About Kelly Design Group

Licensed landscape architects in the distinctive Lake Geneva region of Wisconsin, available for projects nationwide.

What's the latest on our principal landscape architect,
Shawn T. Kelly, MLA, PLA, FASLA?

  • Invited by the White House to speak and be a panel member to the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Environmental Resilience in Washington DC, 2015
  • Participated in the Western Water Resources Symposium 2015, Washington DC
  • Represented the ASLA at the annual meeting of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) in Turin, Italy, April, 2016, and Montreal, Canada, 2017
  • Invited to be a speaker and panel member regarding city sustainability with a focus on water security at Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, October, 2016
  • Granted the prefix "Distinguished" to his title at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018
  • Served as President of the American Society of Landscape Architects 2019
  • Received the ASLA Medal at the annual meeting in 2022

Shawn  proudly SERVED his profession as President-elect (2018), President (2019), and Past-President (2020) of the

American Society of Landscape

Architects (ASLA).

Kelly Design Group, LLC is a design-bid landscape architecture firm that was established in 1994 in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, after relocating from San Diego, California. Our experience includes built developments on three continents and several states. These projects encompass residential, municipal, commercial, urban, educational, and recreational uses, with sizes varying from modest individual backyards to over 80,000 hectares. All landscape architecture work is based on a sound social, cultural, biological, and ecological foundation, with each design being unique to the project in detail and execution.

At KDG, current best practice is combined with committed customer care, producing landscapes that reflect a client's individual lifestyle (for private projects) and the needs of the community (for large-scale designs). We can help with the selection of contractors, bid preparation and management, construction observation, and evaluation of your final project upon completion, as well as full site design and construction documentation. Our goal is your satisfaction--not only upon immediate completion of your project, but also as the landscape changes through time.

LI CENSURE: KDG holds licenses in two states (CA #3320, currently inactive, and WI #59-14) and is eligible to be licensed in every state via the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) Certification (#788).

Mission Statement

We strive to provide excellence in landscape architecture and client care while serving as steward to our piece of the planet and the culture of the site.

Vision Statement

At KDG, we desire to serve our client base efficiently and discretely while honoring the legacy of sensitive design in the environment.

Design Philosophy

Our design philosophy is to provide opportunities through design for the celebration of life as an important process, to walk softly and leave the site better for our involvement.

You cannot plant a landscape; you must grow one. This begins with the earth and courses its way through all that follows. Everything is a detail, and every detail must make sense for the project, place, time, and context in which it exists.

Business Philosophy

Our philosophy is to make each project better than the last, thus providing positive value to the client who will, in turn, provide positive reference and continued support.

Sampling of Projects:

An asterisk (*) indicates images from this project are in the Portfolio section of our website. An (a) indicates projects done by Shawn while at another company.

Institutional and Municipal

  • University of California, San Marcosa
  • George Williams College Campus, Aurora University, WI*
  • Rock Valley Community College, IL*
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College, WI*
  • Carlsbad High School, CAa
  • Racine Zoo, WI*
  • Agricultural Research Station, WI*
  • Aurora Medical Hospital Burlington, WI
  • Law Enforcement Campus, Elkhorn, WI
  • Lutheran Home for the Aging, Brookfield, WI*
  • Williams Bay Jr/Sr High School, WI*
  • Lions Park Master Plan, Williams Bay, WI


  • Cohousing development, WI*
  • Single and multi family homes and estates: AZ, CAa, FL*, IL*, NM, NVa, WI*a
  • Neighborhood development plans, CAa, NVa, WI*
  • Hawk's Cay Development, Florida Keysa

Commercial and Corporate

  • Biomedical campus, Encinitas, CA*a
  • Corporate Campus (300 acres), North County, San Diego, CAa
  • Various banks and small businesses, CAa, IL, WI*
  • Destination resort, Nulles, Spain*a


  • Master Plan, Naval Air Station El Centro, CAa
  • Pacific Fleet Headquarters, San Diego, CAa

First Nations

  • Master Plans: Downtown redevelopment, Lac Du Flambeau, Red Cliff, and Mole Lake Ojibwe, WI
  • Redesign 'Indian Bowl', Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe, WI
  • Veterans Park, Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe, WI*
  • New neighborhood designs: Red Cliff, Saint Croix, Lac du Flambeau, and La Courte Oreilles Ojibwe, WI
  • PowWow grounds, Red Cliff Ojibwe, WI*

Environmental Restoration**

  • Erosion control monitoring plots in Sub-Saharan Africa, Burkina Fasoa
  • Lake Geneva Youth Camp and Conference Center, WI*
  • Kishwauketo Nature Conservancy, WI
  • Restoration plan, coastal break, Solano Beach, CAa

**All design work done at KDG is environmentally sensitive and ecology based.

Three projects from KDG are spotlighted in the ASLA's response to a request from the Environmental Protection Agency for case studies of projects that successfully and sustainably manage stormwater.

Federal Government Affairs/Stormwater Case Studies/Stormwater Case 331 Angel Flight Estate, Fontana, WI

Federal Government Affairs/Stormwater Case Studies/Stormwater Case 330 Feltes Lakefront Stormwater Management, Fontana, WI

Federal Government Affairs/Stormwater Case Studies/Stormwater Lake Geneva Youth Camp and Conference Center, Lake Geneva, WI

Shawn T. Kelly, FASLA

is a noted landscape architect and Principal of KDG, LLC. Having been described as "a landscape architect's landscape architect", Shawn shares his passion for his profession on many levels. Along with his practice, he teaches at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture. The topics he teaches include Sustainable Grading, Drainage, and Construction Practices, Details and Construction Documents, Professional Practice, and Regional, Master Plan, and Site Scale Design in the Senior Capstone Class. Other classes taught include Advanced Storm Water Management, Advanced Detail Construction, and Landscape Design Criticism. He has also worked with University Extension on multiple First Nations sites in Wisconsin.

Shawn has made presentations on landscape architecture at the Third Annual International Conference on Design in Berlin, Germany; the 35th and 36th Annual National American Indian Housing Council in New Orleans and Minneapolis; the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona and University of Georgia; and the Symposium for Action Research at New York City College. He has also given numerous guest lectures at the graduate level at institutions such as the University of California at Berkeley, University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, and Texas A&M.

Topics of his presentations include the following: Sustainable Environmental Design, Hiring the Right Consultants, Transformative Learning for Designers, Appropriate Design, Trans Disciplinary Action Research, Multiple Use Management, Sensitive Storm Water Design, Environmental Affects of Design, and Careful Cultural Design in the Environment.

In addition, Shawn is founder and Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Design at UW-Madison. He is also the founder and was the initial Director of The Center for Sustainable Education for the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

For over three decades, Shawn has served his profession as an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). At the national level, Shawn has served on the Ethics Committee, the Council of Educators, the Nominating Committee, and the Audit Committee. In Wisconsin, he held the post of President of the ASLA state chapter (WIASLA) during the national organization's centennial year. He has also served two terms (maximum allowable) as WIASLA Trustee, acting as liaison between the state and national organization. Shawn has been awarded three State Chapter ASLA Certificates of Achievement, and one National ASLA Certificate of Achievement. In May of 2012, Shawn was honored to be elected as the 2012-2014 Vice President of the ASLA.In May of 2015 he was awarded the National Advocacy Leadership Award for ASLA.In 2014, 2015, and 2017 Shawn was nominated to run for President Elect of the American Society of Landscape Architects. In June of 2017, he was elected to this prestigious office.

He is the author of several bills in the Wisconsin Legislature, most recently the "Practice Act for Landscape Architects" (AB 142, 2009 WI Act 123 ).

His tireless commitment to his profession is reflected in his dedication to both his students at UW-Madison and his clients in his private practice. In September, 2009, after being nominated by his professional peers in both the categories of 'Service' and 'Knowledge', Shawn was invested as Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. This honor is bestowed upon less than one percent of all Landscape Architects.

Shawn has a Bachelor of Science in Renewable Natural Resources and a Master of Landscape Architecture. He makes his home in Williams Bay, WI.