Marie Michele Montano

Marie Michele Montano

Los Angeles, CA, US



I approach all of my projects with a natural system based integrative design perspective, which integrates research, function, and analysis. I especially enjoy solving complex problems, and look for solutions that integrate natural function with beautiful design. I am interested in creating policy and programs which consider issues holistically. I aspire to catalyze a paradigm shift in our approach at not only solving the most complex planning and environmental issues, but also in our approach to development, reclamation, and pollution mitigation.

Prior to my foray into Landscape Architecture I was a Los Angeles based Fashion Designer. Sixteen years immersed in the fashion and retail industry has helped to give me a keen understanding of marketing, graphics, and design. I understand how to interpret market trends, and have a voracious appetite when it comes to reading and researching about the newest and latest trends in Planning, Development, Environmental Conservation, Renewable Energy, Science, Architecture, and Politics. I enjoy writing and informing others about all of the things I learn along the way. I am an open-minded and considerate team player. I find fulfillment in fostering stewardship and educating communities on their local environment. I am a proficient analyst and researcher with strong writing skills, and am organized, responsible, and detail focused.

Most recently, I was hired by the Institute of Urban Ecology as an intern where I was tasked with conceptualizing their new Altadena permaculture farm and educational center. Last Winter and Spring, I was a program consultant for the Youth Science Center, where I taught teenagers about watershed and natural systems function, urban gardening, and the native flora and fauna. In addition, I design landscapes for DT Construction for their residential and commercial projects.

Having worked for the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation within the planning and special projects division, helped to familiarize me with the design and rehabilitation of parks, playgrounds, and recreational areas.  I am very familiar with integrated design approaches, green infrastructure, plan preparation, specifications, cost estimates, multi-modal non-motorized transportation planning, Low Impact Development (LID) & Best Management Practice (BMP) planning solutions. I am well equipped to tackle urban planning complexities with an eye on sustainability, feasibility, and cost. Having had over a decade of management experience, I am able to plan and organize when necessary, and am excellent at following through on projects from conception to completion.


North East Trees, Los Angeles, CA, US, Project Manager

My duties include managing master planning projects, stormwater LID projects, and land use planning projects. I assist with grant writing, and landscape design. I am proficient at using Adobe suite programs, GIS mapping, AutoCAD and LandFX, as well as Microsoft Office.

Current projects include the La Brea Corridor Planning Study, HACOLA Nueva Maravilla Stormwater BMP Pilot Project, the Gateway Cities Planning Project, and the Ascot Park Habitat Restoration Prop 84 Project.

Apr 2014 - current

Institute of Urban Ecology, Altadena, CA, US, Project consultant

I was hired to conceptualize, plan and design bee keeping areas, community gardens, edible gardens, interpretive educational gardens, outdoor classrooms, event space, with LID stormwater management programming for a property in Altadena Ca.

May 2013 - Jul 2013

Youth Science Scenter, Hacienda Heights, CA, US, Urban Ecology Program Consultant

I was a program consultant for the Youth Science Center, where I taught teenagers about watershed and natural systems function, urban gardening, and the native flora and fauna.

Dec 2012 - Jun 2013

Burpee Garden Products, Los Angeles, CA, US, Visual merchandiser & Sales rep.

My responsibilities included merchandising products for vendors seasonally, conducting Inventory, and place reorders to boost sales. I managed up to 24 accounts each season.

Nov 2009 - May 2012

DT Construction, Los Angeles, CA, US, Landscape designer and consultant

I was the Landscape consultant and designer for the company. I was contracted on a job by job basis, and produced, conceptual plans, site plans, and planting plans. I was also brought in as a landscape consultant when necessary.

Jun 2010 - Mar 2012

Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation, Los Angeles, CA, US, Planning and Design Intern

I was in charge of digitizing plans and detail drawings on CAD. I conducted site inventories and assessments, and wrote reports. Designed the plan room library and created the plan room database.

Mar 2003 - May 2004

Singh Imports, Culver City, CA, US, Marketing and Sales Manager

My duties included managing client accounts, monitoring the inventory system, and creating both the merchandising and marketing campaigns.

Aug 2001 - Feb 2003

PLAAY, Los Angeles, CA, US, Owner & Creative Director

My duties included overseeing the daily business of running a store and design studio. The store showcased new, and up and coming designers from all over Southern Ca. It provided a platform in which to introduce the fashion world to the showcased talent. The studio produced my self-titled clothing line, which was carried in specialty boutiques all around the world. The store and studio sponsored the New Arrivals fashion shows for summer of 2000, and fall of 2001

Jan 1999 - Nov 2001


California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, CA, US, Masters, Landscape Architecture

I completed the 606 Studio with a project titled:
Catalyzing Connectivity: Rediscovering the East San Gabriel Valley
The project clients were the Watershed Conservation Authority and the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. The project goal was focused on addressing multi-modal transportation systems and creating a greenway along the San Jose and Walnut Creeks to connect it to the San Gabriel River Emerald Necklace project.

Jun 2010 - Jun 2013


Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) semi-finalist 2014, Other

Bearing the Presidential moniker, the PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates for more than three decades.


EDR Design Shift Charette Competition, 2nd Place

The EDR Design Shift Charrette is a two-day interactive workshop for California University and College students. The Charette allowed for us to work with industry professionals using integrated design to develop a zero-net-energy building concept over the course of two intensive days of design. Students worked in teams to collaboratively create a zero-net energy building using a series of methods and tools to develop and quantify energy savings.


Certificate of Recognition - Los Angles Parks and Recreation, Other

The certificate was given to me by the head of the Planning and Special Projects Division of the Los Angles Parks and Recreation. It was given in recognition of my hard work in organizing and developing a cataloging system for the extremely large archives of the department.


Areas of Specialization