About Kevin

This About Section seems to always be changing.  I'll leave previous year's 'About' blurbs in the paragraphs below the updated 'About' sections for reference.

An amazing couple of years with lots of challenges for sure.  And as we know, with challenges come opportunities.

Hi. I'm Kevin, a LEED accredited nature artist who is discovering the healing power of wildflowers and native plants by sharing my art, illustrations and recordings of Mother Nature. Although my body keeps unravelling (a connective tissue disorder, Marfan/Loeys Deitz) Mother Nature and the doctors keep me patched back together. As a degreed biologist I am drawn to complexities of the wilds. As a lawyer too by education, I have come to learn that ecological awareness is much more effective than environmental regulation when trying to pass along a better earth to our children.

I've been drawing nature and plants since childhood and my avatar is a replication of a sketch of the world I drew when I was six years old. My adult work focused on creative urban sustainability and I designed and helped construct coastal area salt and hurricane resilient green roofs such as the Breaking Ground Green Roof in Jacksonville, Florida, for Starbucks in Main Street Disney, Orlando, as a salt tolerant, native plant green roof consultant on the King Edwards Hospital Green Roof, Bermuda and many other green roofs and living walls. As my interest in native plants and ecosystematics grew so did my awareness of the power of nature's artistic beauty. Native plants provided a career but they also provided a deep sense of peace, satisfaction and stress therapy when dealing with life's unexpected twists and turns. I also hold a deep interest in organic pest control and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). I am a certified Hemp Horticultural Specialist.

In 2011 I experienced an unexpected aortic dissection, an event where my aorta tore from it's root in my heart down through my chest and abdomen into my legs. I can only describe what happened like being hit in the back and head with a baseball bat and feeling like a huge zipper opening inside my body. Several complex surgeries later I began life all over, from learning to walk to managing speech, memory and pain challenges. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the genetic based connective tissue disorder was familial. It wasn't until one of my doctors explained to me my dissection was due to my body's DNA structure that I had any idea why over the years I'd struggled with a variety of physical misfortunes.

As part of my involvement with connective tissue awareness the Washington Post published a short article on my aortic dissection. Today I am a nature artist. Hiking in nature has been one of my most effective recovery therapies over the years, and I walk in State Parks, along the beaches, in the swamps and everywhere Mother Nature invites. And so my relationship with native plants began a decade long journey of intimate study and appreciation of colors, textures, scents, sounds and habitat ecology filling Mother Nature's creative nature art palette. When I could not do much but lay and rest, I'd listen, sketch and draw. My favorite genres are always revolving but include wood, torch, pigment, linocut, monotype, canvas, acrylic, vector illustration and sound recordings.

I've recently compiled a sampling of my nature art on Fine Art America. Today I share nature art on social media such as; my Instagram page, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I am posting new material most days. Nature and art has given me so much healing. Though the doctors often joke that I should not be alive and those words sting, I find a redeeming peace in the hues, textures and sounds of Gaia. My intent is to keep sharing the beauty and design intricacies of Mother Nature.

I do believe when people of the world connect with Nature's art on the web they may be inspired to go outdoors and see for themselves. I also believe that once people are in the wilderness, exploring and taking in the natural healing of the earth they will then want more. With exposure to nature there hopefully comes appreciation for the wilds and with that appreciation involvement in preservation, conservation and sustainability.

And so much of my life's efforts are to encourage appreciation for Mother Nature through my nature art, and to share the healing powers of native plants freely given to me by Mother Nature.

Note: Sometimes you will see my art signed with the Celtic spelling for Kevin Shea which is, Caoimhín Sé.


Kevin founded MetroVerde over twenty years ago as a native plant, living wall and green roof nursery.

Unexpectedly, Kevin suffered a massive aortic aneurysm and dissection in November 2011 which nearly cost him his life.  Today Kevin no longer installs green roofs and living walls. He is however compiling all of the information gleaned over the decades of creating and studying tropical and shoreline living walls and green roofs to share here in his blog and maybe one day in a book.

Today Kevin focuses on living with a medically managed aortic dissection, root to foot. His passions and distractions include visual nature art, nature short verse, lifestyle and writing about how to live a full and satisfying life even when faced with seemingly insurmountable chronic diseases.  He and Judy farm a small Florida urban permaculture homestead full of traditional food, fiber and medicinal plants as well as Florida native plants and wildflowers.  Kevin created wildflower art through a variety of media and writes about his past experiences with growing plants in Florida.

He also loves a daily adventure.  Be sure to check out Kevin's art at kevinshea.net.

Kevin can be reached via his gmail account, kssonger@gmail.com.

Make sure your Green Roof system is Hurricane - Wind Turbine tested - not wind tunnel tested.  The MetroVerde extensive green roof was the first green roof system to be tested by the University of Florida's Civil Engineering Department with the large outdoor wind turbine system.  The green roof stayed installed without loosing but very little soil media, under 110 plus mile per hour steady winds.
MetroVerde, a Florida Green Roof and Living Walls Systems Company was founded in the early 1990’s by Judy Songer originally as Tu Mu Shui Nursery in Wakulla County, Florida.  Working with native and ethnobotanical useful plants for years, her work spread into urban permaculture, providing plants crucial for food, sense of place, fiber and cleaning of stormwater within the urban core.  We have found living roofs work best in Florida while living walls may not be suited here in Florida's uniquely harsh and windy climate.

Judy’s husband Kevin joins her in her love of plants.

With most horizontal space taken by asphalt and concrete in the cities, MetroVerde provides systems for plants to successfully grow on new or existing roofing systems.  These systems can be planted with designs developed by your landscape architect or designer and then installed by your General Contractor and/or Licensed Roofing Company.

Years of hands on work guarantees an understanding of what plants and system designs will work on your project.

We are LEED BG+C, Florida Master Naturalist and ISA Certified Arborists and Municipal Specialist. Kevin Holds the Juris Doctor degree with a focus in environmental and land use law from Florida Coastal School of Law.