natural building, and enjoys singing, playing guitar and piano, creative writing, painting, and having adventures in the outdoors. She’s enjoyed working with Nature Works getting to know her amazing coworkers, and learning how to tend to gardens and make them thrive.

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Janet Lee

Administrative Assistant

Bio

Janet Lee has been a Berkshire resident since 2003. Over the last 18 years, she has worked in hospitality, fitness, finance and for non-profit organizations. Her husband Tim Lee has been a public educator for 30 years and will soon be retiring from his principalship at Muddy Brook Elementary School.
Janet and Tim have two daughters who currently reside in Brooklyn, NY, having both previously graduated from Monument Mountain High School. Alison works as a graphic designer and Ruthanne works in theater. The couple will be starting a new building project in Great Barrington, but currently reside in Stockbridge.
Janet is excited to be joining the Nature Works team as a part-time bookkeeper and providing administrative support in the office. In addition to working for Nature Works, Janet is teaching yoga and Pilates classes, and working part-time at several Berkshire non-profits. In her spare time, Janet is an avid tennis player, runner and loves to hike and bike around the Berkshires.

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Gabe Lassor

Landscape Apprentice

Bio

Currently entering his junior year at the Berkshire Waldorf High School, Gabe has worked for Nature Works the last two seasons as an apprentice on the Landscape & Garden, Construction and Organic Lawn Care Teams. An avid sportsman, Gabe enjoys playing baseball, football, basketball, skiing, and likes to share his passion for athletics with others.

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Julian Lassor

Special Ops & Equipment Operations Apprentice

Bio

A budding technician/engineer, Julian has helped Nature Works capture multiple projects via drone footage and is also an equipment operator in training. Frequently assisting in special missions, Julian is always eager to help in whatever task is being asked of him and is already showing excellent leadership skills at the young age of 14. We look forward to seeing this young man grow into his future roles here at Nature Works!

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Location

900 Pleasant St
Lee, MA 01238

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