Evan has been working with Total Habitat since 2014. He is from Pittsburg Kansas but has lived mainly in Lawrence, Kansas since 2000. Evan enjoys working at Total Habitat because of the variety of the workload, the fact that he is always learning something new or improving a skill. He also mentioned he loves working with his fellow “caring and supportive” crew members. His favorite tools are the Quickie Saw & Jackhammer, he is also one of our very skilled machine operators and loves using the Excavator on a job site. His favorite project so far has been a Natural Swimming Pool in New York. This particular pool had a huge jumping rock that had to be tested by numerous dives and cannonballs by the Total Habitat crew, for safety reasons of course.
Outside of work Evan loves spending time with his family & their dog Kaizer. Evan & his partner share a love for old homes and live in their own turn-of-the century house that they are renovating. He also enjoys singing & song writing, photography and is an avid rock climber.
JoAnna Writt (Nickname Jo) has been working with Total Habitat since 2016. She is from and currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Jo’s favorite thing about being at Total Habitat is the creative and driven people she gets to work with. Jo said, “Everyone is wonderful and quirky in their own special way, and we all care about each other and the work that we are doing”. Jo loves the fact that she gets to work outdoors on projects that are always unique and challenging.
JoAnna has been bitten by the wanderlust bug. If you ever get to know Jo, you’ll notice she doesn’t stop moving for very long. Anytime we go out of town for a project you can bet that Joanna will be out on foot, wandering through which ever new city or landscape she happens to find herself in.
Some of Jo’s hobbies include playing games (board games, table top, puzzles), drawing, and reading. Her favorite genres to explore are sci-fi, fantasy, horror, graphic novels and non-fiction. When asked what her favorite quotes were she exclusively referenced literature. One of them being by Neil Gaiman from The Kindly Ones, “We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we wouldn’t be ourselves.”
Matt Stallcup has been with Total Habitat since October of 2014. He is originally from Kansas City, Missouri, but has lived in Lawrence, Kansas for 10 years and now lives in De Soto, Kansas. Matt enjoys working at Total Habitat because of the creative freedom and opportunity for interesting problem solving tasks.
When asked what his favorite tool was, he responded with, “whatever tool is right for the job at hand”. Making the most of your time and effort is his ideal way to complete a project. Another phrase you will hear frequently within Total Habitat is, “work smarter, not harder”.
Matt is definitely a motorhead, he loves all kinds of motorsports. He raced go-karts when he was younger and continues to work on cars and motors today. Matt loves bringing his fabrication skills from work into his hobbies. In the past he has built a racing rig with friends for racing simulation games, and he is just starting to do a full rebuild on his old Toyota pickup truck.
When Matt isn’t tinkering or building something he is spending time with his wife and their dog Anakin.
Dale has been working with Mick since 1998 when they met at the Sedgwick Zoo in Wichita, Kansas, and has been working full time with Total Habitat since early 2001. Dale is from and currently lives in Wichita Kansas. His favorite thing about working with Total Habitat is that “looming sense of accomplishment” you get when creating something new for a project. When asked what his favorite tool was he jokingly stated, “Whichever tool that just broke, every time!”.
Dale is extremely creative both at work and outside of it. He created the stamp we use put on some of our larger concrete projects that you can see above. He has made some terrifyingly accurate zombies costumes, and designed numerous t-shirt, patch, and sticker designs. When he isn't designing something new, you can find him spending time with his 5 dachsunds (Jesse, Mira, Juno, Sadie, Rudy) or singing. You can often find Dale singing karaoke in Wichita, and he especially likes when he can find live band karaoke to participate in across the county when traveling with work.
His favorite joke is, "How many psychologists does it take to screw in a light bulb? One, but the light bulb has to want to change."
Sophia (will also respond to Soph or Ace) has been designing with Total Habitat since 2013. She is originally from Wichita, moved to Bonner Springs in her teens, and has now called Lawrence Kansas home for the last decade. Sophia’s favorite work tools are Vectorworks for creating our construction detailed drawings, and Realtime Landscaping Pro to quickly visualize spaces in 3D. What Sophia enjoys most about working with Total Habitat is seeing her two-dimensional drawings coming to life in the world. She said it is extremely rewarding seeing people enjoying their completed project knowing it started out as a simple idea on a piece of paper.
Outside of work Sophia sings and plays in a band named Artful Darling, they play grunge folk music and perform around the Kansas City area. She is a member of the Kansas City Roller Warriors, the roller derby league in Kansas City. She is on the Victory Vixens team and they are Rink of Fire Championship winners as of July 2019!
Katherine (or Kat) has been with Total Habitat as our resident accounts person since the very beginning. As she said, "I remember when it was just a sparkle in my husband's eye". We were lucky enough to snag her as our Office Manager full-time after she retired from teaching in 2016. When asked about her favorite tool she said the old-school adding machine. She said she had a mishap with the memory save option on a paperless method and won't go back, stating comically, "crying at your desk isn't good for office moral!".
Outside of work Katherine enjoys getting together with friends and family, playing music, and painting. She plays guitar and dabbles in several other instruments. Katherine has been performing since she was young when she was in a band with her sister, and still continues to play with her family and friends at the Kit Kat Club in Bonner Springs.
Mick (Mickey or Flip) has been in charge of Total Habitat since he founded it in 1996. Mick has been in the zoo world for many years and was formerly the Curator of Exhibits at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita. He had his "ah-ha" moment when he witnessed otters playing in the new chemical-free, and crystal-clear swimming pool exhibit they built. He realized that people should get to enjoy this wonderful chlorine-free experience for themselves!
Mick grew up in Kansas City, and has lived in Lawrence and Wichita before moving back to Bonner Springs. One of his favorite projects was a Natural Swimming Pond in Tennessee. We rented an excavator that reached an extreme length of 60 feet so that we were able to use one large machine instead of several small ones to navigate around this huge pond project complete with water slide and swimming grotto!
Outside of running Total Habitat Mick enjoys spending time with his family and grand-dog Kona. He enjoys writing music and poetry. You can often find him playing music with friends at the Kit Kat Club at Lake of the Forest in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
Heading Back to North Carolina!
This summer we will be taking a crew and heading to build a number of new zoo exhibits: cassowary, pygmy hippo, chilean flamingos, sand cat, black-footed cat, serval, fishing cat, and red panda. Some of the exhibits will be upgrades to animals already at the zoo, while others will be for animals new to the Greensboro Science Center! We had a wonderful meeting with many of the zoo's employees where we were able to showcase the models we built. These models help give a visual example of what we hope to accomplish in an accurately scaled model, which also makes it easier for their experts to communicate the needs of the animals and feel comfortable in proceeding with the fabrication by Total Habitat.
Below you can view some of the original (V1) models we made for our first big showcase meeting.
Head over to the Greensboro NC website & read their article talking about their exciting new zoo expansion!
We can't wait to head back to the Greensboro Science Center and start making some new exciting exhibits for these animals! Check back here on our Blog or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates on this project and more!
2019 In Review
We have had such a busy and wonderful year at Total Habitat! We wanted to take some time and share with our followers some of the great projects we participated in this year.
Kansas City Zoo
We did a lot of work in the Kansas City Zoo in 2019. We gave the hippos Cairo and Liberty a new sand pit to roll around in as well built in a sun shade for those sweltering Kansas summer days. We participated in the building of the new Tree Kangaroo Exhibit by constructing artificial trees for them to climb on, in both the inside and outside enclosures. And lastly this year we got to completely re-do the previous meerkat exhibit in the discovery barn to make way for Arnie the two-toed Sloth!
We love working with the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and usually have a project every year with them. This year we did a large amount of demolition work and rebuild in order to fit themed reptile enclosures in the 'Meadow' area of the zoo which features species native to the Maryland area. Check out an article showcasing the animals in the renovated exhibit here. We are looking forward to being back at the Maryland Zoo for a new project in early 2020!
We started a big project this fall for Kay's Garden at the Topeka Zoo, we are building all of the water features and we completed Phase 1 this winter! Below you can see the streams that will eventually connect to a large koi pond that will be completed in 2020. Read more about this project or take a virtual walk through of the future Japanese Garden at www.topekazoo.org/kaysgarden
Rock Climbing Wall: Prairie Schooner Girl Scout Camp
We finished a huge Rock Climbing Wall for Camp Prairie Schooner in Missouri in early 2019. We were happy to hear that a number of girl scouts reached the top of the climbing wall, but it was still a challenge! Go to our blog post here to read more details about this huge project, and don't forget its Girl Scout cookie season.
Hoop House for Wolf Park
We sent a team of two out to the Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana to build a large Hoop House named Grey Haven for foxes. Our team members had a wonderful time getting to know their interns and Wolf Park employees, and even got to have a meet & greet with some of their ambassadors wolves! See more details from this project as well as a very cute picture of one of our team members with a fox on their shoulder on our previous blog post here.
We had numerous natural swimming pool projects this year, as well as a decorative pond with a rock slab retaining wall in Kansas. We built two pools in Napa, California and Fort Bragg, California at the same time with two different teams. We also consulted with a team on an island off of Spain to make a beautiful Natural Swimming Pool that fit wonderfully into the landscape.
Looking forward to 2020!
We want to thank everyone for following with us on our journey this past year, we are looking forward to some big projects we have coming in the next few months and everything that we have coming our way for the year of 2020!
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on our current projects.
We are very excited to announce that we have been working at the Topeka Zoo along with other construction companies as well as Kogi Morimoto, a Japanese Garden Master to create the much awaited Kay's Garden! Total Habitat will be creating all of the water features within Kay's Garden. This project is a legacy gift for the former Kansas Supreme Court Justice Kay McFarland who established a living trust to build and maintain her dream of a world class Japanese Garden in the state & city she served for over 3 decades.
*Read more about Kay E. McFarland here
We are well into Phase 1 of the project which includes all of the upper level streams, 2 ponds, 7 bridges and 12 waterfalls! In the pictures below you can see some completed stream rock work, the large rock plates or weir plates are a vital part of the water falls creates that classic cascading effect.
Phase 2, which will begin in 2020, features a massive koi pond which will circulate over 250,000 gallons of water. The adjacent upper level streams will join back together after their separate journeys through the garden via a large waterfall into the koi pond.
Below you can see our model that was presented before beginning the project, there you can see the stream systems, the 2 upper ponds, and the large koi pond with walking paths throughout.
Check back with us each month for tips, new project pics, news, and more, here on our Total Blog!