News & Events
April 22, 2014
DC area nonprofit gets landscaping makeover by NHLA members
Alexandria Lawn Service, Denison Landscaping, Epling Landscaping and Lawn Services, RulyScapes, and Ruppert Landscape celebrated Earth Day by teaming up to provide a landscaping makeover for a Good Shepherd Housing Foundation (GSHF) home for chronically mentally ill and at-risk residents.
The PLANET Day of Service project included removal of undesirable vegetation and installation of new plants according to a landscape plan that both beautified the GSHF Grayson Property and made the outdoors more functional. “The NHLA is proud that our members, even during this very busy time of the year, took this opportunity to help an organization that cares for the often marginalized and underserved of our society by donating the manpower, equipment, and plant material necessary for this much needed project. This effort helped contribute to the health, safety and well-being of Good Shepherd residents and provided usable outdoor space for residents and visitors,” said Raul Berrios, NHLA president and RulyScapes owner, "We also want to thank area supplier JK Enterprise Landscape Supply for donating mulch for the project."
Following the event, GHSF Director Valerie Meale-Hayslett, wrote "TUESDAY WAS TOTALLY INCREDIBLE! I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of work that was done. It is impossible to express our gratitude. Thank you just doesn't seem like enough! The heroes that did the work were all so great. They even let me put some trees in the chipper." To view some of the photographs taken during the day, please click here.
"Our effort will also serve as a demonstration project for the GSHF to leverage during its May 3, 2014 GSHF Garden Rally; a community fundraising effort to benefit needed improvements to other GSHF properties," noted Pam Berrios, ALS Services owner and the NHLA's Secretary/Treasurer who served as project field coordinator and media contact. To view Univision news coverage of the event, please click here.
By promoting this service project, the NHLA and the Good Shepherd Housing Foundation hoped to raise awareness of a critical societal issue that is often ignored – mental illness. Research conducted by the University of Washington found that outdoor activities in parks and other natural landscapes can help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimers, dementia, stress, and depression, among other types of mental health conditions. Press releases in English and Spanish provide additional information.