Four of our team members are proud to hold Michigan Natural Shoreline Professional (MNSP) certificates from the Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership:
~ Bret Huntman
~ Chris Evans (above left)
~ James Huntman (above right), and
~ Mary Richardson.

Before we get into the weeds about what it means to be a certified Michigan Natural Shoreline Professional, we’d like to share this video from EGLE’s* MI Shoreland Stewards program. It explains some of the challenges of landscaping and controlling erosion on the shorelines of our region’s extraordinary waters.


It takes more than dumping big rocks on the shore of the lake or river and planting some flowers! An effective and enduring erosion-control installation requires really listening to understand how you want to use your shoreline, careful design and engineering, knowledge of the range of appropriate materials and shoreline plants, experience protecting the adjacent lake bottom and shoreline during construction, equipment that makes for efficient work while minimizing damage to the  property, site in the process, and well-informed and supervised installers.

All of our MNSPs have years of experience working on northern Michigan shorelines. The Natural Shoreline Professional certification process ensures that, in addition to all they’ve learned in the field (or in this case, in the water), they have an understanding of the science behind the design of bio-technical erosion control installations.

The program is a significant investment in our employees. It has four parts. First, there are three days of classroom instruction.

Then, the class members work alongside the course instructors and other experienced shoreline professionals to protect an actual shoreline. This is important because some of the other students are general landscapers getting their first introduction to natural shoreline erosion control methods. As a bonus, the class projects are generally service projects protecting waterfronts in public parks. We are proud to note that some of our staff have volunteered to assist with class projects when the course is held in northern Michigan.

Finally, before the students receive their certificates, they have to demonstrate that they’ve grasped the information by passing a formal written exam.

Our Michigan Natural Shoreline Professional certificates are additional evidence that, when you hire North By Nature Landscapes to protect and landscape your shoreline, you are hiring specialists committed to best practices from the ownership and management (Bret), to the designer (Mary), to the installation team (James and Chris)!


Photo shows James and Chris' Michigan Natural Shoreline Professionals certification class installing a shoreline buffer garden.

Can you find James and Chris in the picture? You can spot Bret, too, in the video around 4:50. He’s the one working very fast!

*EGLE is the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.