PLANET, the national landscape assocation, and its members are dedicated to maintaining healthy, green living spaces for communities across America. These types of events help communities and organizations who are not able to provide these services for themselves.
This year, PLANET Gives Back turned their efforts to a new site, Home of the Innocents, a nonprofit shelter and pediatric convalescent center. When the 80 volunteers arrived, they were grouped into teams according to their tasks for the day.
Team tasks included.
o Butterfly garden team: Rejuvenating garden area by pulling weeds and maintaining trees, shrubs and surrounding landscape
o Tree care team: Digging holes and planting 28 pines trees
o Playground team: Laying and spreading 120 yards of mulch
o Planting crew team: Rejuvenating and adding soil and plants to flowerbeds
As a PLANET supporter, STIHL Inc. contributed to the restorations efforts by donating STIHL Battery KombiSystem products for the restoration of the butterfly garden. Volunteers started by using the STIHL BGA 85 blower to blow leaves from the sidewalks around and inside of the garden. They then used the STIHL FSA 85 trimmer to cut grass around delicate plantings while a majority of the work was done with the STIHL HSA 66 hedge trimmer to trim and shape hedges and bushes.
Mike Crouse from Bryan Equipment Sales, a STIHL Inc. distributor, delivered the donated products and stayed on-site to demonstrate their proper use and to answer volunteer questions. He noted that Louisville has a very active green initiative to make the city more efficient and reduce the environmental impact of its operations. It's one reason why we thought that using STIHL battery equipment was such a good fit.
Rick Cuddihe, who serves on the PLANET Safety & Risk Management Committee and Landscape Management Specialty Group was one of the main organizers of this event and has been involved with PLANET Gives Back since the event started two years ago. “Every year PLANET picks a charitable nonprofit operation such as Home of the Innocents to do a landscape rejuvenation project. We work to assist with their upgrades in landscaping that they don’t necessarily have the manpower and resources to facilitate on their own,” he said. “This event would not happen without supporters like STIHL.”
Zack Kline, CEO of A.I.R Lawn Care and PLANET member, made it a point to attend PLANET Gives Back while he was in town for GIE+Expo. “It is important for me to help PLANET with the give back initiative as not only a member, but a strong supporter of sustainability efforts.” Kline only uses STIHL lithium-ion equipment in his operations, so he was able to get to work right away. “The products deliver clean, quiet, and quality performance with the power to get the job done,” he said.
The day was an incredibly rewarding one and I want to salute all my friends and fellow professionals for their efforts. After a few hours of hard work the group left Home of the Innocents a transformed area, an ideal and safe place for children to play. We are already planning next year's project. If you find yourself in Louisville for GIEE next year, come join us.
To learn more about PLANET visit: https://www.landcarenetwork.org/index.cfm