Helping Nature Heal Inc. is proud to be Nova Scotia’s leading-edge ecological landscaping company. President and Designer, Rosmarie Lohnes, leads an all-star team of scientists and designers who can find sustainable solutions for any landscaping challenge. Our designs bring unique beauty, healthy ecology, and re-connection with nature to landscapes and communities. Helping Nature Heal’s team specializes in sustainable landscaping methods that are customized for coastal areas of eastern Canada. Our notable projects include creating Living Shorelines for public lands in Nova Scotia and PEI, developing forest management and trail plans for large private properties on the South Shore, designing and building the landscape for the first LEED Platinum Certified house in the Maritimes, and re-mediating a toxic site to create a community park in Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia.
Helping Nature Heal is widely recognized and respected by leaders in our field. Most notably, Helping Nature Heal won the H.B. Nicholls Award for Coastal Zone Management Achievement at the 2014 Coastal Zone Canada Association Conference in Halifax. This award acknowledges our contribution to coastal management through the development and promotion of Living Shorelines techniques for Canadian applications. Rosmarie is an in-demand speaker and trainer who shares Helping Nature Heal’s ecological landscaping methods at local, regional, national, and international gatherings.
Thanks to persistent hard-work and dedication, Helping Nature Heal Inc. has grown from modest beginnings into the award-winning company it is today. The business germinated in 2001, when Rosmarie obtained her BA in Conservation and Environmental Studies from York University. After completing an internship with Windhorse Farm, Rosmarie began to do gardening jobs for people and businesses around Bridgewater in between shifts at her part-time retail job. As the gardening jobs became more abundant, she decided to dedicate herself to landscaping full-time. In 2002 she formally started Helping Nature Heal, which was incorporated in 2004. Over the years, Helping Nature Heal has grown from two employees to seven core staff and has had as many as ten summer employees. Our projects have also evolved from small gardening jobs to complex ecological landscape design and construction for both private and public spaces.
Mission – To sustain a leading-edge ecological landscaping company that supports environmental, economic, and community resilience.
Vision – A world wherein all people realize their deep interconnection with the Earth and possess both the knowledge and capacity to dig deep for ecological solutions to remediate human impacts while creating resilient, sustainable communities.
Interconnection with nature: Restoring relationships with and connections to nature for our clients, our communities, and ourselves;
Responsible land stewardship: Demonstrating sustainable practices that respond to the needs of the land and improve ecosystem health for future generations;
Ecological and community resilience: Leading initiatives that enhance the ability of ecosystems and human communities to adapt and thrive in the face of change;
Achieving a standard of excellence: Exceeding client expectations and delivering top quality services and products every time;
Participatory teaching and learning: Working together to share and build knowledge using interactive, hands-on process that foster dialogue between teachers and learners;
Meaningful work rooted in long-term relationships: Providing opportunities for impactful work and leadership development that supports lasting employee, client, and community relationships.
At HNH, we are guided by the work of our conservationist elders. The following ethics inspire us and contribute to our values:
Conservationist Land Ethic: “The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land….A land ethic, then, reflects the existence of an ecological conscience, and this in turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for the health of land.” – Aldo Leopold
Permaculture Ethics: “Good for the Earth, good for people, share the surplus.” – David Holmgren/ Bill Mollison
Develop sustainable, creative, and personalized landscape solutions;
Create designs that enhance ecological function and restore human connection with nature;
Observe and respond to the land;
Build the soil first;
Combine heritage skills with science and appropriate technology;
Maximize people-power to minimize fossil fuel use and soil compaction;
Source local, sustainable products and services;
Share and build knowledge;
Save, share, and replant heritage and organic seeds;
Advocate for nature socially and politically;
Contribute to community sustainability projects.
Rosmarie Lohnes: Designer/ President
Rosmarie first helped to grow food gardens as a small child, and also looked to nature for play, interest, and understanding. She has a B.A. in Conservation and Environmental Studies from York University with prior studies in Architectural Design and further training in Horticulture as Therapy, Ecological Landscape Design, Shoreline Erosion, Master Gardener and Landscape Management. She came to Nova Scotia’s Windhorse Farm in 1999 to do an internship in Ecological Forestry and Organic Gardening and fell in love with the fact that you could be in the forest and near the ocean at the same time. After her internship she decided to stay in Bridgewater but could not find a job in her field so she began gardening to support herself and after a year decided to start her own business; Helping Nature Heal was born.
Greg Lohnes: Plant Propagation and Nursery
Greg is a Bridgewater native who grew up hunting and fishing around Lunenburg County. He has a great appreciation for the outdoors and a strong work ethic. He began working with Helping Nature Heal in 2003 and continues to work for the company in the native species nursery, doing trail and forest maintenance, delivering materials, and pitching in wherever and whenever he is needed.
Donna Smith-Edmonds: Executive Assistant
Donna has been a member of the Helping Nature Heal (HNH) Team since 2011. She uses her many skills and experiences assisting Rosmarie fulfill her mission of rebuilding and caring for our eco-systems. She and her husband live outside of Bridgewater where Rosmarie and the HNH crew, have helped create a sustainable landscape and beautiful oasis where she enjoys most of her spare time. By continuing to grow with HNH, Donna hopes to help people reconnect to their land, encourage self-sufficiency, and promote environmental awareness. Just a few of HNH’s mission statements. She looks forward to helping you Help your Nature Heal!
Kirsten Ellis: Operations Manager
Kirsten’s love and appreciation of the natural world began as a kid growing up in rural Nova Scotia playing in the woods, river, and ponds near her house. She has a BScH Biology in Plant Ecology. Kirsten began working for Helping Nature Heal in 2012 and enjoys the diversity of interesting projects and working outside. Kirsten is currently perusing a Masters of Applied Science at St. Mary’s University specializing in the Living Shoreline techniques that have been developed by Helping Nature Heal.
Cory MacDonnell: Senior Crew Member & Greenhouse
Cory joined the team at Helping Nature Heal in May, 2014. Originally from Enfield, Nova Scotia, Cory has always been extremely fascinated with the natural world and was fortunate enough to realize this at an early age. His first memories as a child were studying and manipulating the mud along riverbanks, streams, and brooks. Cory’ s family greatly supported his interest in the outdoors by involving him in the family landscaping projects, vegetable gardens, and taking the family on annual camping trips. This led Cory to attend the University of Prince Edward Island, earning a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Biology, in 2007. After graduating, Cory moved to Ottawa in hopes to further his education. He then attended Algonquin College and studied Respiratory Therapy until 2011. Unhappy with his career choice Cory moved back to Nova Scotia and decided to make a very important career change. He realized that working outside and becoming an ecological advocate was much more fulfilling and meaningful for him so he pursued a career at Helping Nature Heal.
Jessica Carroll: Senior Crew Member and Shop Assistant
Jessica came to our team in June 2015. She grew up in Bridgewater and found joy as a child playing in the woods around her home. Jessica has a great work ethic that she picked up at a young age by helping in the family garden and with her father’s arbourist work. She quickly emerged as a leader on our crew thanks to her tenacity and dedication to the business. Jessica has a love for swimming, especially in the salty ocean!