Austin Outdoor helps local nonprofits

Austin Outdoor helps local nonprofits

The employees took time to spruce up landscaping and give back to their community.

January 13, 2011

BUNNELL, Fla. – Each of Austin Outdoor’s districts participated in a community service project to enhance the landscape of a nonprofit organization in the area.

The East Central Florida district and Northeast Florida district teamed up with Dragon Flowers, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind’s agribusiness program, to enhance the landscape in five areas throughout the school.

The updated areas featured the focal point of Bryant Hall, the newly constructed blind high school, which was lacking a landscape due to budget restraints. It also included work at Knowles Hall where eight empty planters were filled with Arizona Cypress and Ilex Schillings. At Memorial Hall, overgrown plant material was removed and replaced with Ligustrum trees. At Cary White Hall, Bulbine, a drought-tolerant plant, was installed throughout the existing beds. Finally, winter annuals, Dianthus, were installed throughout the San Marco flower beds.

“We are so thrilled and proud to have had the opportunity to work with the Austin Outdoor staff,” said Tanya Gleeson, director of development at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. “The work they did was top notch, everyone was so professional – we can't thank them enough. This is not something we would have been able to even begin to do on our own.”

The Central Florida district teamed up with The Sunshine Foundation to help decorate the cottages throughout its Dream Village by hanging lights and wreaths for the holiday season. The Sunshine Foundation Dream Village, built to meet the dreams of ill, physically challenged, or abused children who request to meet Mickey Mouse and visit Disney World, is an oasis for families to escape hospitals and needles, if only for a short time. The Austin Outdoor team helped bring holiday cheer to the village through festive decorations.

The Southeast Florida district teamed up with House of Hope, an organization that provides food, clothing, emergency financial assistance and life-changing case management services to Martin County residents, to enhance the landscape throughout the facility and to provide an updated and welcoming appearance to the landscape. The enhancement included the addition of approximately 75 plants, installation of drip irrigation, and a fresh application of mulch.

“I drove into the parking lot of House of Hope with tears in my eyes,” said Joanne Towner, development director at House of Hope. "What a wonderful sight: the Austin Outdoor employees, their truck, all the beautiful plantings placed around, ready to be welcomed into the ground. Over and over, clients, donors, board members and staff are all asking about the wonderful landscape work and when we tell them it’s a donation, they are so surprised and thankful.”

Many of the materials used for the projects were donated by local vendors – Stone Plus, R O Simmons Palm Trees, Starling Nursery, Williams Nursery, Bloom-Masters, Brantley Nurseries, Green Scene, Ed Miller & Son and Triple “O” Nursery Farms.