Travis Cleaver, Landscape Architect & Co-Owner and Demetria Christo, Biologist & Co-Owner
cheryl gerber photograph
EcoUrban is the premier eco-friendly landscaping company in New Orleans. From rainwater harvesting to edible garden planting, this business utilizes a variety of green techniques to create their beautiful outdoor spaces. As a crucial player in the city’s green scene, it strives to provide the city with quality, environmentally friendly landscaping options.
Seeds of an Idea
In the summer of 2007, Travis Cleaver and Demetria Christo took a permaculture class in New Orleans. The opportunity arose for them to acquire some equipment and a location to start their own eco-friendly landscaping company. Cleaver was already deeply in love with New Orleans, having moved to the city in 2002.
“New Orleans was the place that we felt we could make biggest impact, and of course the city needed some serious nurturing at that time, less than two years after Hurricane Katrina,” said Christo.
In EcoUrban’s beginning, Cleaver and Christo did all the work for the company. They installed plants and bioswales (landscape elements that remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water). They also created accounting systems and developed a business plan.
“But we were scrappy and kept our costs down,” Cleaver says, “allowing the business to grow slowly. Now our company employs eight people!”
Both Cleaver and Christo have found their work with EcoUrban very rewarding.
“For me it’s seeing the landscapes that we install come into their own, especially our earlier projects that have grown so much over the last eight years,” says Cleaver.
“It is so rewarding to see our employees get excited about the ecological benefits of the work that we do,” says Christo. “We always try to foster an understanding of why we do things the eco-friendly way.”
Green and Growing
Beyond the aforementioned growth:
• EcoUrban has installed 24,143 plants in New Orleans in the last eight years.
• EcoUrban also offers Bobcat concrete removal services to reduce street flooding and help recharge New Orleans’ water table.
• All of EcoUrban’s herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are natural and non-toxic; making them kid- and pet-safe.