Terry Schmitz, IPM management manager for Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care in Henrietta, gets involved in green projects in the community.
Terry Schmitz's career appears to be headed toward a blend of lawn care and social environmentalism. Since working with Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care in Henrietta, it has been a personal mission of Schmitz to involve as many members of the community in whatever green project he is pursuing.
"I am trying to pull people together," said Schmitz, an integrated pest management manger with Broccolo. "People need to be aware how the environment is connected with everything we do, even to the littlest things of garden landscapes."
An example of his social environmentalism was recently displayed while assembling Conkey Corners, a vacant parking lot in the city that was transformed into a park through the city's El Camino Trail project. He and another employee rallied people from around the area to volunteer in the development and maintenance of the park.
"Those are the things you really see Terry jumping at, community involvement," said Laurie Broccolo, owner of the company.
One of Schmitz's passions is urban development. He enjoys working on projects that involve the Genesee Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy.
At Broccolo, where he manages half the company's operations, Schmitz is becoming the point-person and a lead on ventures that involves green landscapes and works with architect's on how to implement things such as living walls, green roofs and green houses.
Meet Terry Schmitz
Title: Integrated Pest Management Manager, Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care
Education: Associates degree in natural resources conservations, Finger Lakes Community College. Schmitz is also a certified nursery and landscape professional through the state of New York.
Town of Residence: Rochester
Family Life: Father Parents Paul Schmitz and Christine Monachino; and brothers Chris and Andy Schmitz.
Hobbies: Outdoor activities, hiking, biking, snowboarding, and music.
What it is that you do?
Manager of tree and lawn care department at Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care. I hire and equip technicians in the field with the proper education to manage properties using techniques that will help minimize pesticides in the environment.
What challenges do you face in this role?
The greatest challenge is working with factors you have no control of such as weather, environmental conditions and insect populations. These elements have a huge impact on individual turf and landscapes.
What does your seasonal day look like?
During the spring it looks like the Tasmanian devil spiraling through the desert. It's fast and plenty of multitasking. I have to train, check out equipment, address customer service issues, all while keeping tabs on the temperature which might perpetuate a disease or insects attack on certain plants. In the winter things slow down a little, this is where I usually do planning and research innovative techniques for future projects. A lot of preparation goes into getting ready for the spring.
What makes you stand out from others in your profession?
I am told I have high energy and open to change. I am intrigued by the big picture of how connected everything is in terms of a business, how it effects a community, which plays a role in nature and the basic functions of an environment. The better understanding you have of the connection, the better you are at supporting the environment.
Growing up, what did you want to do?
When I was very young I wanted to take pictures for National Geographic so my brother Andy could draw them. We wanted to travel all over the world. As a boy scout, I fell in love with being outdoors and chose to study natural resources conservation. Now I take photos of the landscapes I work on.
What are some of your motivators?
I love people and I love the outdoors; at this job I have both. Working here I have an opportunity to connect with people and show them their connection to nature. Their lawn is home to a lot of other living things, which I don't think people always take into consideration. Their landscape can do so much more then just look good. You can have a beautiful yard and contribute to the larger picture. I believe that changing philosophies can start right with the home we live in, the neighborhoods we drive through and the communities we are a part of.
What do you ultimately want to do?
I would ultimately love to recreate green spaces in the urban landscape that would pose as a multifunctional space bringing together people with all kinds of native plants, birds, butterflies and other animals and insects. I never want to stop meeting people or continuing to grow with my friends and family.