Wildlands plays a role in the 2023 NADO Award for Land of Sky Regional Council Project

The Land of Sky Regional Council (LOSRC) was recently awarded the 2023 NADO Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award for their project “Regional Stormwater Services Program – MS4 Information Management System.” The system was configured by Wildlands Engineering for LOSRC who funded and deployed this technology across multiple jurisdictions (Fletcher, Woodfin, Black Mountain, and Weaverville) for a fraction of the cost of typical management systems. It provides a low-cost alternative for smaller jurisdictions that do not use a digital asset management system for stormwater infrastructure.

The MS4 Information Management System is a low-cost alternative for smaller jurisdictions that do not use a digital asset management system for stormwater infrastructure. The MS4 Information Management System is an integrated documentation system for stormwater outfall inspections – both for identifying maintenance needs and for discovering possible illicit discharges; it can also be used for reporting.

The system is built on the esri GIS platform and centrally hosted and managed in ArcGIS Online (AGOL) by LOSRC. Proactive stormwater management is crucial to protecting water quality. LOSRC aims to map all the stormwater systems in the region and uses this system to provide a simple field-based mobile app to support inspections and maintenance. Communities can access the platform anywhere and it’s designed to be used on a tablet or smartphone in the field. The system consists of inspection forms (ArcGIS Survey123), a locationally aware mobile map (ArcGIS Field Maps), and the stormwater system inventory (AGOL). Surveys documenting illicit discharges and/or high priority storm maintenance requirements will trigger an email to the corresponding town public works director. Survey123 also consists of a web-application that provides a data dashboard to review and report on the information collected with the inspection forms.

In the future, the system can be expanded for additional MS4 permit requirements (e.g., SCM inspections, catch basin cleaning, facility, and pavement management).

Wildlands looks forward to providing more quality, accessible, and functional online mapping tools for future clients!

#NADO #award #wildlandsengineering #stormwater #waterquality #ArcGIS #mappingtools #landofsky #ashevillenc #GIS

Wildlands Partners with the Letters to a Pre-Scientist Program

This year, Wildlands has supported and sponsored a classroom for the Letters to a Pre-Scientist program. Through our One + One Initiative, this opportunity has given many of our scientists at Wildlands the ability to connect with students from all over the country and inspire them to explore a future in the environmental and water resources industry.

The mission of the Letters to a Pre-Scientist program strives to maintain a culture where everyone who participates feels supported to be their full selves; at Wildlands Engineering, we aim to portray the same values by ensuring an inclusive environment for every student we write compelling letters to, as well as clients and industry partners we interact with at project sites or industry events.

We look forward to continuously encouraging the younger generation of scientists to follow their dreams in defining their career pathway and becoming leaders in the environmental industry as we know it today!

Hear from some of our scientists on their inspiring experiences with Letters to a Pre-Scientist (LPS):

“I am very excited to be participating in the LPS program. The time commitment is minimal (only four letters). I am most excited about the opportunity to spark a kid’s interest in science and the outdoors. I think that it is really important to get kids excited and interested about science and the outdoors while they are young, because it correlates to involvement in the sciences as an adult. Having the opportunity to share about my experience can hopefully create some excitement in my pen pal. I think it is important for kids to have someone who encourages them and their curiosity – this program achieves those goals. Part of growing up is learning about different jobs, fields, and avenues to reach those jobs. These letters can provide a small exposure to my pen pal so that they can reach for their career goals.”  Jeff Turner, Environmental Scientist in Charlotte, NC


“I love that Wildlands consistently participates in a plethora of varied outreach efforts and Letters to Pre-Scientists may be one of my favorites! It’s a heartwarming experience getting to connect with students, impart a passion for science, and act as a resource for them. This program facilitates many students’ first ever interaction with a STEM professional and is a great medium for students to see their own potential through the professionals they’re connected with. I also really value and appreciate the challenge of breaking down typical industry language into a format that’s easier for the student to digest – it pushes me to grasp and look at concepts in a different light! Most importantly, I believe in the goals and values of LPS, ‘being committed to supporting all aspects of diversity in STEM and ensuring an inclusive environment that is welcoming to everyone.”  Madison LaSala, Environmental Scientist in Raleigh, NC


“I’m stoked to have received and responded to my pen pal’s first letter! It certainly brightened my day to see a hand-written letter on my keyboard when I came into work one day. I also had fun creating a photograph timeline showing how I got to my current position at Wildlands – along with a few fun facts about me.”  Julie Bernstorf, PE, Water Resources Engineer in Asheville, NC





“I love the LPS program! From being matched with a pre-scientist to reading what their interests are and answering their questions. As an adolescent, I would’ve loved a program like LPS to connect with a science professional, so I put myself in their shoes and give it my all. It’s rewarding being a part of the planting crew – planting seeds for life!”  Emily Israel, Stewardship Coordinator in Charlotte, NC







Join us at the 2023 National Stream Restoration Conference in Baltimore, MD | August 21-23

Wildlands is thrilled to be a sponsor at this year’s National Stream Restoration Conference. We will be at booth #A34, so come by and say hello! We will also have numerous team members giving presentations on a variety of topics spanning from the benefits of design-build projects, macroinvertebrates’ impact on biological monitoring, and a feature on our work with Anne Arundel County, MD.





Please see below for our presentation schedule:

Tuesday, August 22nd
E Session | Kent
8:30 AM ETCase Study: Marylea Farm Stream Restoration Site Biological Monitoring
PRESENTERS:  Mike Fowler, PE, Senior Project Manager and Carolyn Lanza, Environmental Scientist  
Moderator:  Bob Siegfried, RES

A Session | Fells Point
11:30 AM ETThe Value of the Design-Build Experience
PRESENTERS:  Ty Williams, EI, Environmental Designer and Doug Smith, Finance & Resource Manager with Wildlands Construction, LLC
Moderator:  Greg Golden

C Session | Watertable
11:50 AM ETAnne Arundel County’s Approach to Meeting MS4 and TMDL Requirements through Turnkey Restoration Projects
PRESENTERS:  Abigail Vieira, PE, Water Resources Engineer and Erik Michelsen, Deputy Director with Anne Arundel County’s Department of Public Works
Moderator:  Stephen Pawlak, JMT

From the Stewardship Corner: Adaptations of Aquatic Plants

What’s so special about aquatic plants? They provide vertical structure and habitat for animals in water systems, as well as trap sediments, slow the velocity of water, and even absorb pollutants such as heavy metals and nutrient run-off. Aquatic plants, aka hydrophytes, have several unique adaptations to help them survive in the water. Photos 1: Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) at Falling Creek Mitigation Site, North Carolina; Photo 2: Soft-stemmed bulrush (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) at Marylea Farm Mitigation Site, Maryland


Emergent plants are rooted in water and partially grow above the water surface. Broadleaf watermilfoil has two shapes of leaves. The above-water leaves are triangular, bright green, and produce axillary flowers. The filamentous form of the submerged leaves are excellent at catching fine sediment and they bear a reproductive structure called a turion. Photo 3 & 4: Broadleaf watermilfoil (Myriophyllum heterophyllum) at Dudley Mill Pond Mitigation Site, North Carolina


Submerged plants are rooted into aquatic substrate or without a root system. They regrow from buds below the water surface. Spongy tissues provide structure and buoyancy while in the water. A submerged aquatic plant quickly becomes limp outside of water. Quick tip: if you’re trying to identify an aquatic plant, it helps to keep it in a dish of water.


Floating-leaved plants are rooted into aquatic substrate with leaves that float on the water surface. The American white water-lily (Nymphea odorata) leaves are covered by a waxy cuticle that repels water. This prevents the leaves from rotting. Photo 5 & 6: American Water-Lily (Nymphaea odorata) at Dudley Mill Pond Mitigation Site, North Carolina


Free-floating plants are found suspended on water surface with no roots attached. Swollen bladderwort (Utricularia inflata) has a whorl of leaf structures called “rafts” that look and float like pool noodles! Photo 7: Swollen bladderwort at Dudley Mill Pond Mitigation Site, North Carolina


  • Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) at Falling Creek Mitigation Site

Hear what our staff has to say about working at Wildlands Engineering!

Our growth rate, in terms of employees, has averaged 21% annually over the past five years. We began as a seven-person team in Charlotte, NC in 2007 and have grown to 85 full-time professionals with offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; and Fairfax, VA. Our staff have dedicated their careers to improving the environment and we provide more than 15-years of experience as a firm. We recognize that people are our most valuable asset, and our firm has tenured employees that develop young talent. This approach results in low turnover and allows senior leadership to transfer knowledge, while building our internal culture.


We recently asked some staff what it is like working at Wildlands and here is what they shared:

“I enjoy working at Wildlands because I get to build my experience while working alongside professionals and experts in the field of stream restoration. At Wildlands, I appreciate having a balance between field work and office work, so that we never lose that connection, which really helps to ensure we get the best possible outcomes for our projects.”


“Working at Wildlands is exciting and engaging. The company is dynamic, innovative, and always working to improve. There are many ways to get involved and collaborating across teams, which is stimulating. Plus, co-workers feel like family and the perks are nice, too!”



“The ability to work on such a wide range of tasks throughout the year in both indoor and outdoor settings is continually refreshing. I relish the opportunity to make a direct impact through hands-on problem solving and applied resourcefulness in the reestablishment of native plant communities in my home state of North Carolina. I also love working for a company where I have room to grow in my role and work alongside people that I learn from daily and who help me succeed.”


Working at Wildlands has been exciting in ways that I never imagined. While it has definitely included more ticks than I planned for, it has also included the most accepting and supportive work environment I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of. I can’t wait to see what my future holds with Wildlands, because I know it will be awesome!”


“I’ve gotten to make various maps for different stages of projects for landowners, different cities, and different counties. I love working at Wildlands and being able to work with some of the best people I’ve ever met. In working with engineers, designers, and scientists, I’ve been able to understand what goes into different phases of our projects and how to do my job better.



Welcome Tim Morris to the Wildlands Team

We are pleased to announce that Tim Morris has joined the Wildlands team. Tim has been a long-time leader in restoration and mitigation in the southeast and mid-Atlantic regions, managing over 40 full-delivery mitigation projects and developing mitigation banks in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Maryland. His 30+ years of experience with a broad range of environmental restoration projects has given Tim a well-rounded approach to problem solving and a unique ability to manage complex, large-scale restoration projects. Tim’s philosophy on developing successful environmental restoration projects is to promote ownership of projects from the ground up. This involves informing and training the project team, contractors, landowners, regulatory staff, project owners and other project stakeholders through diligent communication and involvement, resulting in proud ownership of all parties involved.


Tim lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife and two kids. When Tim isn’t working, he is usually coaching or transporting his kids to their various sports activities. He also loves to ski, mountain bike, hike, and playing slow pitch softball. Tim is excited to join the Wildlands team and contribute to achieving our goals for 2022 and beyond.

Meet Wildlands’ newly created Land Stewardship Team

Wildlands takes a holistic approach to ecosystem restoration design and implementation, and we recognize the importance of thoughtful land stewardship throughout a project’s life cycle. During our recent growth, we added several new teammates to support an internal land stewardship initiative. These land stewards bring with them diverse expertise in ecology, permaculture, soil science, and conservation. Working with our managers and designers, they use their unique backgrounds to create design elements such as invasive species control plans, soil preparation specifications, and planting plans. Our land stewards also visit each site several times throughout the year and are equipped to provide timely land management solutions such as vegetation control, supplemental planting, and boundary marking repairs when appropriate. Back in the office, they share their field observations with the managers and designers, allowing for us to hone our designs through a positive feedback loop. We are excited to offer land stewardship services on our projects and welcome these newest members to Wildlands’ holistic ecosystem restoration team.

NC land management
NC land management
NC land management
NC land management

Wildlands’ project wins APWA-NC’s 2019 Project of the Year!

We are honored to announce that our Reedy Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build project was awarded the 2019 APWA-NC Stormwater Project of the Year in the category of Natural Systems! The selection committee was “impressed by the overall scope and success of the project.”

Wildlands served as the prime consultant for the Reedy Creek Stream Restoration Design-Build project, which was the first design-build project to generate stream and wetland mitigation units for the City of Charlotte Umbrella Stream and Wetland Mitigation Bank.


(below image-collage courtesy of APWA-NC)

Wildlands Advocates for Thoughtful Industry Policies

Early in 2019, the EPA began a process to rewrite the Clean Water Act definition of Waters of the US by publishing a draft rule for public comment.  The proposed rule threatens to significantly curtail the protection afforded under the Act to our Nation’s streams, wetlands, and waterways.  Wildlands worked with our state industry group, the NC Environmental Restoration Association, to develop a formal response letter representing our industry’s perspective on the proposed rule.  The association’s letter pointed out a number of technical and scientific flaws with the proposed rule.  For instance, one stated goal of the rule is to ‘create regulatory certainty for the regulated community’ however there are numerous terms that are introduced in the rule but are undefined and subject to interpretation.  We also pointed out significant flaws with the financial impact analysis that is discussed in the proposed rule.  As of September 2019, the EPA had announced plans to rescind the  2015 Waters of the US definition that was proposed under the Obama Administration.  This is the first step in a stated three prong approach from the Trump Administration to permanently rollback water quality protections under the Clean Water Act.  Wildlands is continuing to work with partners at the state and federal levels to limit the impact of such changes on our industry and the water resources we all work to restore and protect.


Wildlands Engineering celebrates 10 year anniversary!

“We are excited to reach this substantial milestone in the maturity and growth of our business. After starting the business ten years ago with six dedicated individuals and building upon the vision of excellence, innovation, and comradery, we have continued to add members to our team who value our unique approach to the science and the business of ecosystem restoration. Our pride in what we have built; our business, our projects, and our family, is only surpassed by our enthusiasm about what the future holds for Wildlands.” – Shawn Wilkerson, President of Wildlands

This season, we are grateful as we reflect on a decade of success. The past ten years have been full of developing innovative solutions, opening new offices, and growing our team. Check out the timeline of milestones below.

Click here to download the timeline »