From intimate residential sanctuaries to multi-year stewardship strategies that promote habitat connectivity, we endeavour to create a positive impact on the natural environment at all scales. Each solution honors the cultural and ecological history of a place while acknowledging the continued pressures on our natural resources. As a small studio, this holistic perspective resonates with our enterprising spirit and nimble approach to design.
As designers and ecologists we find that the best solution is one that is responsive to our clients’ needs and demonstrates mindfulness for our environment. It is through our collaboration with communities, clients, and other professionals that we have created resourceful and innovative solutions that are both sustainable and resilient. Since the inception of Living Habitats in 2001 we have actively promoted an appreciation for the complex beauty of our natural environment and we have an irrepressible passion for making this resource accessible and tangible in our work.
Registrations and Certifications
Professional Registration Landscape Architecture: Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Maryland, New York, and Arkansas
Certified Wetland Specialist: Lake County, Illinois
Woman-Owned Business Enterprise certified, WBENC and Cook County Illinois
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Illinois Department of Transportation
Economically Disadvantaged Woman-owned Small Business certified (EDWOSB), U.S. Government
LEED Accredited Professional BD+C Specialty: U.S. Green Building Council
NAICS Codes – 541320, 541430, 561730, 711510
Heidi Natura | PLA, ASLA, LEED AP | Founder and Partner
Since 1990, Heidi has been actively involved in promoting the wise use of our natural resources through her planning and design work. As a registered landscape architect it is her responsibility and mission as the leader of Living Habitats to understand and creatively express the needs and wants of humanity on the land, balanced with the needs and limitations of the earth and its many inhabitants. She is eager to work with individuals and organizations who are involved with projects that both directly and indirectly shape our world. It is her feeling that with every project undertaken, together with an application of creative thought, we can begin to meaningfully address the many environmental challenges we all collectively face today.
Heidi oversees all of Living Habitats’ project work and enjoys participating in every phase of a project and working directly with clients. With her experience and strong skills in facilitating both small-scale and large-scale projects, she is able to help clients with projects of all sizes to understand and articulate beauty, functional integrity, and environmental improvement by way of their decisions and actions. Special focus areas for Heidi have been the integration of native flora in built and natural landscapes, green roofs, and shoreline restoration design work. Her projects combine natural and structural elements in artful ways, creating aesthetically pleasing and ecologically rich solutions. Since founding Living Habitats, Heidi has been able to realize her vision for integrating landscape and ecology with custom art elements that enhance the beauty and meaning of the work generated. The custom artwork service often intrigues people, as it is sometimes not immediately apparent how it relates to the land. Landscape architecture is a form of installation art, working with living and non-living matter to create beautiful places.
Robert Rock | PLA, ASLA | Principal
Robert joined Living Habitats in the summer of 2016 after a long tenure at several notable landscape architectural firms. His work has focused on the artful integration of infrastructure within the landscape fabric. The combination of aesthetic demands placed on a landscape and the integral service functions are critical to the performance of the environmental engine. Robert believes strongly that while this function and performance are essential metrics by which to measure landscapes, it is absolutely vital that a design solution be understood and appreciated by those individuals that use and maintain them.
As our natural resources are continually leveraged to meet the demands of a growing population we face increasing pressure to invent new methods to use them wisely and protect the environment that we share. By making design accessible and relatable we kindle the spirit of sustainability and resiliency. His years of work with complex client groups, institutions, and organizations, have provided him affinity for design collaboration and an admiration for the personal commitments that individuals make to their environment.
Robert is responsible for the management of the studio and works directly with Heidi in the cultivation and oversight of Living Habitats staff members. Robert is also responsible for the direct oversight of the firm’s project work and works directly with clients to ensure goals and design objectives are met. His rural Iowa upbringing serves as a foundation in resourcefulness and frugality that informs his approach to design and reinforces his deep appreciation for sustainability.