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 landscape season requires an incredible amount of strength, endurance, and focus to keep everything running smoothly. With the support of our 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A native of Berkshire county, Steve was born and raised in Pittsfield, Ma. At a young age he found a love for nature and the outdoors and decided to further pursue his education at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture where he received an associates degree in landscape contracting and a bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in natural resource conservation with a concentration in urban forestry. Steve specializes in landscape construction and natural stone masonry and uses his love for the outdoors to create spaces for people to enjoy outside in nature. On top of creating spaces for people, he is also very passionate about learning how to create habitat and manage land for whitetail deer and wild turkey. In his free time Steve enjoys archery, hunting, and hanging out with his fiancée and their four coonhound dogs.
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.
Alessandro has lived and worked in northwest Connecticut for most of his life. He learned to garden at an early age and spent summers barefoot in the family garden growing vegetables and fruits. He studied photography and worked in art galleries before stumbling into vineyard work and spent the following years working and learning in vineyards, hopyards, orchards, and greenhouses. He spent eight years working for Pergola, a boutique garden design shop in New Preston, CT, where he learned to relate the natural world to art and received inspiration from great friends. Alessandro also worked as an estate gardener in Litchfield County. He loves to grow mushrooms and bring unusual plants to the field!
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.
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.
Elissa fell in love with plants while working part-time during her college years. She was helping a friend with landscaping and wound up caring for indoor and outdoor plants while she pursued her degree in Spanish at UMASS Boston. Her love of working outside brought her to the Bay area, Northampton, and eventually to Lenox, MA where she grew up. After working inside for a few years, she realized that she missed gardening and being in nature. When searching for a job that would align with her desire to be outdoors, she found Nature Works Land Care. This is Elissa’s first summer on the Nature Works team, where she is happy to go to work every day.
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.
Matt is a graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in graphic design and photography. Having moved from Virginia in 2011, he now calls the Berkshires home. Matt is certified in Personal Training, Strength and Conditioning, Sports Performance, and Youth athletics. After working as a trainer in Lenox for several years, Matt turned to landscaping. It offers the best of both worlds, design, and physical activity. I have always done my best to live by this motto: “Love what you do and do what you love.”
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 and 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. Her favorite activities include rock climbing, skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. She also enjoys continuing her education in sustainability, permaculture, and gardening.
Erica has assisted small businesses and nonprofits in the Berkshires for over 20 years. She studied Accounting at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science in Accountancy. After working for 2 years in Chicago doing cost analysis for private corporations, she realized that her soul simply could not continue helping big firms make money. She quit the world of corporate accounting and has never looked back. Erica currently lives with her fabulous son in Housatonic, MA, near where she was born. Before coming full-circle to settle back into the Berkshires, she lived in rural central Florida, South Bend, Chicago, Madrid, and most recently, Oaxaca, Mexico. She has a passion for languages and has taught English and Spanish (and dabbled with Italian and Portuguese). Erica enjoys reading, joining too many book groups, and watching movies in her free time.
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.
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 attended UMASS Amherst this past year and is pursuing a degree in Landscape Architecture and Design.
Born and raised in the Berkshires, Chloe is entering her senior year of high school. 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.