Jessica Mary Neafsey | Founder | LA #6388, ASLA, NAI

It is my passion to create unique, beautiful and thriving landscapes that reconnect us to place and to each other.

With a decade of practicing landscape architecture and ecological design in Carmel, California (Rana Creek) and Ann Arbor Michigan (Johnson Hill Land Ethics Studio), JMLA was born out of longing to dwell deeply on the beauty of the natural world, and our relationship to it – past, present and future.  I wish to evoke wonder, educate, foster eco-literacy, inspire conscious belonging, and engender design that enables that.  

A commitment to deep listening, exciting originality, visual excellence, and beautiful communication define the core of my design process.  I draw from professional experience across a multitude of scales and geographies…from ecological site analysis and design, to land use and sustainability master planning; from California and the West Coast, to the Hawaiian Islands, the Great Lakes and the East Coast. My early background in visual arts and aerial photography is complemented with ample field experience in agriculture and habitat restoration, as well as a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, which I sought for its strong science curriculum.  I am a licensed landscape architect in the states of California (LA #6388) and Michigan (imminent), a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, National Association for Interpretation, California Native Plant Society, American Cetacean Society, and Carmel Center for Photographic Art. 

Conservation begins with connection... It is my passion to inspire curiosity and affection for our Earth and oceans through compelling visual story and design that reconnects. I believe that the capacity of our human hearts + imaginations correlates directly to the degree to which our eyes are open to the exquisite diversity of life that has evolved over millions of years on our planet.  Nature is ripe with intricacy that wants to be seen – it is my joy to interpret.

JMLA has a sister company, Anima, which offers mindfully-made, apparel featuring original California plant and animal prints. It's all an invitation to get a little more intimate with evolution's wildest beauty!


We love to collaborate.


Emily Underwood Illustration | Collaborator

Emily is a native Californian, who in her words is "inspired by the landscapes that surround me and everything that lives and grows on them." Emily works directly from life and nature, and this authenticity and vitality is not only seen but felt in her paintings, prints, and illustrations. With a graduate certificate in Science Illustration, a master's degree in Geology, and a B.S. in Earth Sciences, Emily has a wealth of scientific knowledge and understanding to complement her exquisite eye for beauty and her prolific, artful hand.  


"To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things"

Robinson Jeffers