Schiller Grounds Care has announced a new partnership with the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust of Huntingdon Valley, PA.
In addition to encouraging staff to volunteer at the Pennypack Trust, Schiller will be donating equipment to help the trust maintain its extensive grounds, starting with a BOB-CAT 52 inch AirFX mower.
As steward of 833 acres of Montgomery County’s (PA) second-largest privately owned natural area that is open to the public, the Pennypack Trust depends on the support of various benefactors.
Schiller’s donation of the state-of-the art BOB-CAT AirFX mower will be used on a variety of landscapes, including as a finish mower on protected meadow trails, across campus landscapes where most volunteers meet and areas where major events are held.
“Managing 800 acres of open space with just 10 employees is a highly mechanized operation,” said PennyPack Trust executive director Chris Mendel. “The ability to partner with a world-leader in landscape maintenance machinery is a tremendous opportunity to share information and learn from engineers and craftsmen of this caliber.”
He noted that staff is saving hours of time daily due to the speed of the AirFX.
“Not only is it faster and self-propelled, it is also extremely agile and able to work on steep slopes and through tight spaces,” Mendel added. “This is useful on trails and also in tree plantations where grass and weeds are not too thick or well established.”
Schiller Grounds Care Vice President of Sales and Marketing Claude Corcos noted that Schiller is a strong believer in the work the trust does and the benefit they provide the region.
“We want the Schiller team to enjoy and support that work,” he said. “The mower donation was simply an attempt to underscore our belief”.
The trust’s work also impacts the future of the grounds industry, as Mendel notes how young people are being motivated to work on environmental issues. They’ve learned that ecology is a science that demonstrates the simplicity and power of a healthy environment.
He added that the trust, in partnership with Schiller is doing all they can to build entry-level jobs for land stewards, researchers, and educators. An important part of that includes trying new techniques in sustainable land management. Using the BOB-CAT mower in a naturalized setting could open up some interesting new approaches to grassland and forest maintenance.