Environmental Landscape Management, a longtime local landscape and design firm owned by Jean and Doug Meyers, announced that it has brought on two new partner owners, Randy Nyeggen and Chris Matson.

Marc Zappa, who had a part ownership interest in the firm from 1993 to 2004, was bought out by the Meyers in 2005. In early 2006, Nyeggen and Matson, already employees, were given the opportunity to share in the ownership of the company.

"We would like to retire someday," said Jean, who has worked for the company since 1977. "That is the reason we are doing this. Chris brings the design experience and Randy the production and installation knowledge."

The team is looking forward to a new season offering customers the latest in landscaping trends.

Matson, beginning in 1996, worked in the trade doing installation. The Rhinelander native joined ELM in 2003 after graduating from the University of Minnesota's college of landscape architecture. He and his wife moved to Hudson as a result.

Nyeggen had worked in the field for ELM from 1992 until 2003, when he became the production manager, overseeing the crews and scheduling.

Jean started working for the firm in 1977 when it was Wilcox Nursery. In 1993 she and her husband, Doug, bought the company.

Today, the team is looking forward to the newest trend in landscaping -- yard remodeling.

"With the downturn in the real estate market, the trend is for people to upgrade their existing homes," said Doug.

"You can expand your home by adding outdoor living spaces that can be used for six months of the year or more," said Jean. One of the biggest trends is a fire pit.

"You can create an environment in your back yard as if you were up at a lake cabin," said Nyeggen, citing one of the company's projects last fall that included creating a stream featuring a bridge and path leading to a fire pit nestled in the woods all within 50 yards of the home.

Water features -- from small ponds and fountains to streams and everything in between -- are also huge in the trend to remodel outdoor spaces.

"It adds value to your property," said Doug. "We also offer hardscapes, decorative concrete and clay pavers for driveways, fire pits and patio areas."

The ownership team said one of the areas that separates them from other firms is the longterm employees the company has retained.

"Everyone who works here sees this as a profession, not a summer job," said Jean.

"The crews are all seasoned employees and can effectively answer homeowners' questions," said Nyeggen. "Our foremen have between five and 15 years with us."

Public projects in Hudson include the Hudson Hospital, the staircase in Prospect Park and plantings in Weitkamp Park.

"For every project, we put a plan together at some level," said Matson. "The design team uses digital photos and CAD to bring customers' concepts to life."

"We warranty our work and offer 100 percent customer satisfaction," said Doug.

To contact Environmental Landscape Management, call (715) 386-7100 or (651) 436-1017 (metro line) or go online at www.elmonline.com.