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Fostering More Than The Growth of Plants
Landscape Contractor Gives Back to The Community


Nearly three dozen employees from Ruppert Landscape, a Maryland-based landscaping firm, and 10 residents from Our House, a community nonprofit, came together to install a new landscape at the center's campus in Brookeville, Md. The volunteers and residents planted 10 trees, 750 perennials and 100 shrubs, dramatically transforming the landscape.


Located on a 140-acre farm in Montgomery County, Md., Our House is a residential job skills training program for at-risk adolescent boys. The program provides construction skills training during the day and required schooling at night. The organization's young men are engaged in state-of-the-art certified organic gardening, engine repair, beekeeping, various components of carpentry, computer skills, personal skills, GED training, and they participate in weekly community service projects as well.

As part of its ongoing community service outreach efforts, Ruppert Landscape out of Laytonsville, Md., teamed with Our House, a job-skills program for at-risk youth, to install a complete landscape for the local nonprofit. Both Ruppert Landscape employees and residents of the home planted 10 trees (ranging in size from 7' to 15' tall), 750 perennials, and 100 shrubs; and laid mulch, compost, and fertilizer.

A combination of deciduous and evergreen plant material was chosen to provide color and texture. Perennials were selected to ensure they'd come back year after year and require little upkeep. The total value of the campus renovation with time and materials was approximately $7,500 and upon completion, over 100 man-hours were invested.

Ruppert provided skills training to Our House residents and its corporate staff prior to the event, with instruction on plant quality, proper tool usage and planting techniques. Our House began 24 years ago and has expanded steadily from a seed grown by one man, Richard Bienvenue, to its current award-winning program. Last year, construction was largely completed on a new building, which will house up to 24 young men and will add capacity for the organization to assist newly graduated young men to live onsite for another 1-2 years while gaining financial stability.

"With Our House being located within just a few miles of our corporate campus, we felt like this partnership made sense and enabled our corporate staff to get directly involved in giving back to our community," said Phil Key, president. "We enjoy hands-on projects like this because we feel it gives our team members a greater connection to what's being donated. We want them to link what they do--whether they work in our accounting department or a field position--to our profitability, which ultimately enables us to give back to great causes in our community like this.

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As seen in the June 2017 issue of Landscape Contractor Magazine

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August 19, 2019, 10:16 am PDT

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