Our client, ParaSpace Landscaping, was recently featured on the front cover of Newsbrief, a publication of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA). We'd like to congratulate the leadership team and volunteers at ParaSpace for a job well done, giving back to the community!
"Volunteers in the Industry"
Landscape professionals are dedicated to enhancing the urban environment. Through the design, installation and maintenance of residential, commercial or industrial landscape projects, landscape and grounds maintenance contractors enjoy the satisfaction of knowing their work will also have a beneficial and lasting impact on people. For many, the enjoyment of a park or playground, for instance, and seeing all the beauty of nature can brighten up an otherwise gloomy day.
Many CNLA members go above and beyond the call by volunteering their time and services to different places and organizations. One such company is Para Space Landscaping Inc. of Burnaby, BC. Para Space has completed at least one volunteer project each year since 2011, with the most recent being a return to Yaletown House, a non-profit complex-care facility for seniors, to beautify the landscape after the completion of their building remediation work.
The inspiration for the first volunteer project in 2011 was held in conjunction with the annual National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) Day of Service in celebration of Earth Day. Understanding that landscapes provide many benefits to the planet and all its inhabitants, Para Space Landscaping wanted to help those with limited resources to be able to enjoy beautiful, healthy spaces by donating their expertise. Since then, they have made this an annual company tradition, as there is a need to give back to the community throughout the year, not just on or around Earth Day. They hope that the projects will impact people who see them by making them want to spend time outdoors in the gardens and by doing so, improve their overall health and wellness. Furthermore, they hope that the gardens encourage more people to visit the residents/patients at the various facilities and inspire others to take up an interest in gardening and volunteering. Their dedicated staff and their families look forward to these projects each year, so much so that they decided to do two last year and would be willing to do two again this year if they find suitable projects.
The selection process to determine which community volunteer project to tackle each year is based on the need of the charitable organization, as well as the degree of technical expertise required for the project. It is Para Space’s objective to take on those projects that will allow for participation from all staff, family and friends, with perhaps a little training. At the same time, skilled staff are always willing to provide their own expertise in areas such as landscape design and irrigation installation and more. Projects that can fulfill these needs, as well as be of benefit to the community, meet the selection criteria.
Para Space have completed two projects at Yaletown House to date and are planning on a third. The building had recently undergone renovations both inside and out, resulting in the construction damaging the landscape. The first project was to create a rooftop therapy garden with an irrigation installation incorporated. The project included installation of soil, movement of planters, planting of new plants and pressure washing some older pots. The second project involved working with a landscape architect to restore the ground level garden and adjacent city park. This project required the planting of new groundcovers, shrubs and trees as well as installing fresh topsoil. With a total of 30 enthusiastic volunteers, the actual work (not including prep time) was completed in just half a day!
Yet to be completed is an upgrade to the courtyard where the residents spend most their outdoor time. This third phase will include creating a landscape design, installing fresh plantings and possibly repairing or installing new hardscape elements.
Some of the praise they have received for their work are, from Carol Crichton, the ED at Yaletown House – “It is hard to put into words the gift Para Space has given to our seniors – please know you made a big difference to many.”
From Lynn Parkin at Yaletown House. “Thank you for volunteering to support our garden project. What a gift for us to have so many generous individuals to help make our outdoor space a place to call home.”
When asked why they are members of BCLNA, Para Space Executive Vice President Jennifer Portsmouth notes that “It is important to be a part of BCLNA and CNLA because it helps us to stay in tune with issues affecting our industry and provides numerous benefits such as access to education and discounts. It also provides us with opportunities to network with others as well as to have our voice heard since the organization will lobby for the needs of their members.”
If you or know of someone who has done some volunteer work in the [landscape] industry and want to share your story, email Andrew in the [CNLA] office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Used with permission from CNLA