One of the things that makes the Ruppert Companies such a unique place to work is its commitment to service. One of the Ruppert Companies core values is, in fact, “Care for Our Community”. These words are posted in all our facilities.
It is not enough though to preach this principle. More importantly, we must live it. And so, with that in mind, several members of our team have been giving their time and talents in weeks past to do just that.
A few weeks ago, in mid-September, Ruppert Landscape participated in a massive public art installation in Washington, DC entitled, “In America: Remember,” in remembrance of Americans who have died of COVID-19. This temporary installation was designed by artist Suzanne Brennen Firstenberg. 660,000 white flags cover 20+ acres of the National Mall. Each flag representing a life lost. Howie Burrill, our tree moving division operations manager, and Tyler Anderson, senior supervisor, helped our sister company with their efforts.
Last Friday, many of the Ruppert Nurseries team descended upon the Arundel Lodge in Annapolis to create a new outdoor garden space. The Arundel Lodge is a not-for-profit organization that serves members of the community who have been touched by mental health and substance use disorders. They serve thousands of people including families with children at this facility on Solomon’s Island Road.
The mission of the Arundel Lodge became more difficult during COVID as many of their activities and sessions could not be conducted inside. They so needed a space where clients could participate in activities such as art classes or therapy outside. They had the space but no such place. That’s where Ruppert Nurseries came in! The new garden space we created is a serene enclave, perfect for such activities.
We created an ellipse of Malus ‘Royal Raindrops’ surrounded by Viburnum ‘Winterthur’. We stripped the existing turf from the area and then covered the entire area with wood chips. It was a great day of team building on a beautiful early fall day. (The previous day saw literally inches of rain, so we were grateful to have missed the deluge!) Best yet, we were able to live our mission of Care For Our Community with our donation of time and materials.
At the end of the project, we gathered for a lunch provided by the Arundel Lodge. While we enjoyed our food in the shade, Mary Henry, director of development, spoke to us about just what this new garden would mean to the residents and clients at the Arundel Lodge. She spoke to the impact that would be felt for many years to come. Arundel Lodge board member Claire Fitzpatrick also spoke and said, “Everyone deserves beauty, including those suffering from addiction and mental illness. This space will aid in the recovery of those touched by these conditions, and we are grateful for the opportunity to better serve our clients in this beautiful garden.”
Before these recent projects, it had been some time since we had participated in any such service activities. COVID put so many important things on hold including the opportunities to give back. In these days where everything seems so much more difficult, I would encourage you to find a way to care for your community. If we all took a moment from our crazy lives to give a bit of ourselves, imagine how much better our communities, our world and our lives could be. “People say, I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday, you will join us. And the world will live as one,”.
Peace and Cheers,
Ronda Roemmelt Sneider, CPH
ISA Certified Arborist MA-5274A
Ruppert Nurseries Sales Manager/Mid Atlantic Sales