Bridghe McCracken, Founder of Helia Land Design Land design for sacred and contemplative spaces

Bridghe McCracken

Bridghe McCracken, Founder of Helia Land Design, has over 20 years experience in land stewardship, as well as designing landscapes, gardens and beautiful food systems.

Bridghe has a BA in Biology from Colorado College, is a certified Organic Landcare Professional from the Northeast Organic Farmers Association, a certified Horticulturist from MCLA, is a Massachusetts Master Gardener and is a graduate and advanced practitioner of the Four Winds Society.

In 2006 she began a partnership with Project Native, as their Chief Landscape Designer, which allowed her to stay abreast of the latest available native plants. In 2006 she was honored and delighted to be the lead landscape designer and mentor for Project Sprout, an award winning student garden in Western Massachusetts.

Bridghe has also taught Permaculture as an adjunct professor at Simons Rock College of Bard. Her speaking engagements include the Master Gardener symposiums of Massachusetts, the Richmond School, CO-ACT and Miss Hall’s school. Corporate and consultation clients include:

Skidmore College, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Berkshire Community College, Hudson Valley Association, Tanglewood, The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Chesterwood, The Trustees of the Reservation

As a Peace Corps volunteer Bridghe had the opportunity to work directly with underserved communities toward their goal of food security and greater health, which continues to inform her work today.

Post the closing of Project Native in 2015, Bridghe launched Helia Native Nursery, continuing her mission of bringing native plants into the public domain. That same year, the nursery found its permanent home, Sky Meadow Farm -a 109 acre farm in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Here, Bridghe has founded her own workshop series, educating landscape professionals, homeowners and land managers around sustainable land stewardship, native plant design and propagation


Amillie Coster Helia Native Nursery holding a bundle of snapdragons

Amillie Coster

Our Native Plant Nursery Manager grew up in the Berkshires at the base of Yokun Ridge, where she had an extensive network of forests, meadows and wetland to get lost, in while also maintaining a vegetable patch and “secret” flower garden at her childhood home.

After earning a BA in Communications at Hobart and William Smith, she balanced ten years of corporate life in NYC with taking permaculture, native plant garden design and other courses at The New York Botanical Garden, and UMass while also volunteering at NYBG and Friends of Brook Park— a local community garden in the South Bronx. Since returning to the Berkshires, Amillie has managed gardens and farms; growing food and cut flowers for local and ancillary city markets and CSA programs.

At this time she is pursuing a master’s degree in botany and is committed to using land responsibly, sequestering carbon, remediating toxic land and
reversing the damage we've done to this planet.

Reach our Native Plant Nursery at 413-528-1400 or visit the website at


Nellie Ostow of Helia Land Design

Nellie Ostow

Working outside everyday with the land wakes me up to all of the rhythms that are continuously happening around us: the smell before a rain storm comes, the way a plant changes as it starts to flower, the tender unfurling of spring greenery. I have a background in sculpture, painting, working with kids, and growing vegetables. All of these experiences build off of each other and amplify my desire to cultivate connectedness, community, and the practice of seeing ourselves as part of the world rather than separate from it.


Derek Walize

born and raised in a small town with a family background in farming. With years of experience in fine carpentry and construction, I’ve always had a passion for working with my hands and in the ground

Samantha Orlando

New Hampshire native who graduated from Plymouth State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Experiential Education through the Interdisciplinary Studies department. Her experience in adventure-based programming and outdoor education has fostered her love for the environment and the natural world. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with loved ones, hiking with her dogs and live music.

Jonathon Williams

Jonathon Williams formative years were spent in Colorado hiking alpine meadows and climbing cushy sandstone, now calls the Berkshires his home. He graduated from UMass Amherst with a BA in Natural Resource Management and a MA in Public Policy. When not in the orchard or apiary on Sky Meadow Farm, he can be found foraging, fencing and being a dad.

Helia Native Plant Nursery
Helia Native Plant Nursery
Helia Native Plant Nursery