Turfgrass Producers give back to the community

Over 22,000 square feet of freshly harvested turfgrass sod found a home at six new residential properties in Houston’s Harrell Park subdivision thanks to a joint effort by TPI, Project EverGreen and Houston Habitat for Humanity. The turfgrass was installed along with oak trees and an assortment of azaleas, boxwoods, gardenias and ferns.  Mulch was also added around the homes to create landscape beds that complemented the new turfgrass, and created green spaces the new owners and their families could enjoy.

The sod was harvested during equipment demonstrations at TPI’s Field Day at All Seasons Turf Farm in Brookshire, Texas. Thanks goes to the generosity of Irene Gavranovic Sipes and her husband Scott of the host farm and exhibiting members that included Advanced Equipment Sales, Brouwer Kesmac, FireFly Equipment, Northwest Tillers, Progressive Turf Equipment, Redexim North America, Trebro Manufacturing and Trimax Mowing Systems.

The freshly cut turfgrass went from the farm to its destination and volunteers did the rest. Project EverGreen, a non-profit organization committed to preserving and enhancing green space in communities nationwide, and the Brickman Group, a highly respected landscape and management design firm, provided the landscape materials and labor. With the assistance of Habitat for Humanity and TPI volunteers, newly sodded lawns and more than 75 ornamental plants and trees were installed.

“Project EverGreen was proud to partner with TPI and Houston Habitat for Humanity to bring managed green spaces to these new homes and neighborhoods,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Lawns, landscapes and plants turn houses into homes and neighborhoods into communities. The end result is safer, heathier and more connected communities.”

Melanie Stanton, executive director of Turfgrass Producers International who was on hand to help with the installation commented, “Our members are pleased to have had an opportunity to work with these two respected organizations and to be able to give back to the Houston community that hosted the TPI 2016 International Education Conference & Field Day.”  She went on to say, “Natural grass lawns provide homeowners and neighborhoods with numerous environmental, economic, social and health benefits that are often taken for granted.”

Ronni Zeigler, a TPI conference attendee from Ideal Turf, Inc. in Hanna, Illinois who extended her stay in Houston to volunteer her support commented, “Working with the Houston Habitat for Humanity through TPI affected me more than I anticipated. I’m always happy to give a helping hand, especially when I can spread the word and influence people’s understanding about the benefits of natural grass. The lawn we installed put the final touch on a new home that’s going to change someone’s life. I felt honored to be a part it and it put a smile on my face knowing a family would be enjoying and benefiting from all our hard work. I can’t wait to do it again.”

Project EverGreen reports that numerous research studies have shown that the presence of well-maintained green space in communities offer numerous social, economic and lifestyle benefits. Some of the benefits include:

  • Trees, shrubs and turf remove smoke, dust and other pollutants from the air. One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
  • Natural grass recharges and filters groundwater supply and reduces storm water runoff
  • Not only does your lawn release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, it lowers temperatures caused by soil and hard surfaces. Lawns can be 31 degrees cooler than asphalt and 20 degrees cooler than bare soil.
  • Green spaces improve mental functioning and physical well-being. In fact, residents of areas with the highest levels of greenery were 40 percent less likely to be overweight or obese compared to those living in less green space.
  • The proper placement of just three trees around a home reduces interior house temperatures, allow air conditioning units to run more efficiently and offer homeowners $100 to $250 in savings annually.
  • Smart Money magazine indicated that consumers value a landscaped home up 11 percent higher than its base price.

For more information on the benefits of lawns and helpful lawn care advice visit The Lawn Institute at http://www.thelawninstitute.org/.