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  • who we are

    Wallace Group is a reflection of the communities we serve. We are neighbors, family members, active volunteers, professionals and leaders in our business and personal communities. We believe in contributing and we have a commitment to the long-term health and viability of our built environment.

  • what we do

    We are service oriented professionals in Civil & Transportation Engineering, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, Planning, Public Works Administration, Surveying / GIS Solutions and Water Resources. We understand the importance of thoughtful collaboration in order to deliver meaningful, elegant and cost-effective planning, design and engineering solutions for the needs of our community.

  • why we do it

    Since our founding in 1984, our focus and passion has centered on the personal side of business. We value our partnerships; we believe in earning trust and work diligently to demonstrate integrity, fairness and reliability to our clients and amongst our staff. At Wallace Group we love what we do and the value it provides to people. Our work reflects our Dedication to Service and results in high value services and-quality products for our clients and our built environment.

the latest news

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02/ 23/ 2015
Matthew Parker’s Silent T My name is Matthew Parker (the first “t” is silent) and I’ve been at WG for a few months working as a Landscape Designer. I grew up in the small city of El Segundo neighboring LAX where I listened to planes take off my whole life. Which might explain why I feel so at home in this office. I was the red-haired middle child of three children, so I’m sure there is a therapist in my future. I went to El Segundo High School where I played for the Roller Hockey Club and was the captain of the Academic Decathlon team and first at my high school to compete all four years (sounds much cooler than it actually is). After graduating I got sucked into the mortgage industry where I worked seven years providing quality control for those horribly thick stacks of loan documents you sign when refinancing or purchasing a home. Between calculating interest rates and reviewing legal verbiage, sparks flew between me and a coworker named Brittany. It was only a matter of time before we took the plunge and have been happily married for more than 5 years. Eventually I realized that I wasn’t passionate about loan documents, so I decided to pursue Landscape Architecture. I was very blessed to get into Cal Poly’s program (literally admitted by mistake), I fast-tracked through the program and earned my BLA in three years. And now I’m here and consider myself fortunate to be working at such a great firm. Q & A: Wallace Group: What are some of your favorite activities at WG? Matthew Parker: I’m still new at WG, but I’m looking forward to participating in all the fun activities I often hear about. Be on the lookout for my chili cook-off entry! WG: What are you involved with outside of work? MP: Outside of WG I’m involved in Project Surf Camp where I serve as a swimming partner despite not actually being a surfer (though I am working on that). I’ve also been involved with Children’s Hunger Fund for many years, helping pack food, school supplies and toys for impoverished families both domestically and abroad. But mostly my wife and I volunteer together at Rock Harbor Christian Fellowship in Morro Bay where we teach Sunday school, a.k.a. free hour and a half babysitting, a.k.a. training for future parenthood. WG: What is your favorite pastime? MP: My favorite pastime is hiking and hockey. Of which, there is ample of the former here on the central coast… but not so much the latter.   Coach-Matthew   WG: What is your favorite movie? MP: I’m a sucker for sci-fi and war movies. My favorite sci-fi movie is ironically the last one I saw, Interstellar. And my favorite war movie is The Thin Red Line. WG: What are some of your favorite foods? MP: Sushi, Mongolian BBQ, and Mexican. Though I just recently heard my favorite Mexican dish “the Burrito” is not truly Mexican but an American invention. I’m still mourning that one. WG: What is your dream vacation? MP: My dream vacation would be to spend a few weeks in Iceland with my wife seeing volcanos, Narwhals, huge waterfalls, glaciers and a lot of signs with words we will never be able to pronounce. My 2nd dream vacation would be an African safari with Dacé (Director of Civil and Transportation at WG) hunting big game, from which I would return a real man. WG: What is your favorite childhood memory? MP: I come from a very sophisticated and cultured family. My favorite childhood memories are riding dirt bikes, firing guns, and lighting fireworks in the desert. To clarify, we were not the people that would illegally dump refrigerators and washing machines. But we were the people that would fill them with holes. WG: What’s your secret ability? MP: My secret ability is having skin so pale that without sunscreen I can get sunburn in just 15-20 minutes. With great power comes great responsibility. WG: What’s the furthest away from SLO you have been? MP: The furthest away from SLO I have ever been is Kauai; which is a lot like what the Central Coast would be like if it rained every day of the year.
02/ 11/ 2015
What do Apple computer and Wallace Group have in common? Solar energy and the California Flats Solar Project. Apple announced that they are committing $848 million to the California Flats Solar Project being constructed by Wallace Group client First Solar. Apple’s 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) is the largest agreement in the industry to provide clean energy to a commercial end user. The project just received approval from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, and Wallace Group provided engineering services to support the application, including topographic surveys, hydrology and hydraulic studies, environmental permitting support, and road improvement plans. We are proud of our work in the renewable energy field and commend Apple and First Solar for being leaders in solar power. See the amazing amount of press this partnership is getting: CNBCWashington PostUSA TodayReuters  
01/ 26/ 2015
Water. Most of us take it for granted. We simply turn on the faucet and out it comes. Yet, many parts of the world lack access to safe, clean and readily available water. With its headquarters in San Luis Obispo, Lifewater International’s mission is to provide safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene training to areas of the world that lack access to it. Many of these locations are remote, requiring days of travel to arrive at the village in need. Peter Rynning, Engineering Inspector for Wallace Group, and his wife Priscilla were first drawn to the need for water, sanitation, and hygiene training at an AIDS Orphanage in Ecuador. Having provided foster care for at risk infants here in the United States, the Rynnings had a special place in their heart for children in need. They joined Lifewater International to provide training for safe water resources. “Investments in water quality and quantity can reduce childhood deaths caused from diarrhea by 15-20%, better hygiene like washing hands and handling food safely reduces it by 35%, and improved sanitation reduces it by 40%. Integrating water, sanitation and hygiene education in projects is essential.” —Lifewater International.   P-and-P   Peter and Priscilla made their first trip to Ecuador in 2002. So convinced of the need for providing and the benefit of the training they returned two more times. “It changed our lives as we saw firsthand the need for and how accepting the people were of the training,” said Peter. The trips included water well drilling trainers and hygiene and sanitation specialists to provide support and training. Located in the remote areas of the upper Amazon River basin and the north western Esmeraldas Province, these villages were in dire need of clean water. Part of the mission of Lifewater International implements a strategy they call, “Teach to Train to Teach.” This means that they teach the indigenous population the skills and knowledge required to pass on the training methods. At each location Lifewater was able to train 25-30 people. In some instances the training required double translation from English to Spanish to Shuar – the native language of the Amazon villagers. The technique of training used is called “Participatory Training” in that the group gathers in a circle so everyone can see each other. The presenters sit at the same level which encourages participation and facilitates open communication.   stool   Training aids are specifically selected and sourced locally from materials which are easily available to allow continued use and replacement. Some items which are used are the three legged stool which exemplifies how different elements must be used together to accomplish a task. Other tools are songs, charts, and local village maps drawn by the participants. These maps show, from the villager’s perspective, where they live and how their village is oriented. This orientation allows the trainers to review and suggest possible alternatives for better hygiene and/or sanitation practices. The team takes turns presenting various aspects of the training and supporting each other in the making of the tippy-taps and other onsite training aids. (The tippy-tap is a hands free way to wash your hands that is especially appropriate for rural areas where there is no running water. It is operated by a foot lever and thus reduces the chance for bacteria transmission as the user touches only the soap.) Cert   Peter recalls a transformative moment for him was “one of a before and after experience. The before was when we first saw the 29 trainees at the remote village of Yuwientsa, Ecuador. They appeared extremely apprehensive as they sat around the circle of our training area. The after was that by the end of the training sessions, only four days later, they were exceptionally animated with their ‘teach backs’ of the lessons that we had shared with them. They used different methods of teaching the subjects (proper sanitation, hygiene training, etc.) which indicated that they really understood the lessons and could transpose the concepts into their own presentations.”   For more information about Lifewater International, please visit their website: http://lifewater.org/
01/ 06/ 2015
Safe Routes to School is an international program with origins in the 1970’s focused on the safety, health, and community of school children. Here in San Luis Obispo the program is supported by schools, the SLO Bike Coalition, local government, and parents. As a result of this collaborative approach many improvements have been made, and are in the works, to make the choice to bike, walk, or carpool to school safer and more enjoyable for kids and parents.   Bikes   Recently, Wallace Group joined in on this collaboration helping to fund monthly Safe Routes breakfasts and bike rack improvements for the students of Hawthorne Elementary. These monthly breakfasts offer a healthy treat and encourage the kids to walk, bike or carpool to school every day of the month. In addition to the health benefits of biking and walking, the students and parents who bike and walk to school reduce the number of cars in front of the school, which also reduces the danger of injury as parents and children are hurrying to school. The Safe Routes program has been a great tool for our local community and Wallace Group is proud to support this program!   Ben
12/ 30/ 2014
I was born and raised in rainy Bellingham, WA -ranked number 1 for least sunny days of any city in the US! Growing up in the gloom, I never really thought much of the lack of sunshine – it seemed ordinary to me, and I considered a rain coat a daily staple. It didn’t really stop me from getting out either – from a young age I was building forts in the woods or chasing newts in ponds with my classmates, even on the rainiest of days. My immediate family is one of the smallest I know – I am an only child, the only grandchild on my mom’s side, and I only have 4 cousins. I never pined for siblings too much – I had friends down the street I could go and play with whenever I wanted, and I enjoyed having my private space to get away. We always had a dog too, and it was always a Yellow Lab – they kept me company and I had all I needed. Though I grew up in the Northwest, I only partially adopted the culture. I skied as much as I could (sometimes 40 times a season) at Mt. Baker, sailed in the summers, and have always loved berries, but I couldn’t stand Salmon or mushrooms (I have since seen the light), and only really appreciated the greenery and water once I had left. Raised by  two attorneys, I knew I wanted nothing to do with the law, and always excelled in math and science in school. That, combined with my desire to get away from Bellingham, and an Environmental Engineer as a Grandfather (it skips a generation?) led me to Cal Poly and Engineering. At first Cal Poly was low on my list of colleges, but I made the choice to come to SLO and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. During college I spent my time learning and trying to integrate into the new place and culture of SLO. The experience has stretched me, and I still value placing myself in challenging situations to try and grow those same ways. I spent my summers back in Washington getting the best of both worlds – I would come home just as the sun was breaking through the clouds, spend a few months whitewater rafting, hanging out with my friends, enjoying long days, swimming in the lakes (our water supply came from a natural lake 8 miles long), and leaving just as the clouds started to return to a SLO still in the embrace of a lasting summer. Rafting   After I finished school, I decided to spend some time traveling while I had little to tie me down, and had a blast trekking through the Pacific Northwest for a few months - seeing family, camping in a temperate rainforest, hunting mushrooms, and taking in my childhood environment with new eyes. In the end, I finally made my way back to SLO, and began looking for a job. My search ended when I got hired at Wallace Group in May, and it has been 7 months of learning and growing – just what I needed. It took me a while to get used to the idea that winter is the greenest time instead of spring, and that swimming is done in salty water, but I have eased into the SLO life and really enjoy being here. These days you will find me tending to bees, building compost, hanging out with my chickens, out in the garden, or watching the sunset with a cold home-brewed beer. Questions not necessary in order of importance: Describe what you do at Wallace Group: A little bit of everything. I was hired in the Civil Engineering department, and in just 6 months I have worked on projects for Civil, Transportation, Surveying, Water Resources, & Mechanical Engineering – whatever needs doing, bring it on! What are some of your favorite activities with Wallace Group? Learning every day. What are you involved in outside Wallace Group? Organizations – SLO Permaculture Guild, SLO Bike Coalition, Cal Poly Student Experimental Farm Favorite pastime: Being outside – gardening, beekeeping, hiking, whitewater rafting, you name it. Favorite movie: The Man Who Planted Trees Favorite food: Can’t pick just one – chocolate, coffee, avocadoes, cream cheese, a fresh sugar snap pea… the list goes on. Describe your dream vacation: A long lazy trip down the Rogue River. What’s your favorite childhood memory? Making forts in the woods out of fir branches and keeping spiders as pets What’s your secret ability? Voice recognition. What is the furthest away from SLO have you been? Spain