about us

Zachary Berger Associates, Ltd. is an ecological design and consulting firm, founded in 1997 and serving all of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Our niche practice bridges the gap between sustainable landscape architecture  and restorative ecology. Our work endeavors to integrate and partner with northeastern ecoregions, which include the Northeastern Highlands, Northeastern Coastal Zone, Acadian Plains and Hills, and Eastern Great Lakes Lowlands. We provide design, consulting and administration for land conservation and restoration throughout northern New England. We are experienced in working with challenging environments- mountainside, lakeside and oceanside. Our services include sustainable ecological designs for conservation properties and associations; large-scale residential landscape + permaculture master plans; preservation plans for historic natural landscapes; and landscape renovation plans for both urban sites and rural properties

Services: Conservation and habitat restoration plans  ·  ecological land planning  ·  landscape master plans  ·  permaculture plans  ·  landscape installation management  ·  shoreland permit-related services  ·  land-use consulting  ·  and land stewardship programs

Zachary Berger, principal  PDC, AOLCP

Zachary at Starr Lake between Mt Madison & Mt Adams

Zachary’s passion for natural landscapes began during his formative years rambling around the hills and valleys of the rural Connecticut River Valley.  In his teens, his journey led him to the western Maine foothills and lakes region where he started his design career, drawing out raised beds and food crop companion plantings on graph paper for the family’s large organic garden. After two years of studying biological agriculture in Maine and Virginia, Zachary decided to pursue his keen interest in land planning and garden design. Thus came four years of formal education in horticulture and design at Andrews University and Southern Maine Technical College. He founded the firm after several years of native wetland plant production, ornamental nursery production + sales, volunteer trail conservation stewardship and landscape design and installation experience throughout New England. Zachary’s enthusiasm for the natural world continues to inform and guide his design approach.

  • LakeSmart and DEP Certified in Erosion Control Practices
  • Volunteer Trail Adopter for the Appalachian Mountain Club since 2007
  • Hiked all 48 of New Hampshire’s Four Thousand Footers
  • Certified in Permaculture Design from University of New Hampshire
  • Accredited Organic Land Care Practitioner (AOLCP)
  • New England Nursery Association Young Nursery Professional of the Year
  • Master Gardener since 1993

our design + stewardship partners

Ronny Stelly, Sylvatica Design

Ronny on Mt Mansfield, highest point in Vermont

Ronny pursued a degree in the landscape design profession after three years of hobby farming in South Royalton, Vermont. When Hurricane Irene washed his hard work and effort down the White River in year two, Ronny became determined to better understand the intricacies of our built world. Receiving an Associate of Science degree in Landscape and Environmental Design at NHTI in Concord, New Hampshire, he provides an environmentally conscious approach. Ronny views the landscape design profession as a unique opportunity to alter industry norms while conveying to clients the importance of place.

  • Certified in Permaculture Design from University of New Hampshire
  • A.S. Landscape and Environmental Design
  • Natural Shoreland Erosion Control Certification (NSECC) 
  • Volunteer Steward for Stowe Land Trust

Distinctive Gardening, Inc.

Tagging a recent conservation planting for identification and monitoring

The all-women team working harmoniously as Distinctive Gardening offer a diverse mix of environmental educational backrounds ranging from Environmental Science and Conservation to Horticulture and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Holding landscape and environmental degrees and certifications, Julia Libby, Georgia Elgar, Emily Macduff and Evelyn Hudson have honed their organic land care skills throughout Maine and New Hampshire coastal communties, as well as the New Hampshire Lakes Region and Mount Washington Valley. They have installed many of our designs and are conscientious stewards of a wide variety of ornamental, edible and conserved landscapes + gardens.

  • Accredited Organic Land Care Practitioners- NOFA
  • Landscape, Permaculture + garden designers
  • Installations of conservation/habitat, landscape and garden plantings
  • Complete organic edible gardens designed, built and maintained
  • Gardens for pollinators, wildlife, domestic animals and their people
Map of New England Ecoregions
Ecoregions of New England

As ecological designers, we are in fact, communicators. We listen and respond to the needs of both the land and our clients as we seek the spirit of each site. We tune in to what exists there – past, present and future.  Where there is beauty, we enhance it. Where there is discord, we create harmony. Our quest for enhancement and harmony starts with learning the unique qualities of each site and continues with the creative convergence of plant guilds, natural forms and people. It culminates with stronger and more resilient relationships to local ecosystems, whether on a small or grand scale.