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NALP hosts Landscapes 2015 service project at GIE+EXPO

October 22, 2015 -  By
GIE+EXPO attendees volunteered their time and talents to spruce up a local campus in Louisville, Ky.

GIE+EXPO attendees volunteered their time and talents to spruce up a local campus in Louisville, Ky.

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) hosted its Landscapes 2015 community service project at GIE+EXPO on Oct. 21.

A group of conference and trade show attendees traveled to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul campus in Louisville, Ky., to complete landscaping projects at campus areas, including a playground, the Ozanam Inn Shelter for Men and the DePaul apartments.

“It’s a way for us to give back to the community of Louisville, and here is where they normally don’t get this sort of help,” said Scott Jamieson, president of NALP.

This is the fifth year NALP has hosted the event, added Jamieson.

“We reach out to our local champion, Mike Mason, identify sites that need help, that he knows doesn’t have a budget to do this sort of work,” said Jamieson. “We pick these sites based on need, and then also to engage local community volunteers.”

The planning process for the event takes about 10 months, said Mason, vice president of The Lawn Pro and project coordinator. The planning committee chooses a location in January or February, then begins building the project and recruiting volunteers.

Volunteers added a flower bed and planted trees in front of the DePaul apartment complex in Louisville, Ky.

Volunteers added a flower bed and planted trees in front of the DePaul apartment complex in Louisville, Ky.

“We had so many volunteers that we needed a very large site,” said Mason. “The St. Vincent de Paul society does a great job of helping with the homeless. The site is very conducive, with it being so large. They had a huge need from a maintenance standpoint, which is something we wanted to do.”

A number of sponsors, including John Deere, Stihl and Caterpillar, donated protective wear, equipment, mulch, trees and plants for the project. Everything used for the project was donated in some way, said Mason.

Volunteers connected with a local educational group of students as they planted trees and flowers, as well as mulched, around the buildings on the campus.

“It’s a lot of work—takes a lot of planning and a lot of time—but it’s very rewarding, for sure,” said Mason.

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