The cloud of dust on the horizon tomorrow isn’t from an Icelandic volcano. And the army that makes it isn’t dressed in cammo. They don’t need to; when you get coated in mud and plant parts from a garden installation, camouflage comes to you.
If you happen to see convoys with trees, mulch, stone or soil roll by, remain calm. The big activity taking place along the Front Range is a labor of love by the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, in a one-day build of three gardens to help those in need. In Fort Collins, Denver, and Colorado Springs, 80 ALCC members are donating their time and skills as part of the Professional Landcare Network’s National Day of Service.
In Fort Collins, 40 ALCC members will build A Garden of Hope at the Food Bank for Larimer County, 1301 Blue Spruce Drive. Designing, excavating, building, and planting in one day, the garden includes eight raised timber beds with drip irrigation for vegetables, a pergola and seating area, and a perennial garden of Colorado native shrubs, trees, and flowers.
All the food grown at the Food Bank will be utilized in Kids Cafe meals and distributed in the Food Share pantry to clients and in Food Link to the Food Bank’s 70 member agencies.
To the south, 15 ALCC members are redesigning and renovating landscape of the non-profit Mission Medical Clinic in Colorado Springs, 2125 E. LaSalle St. Mission Medical Clinic provides health services to low-income adult residents of El Paso and Teller counties without health insurance.
And in Denver, 25 members are volunteering to redesign and renovate play areas at KidStreet, a rehabilitation center operated by Children’s Hospital, 3615 Martin Luther King Blvd. KidStreet provides nursing and rehabilitative services to infants and young children, six weeks to four years of age, with complex medical needs. Playing and interacting with other children is an important part of their day, so to keep them safe and accommodate their medical needs, the design will utilize materials that minimize dust, such as cobblestone in place of bark mulch, or plants that don’t attract bees (to minimize exposure to bee stings).
These projects are part of 355 community service projects happening on April 22 when the landscape industry nationwide comes together to serve local communities. The 2010 National Day of Service is the second annual event sponsored by PLANET—Professional Landcare Network and its state partners, including ALCC.
The ALCC volunteers will provide free labor and will install irrigation, rock, mulch, timber beds, plants, fencing, and a pergola. Behind the scenes, garden materials will be provided for free by local industry suppliers.
So if you see a hard-working Green Industry member tomorrow, take a moment and thank them for their help.