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Lawn care industry rallies around flooded colleague

September 14, 2021 -  By

“Any suggestions or creative ideas of how to get rid of 250+ bags of flooded grass seed?”

It’s not a question any landscape company operator wants to ask, but that’s where Dan Lyster, owner of DTL Total Turf Care, found himself after the remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded his shop in Downingtown, Pa.

Lost seed, damaged equipment, ruined shop and office areas — DTL needed help, so Lyster set up a GoFundMe page and shared some of his challenges on the Professional Lawn Care Applicators group on Facebook.

In less than a week, he’d raised more than $8,000 toward his $10,000 goal with many of the donations coming from colleagues and competitors. And, dealers and vendors have helped him find seed and equipment.

Insurance will cover some of the damage, but Lyster said he exceeded his policy’s coverage on inventory with his huge seed orders this year — the most he’s ever ordered. Plus, seed prices have gone up since he bought his inventory, and insurance doesn’t cover the difference between what he paid and what it will cost to replace inventory.

Dustin McGehee, co-owner of Stinger Equipment, said he heard that Lyster’s shop had been underwater from the Facebook group.

“We don’t have a relationship with Dan, but I knew he ran our equipment,” McGehee said. “They were asking for technical assistance for how to get their units up and running.”

Fixing flooded aerators, if possible, can be time-consuming, so McGehee pulled a Quad-Aer 3000 demo unit and shipped it to Pennsylvania, telling Lyster to keep it as a loaner until he gets his equipment and insurance issues sorted.

“It’s the oldest, crustiest one in the fleet, so it took some time for us to get it up to standard,” McGehee said. “We thought it was a small thing we could do to help out.”

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Robert Schoenberger

About the Author:

Robert Schoenberger is Landscape Management's former senior editor. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Houston. He has worked in magazines and newspapers since the late 1990s. Robert can be reached at

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