Virginia Beach, Va.-based Stihl Inc. recently partnered with the City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation department and local companies, K&D Round’s Landscape Services and Bartlett Tree Experts, to clean up and beautify two school properties as part of the annual Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Day of Service, a nationwide Earth Day event. The Stihl event took place Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, at Newton Elementary and Bettie F. Williams Elementary. The nationwide PLANET Day of Service gives companies like Stihl Inc. the opportunity to give back to their local communities and the environment.
“We are pleased with the outcome of these projects and thank our employees and their family members, as well as Bartlett Tree Experts and K&D Round’s Landscape Services who committed their time to help out the local community by enhancing these two school properties in celebration of Earth Day,” said Roger Phelps, promotional communications manager for Stihl Inc.
During the two-day event, 60 volunteers including employees from Stihl Inc., as well as their families, K&D Round’s Landscape Services, Bartlett Tree Experts, and the City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation department helped lay 225 yards of mulch, plant three trees, and reclaim a small wooded lot used as an outdoor classroom and a corridor area previously damaged by the 2011 Nor’easter. Some of the improvements included several hazardous tree removals, pruning of dead and damaged limbs, weeding, clearing flower beds, planting trees and perennials (donated by local wholesalers), and common area and interior courtyard mulch replenishment.
“These projects are a partnership between Stihl, the City of Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation and Virginia Beach Public Schools,” said Shawn Hopson, superintendent of grounds services for Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation. “The tree work and beautification project saved the city approximately $8,000.”
“It’s great to be able to get outdoors, away from the computer, and work with our equipment alongside other industry professionals to do something to benefit the community,” said John Foster, a Stihl employee who assisted with Friday’s efforts. “Cleaning up an outdoor space to be used by the schools to help get youth involved with nature is truly a day well spent.”
Stihl Inc. is a supporting sponsor of the PLANET Day of Service and is one of many companies across the country performing a variety of volunteer lawn and landscape projects to give back to their communities. PLANET is an international association serving lawn care professionals, landscape management contractors, design/build/installation professionals, and interior plantscapers. PLANET Day of Service was organized to demonstrate the importance of maintaining green spaces in recognition of Earth Day. An estimated 2,600 people working on 150 projects in 36 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico took part in the 2012 PLANET Day of Service, contributing an estimated value of $675,000.
For more information on PLANET Day of Service, visit www.planetdayofservice.org.