Arborists have found a meaningful way to give back to their communities and society. By engaging in service days, tree care companies have been recognized as the local partner that can be relied on to care for and maintain a healthy tree canopy - at historical sites, schools or other community grounds, and public or governmental facilities as well.
TCIA members - Serving America
A Day of Pride and Dedication
Community service took on a whole new meaning with the “Renewal & Remembrance” day at Arlington National Cemetery and Historic Congressional Cemetery. Held in conjunction with the Legislative Day on the Hill, the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) orchestrated a Service Day with hundreds of tree care and landscape crews. With pride and dedication these crews participated at both cemeteries and spent the day pruning, cabling, mulching, planting and aerating. Collectively, the time and services was valued at more than $284,000 - a gift to the American people.
TCIA members Bartlett Tree Experts, Davey Tree Expert Co., Antietam Tree Service Inc. and RTEC Treecare all participated at Historic Congressional Cemetery. The Care of Trees, RAR Outdoor Services and Big ‘O’ Tree & Lawn Service, Inc. showed their pride and patriotism by working at Arlington.
This was a tremendous opportunity for landscape and tree care professionals to work together to serve America. From the soil below to the tops of the trees above, these historic cemeteries that pay tribute to our nation’s heroes received expert care.
Member Companies Serving Their Communities
One of the best examples of a member company performing a Day Of Service is the Nationally recognized “One Day One School” program that brings together tree experts, school officials, town representatives, local companies, and young volunteers. The initiative, now entering its third year, is based on the simple idea that a single day of volunteer teamwork will go a long way in making the community's school grounds cleaner and safer.
The day's activities begin with area tree care companies donating their time, equipment, and services to prune and remove dangerous trees and branches. They then assist crews of volunteers in a complete cleanup of the area, and finally supervise the planting of new trees and shrubs.
The program was inspired by Tom “Ace” Gallagher of Ace Gallagher Stump Grinding Service of Whippany, NJ when he noticed dead tree branches hanging over a path as he walked his son to Salem Drive School.
Having plenty of experience in clearing storm damage at various schools, he volunteered his company's services after learning there was no budget to clean up the potential hazard.
The idea was developed further with longtime friends Florham Park Mayor Scott Eveland and Rick Close of the Davey Tree Expert Company in Morris Plains New Jersey. The three quickly recognized the potential, not just as a “quick fix” for a particular location, but as an ongoing series of awareness-raising events that could be easily duplicated in any community.
After they enlisted several area companies and local officials, the first full-scale event took place in 2007 at Ridgedale Middle School in Florham Park with many of the school's own students among the group of enthusiastic volunteers.
Since then, the “environmental makeover” initiative has steadily expanded to include the participation of several additional tree services, school officials, town representatives, public works departments and community organizations along with other local companies and sponsors. An environmental education element has also been incorporated into the program itself.
The organizers explain that since this type of work is not always allocated in a school's budget, the One Day One School program is an ideal way to bring the entire community together to make any of the needed improvements at no cost to taxpayers.
In fact, Florham Park Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Ronzetti has estimated that the series of One Day, One School initiatives had saved the district from $85,000 to $100,000.
Confirming the organizers' belief in the idea's portability, the group has been contacted by several other municipalities interested in bringing the program to their own communities. Now, the One Day One School initiatives have been held in other states as well.