The power of coming together for a great cause is a force to be reckoned with. That’s what happened when members of the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association (CGKA) and Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops initiative joined forces on Sunday, August 2 to perform a makeover of three yards belonging to families who currently have a member deployed with a branch of the U.S. military.
In addition to the makeovers, each family was matched with a GreenCare for Troops volunteer who will continue to provide lawn and landscape services for the balance of each deployment at no cost.
The makeover included tree trimming/pruning, shrub trimming, bed edging and clean up, weeding, mulching, mowing and trimming.
Participating companies included Brookside Garden Center, Iovanna Property Maintenance LLC, TJB-Inc Landscape & Drainage Contractors, CB Property Maintenance and Costello Landscaping.
Kosilla Landscaping, KH Industries and Costello Landscaping have committed to maintaining the properties for the balance of the deployments.
“It’s really important to us that when deployed service members come home that they feel a sense of pride in their yard along with a sense of well-being,” says Liam Ohlmann, executive director of the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association. “Especially with everything that’s going on right now and families spending a lot of time at home. We wanted to make sure that experience is as comfortable and as aesthetically pleasing as possible.”
How did the families react to having their yards spruced up and looked after by a team of dedicated professionals?
“It was an amazing experience and we are so grateful for everyone involved and the work that was done,” says Lindsey (last name withheld upon request), whose spouse is currently deployed with the U.S. Air Force. “It has reassured my husband that his family would be taken care of here at home and he could concentrate on his mission.”
Because of the generosity and dedication of the GreenCare for Troops volunteers, she can focus her attention on helping her toddler through her first separation from her dad.
“We can't say thank you enough to Project EverGreen and the CGKA and all of their volunteers for taking care of us during this deployment,” Lindsey adds. “The work you're doing is so important to military families.”
And even though they weren’t there in person to witness the makeovers deployed service members Jared and Dave (last names withheld) couldn’t believe their eyes when their spouses shared photos or called them on FaceTime.
“When I was told there were people willing to come to my house while I was away and help with the yard it filled me with so much joy, I cried a little,’ says Jared. “I love being outdoors and taking care of my yard and had many plans for it before I found out I was being deployed.”
Jared says one of his first thoughts was, ‘Who will take care of all the stuff I do around the house?’
“The work Project EverGreen and the CGKA did has given me a chance to relax about some of the things that I cannot control when I am not there,” adds Jared.
Being deployed was also hard on Dave but he couldn’t believe what he saw when his wife called him on FaceTime to show him what was done.
“They even fixed a post fence that I was planning on doing when I returned from my deployment,” says Dave. “Taking care of the yard is a lot of work and this has given me peace of mind that it is being looked after by caring professionals. This is an amazing service – thank you.”
Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen, says a well-maintained yard provides families with a healthy, cool area to unwind and relax, and a safe place for kids to play.
“Having their yard cared for by a professional – at no cost – relieves them of a burden and maintains the health and value of their property in a stressful time,” says Code.
Are you ready to step up and become a volunteer for a health care hero or military family? Register today at https://projectevergreen.org/about-the-program-volunteers/
The title sponsor of the GreenCare for Troops program is Nufarm. Platinum partners include Toro and SiteOne Landscape Supply. The gold partner is Arborjet/Ecologel and the silver partner is the Propane Education and Research Council