Welcome to the winter issue of the Project EverGreen Update. The organization is creating news on a variety of fronts, and we’d like to share it all with you, our biggest supporters!
Please click on the headlines below to read more about our latest news and events. Thank you for your support!
In June of 2003, in the scenic locale of New Prague, MN, sat 30+ leaders of the green industry, forming what today is known as Project EverGreen. Seven and a half years ago. My, have we come a long way thanks to all of you.
As we enter a new chapter, and Cindy Code takes the reins of Project EverGreen, what comes to mind as I pen these last remarks as executive director? Lou Gehrig. And why? It sure isn’t to compare his career in baseball with mine. Nor is it to compare his status as one of sports’ all-time greatest with me.
It’s what he said at his farewell speech in Yankee Stadium. It was pretty simple: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.” It is humbling for me to have served you, helping Project EverGreen grow from its infancy to nearly eight years old. And I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth today.
I could go on and on about what we’ve accomplished. But you know all that. What I’d rather do is briefly describe a few things I want to see continue with Cindy at the helm (although you’ll still have me to kick around as an executive committee member for years to come, I hope).
I can’t go out without a line from my favorite rock/pop group Chicago. I’m “Feeling Stronger Every Day” is more than a line from a great song. It’s the driving force behind everything I do. You can’t help but feel the strength of this industry every day, knowing what you do is part of the fabric of your entire life. Not only am I the luckiest person on the face of the earth today, but WE are the luckiest people in the world…working in an industry that creates all of the wonderful green spaces we enjoy every day of our lives.
Thanks for allowing me to be a part of all this. I’m blessed beyond comprehension with the group of friends and colleagues I’ve met through this journey and will keep the rest of my life. You are the best. Why? Because Green Matters, of course!
Last month not only brought an end to another calendar year, but it also marked the end of Den Gardner’s seven-year reign as executive director of Project EverGreen. Gardner announced on January 20, 2010 that he would resign as executive director to coincide with the end of 2010.
Gardner influenced the organization’s creation as it transitioned in 2002 from the former Evergreen Foundation, which at one time had been part of the trade group Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA).
Green industry communications professional, Cindy Code, took over as executive director for Project EverGreen effective January 1, 2011.
Gardner won’t be saying goodbye to Project EverGreen, however. The Board of Directors voted to add Gardner to its Board, effective January 1, 2011. The unanimous vote came at the organization’s June 2010 semi-annual meeting in Kansas City, MO.
Code has been an integral part of the organization since its transition from the Evergreen Foundation and has served two years as Board president. She also owns her own communications business in the green industry.
Visit www.projectevergreen.com/about-project-evergreen/board-of-directors for more information.
Beginning in February, Project EverGreen and Birds & Blooms magazine, a Reader’s Digest publication, will hold a nationwide art contest for youth.
The “Art of Green Spaces Poster Contest” asks students in kindergarten through 12th grade to create a poster that exemplifies their artistic skills while describing what “green spaces” mean to them.
Submitted posters should be created on 11” x 17” paper. Any art supplies may be used to create the artwork, and all entries must include the following information with the submission: full name, address, city, state, zip code, phone number and e-mail address. There is no cost to enter.
A panel of art and science teachers chosen by Project EverGreen will determine the winning posters for four age levels: kindergarten through second grade, third grade through sixth grade, seventh grade through ninth grade, and 10th grade through 12th grade. First-, second- and third-place artists in each age group will receive an Amazon gift card worth $100, $50 and $25, respectively.
Submissions should be mailed to Project EverGreen, Box 156, New Prague, MN 56071. Submissions will be accepted between February 1, 2011 and March 31, 2011. Judging will take place in April 2011, and winners will be notified in May 2011.
For the full list of contest rules, visit www.projectevergreen.com/aogs.
Approximately 25 sports fields in and around Milwaukee were renovated by area landscape contractors on November 6 by local all-volunteer crews.
Their efforts were part of the second annual Sports Field Renovation Day, sponsored by Project EverGreen and the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association. As an added highlight, Melinda Myers, an internationally renowned local horticulturalist, also volunteered at the event.
As part of the renovation day, each participating landscape contractor donated labor and equipment costs to renovate their chosen field. The fertilizer was provided to all of the field sites by Spring Valley Turf Products of Jackson, WI.
The historic Richard Howe House in Akron, OH had its landscaping improved thanks to four local landscaping companies and volunteers.
The grounds of the house, which houses the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, were beautified as part of Project EverGreen’s Green Care for Communities program.
Edenscape, Impact Landscaping and Irrigation, Vizmeg Landscape and Willoway Nursery collaborated to add extensive plantings and landscaping to the site.
Haven House Youth Services Center was the site of a green space renovation in late summer 2010.
As part of Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Communities initiative in North Carolina, Arysta LifeScience partnered with United Way of the Greater Triangle and the City of Raleigh, NC to jointly donate employees and services to a volunteer effort. A natural gathering area was the result of the collaboration at Haven House Youth Services Center, a United Way partner agency in Raleigh.
Haven House Services is a non-profit agency helping at-risk young people and their families develop positive, successful relationships at home, at school and in the community.
Arysta LifeScience North America serves the turf, ornamental and agricultural markets and employs approximately 70 people in the Raleigh area. Several of their employees and spouses volunteered their time to enhance the outdoor living space and prepare an outdoor sitting area that provides an open, safe space for Haven House clients and employees. The workday was coordinated by Arysta LifeScience to support local efforts of United Way of the Greater Triangle, Project EverGreen and the City of Raleigh Yard Waste Services, who donated a truckload of mulch to beautify the space.
Project EverGreen’s newest venture, SnowCare for Troops, is officially underway.
SnowCare for Troops connects snow removal contractors and volunteers willing to provide free snow removal services with military families that have a family member serving in the armed forces.
The program partners Project EverGreen with The BOSS Snowplow, which underwrites the program and acts as the program’s exclusive sponsor.
In its first winter, the program already has 500 volunteers signed up to help more than 300 families needing snow removal assistance.
The program is modeled after its wildly successful sister program, GreenCare for Troops, which provides free lawn care services to military families. Many lawn and landscape contractors offer residential and commercial snow removal services during the winter months.
Remember, there are a handful of ways for contractors and volunteers to lend a hand, including:
Spring Valley, a manufacturer of turf fertilizers and ice melt products in Jackson, WI, is donating free ice melt as an added benefit for all volunteers of the program.
Interested volunteers or eligible military families should visit www.projectevergreen.com/scft or call 888-611-2956 to sign up and participate in the program.
A mobile equipment trailer dedicated to helping maintain the lawns of military families living in the Raleigh, NC area recently made its debut.
The trailer is maintained by Turftenders Landscape Services, based in Raleigh, which volunteers its services in the area to military families needing landscape care. Project EverGreen assisted Turftenders’ efforts by coordinating with Bayer Environmental Science, which donated the dedicated GreenCare for Troops equipment trailer.
In addition, Project EverGreen helped secure lawn maintenance equipment to fill up the customized trailer that will be operated by Turftenders. Donated mowers came from Toro and Walker, while blowers, edgers and trimmers came from Husqvarna, based in Charlotte, NC. Other financial contributors from the local GreenCare for Troops program in and around Raleigh and Greensboro include Syngenta, Nufarm, BASF, Quali-Pro and Cub Cadet, who underwrites the program on a national level.
One family helped by Turftenders and its new mobile trailer recently was Sgt. Justin Wilhite and his wife, Rachael, of Holly Springs, NC. Justin serves in the Army National Guard. He is a 10-year veteran and served in Iraq and Afghanistan, returning home in late 2010.
Said Rachael of the GreenCare for Troops program: “It’s a small thing, but it made a big difference. I could never do everything at once and it’s hard to find time to mow a lawn while juggling our two young children and a dog. Thanks to Turftenders, it was just like Justin was taking care of it, even though he was away at the time.”
GreenCare for Troops now includes more than 10,000 families and more than 3,000 professional lawn care company volunteers nationwide.
Project EverGreen recently partnered with Greensboro, NC-based Syngenta Lawn & Garden group, Nature’s Select Premium Turf Services, the City Parks & Recreation Department and Friends of Green Hill Cemetery to donate funds, nursery stock, equipment, employees and volunteers to renovate entries and terraced area landscapes at Green Hill Cemetery, a 120-year old historic and cultural Greensboro landmark.
After several months of planning and coordination by Project EverGreen, with a landscape design donated by Doug Spencer, AIA, roughly 30 Friends of Green Hill Cemetery, along with Syngenta and Nature’s Select volunteers, gathered with shovels and rakes to help install crepe myrtles, camellias, shrubs and groundcover plants, plus sod, mulch and gravel. Two main entries and a terraced area were landscaped where new Green Hill Cemetery signs will be placed by the City of Greensboro.
“All of the volunteers from these five organizations hope this lovely transformation provides visual pleasure for many years to come,” said Ann Stringfield, a Board member of the Friends of Green Hill Cemetery.
Syngenta Lawn & Garden, a leading supplier of products and services to the green industry, donated the funds to underwrite the costs of the nursery stock and materials installed at Green Hill. Nature’s Select Premium Turf Services in Winston-Salem, NC donated professional landscape preparation, equipment and crews and acquired the plants donated to the Green Hill restoration.
New officers for the Project EverGreen Board of Directors were installed at the December 14 meeting in Fort Myers, FL.
The new officers are as follows:
Headquartered in New Prague, Minnesota, Project EverGreen is a national non-profit organization representing green industry service (end-user) providers, associations, suppliers/distributors, media companies, and other organizations. Project EverGreen’s mission is “To preserve and enhance green space in our communities for today and future generations”.
In late 2004, Project EverGreen launched a national media campaign to inform U.S. consumers about the positive effects of well-maintained green spaces, including lawns and landscapes, sports turf, golf courses and parks. Please go to www.projectevergreen.com for more information.