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Green Industry generosity

July 2, 2014 -  By

Photo: adamr /

It’s 6 a.m. on Friday, June 20. I pour a cup of coffee and sit down at my kitchen counter to check my email on my smartphone like I do on all workdays. It’s probably a bad habit, I realize, but I like to clear out the clutter so it’s not waiting for me when I arrive at the office a few hours later.

Like every weekday, the first thing I read is a quote-of-the-day email that arrives even earlier in the morning. You probably receive one of these, too, or perhaps yours is a daily word, fun fact or something else that’s inspiring or enlightening to you.

When I first began receiving these messages, I thought I’d unsubscribe soon enough. Who needs another email? But over time I’ve come to expect and enjoy seeing them in my inbox, and I often reflect on the quote throughout the day.

On this day it reads:
Friday, June 20, 2014 3:44 a.m.
“The only source of abundance is generosity.” —A Tibetan Buddhist Monk

I decide I like this quote but don’t need this reminder because generosity—and, in turn, abundance—is all around me in the landscape industry.

It’s less than two weeks since I joined a group of volunteers to plant trees and treat the turf at Liberty Island’s 9/11 Memorial Grove. I’m about a month away from witnessing the Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET’s) annual beautification project at Arlington National Cemetery, where more than 400 volunteers from across the country join together to donate landscape services. And I’m in the midst of editing the profiles honoring the winners of this year’s PLANET Community Stewardship Awards. It sounds cliché, but it’s truly inspiring to see so many people doing good works for one another.

During the Liberty Island project, I talked with Alan White, president of Turf Systems in Burlington, Ontario. As a Project EverGreen board member and an active member of Landscape Ontario and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, he explained how it’s difficult to get people in the landscape industry to make monetary donations to nonprofits, associations and the like.

Write a check? That’s a tough one for many contractors. But ask them to contribute with their manpower, equipment and expertise, and you’ve got an army. It’s an industry of doers—people who show up to support their communities in many ways, from constructing Habitat for Humanity homes to sponsoring Little League teams or mowing lawns for deployed troops’ families.

So many of these anecdotes go unreported, often by design. But we’d like to bring more of them to light—to tell the stories of inspiring projects that will move others to give back in their own ways.

So, please, share your company’s community service stories with us, so we can share news of the abundance all around us and spur even more Green Industry generosity. Email me at

Photo: adamr /

Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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