“It’s something that when we found out about it, we just thought, wow, this is so impactful, and we want to be a part of it. We want to help families that have a member in active service and make their lives a little easier.”
Brooklyn, New York
GreenGage Urbanscape has been providing landscape maintenance and enhancements as well as snow removal to commercial clients across five boroughs in the tri-state area of New York City since 1959. The headquarters is nestled in a densely urban setting in Brooklyn, where logistics are always a tremendous challenge.
‘You can be around the corner from a site and be 30 minutes away,” says Doreen Costanzo, who took over running the family business five years ago. “We live 14 miles from the office on Long Island, and it’s a 90-minute commute. When it comes to getting around, everything is a struggle.”
Despite the difficulties, Costanzo loves the communities in which she lives and works. In Brooklyn, the headquarters office neighborhood is in a rugged, financially challenged area where crime and poverty are all too common.
But she can see the potential for creating positive change and that is why GreenGage Urbanscape is a multi-program Project EverGreen volunteer. A case in point is her recent involvement in the GreenCare for Communities renovation of the Poppa and Momma Jones Garden just down the street from her offices.
“That’s why we got involved, and why I was passionate about what was happening there,” says Costanzo. “It’s a local project that will provide tremendous benefits to the neighborhood.”
But the recently completed project, for which she provided GreenGage Urbanscape workers and resources, is only the most recent manifestation of her community service. In her home neighborhood, she and her family have always sought out ways to donate time and talent.
Costanzo has been an active member of GreenCare and SnowCare for Troops dating back to the founding of the organization 20 years ago.
“It’s something that when we found out about it, we just thought, wow, this is so impactful, and we want to be a part of it. We want to help families that have a member in active service and make their lives a little easier,” says Constanzo. “I come from an education background, and I had encountered children in that situation where a parent has been deployed, and the other parent is trying to manage the situation and is looking for someone to help.”
One of the recent GreenCare for Troops assignments Costanzo cherishes was a woman with two children that was needing some backyard cleanup and minor renovation.
“We would have done more but she was very humble, just trying to navigate life with her husband being away. Every time we came through to work on the property, she would bake the crew homemade cookies to show her appreciation,” said Constanzo. “She was so thankful, and it was heartwarming! Even though it was us wanting to express our appreciation for their family’s sacrifice, she wanted to show her appreciation in return.”
Constanzo’s husband and son led an effort to get their Boy Scout troop to volunteer time to shovel walks for households in need. She got involved in a local program called Homes for Heros, which gathers community helpers to rehab homes for disabled military members.
Why are Green Spaces Important to Military Families?
Parks, lawns, landscapes and maintained green spaces help to mitigate temperature increases in communities and significantly reduce energy use and cooling costs. Project EverGreen’s initiatives – GreenCare for Troops and GreenCare for Communities – have made a significant impact.
Through its nationwide base of professional volunteers, Project EverGreen has connected people, plants and their communities to maximize the health of grass, plants and trees, which in turn sequesters carbon and cleans the air. Both initiatives support healthy green spaces in neighborhoods and cities, enabling maintained green spaces to function as the lungs of the city and offsetting the negative effects of a warming environment.
A single group or individual cannot transform lawns, landscapes and parks but Project EverGreen’s coalition of businesses and individuals helps maintain green spaces so they can thrive.
Become A Volunteer Today
Are you ready to step up for a military family? Register today
The Title Sponsor of the GreenCare for Troops program Title Sponsor is Nufarm. SnowCare for Troops program in BOSS Snowplow. Platinum Partners include Toro, SiteOne Landscape Supply, AMGUARD Environmental Sciences. The Silver Partner is Arborjet/Ecologel.
Affiliate Partners include the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.
GreenCare for Troops is endorsed by the National Association of Landscape Professionals