“They risk it all for our country, so making life just a little less stressful for them is a great reward for us. Our message to the soldiers deployed is, ‘you worry about getting home safe to your family, we will worry about the lawn.’”
South Montanez Lawn Care
Raeford, North Carolina
Jimmy Montanez, owner of South Montanez Lawn Care in Raeford, North Carolina, is keenly focused on customer service. The small, closely held operation, launched six years ago, employs four people full time and maintains commercial and residential properties in and around Fayetteville.
Montanez worked at his father’s maintenance business in south Florida for several years before deciding to strike out on his own, and continuous learning has been an important aspect of staying viable and competitive.
Two Lessons in One
So it was with this goal in mind that Montanez found himself scouring YouTube for some video training, and came across the popular training series put out by Johny Crooks, owner of Blades of Grass Lawn Care out of Savannah, Georgia. Crooks is not only known for providing excellent training for small lawn care operations across the country, but is also a dedicated GreenCare for Troops volunteer.
“As I was going through his video library, I came across videos describing his involvement in GreenCare for Troops, and the light went on,” says Jimmy Montanez, who has six brothers who have or are currently serving across several branches of the military. “I am maybe five minutes away from Fort Bragg, one of the largest military installations in the country. Immediately I am thinking, here is a way to really give back to the community. Johny mentioned the GreenCare website in one of the videos, so went over there and signed up.”
Montanez was able to help two families with lawn maintenance in 2021, his first full season with the program. He just recently took on a third family and is willing to help as many as he can fit into his schedule.
“I personally take care of all of them,” he says. “I’m dedicated to ensuring that I provide a stress-free experience for the family and the deployed soldier, and that the quality of work is up to the utmost standards.”
In addition to mowing, he also tries to help with special requests. “One family bought some lawn fertilizer and asked if we would be willing to spread it, and we were able to help.”
Lawn maintenance is just one concern among many for families with deployed members, but taking that concern away is something that brings pride to Montanez.
“They risk it all for our country, so making life just a little less stressful for them is a great reward for us,” he says. “Our message to the soldiers deployed is, ‘you worry about getting home safe to your family, we will worry about the lawn.’”
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 and SiteOne Landscape Supply. The Gold Partners are AMGUARD Environmental Sciences and 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