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Landscapers spruce up Habitat for Humanity home
Matt Pugh operates a Boxer machine Friday morning at a Habitat for Humanity home on Ridgemont Trace. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

Earth Day just isn’t enough for some local landscapers.

Two groups started celebrating early with their industry’s own version called PLANET Day of Service.

The idea is for members of the Professional Landcare Network to give back to their communities by doing what they do best.

Jennifer Allen, marketing assistant with King Green, said the projects on PLANET Day are a great opportunity for cultivating the land and community relations.

“You’re not only doing something for your community you’re doing something for Mother Nature,” Allen said.

New Leaf Landscape Services partnered with Habitat for Humanity to install shrubs and trees to a new Habitat house Friday morning. Several vendors, including King Green, North Georgia Turf, Full Bloom Nursery and Anna Buck Jones, donated plants and materials valued at around $6,500.

A crew of volunteers dug holes and planted azaleas and knockout rose bushes around the blue house.

“It’ll look beautiful. We’re going to cut the grass today, too, and there’s a company who donated a service to keep the grass cut and fertilized, so I think it’s been a team effort. It’s going to be great,” said Steve Murray, president of New Leaf Landscape Services.

Habitat for Humanity volunteer coordinator Dee Ann Whitenton said the extra plants are a great addition.

“Trees aren’t in our budget so we don’t typically have trees or azaleas, so we just plant foundation plants. So this does add to the appeal of the house and makes the homeowner of the house delighted to have the trees in the yard,” Whitenton said.

King Green planted strawberries and blueberries with the children at Boys & Girls Clubs later Friday afternoon.

Allen said planting the berries with the children will be a great learning opportunity and will provide them with fresh fruit year after year.

“They have so many kids over there that are so promising and we’d really like to stick with them and help them out,” Allen said.