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NJLCA Members Create $100,000 Outdoor Classrooms

By Gail Woolcott, Director of operations, NJLCA




Pictured is one of two courtyards that were completed with pergola, a water feature, butterfly garden, vegetable garden, drip irrigation and more! Photo courtesy of Steve Moore

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The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association called upon its membership to volunteer time and materials to a service project that created outdoor classrooms out of two neglected courtyards. The membership came through and created two spectacular learning areas worth over $100,000 and over 1600 man-hours for the 2010 PLANET Day of Service. Jody Shilan, MLA, NJLCA President, who designed the project, said, ''The Eisenhower Middle School Outdoor Classrooms were a terrific opportunity for our members to work together, create a landscape both beautiful and meaningful, and raise awareness to the public as to the value of working with a professional NJLCA landscape contractor.''







NJCLA members, volunteers and contributors gathered together to take a photo before the first of two courtyard projects started. Photo courtesy of Gail Woolcot


ProCompany Competitors Work Together

On-site project managers, Bob Pedatella, VP and Gail Woolcott, directed volunteers in completing a variety of features. While some built a pondless waterfall, others created pergola of PVC and copper pipe, some constructed planter benches made of recycled materials, while others planted native perennials, grasses, and trees. Additional tasks included paver installation reusing inscribed pavers from a previous installation, an arbor, also of PVC and copper, a greenhouse, wallstone installation, raised beds for planting vegetables for Home Economics classes, a butterfly garden, irrigation, and much more. Employees from several companies, who are often competitors, worked together in harmony for this community service project.







Numerous companies pitched in with preparing the areas where a stepping stone path beneath the tree would be done for students to collect air samples. Photo courtesy of Gail Woolcot


Grow and Blossom in the Garden

NJLCA is proud of its membership for facilitating this worthwhile project and coming together as an industry. The volunteers and contributors transformed two unused weed-filled courtyards into vibrant, exciting spaces for the study of plant ecology and sustainable agriculture. Students can't wait to plant the first crops for next year's home economics classes. Language arts teachers are already planning to use the serenity of the water feature and beauty of the butterfly garden to inspire poetry and journaling. The courtyards have transformed from places no one wanted to be to places everyone wants to be. This project has truly touched the future through the children who will grow and blossom in the garden.

Companies and individuals who volunteered time and materials include: Al D. Landscaping & Tree, All Season Services, All Service Contractors Equipment, Aquarius Supply, Benks Land Services, Borst Landscape, Camberly Gardens, Cedar Hill Nursery, Chris Hricik, Chris James Landscaping, Dan Como & Sons, DC Freeman, Downes Forest Products, Frank's Truck Center, Garrett Planten, Green Meadows Landscaping, Horizon Landscape, Jody Shilan Designs, Impact Irrigation Consulting, John Deere Landscapes, Kindergan Landscaping, Kodiak Landscape, Kodiak Tree Experts, Nancy Maphis, Plant Health Care, Premium Aquascapes, Ramsey Building & Paver Supply, Shemin Nurseries, SnapEdge, Tech Terra Organics, United Rentals, Wilson Horticultural Group, and Wyckoff DPW along with the dedicated students and staff of Eisenhower Middle School.


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June 26, 2019, 11:55 am PDT

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