designing better places for people.

Serving municipal, private sector, conservation and governmental client bases, we specialize in providing design services for project visioning, master planning, streetscapes, urban plazas, sustainable site design, LEED services, land restoration, community identity, waterfronts, parks and open space, project signage and branding, educational campuses, passive and active water theme parks, retail developments, industrial parks, civic facilities as well as providing full construction administration.



we provide










our work.

GRAEF is devoted to creating a better environment in which you can live, work, and play. We understand the details that make a difference. Creating beautiful spaces that function well, are maintainable, and relate to their surroundings are what we do best!

GRAEF designers understand that sports and recreation venues should be unique and generate excitement. We have built a great resume of first-class stadiums, athletic fields, parks, golf courses and water parks.

Our multidisciplinary team works closely with facility owners to create an environment best suited to their desired recreation and sports expectations. GRAEF designers strive to create an environmentally safe and aesthetically appealing facility that maximizes the available resources.

Below you are invited to visit some of the special places that the GRAEF team has designed.

Openlands Lakeshore Trail

Lake County, IL

Restoration of this unique one-mile segment of Lake Michigan shoreline including bluffs and three ravine ecosystems.

VFW Aquatic Facility

City of DePere, WI

The VFW Aquatic Facility has been named the 2021 Outstanding Facility Design and Renovation Project by the Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association.

Ridgeland Commons

Village of Oak Park, IL

A signature athletic facility for the Park District of Oak Park. It includes an ice arena, an outdoor pool, and lighted baseball fields!

Nelson Family Heritage Crossing

Cities of Little Chute and Kaukauna, WI

The crossing is a 1,131-foot bicycle and pedestrian bridge and one of the longest pedestrian bicycle bridges in the state.

Hydro Park

City of Kaukauna, WI

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, the Badger Hydro-Electric District now serves the community through outdoor events and educational opportunities.

Adventure Africa at the Milwaukee County Zoo

Milwaukee County, WI

Get up-close and personal with a hippopotamus in their enriching new home at the Milwaukee County Zoo, only part of the Adventure Africa exhibit.

Hart Park Track & Field

City of Wauwatosa, WI

Friday night lights are glowing again for this restored community asset. The updated venue hosts countless events for the community.

Forest County Potawatomi Community Center

Forest County, WI

Designed to reflect the tribe's culture, the center offers a variety of recreational opportunities and a spectacular lighting design to enhance the facility, inside and out!

Wade House Historic Site

Town of Greenbush, WI

Take a step back in time at the Wade House Historic Site and Carriage Museum. Low-impact design principles help carry you back to rural life in the early 1900s.

Loop the Lake Boardwalk Bridges

Cities of Neenah and Menasha, WI

When neighboring communities combine their efforts and enthusiasm to create an outdoor facility that encourages fitness and an appreciation of nature, everyone is a winner!

Kinnickinnic River Reach 2 - Pulaski Park

City of Milwaukee, WI

A revitalized community asset that improves drainage and enhances neighborhood safety! Sustainable design eliminated a dangerous concrete-lined channel and accommodated natural process runoff.

Foxtown Landing & Milwaukee Dog Park

City of Milwaukee, WI

Bridging the gap between two well-known Milwaukee neighborhoods, the Milwaukee Dog Park takes advantage of underused space beneath I794. With dog ownership on the rise, this project was begging to happen and is fetching a lot of support within the community!

sports + recreation

areas of expertise

Feasibility Studies
Existing Facility Assessments
Site Selection/Assessment
Due Diligence
Natural Resource Investigation
Topographic Surveying
GIS Mapping
Sustainable Design
Master Planning
Facility Layout
Municipal Entitlement

Transportation Planning
Parking Studies
Utility Systems
Storm Water Management
Lighting Design
Structural Design
Construction Documents
Cost Estimates
Construction Layout
Certification Surveys


what we do for you

Visit our Municipal Markets page to learn about all of the great projects that GRAEF is working on with municipal teams throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest!

We're happy to meet you.

meet Joe.

Senior Landscape Architect

Nature is Life. I would like to think and hope that through the landscapes I have designed for over 30+ years that it has brought people closer to the beauty and essence of nature and therefore brought more enjoyment and fulfillment in their own lives.

Fun Fact: I played baseball as a kid growing up in Sheboygan. I was an all-star first baseman playing with a Joe Pepitone signature glove, which I still have today. There was a professional ballplayer by the same name who played for the Yankees and Cubs. Little did I know that it would become my alter ego later in life when people would ask if I was THE Joe Pepitone. An episode on the sitcom "Seinfeld" only added to the fun when the character Kramer told some tourists visiting New York that the great landscape architect, Joe Pepitone, designed Central Park. It’s a blessing and a curse. 

Contact Joseph Pepitone, Jr., ASLA | LEED AP or 414 / 266 9039

Let's get to work!

meet Pat.

Senior Civil Engineer

I love creating something that is impactful, useful and stands the test of time. It’s rewarding to walk down the street and see projects I've worked on and know they will be there long after I’m gone. The results make a difference in the experiences of people in their work atmospheres, education venues or recreational pursuits. One of the most enjoyable aspects of project development is working interactively with clients and user groups during the initial phases of master planning and programming to get everyone’s input and buy-in, then transferring that to a built feature to complete the circle. The outdoors is a passion of mine, so I proceed in my site designs to protect and enhance our environment and improve our quality of life. Leave things better than you found them.

Fun Fact: I sometimes transform into my alter ego biker persona on the weekends, cruising the countryside on my Harley-Davidson Road Glide.

Contact Pat Skalecki, PE | CDT | LEED AP or 920 / 592 9440

Let's get to work!

meet Betsy.

Landscape Architect

I love designing places where people love to go! With a particular interest in historical preservation and community-focused projects, having the opportunity to bring special places back to life is especially gratifying. Recently, I have worked on some really fun projects at the Milwaukee County Zoo, creating comfortable environments for hippopotamuses and elephants and educational interactive visitor experiences.

Fun Fact: With two little guys at home, Betsy is a top-notch HotWheels driver and can make the loop-de-loops with the best of them! Her favorite car? The silver Batmobile, of course!

Contact Betsy Rothe, PLA or 414 / 266 9181

Let's get to work!