WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA), headquartered here, plans to provide a landscaping makeover for a Good Shepherd Housing Foundation (GSHF) home for chronically mentally ill and at-risk residents on Earth Day, April 22, 2014.  NHLA member companies, as part of a Day of Service project, will remove undesirable vegetation and install new plants according to a landscape plan that will beautify the GSHF Grayson Property and make the outdoors more functional.

Participating NHLA members include Alexandria LawnService, Denison Landscaping, Epling Landscaping and Lawn Services, RulyScapes, Ruppert Landscape and JK Enterprise Landscape Supply, all of which will take part in one or more aspects of the project which includes planning, designing, and executing a landscape makeover for the not-for profit housing facility. This effort will be followed on May 3, 2014 by the Garden Rally; a community fundraising effort to benefit needed improvements to other GSHF properties.

"The NHLA is proud that our members, even during this very busy time of the year, aretaking this opportunity to help an organization that cares for the often marginalized and underserved of our society by donating the manpower, equipment, and plant material necessary for this much needed project. This effort will help to contribute to the health, safety and well-being of Good Shepherd residents and provide usable outdoor space," said Raul Berrios, NHLA president and RulyScapes owner.

The NHLA and the Good Shepherd Housing Foundation hope to set an example for the community while raising awareness of a critical societal issue that is often ignored – mental illness. Research conducted by the University of Washington found that outdoor activities in parks andother natural landscapes can help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimers, dementia, stress, and depression, among other types of mental health conditions.

"We are so grateful for the efforts of Morelli & Associates and Valerie Meale-Hayslett for their continuing support of Good Shepherd and for making our needs known to the NHLA. We also are in awe of the generosity of the NHLA members for their help in providing an environment that reflects the care and concern of the larger community for those less fortunate," said Bob Allard, president of the Good Shepherd Housing Foundation.

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