Helping Hand

by Alice Tessier

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4/24/2009

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves this week to spruce up the grounds at two area sites well known to the public-Sullivan Farm in New Milford and the public library in Brookfield. They turned out Wednesday-Earth Day-for the projects, under the auspices of the New Milford-based landscaping firm YardApes, Inc.

Shayne Newman, the firm’s president and chief executive officer, noted in a news release that the Brookfield project was “part of a nationwide Day of Service initiated by national Professional Landcare Network lawn and landscape association PLANET, with the goal of giving its over 4,200 member companies and affiliates an opportunity to plan, organize, and carry out projects to give back and benefit their local communities.”

YardApes, trained, certified staff tackled cleaning up the green spaces around The Brookfield Library, located on a ledge slope on Whisconier Road, in the historical center of town.

Mr. Newman selected this site for a one-day “landscape renovation” after talking to the town’s Parks & Recreation director, Dennis DiPinto.

Mr. DiPinto was not availble for comment before press time.

The project included removing plantings that were overgrown and damaged by deer, pruning established growth, installing new plants and mulching the area.

Mr. Newman noted that the Garden Club of Brookfield regularly cares for the plantings on the grounds of the public library.

Sean Kaiser, a YardApes employee, worked with the New Milford Youth Agency to organize another project, which took place the same day at Sullivan Farm.

Mr. Newman said that eight volunteers worked at The Brookfield Library and four at the Youth Agency site, which required less work.

“It was fun, and it was also nice to do something for these communities,” said Mr. Newman, who acknowledged that he pitched in to help as well.

All in all, he said, “about $5,000 worth of labor and plantings were donated for the Earth Day projects.”

Mr. Newman noted that Twin Oaks Horticultural Associates of Woodbury, a wholesale nursery, “was very, very generous. They gave us the plantings.”

“It is very important for us at YardApes to continually strive in creating a ‘whole’ workplace, where the workers feel good about their jobs, reach their professional and educational goals, and have opportunity to stand out as top-notch examples of what land care professionals represent today,” Mr. Newman has stated in his news release.

“My employees are excited to help out the community, and I am very proud that they are willing to donate their time and energy during the gear up of our busy spring season. They take pride in their work not only a professional level but personally as well.”

YardApes Inc. is an award-winning Northwestern Connecticut leading provider of residential and commercial landscaping services, landscape design, construction and maintenance.

We believe everyone everywhere benefits from a connection with nature.