Our Impact

Our impact:

Since 2006, GreenCare for Troops is proud to work with dedicated volunteers to create greener, healthier lawns and yards for military families.

11000

Military families and disabled veterans who have registered for our program.

6000

Lawn and landscape professionals who have registered to volunteer for our program.

$8 million

Estimated value of volunteer services provided to military families and disabled veterans since the program’s inception.

Keeping Your Green Spaces Mosquito-Free This Summer

There has been significant media coverage this spring regarding the Zika virus. While there have been no confirmed transmissions of the disease in the United States, it does bring to the forefront the threat of mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus, chikungunya and dengue fever.

How do you protect your and your family from mosquitoes this summer? The first step is to make the green space around your home as unwelcome to mosquitoes as possible. The National Pest Management Association recommends homeowners do the following to help lessen the threat of mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate or reduce mosquito-breeding sites around the home. This includes birdbaths, flowerpots, grill covers, baby pools, unopened swimming pools, tires and other objects where water collects.
  • Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any source of standing water that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings with fine mesh, sealing around all screen edges and keeping doors and windows shut to prevent entry.
  • Use mesh that is 18 x 18 strands per inch, or finer.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

The second step is taking steps to protect you and your family. The experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following tips to avoid mosquito bites and make your :

  • Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535. Some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provides long-lasting protection.
  • If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.
  • Do not spray insect repellent on the skin under your clothing; treat clothing with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing.
  • When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours and use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
  • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

For more information on protecting your family and green spaces from mosquitoes, visit http://www.pestworld.org/ or http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html

Celebrating 10 Years Of GreenCare for Troops and National GreenCare for Troops Awareness Week

For families of deployed military personnel and wounded or disabled veterans handling basic yard maintenance tasks can be a real challenge. To meet that challenge Project EverGreen established the GreenCare for Troops program to provide complimentary lawn and landscape care services to these deserving individuals.

Project EverGreen is celebrating the 10th anniversary of GreenCare for Troops this year and National GreenCare for Troops Awareness Week. Our goal is to raise awareness with military families and veterans about the services available, as well as recruit additional volunteers to provide these valuable services.

Over the history of the program, GreenCare for Troops has served more than 10,000 military families across the country with the tremendous assistance of more than 5,000 lawn and landscape contractor volunteers. The program has delivered an estimated $5 million of in-kind services to military families and veterans since the program’s inception.

GreenCare for Troops Facts & Figures

• 1 – White House Joining Forces Initiative Award
• 10 – The numbers of years GreenCare for Troops has been helping families of deployed military personnel
• 50 – States in which there are registered military families and volunteer contractors
• 2006 – The year GreenCare for Troops was launched
• 5,000 – Number of volunteer contractors that have registered to provide services through GreenCare for Troops
• 10,000 – Number of military families that have registered for GreenCare for Troops since program’s inception
• 150,500 – Estimated number of U.S. military personnel deployed overseas
• 3.6 Million – Number of veterans with a service-related disability needing assistance with day-to-day household and lifestyle assistance services
• $5 million – Estimated value of in-kind services provided to military families and veterans through GCFT since the program’s inception

To help our registered volunteers promote their participation in the program we have created a volunteer promotional tool kit with a customizable press release, infographic, suggested social media posts, talking points, and facts and figures.

To download contact GreenCare for Troops program coordinator Ki Matsko at 888/611-2955

We encourage volunteers to share information about your involvement with GreenCare for Troops with the local media, civic and veterans groups in your community. Put the logo and add the new GreenCare for Troops video to your on your website, post to Facebook, send a Tweet, or send an e-mail to your customers – spread the word anyway you can.

For military families or wounded and disabled or wounded veterans interested in registering for service they can do so online at www.ProjectEverGreen.org

Project EverGreen would also like to recognize The Toro Company for its generous support of the program.
Our final thank you is to the military families and veterans we serve. Thank you for your service and sacrifice to our country, and to protecting freedom at home and around the world.

Designing the Perfect Backyard Greenspace

Landscaping is an art form. It requires planning, knowledge, and hard work. It entails a whole lot more to tree and shrub care than going to the local nursery, picking a couple of plants that look nice, digging some holes, and calling it a job done.

Before you start a landscape project, you need to answer some basic questions that will help you pick the right plant and put it in the right place. Project EverGreen asked the pros at Spring-Green lawn care services, a long-time supporter of PE and advocate for green spaces, for tips on how to design the ideal backyard green space for your family to enjoy.

  • Starting Your Landscape Plan

First, you need to decide the basic layout and space available for the trees and shrubs you are going to buy. Take a survey of your property and make a drawing of the shape of your property.

Draw in the location of your house, driveway, sidewalks, and any other permanent structures. It is a good idea to try to determine the slope of your property and note any areas of your yard that may be influenced by surrounding structures or plants. An example of this would be the amount of shade coming from a neighbor’s trees.

Sketch some ideas on paper to get an idea where you may want to add new plants, or replace old ones. On the layout, it would be a good idea to pencil in the location of the windows on your house; determine the distance from the window to the ground level; and write it underneath each window sketched. This information will be useful when choosing foundation plants.

  • Picking Landscape Plants

Second, you need to decide why you are planting what you are planting. Is it going to be a focal point of the entire landscape, or is it going to be used to fill in an open space? Are you purchasing it for its beauty and looks, or will it be functional, such as a border or hedge, or both?

Do some research by looking at landscape guides, garden magazines, or by visiting a local nursery or garden center. It is important to know the ultimate height and/or width of the trees and shrubs you are considering.

One common mistake that many do-it-yourselfers make is putting too many plants in too small of a place. Another common mistake is not considering the height or width of the plant. If the window is 3 feet from the ground and the plant you purchase will grow to 10 feet, there will be a shrub care problem in a very short time.

The same holds true when placing plants next to a door. If the plant will grow to a width of 8 feet and it is planted 2 feet from the front door, then it may soon become difficult to find the door. It can be deceiving when you go to purchase a plant that is only 24-inches wide and try to envision it at its full size. It is important to keep this in mind, or you may be redoing your landscape every 10 years, or so.

  • Placing Landscape Plants

The third consideration is the placement of the plants in relationship to the growing and maintenance conditions of the planting site and the growing requirements of the plant itself. An example of this is putting shade loving plants in shady yard areas and sun-loving plants in sunny yard areas.

Remember to consider the potential size of the surrounding plants. Finally, consider the aesthetic value and appeal of the plants you are choosing. You need to decide what looks good to you.

You could hire a landscape architect to make many of the decisions for you and offer suggestions for plant selections. Those services will cost extra money, but it may be worth it if you are at your wit’s end deciding which plants to choose.

For more information on Project EverGreen’s programs that promote the economic, social and lifestyle benefits of managed green spaces, visit www.ProjectEverGreen.org

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Making Your Lawn the Best It Can Be This Spring

Every homeowner wants to make their patch of lawn shine like an emerald and for good reason. Not only is a thick, lush lawn aesthetically pleasing but green spaces are good for your health, wellness and budget.

Studies have shown lawns having a cooling effect on your home – eight average front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning – and planting shade trees around your home can lower attic temperatures by up to 40 degrees and reduce air conditioning costs.
Green spaces add to the enjoyment of your home and neighborhood, and that is why Project EverGreen asked the lawn care specialists at Weed Man for tips on how to make your lawn the best it can be this spring.

Here are three tips for planting, feeding and letting your lawn breath this spring:

1.) Planting the Seed for Your Lawn

Overseeding – the practice of sowing additional seed over existing grass to bolster and restore your lawn – should be part of every homeowner’s spring lawn care to-do list.
Overseeding is necessary since, over time, the individual grass blades on your lawn weaken and perish with age, thus making it more vulnerable to disease, insects and weeds. Areas in your yard which are harmed by anything from extreme temperatures to heavy foot traffic also benefit from overseeding. It helps reestablish a lawn’s strong foundation, and progressively improves the overall health and appearance.
Spring is a good time to overseed your lawn when there is frequent rainfall followed by warm days that promote seed growth. Affected patches of lawn should be well raked before to overseeding, in order to remove dead grass and loosen the soil. This promotes the new seed’s growth by providing additional aeration and drainage for water.

2.) Feeding Your Lawn to Be Its Best

If you want your lawn to look and feel its best, you need to feed it the proper diet of water and nutrients. Of the more than 100 known elements, 16 are essential plant nutrients. The three most important to plants are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen; which plants get from air, water and the organic matter in the soil.

Three key plant nutrients your lawn needs to have a consistent dose of include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. If you look at a fertilizer bag, you will see three numbers on the front, for instance, 25-4-9. These numbers tell you the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (in that order) in the fertilizer.

Different kinds of fertilizers are used for different situations. A fertilizer high in phosphorus will help a newly-seeded lawn develop. A fertilizer with a greater percentage of nitrogen can be used to promote growth in an established lawn.

It’s not enough just to know the amount of nutrients. You’ll also need to know what kind of nitrogen is in the fertilizer. Weed Man slow-release nitrogen is coated with Sulphur, so that the nitrogen is only available to the plant when soil bacteria have broken down the Sulphur coating. This process is gradual, so the slow release nitrogen provides nutrients to the plants over a period of about eight weeks.

3.) The Ins and Outs of Aeration

The benefits of aeration to your lawn cannot be stressed enough. This service reduces soil compaction, excessive thatch, and provides a top dressing for the lawn. By breaking up compaction and removing excess thatch, the infiltration of fertilizer nutrients, sunlight and air down into the soil is greatly improved. With this improved movement of needed elements, root growth is stimulated.

The grass plant can access and store more nutrients and water necessary to improve its health and stress tolerance, which will directly benefit the lawn’s health during demanding periods in summer where heat and drought can take its toll. Aerating provides several valuable benefits to your lawn including:

• Strengthening the root system and having the roots shoot deeper, which helps the lawn prepare for summer’s heat and dry conditions.
• It allows water and fertilizer to penetrate deeper into the soil where it does the most good.
• Microbial activity increases in the lawn which helps reduce thatch.
• The plugs left behind after aeration will decompose and further fertilize the lawn.

For more information on Project EverGreen’s programs that promote the economic, social and lifestyle benefits of managed green spaces, visit www.ProjectEverGreen.org

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