About 35 people took to Laboring Sons Memorial Ground Saturday morning to weed whack, replant flowers and plants and cut low-hanging tree limbs as a part of LandCare landscaping company’s effort to give back.
Every year each of the company’s 50-plus locations nationwide take on a volunteer project in their community. The Frederick location, which serves as its support center handling accounting, payroll, human resources and benefits, worked with the city of Frederick to scout a location and decided to pick Laboring Sons Memorial Ground on Chapel Alley between 5th and 6th streets.
The 35 volunteers consisted of LandCare employees and their families.
“It’s a perfect location for the skillset in our office,” said Heath Horman, corporate purchasing manager for LandCare.
For most, springtime is usually the time to spring clean and spruce up outdoor spaces, but LandCare picks a time closer to fall because spring is their busiest time of year.
“It’s hard for us to separate from our daily jobs [during spring],” he said. “And fall is also a great time of the year to landscape.”
For Nancy Pope, executive assistant for LandCare, it was a chance to get out of the office and do what the landscapers do.
“It’s more than just having a picnic with our families and our work families,” she said. “It’s also bringing together the group, doing something positive and getting in touch with what our crews do out on the field every day.”
After the employees learned the history of the park, it made it that more important to spruce it up.
“It’s got such an interesting story that to beautify it just makes it even better,” Pope said.
Laboring Sons Memorial Park was established as a proper burial site for free blacks in the 1800s, according to Visitfrederick.org. Those buried there were the city’s carpenters, blacksmiths, and Civil War veterans.
Rob Barber, vice president of operations— who was elevating tree limbs in the park, thought the opportunity to beautify such an historic park was rewarding. It also felt great to get everyone out of the office.
“The staff that we have out today are not true day-to-day landscapers, they’re office staff,” he said. “But we feel it’s important that we all contribute to the service projects. It’s a great experience for our team members that sit behind a desk day to day to go out and experience what our team members in the field do every day.”
Of all the events LandCare participates in throughout the year, this is his favorite because “we leave at the end of day feeling really great about giving back to our community.”
“Equally for me, I get to spend time with my co-workers and their families and their children working hard and giving back, and that’s super rewarding to me,” he said.