The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Member Profile
Green Earth Landworks
The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Member Profile
Green Earth Landworks
New planter bed with ferns and other plants
Covering the State
A company takes on challenges—and then changes
By Dimitra Lavrakas

ou had an idea for a business, found a niche, and found success—but then different possibilities spring up before you. What do you do?

You pivot.

That’s exactly what Anchorage’s Green Earth Landworks has done.

Growing Up
“Green Earth was started by my husband Jeremiah and I when we were in college as a summer job to pay our way through school in 2001,” says Christina Eneix, president of the company.

Initially, Green Earth Landworks offered landscaping, then revegetation and environmental services as well as storm pollution prevention products.

“We used to have a larger retail nursery, but now focus on specific larger sized projects and special-order plant materials, primarily for government entities like the municipality, parks and recreation and forestry divisions,” she says.

The company’s advocacy of the use of EM-1, a non-toxic waste treatment, which also serves as an aid to composting, helped the company thrive.

“We have been using EM-1 for over fifteen years and it’s a Japanese technology used around the world,” she says. “We have also used it in our compost production and worked with the DOT&PF [Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities] to create a specification for hydroseeding with EM-1 to reduce the need for chemical fertilizers.”

EM-1 is made of groups of naturally occurring beneficial microorganisms that are that are organic and listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute. It is made locally.

Tearing Down
The company moved on to include demolition projects that started to come their way.

A recent project was the demolition of the Alaska House at a radar site built by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the 1950s.

“It was one of the most interesting and fun projects that we have been able to complete,” she says. “Being able to work in the northern region in Fox, at such a historical site has been one of the most fulfilling projects we have completed. It was very complex, with lots of abatement and required knowledge and appreciation of the NOAA mission and how to best protect that goal, while taking a building offline at their critical mission location,” Eneix says.

“Not only was the work interesting, but also the people we met and got to work with. Fairbanks really is the Golden Heart City, and it’s full of interesting and talented individuals,” she adds.

The company’s wide variety of services has a direct affect on its number of employees.

“It varies year to year and [with] the type of contracts we have, but it has been as high as fifty and on average closer to twenty,” Eneix says. “We used to value being very large as a business, but I found that it was nicer to have a smaller, tighter-knit crew and work with other specialty business in a strategic alliance to take on projects together. That led to our mentor-protégé [partnership] with Frawner Corporation and was instrumental in Green Earth getting into the HVAC [heating, ventilation, and air conditioning] projects.”

Matt Peterkin, project manager with Frawner Corporation in Anchorage, says the projects done with Green Earth Landworks on JBER—including construction, civil, HVAC, and landscaping—have gone smoothly due to Green Earth Landworks’ professionalism.

Frawner is a Native American- and family-owned and -operated business that specializes in general, civil, and industrial construction services.

“I do like [Green Earth Landworks] very much,” Peterkin says. “They’re courteous, knowledgeable, and honest.”

Large hill behind building covered in protective matting
Green Earth Landworks used yellow-colored matting as an emergency repair to stabilize a landslide that encroached into the building below.
 Green Earth Landworks President Christina Eneix and her husband, Vice President Jeremiah Eneix
Green Earth Landworks President Christina Eneix and her husband, Vice President Jeremiah Eneix, started the business in 2001.
Getting Hot, Hot, Hot
Changing climate conditions in Alaska opened another door for the company to further diversify.

“We started to go into HVAC eight years ago,” Eneix says. “Alaska got really hot, and air conditioning became really important.”

Currently Green Earth Landworks’ main focus is on HVAC projects, including several HVAC renovation projects at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, or JBER.

As a woman-owned business, with an 8(a) federal contracting designation, a US Department of Transportation-certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, or DBE, designation, and expertise in stormwater pollution prevention services in hand, Eneix has received offers for all kinds of projects over the years.

She also grew her team.

“We developed, wrote, and registered an apprenticeship program focusing on green technologies and sub-arctic region revegetation in Alaska and focused on the EPA-required permitting and storm water pollution prevention planning requirements,” she says. “So, we honed in on that niche and it grew from there to inspection work for demolition and electrical projects, and then we decided to expand in the demolition services and HVAC.”

Eneix also worked with the University of Alaska Anchorage’s ROPE (Rural Outreach Program for Entrepreneurs), a program aimed at helping existing rural Alaska businesses grow.

“They would send me to rural villages to discuss green technologies,” Eneix says. “It was great to give back to smaller communities and lend a hand in areas I had experience in.”

Future Facing
Green Earth Landworks’ online presence is minimal. The company’s website is being revamped, Eneix says, and they don’t really use it for promotion anymore.

“After twenty-two years being in business, we have developed our reputation with word of mouth becoming the main pipeline of projects,” she says.

However, the couple’s membership with Associated General Contractors of Alaska, or AGC, has provided essential resources for further growth.

“AGC has benefited our company with the connections to other contractors, the classes and certificates that they provide, and the use of their online plans room, which is critical for bidding projects,” Eneix says.

As for her original idea of landscaping and revegetation, she says, “I love going around town and seeing trees we planted growing. It will be something I’ll always feel grateful and proud of.”

Dimitra Lavrakas is a freelance writer who has written for a variety of Alaska publications, from The Arctic Sounder to the Skagway News and Dutch Harbor Fisherman. She most recently lived in Tenakee Springs and travels back and forth to Alaska regularly, usually heading for the family cabin in Kachemak Bay. Photos provided by Green Earth Landworks.