The Firm

Fred received his Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture in 1995 from Purdue University. While a student at Purdue, he designed the 1,042-acre Ahakhav Tribal Preserve on the Colorado River Indian Reservation (CRIT), where he served as project director from 1994 to 1999. During these early years in his career, he successfully raised more than $4 million in grants and restored more than 1,200 acres of degraded Colorado River habitat and established parks and trails within this area.


Fred went on to establish Fred Phillips Consulting in 1999. Since then, he has largely overseen the planning, design, and implementation of more than 12,000 acres of wetland and riparian habitat and stream restoration projects. He has also directed millions of acres of restoration and conservation master plans. In the 450 restored acres of the Yuma East Wetlands project, he pioneered successful techniques to remove invasive species like salt cedar and phragmites to restore these areas with native riparian revegetation. The scope of projects under his guidance include large-scale habitat restoration ranging throughout the United States, Mexico, and Indonesia.


His support for the environment extends to advocacy. Past fund-raising efforts in Washington, DC led to over $8 million dollars of federal funding for restoration on the Colorado River. Fred and his team further successfully raised over $15 million dollars for the planning, restoration, monitoring, and maintenance of numerous watersheds in the southwest. The longevity of the firm’s success lies in his ability to take complex projects that involve a multitude of stakeholders from conception to completion.


Fred’s work has been featured in a variety publications, including The New Yorker, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Restoration Ecology, Outside Magazine, and Arizona Highways. Fred has received many awards for his work, including the Waterfront Center Honor Award for his work transforming Yuma’s riverfront. Fred has also thoroughly enjoyed guest lecturing to a diverse range of students, from highschoolers to graduate-level design students. The University of California, Berkeley, Purdue, and the University of Pennsylvania have hosted Fred, as well as his daughter’s first grade Montessori class. In 2018, Purdue awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award in the practice of Landscape Architecture.


When the opportunity arises, Fred spends his time in the great outdoors as much as possible. Fred has boated the entire Colorado River, from the Utah border to the Colorado River Delta in Mexico. He is also a musician, filmmaker, and photographer, residing in Flagstaff, Arizona with his wife Kellner and their two children, Faye and Owen. Fred and Kellner met while attending a gathering in honor of the late great cowboy Impressionist artist A. Kelly Pruitt, for whom Fred helped start the La Junta Foundation in 2009.

Farrah Dang is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture. She works for the firm as a landscape designer/restoration manager with skills in design software such as CAD, Rhino 3D, GIS mapping, and the Adobe suite. Fabrication skills include sewing, basic woodworking, CNC routing, casting, and laser cutting. She also has over a decade of expertise in the fields of technical writing, communications, and user experience/user interface design. She loves the synergy of working in teams with people of varied walks of life and diverse skill sets.

Our Partners

Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC – George Cathey


Established in May 2013, Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC is an award winning engineering consulting firm that specializes in restoring, enhancing, and conserving river, riparian, wetland, and wildland ecosystems. Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC applies a comprehensive approach to assessment, analysis, design, and planning, and integrates civil engineering and ecological principles to create unique restoration and enhancement solutions. Based out of Flagstaff, Arizona, Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC endeavors to focus on projects in the southwest and intermountain west.


George F. Cathey, PE is the founder and principal engineer at Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC. He is licensed in Arizona (#52164), New Mexico (#21540), California (#C69688), Utah (#9130926-2202), Colorado (#49161), Nevada (#22786) & Texas (#109570) and is listed on the United States Council for International Engineering Practice (USCIEP) International Registry of Professional Engineers (#43594). He is also a Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner (CERP). George has over fifteen years of experience working as an engineer specializing in ecological restoration, and has significant experience surveying, designing, bidding, and administering construction activities on both small and large-scale restoration projects. Over the years he has collaborated with a diverse group of restoration stakeholders including non-profit organizations, volunteers, landowners, A/E firms, and construction contractors as well as local, state, and federal agencies. He really enjoys this work and feels fortunate to be able to combine his passions for wildlife, the outdoors, and engineering.

Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area


The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is a collective group of citizens with diverse backgrounds based in Yuma, Arizona. Its mission is to preserve Yuma’s historical, cultural, and ecological assets sustainably through careful planning, consensus building, and wholistic action.

Pronatura Noroeste


Pronatura Noroeste is Mexico’s largest and oldest non-profit organization. Its mission is the conservation of the flora, fauna, and priority ecosystems of northwest Mexico and to promote the development of society in harmony with nature.

Catena Foundation


The Catena Foundation is a non-profit establishment based in Carbondale, Colorado. Its focus is the re-establishment of healthy ecological systems and restoring the balance between people and the environment.



Terra BIRDS supports schools and teachers in Flagstaff, Arizona, with garden programs that engage students as the stewards of their school grounds, urban habitats and garden spaces. Through growing healthy food in local school and community gardens, the group empowers the youth and builds strong community connections.

The Trail Foundation


The Trail Foundation is a non-profit advocacy group based in Austin, Texas. It seeks to protect, enhance, and connect the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake for the benefit of all.

Sonoran Institute


The Sonoran Institute’s mission is to connect people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them.

Responsible Minerals Initiative


The Responsible Minerals Initiative is a global consultant that advises agencies, industries, and governments on responsible mineral resourcing and management. They offer independent auditing services and help maintain global standards for the mineral industry.