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Project EverGreen

Project EverGreen volunteers from the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association spruce up the yard of a military family.

Members of the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association (CGKA) and Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops initiative joined forces in early August to perform a makeover of three yards belonging to families who currently have a member deployed with a branch of the U.S. military. The makeover included tree trimming/pruning, shrub trimming, bed edging and clean up, weeding, mulching, mowing and trimming. In addition to the makeovers, each family will continue to receive lawn and landscape services for the balance of each deployment at no cost from a GreenCare for Troops volunteer.

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.

“I love being outdoors and taking care of my yard and had many plans for it before I found out I was being deployed,” comments Jared*, one of the service members whose family received lawn care. He says one of his first thoughts was, ‘Who will take care of all the stuff I do around the house?’

“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. “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,” he adds.

Being deployed was also hard on Dave, another service member whose lawn received care. But he couldn’t believe his eyes 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.”

“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 CGKA. “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.”

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.

Because of the generosity and dedication of the GreenCare for Troops volunteers, Lindsey, whose spouse is deployed with the U.S. Air Force, can focus her attention on helping her toddler through her first separation from her dad. Equally, “It has reassured my husband that his family would be taken care of here at home and he could concentrate on his mission,” comments Lindsey.

“It was an amazing experience and we are so grateful for everyone involved and the work that was done,” says Lindsey. “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,” she adds. “The work you’re doing is so important to military families.”

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.

* Last names withheld by request.