BrightView Helps Create Playground for Children of Teen Parents

BrightView Partners with United Way and COPT to Create Playground for Children of Teen Parents A formerly abandoned building turns into a beacon of hope.

Nationwide, only 40% of teen parents graduate high school. But at Benjamin Franklin High School in Baltimore, the percentage is an astounding 74%. The secret to their success is the community school strategy of the United Way Ben Center in Brooklyn/Curtis Bay, which, in addition to providing a variety of resources for students, their families, and neighborhood residents, supports teen parents pursing a high school diploma. BrightView had the honor of assisting in their noble mission, by helping construct a playground for Ben Center’s tiniest members: the teens’ infants and toddlers.

Ben Center playground
Ben Center's new outdoor space will also be used as an outdoor classroom.

While teen parents attend high school classes at BFHS, their children can attend the early childhood development program offered at Ben Center. The program is critical to the teen parents’ success, providing safe and convenient care and enrichment for their children while they complete their education. With the addition of the playground, the children now have an enhanced space to take their learning outdoors.

Developing the playground was a true community effort. BrightView partnered with Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) and Plano Coudon to create the play areas. COPT CEO Steve Budorick, former United Way campaign chair, led the charge. BrightView donated services and materials and COPT committed $100,000 in support of the project. Vendor partners SYNLawn and Country Springs Nursery also lent their support, along with BrightView’s Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Howard branches.

Following demo and soil amendments, the multi-company volunteer force installed plants, fertilizer and mulch, to create the beautiful environment for Ben Center’s children. Completed in mid-August, the playground enhances the childcare program and provides a place for parents in this challenged community to bring their children to play. What was once an abandoned building now serves as a symbol of hope.

Since opening in June 2014, Ben Center has helped more than 60 students and 44 infants. To learn how you can help Ben Center continue to change lives, visit UnitedtoAct.org.

 

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Ben Center Playground

Re-opening of Philadelphia's Independence Mall

 

 

The re-opening of Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, part of Independence National Historical Park, can be described in one word: incredible. BrightView, along with fellow champions, suppliers, local media, and eager crowds, were there to witness the symbolic ribbon cutting to re-open the historic lawn to the public on May 17, 2019.

BrightView’s in-kind donation to Independence National Historical Park’s landscape includes the replacement of nearly 100,000 square feet of damaged sod, irrigation repair, tree care, and improvements to the gardens, as well as maintenance of the landscape for the next year.

(For the full transcript, see below.)

Maintenance Re-opening of Philadelphia's Independence Mall

Video Transcription

BrightView’s Re-opening of Independence National Mall

Cynthia MacLeod, Superintendent at Independence National Historical Park:

Welcome to Independence National Historical Park. We are here today to celebrate the re-opening of Independence Mall and to thank BrightView Landscapes, from the bottom of our heart, for the work they have done to beautify this part of the park. Doesn't it look wonderful?

Andrew Masterman, CEO:

At BrightView we're proud to be working directly with the National Park Service on restoring this national monument to the glory it should be. In October 2017, I was sitting and having coffee on a Sunday morning and there in the newspaper was an article about the state of the National Park system’s great Independence Hall.  

Christian Hanley, Director of Technology at OLIN:

I walk through this park every morning on my way to work and over the years, I've seen it stressed from occupation of the various visitors. 

Masterman:

The state of the park was in somewhat disrepair and the turf was compacted, so when I read the article, I then contacted our Chief Marketing Officer, Todd Chambers, and said, "We've got to do something about it." This is our home. Not only are we a Philadelphia-based company, but we are the largest landscaping company in the United States.

Hanley:

The National Park Service has been challenged with resources available to them in past decades and it is so wonderful to have citizens, like BrightView, to step in and help.

Tom Caramanico, President of Independence Historical Trust:

Our job as philanthropic partner of Independence Park is to raise money for projects around the park that don't fit into the federal budget. When BrightView called and demonstrated that they were willing to donate this much work to the park, I was just blown away by that. Their civic leadership will help us with everything else we're trying to do here.

Mark Squilla, Philadelphia Councilman of District 1:

This is a true public-private partnership today and what a great view we have. Isn't it a bright view? A beautiful, bright view.

Philadelphia citizen:

It's great. I think before it was kind of - not dull - but it wasn't as green and it wasn't as lively. It was just kind of there.

MacLeod:

This Block One in front of Independence Hall is enormously improved from how it was just a few months ago. The pride that the BrightView associates have put into this and the enjoyment that the visitors will get from their exquisite donation and ongoing maintenance is really important to us.

Philadelphia citizen:

I think it looks really beautiful and green and I think it's inviting. It doesn't have all the patchy spots that it used to have. I am super impressed that someone was willing to donate all of this to Philly.

Philadelphia citizen:

I can't believe how beautiful BrightView has made the park and the surrounding area.

Philadelphia citizen:

The first thing I noticed is how green it was. It feels like a place you'd want to almost take a nap in the grass. I think it's great that they've given their time and energy to revitalize the downtown areas and bring more tourists back in and put money back into the community.

Masterman:

BrightView crews, many of them here today, have spent the last seven weeks working to return this landscape, the most visited part of one of the city's most visited attractions, to something every resident of Philadelphia can be proud of.

MacLeod:

BrightView Landscapes' in-kind donation, valued at over $300,000, is a truly magnificent, visible improvement and we greatly appreciate the donation. In addition to the work they have already completed that you're enjoying today, they will perform one year of landscape maintenance work and train our staff on their upkeep methods. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Caramanico:

The BrightView people have an incredible amount of knowledge about how to handle turf, like this, that is heavily used and that knowledge is going be very valuable to this park and will be helpful for years into the future.

Jake Chalfin, Sales Manager at Laurel Valley Soils:

When managing turf, a lot of companies will take a shortcut and just try to feed it from the top down when really there's an underlying problem which is amending the soil from the bottom up. It takes a lot more time and investment to do it that way, but they had the courage and the foresight to know how to do it the right way.

Hanley:

Thank you again to BrightView for this wonderful donation and contribution to the National Park Service and to the city of Philadelphia.

Squilla:

This is something that we need to cherish - to be able to have people like BrightView be able to help and partner with us to be able to make this happen. Please give them a great round of applause for what they have done for us here today.

Masterman:

We hope every person who visits this park, whether a resident of Philadelphia or a tourist, is as moved by the beauty and significance of this extraordinary place as we are. To the National Park Service and superintendent MacLeod, thank you for allowing us to help and thank you for coming out today.

Forbes: 5 Women Flourishing in the Male-Dominated Landscaping Industry

Forbes: 5 Women Flourishing in the Male-Dominated Landscaping Industry BrightView’s Branch Manager, Chequita Mccullough, recognized by Forbes Magazine

While more than 80 percent of U.S. landscaping companies are owned by men, women are rising to the top and determined to make their mark.

Chequita Mccullough started with BrightView as a business developer in the California Bay Area, where she was able to observe the crews and listen to the operations team. Now a Branch Manager, she recognizes that basic management and business principles are similar across most industries.

“Although I’m still learning, with the mentoring and leadership development opportunities my company offers, especially for women, I know the opportunities at BrightView are limitless,” Mccullough says. Chequita says her purpose is to “lead and inspire people to be the absolute best in their lives, relationships and careers.”

To read the full article, visit Forbes.  

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BrightView’s Chequita Mccullough Recognized by Forbes Magazine

Philadelphia’s Historic Independence Mall Re-Opens: First Phase of Landscaping Renovations Completed by BrightView

Philadelphia’s Historic Independence Mall Re-Opens: First Phase of Landscaping Renovations Completed by BrightView BrightView and The National Park Services re-open the National Mall to visitors

The National Park Service and BrightView Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BV) (“BrightView”), the nation’s leading commercial landscaping services company, today announced the re-opening of Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, marking the end of the first phase of the company’s in-kind donation to Independence National Historical Park.

Independence Mall has been closed since work began on the project March 25. BrightView crews made significant improvements to the landscape, including the replacement of nearly 100,000 square feet of damaged sod, as well as irrigation repair, tree care and improvements to gardens along the Mall’s perimeter.

“Independence Mall is one of the nation’s most important historical sites and a destination for both Philadelphia residents and visitors to our city,” said Andrew Masterman, BrightView President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our company is headquartered here and it was our honor – in partnership with the National Park Service and our valued suppliers -- to help bring the landscape back to what its designers intended more than a decade ago.”

INHP Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod said, “We are sincerely grateful to BrightView for this valuable in-kind donation. This landscaping project in front of Independence Hall – a World Heritage Site and the birthplace of our nation, will enhance the visits for our millions of visitors to enjoy all of the Park and make their connections with history. Independence Mall looks beautiful, and we are thrilled it will be showcased during all of our special events and other park festivities."

BrightView acknowledges its suppliers who also made significant contributions to the project:

With Independence Mall now re-opened to visitors, BrightView will begin work on the second phase of its donation to NPS: Maintaining the Independence Mall landscape for the next year, free of charge. Later this year, team members from BrightView operations throughout the eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware will participate in volunteer days at INHP to ensure the landscape continues to look its best.

Photographs and video of the project, including sound bites from Andrew Masterman and Cynthia MacLeod, can be accessed here.

About Independence National Historical Park
Independence National Historical Park is one of over 400 places within the National Park Service and is often referred to as the birthplace of our nation. Millions visit the park each year to see the Liberty Bell, an international symbol of freedom, and Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated, adopted and signed. Here are stories about the events and the lives of the diverse population during the years when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800. It is the site of the nation's executive mansion in which Presidents George Washington and John Adams lived and where nine enslaved people served the first president. Spanning over 55 acres, the park has over 20 buildings open to the public during the summer months.

BrightView and The National Park Services re-open the National Mall to visitors
980 Jolly Road

BrightView Landscapes and National Park Service Join Forces on Improvements to Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park

BrightView Landscapes and National Park Service Join Forces on Improvements to Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park
Liberty Bell at Independence Park, Philadelphia
BrightView has committed to maintain the Block One landscape of Independence National Historical Park for a full year at no cost to the National Park Service.

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and BrightView Landscapes LLC, the nation’s leading commercial landscaping services company, today announced a plan to make significant improvements to the grounds of one of America’s most treasured and historic sites, Independence National Historical Park (INHP) in Philadelphia.

BrightView, headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., is donating landscape rehabilitation work to INHP, including the complete replacement of sod in the park’s most visited section, Block One of Independence Mall, bounded by the Liberty Bell Center on South Sixth Street and Independence Hall on Chestnut Street. Work is scheduled to begin today and likely will continue until the end of April. The lawn will remain roped off through May to allow the sod to take root.

In addition to turf remediation, BrightView has committed to repair or replace the Block One irrigation system, to make significant improvements to the gardens and hardscape along South Independence Mall East, to improve beds surrounding the Liberty Bell Center, and to provide arbor care for trees along the east and west sides of Block One. BrightView also has committed to maintain the Block One landscape for a full year at no cost to NPS. 

“We are sincerely grateful to BrightView for this much needed in-kind donation. This landscaping project in front of Independence Hall – a World Heritage Site and the birthplace of our nation, will beautify the Park for our millions of visitors to enjoy as they move through the grounds and make their connections with history,” said Park Superintendent Cindy MacLeod. “We truly appreciate Independence Historical Trust for facilitating the relationship between INHP and BrightView.”

Independence Hall Philadelphia
BrightView is donating landscape rehabilitation work to Independence National Historical Park, including the complete replacement of sod in the park’s most visited section, Block One of Independence Mall.

BrightView President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Masterman said the company is honored to help. 

“We’d like to thank the National Park Service for the privilege of working on this historic site and for helping to improve the experience for everyone visiting Independence National Historical Park,” he said. “BrightView is a national company, but Philadelphia is our home. INHP is a source of pride for everyone living in this community and for those who travel here from around the world to experience the history of America’s independence.”

INHP is not the first historic landscape developed or cared for by BrightView. The company installed new sod in the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 2011 and developed landscapes in New York’s Governors Island. BrightView also maintains landscapes at Virginia’s historic Colonial Williamsburg and Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark in Brooklyn, N.Y.

BrightView and Independence National Historical Park will host a ribbon cutting event for the new Block One landscape work later in the spring.

About Independence National Historical Park

Independence National Historical Park is one of over 400 places within the National Park Service and is often referred to as the birthplace of our nation. Millions visit the park each year to see the Liberty Bell, an international symbol of freedom, and Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated, adopted and signed. Here are stories about the events and the lives of the diverse population during the years when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800. It is the site of the nation's executive mansion in which Presidents George Washington and John Adams lived and where nine enslaved people served the first president. Spanning over 55 acres, the park has over 20 buildings open to the public during the summer months.


Part of Independence Mall to be Roped off through May During Lawn Rehab, PhillyVoiceIndependence Mall landscape will soon 'return to its original glory,' KYW Newsradio 1060
Independence Mall is getting a makeover in time for spring tourism, KYW Newsradio 1060
BrightView partners with National Park Service for park rehabilitationLawn & Landscape
BrightView to perform restoration at historic parkLandscape Management
BrightView Landscapes donates services to Philadelphia's Independence National Historical ParkIrrigation & Green Industry
BrightView helps revitalize Independence National Historical Park, Total Landscape Care
Landscaper and NPS plan to improve Philadelphia’s Independence Hall sitePocono Record
BrightView Landscapes and National Park Service Join Forces on Improvements to Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical ParkElk Valley Times
Landscaping Firm Improving Terrain at Independence National Historical Park, Globe St.

BrightView Landscapes and National Park Service Join Forces on Improvements to Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park, SC Now
BrightView Landscapes and National Park Service Join Forces on Improvements to Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park, Market Watch
Plymouth Meeting-Based Brightview Landscapes Donating Landscape Rehabilitation Work to Independence National Historical Park, More Than the Curve
BrightView Landscapes and National Park Service Join Forces to Improve Independence Park, Gloucester City News
Maintenance
Independence Hall Philadelphia
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L.A. Lakers: Comerica Bank Best of LA Women's Business Awards Program 2018-19

L.A. Lakers: Comerica Bank Best of LA Women's Business Awards Program 2018-19
Caroline Weilert Comerica Bank award
Caroline Weilert has also co-founded Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women (GROW) within the company to advocate for the women of BrightView.

Caroline Weilert, BrightView Vice President of Marketing and Brand Management, was recently awarded the Comerica Bank Best of LA Women’s Business Award for the month of December.

Along with her many BrightView marketing duties, Caroline co-founded Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women (GROW) within the company to advocate for the women of BrightView.

“It was an extremely proud moment for me personally, but more importantly, it also validates all the work we have begun to do at BrightView to recruit, promote, and retain more talented women within our organization,” Weilert said. “Although GROW is not my full-time job, it is my passion project. It’s a cause I wholeheartedly believe will make a lasting difference for the women at BrightView. Though we may still be in our infancy with it, we’re continually adding more programming and opportunities for involvement. Receiving recognition for this only fuels me to do more.”

Once a month, from November 2018 to March 2019, Comerica Bank honors and recognizes five women in leadership within five counties in Southern California with the award. Each of the five selected per month are based on five categories: Woman of Entrepreneurship, Woman of Business, Woman of Philanthropy, Women of Diversity, and Woman of Promise. Weilert was chosen for the Woman of Business category, which acknowledges women executives who are non-owners of the business.

To be considered, the women have to be nominated and submit a 500-word essay discussing her career success and qualifications. Winners are then recognized each month at a Los Angeles Lakers game.

To read the full article, visit the L.A. Lakers.
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Caroline Weilert Comerica Bank award Los Angeles Lakers

BrightView, CBRE Install Trees, Landscape, Garden for South Dallas YMCA

BrightView, CBRE Install Trees, Landscape, Garden for South Dallas YMCA Park South Family YMCA now has an attractive landscape and a vegetable garden to serve local community
Texas YMCA landscape BrightView
BrightView donated all of the plant material for the project and also installed 12 new trees on the campus.

BrightView has partnered with CBRE Group, Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate and investment firm, to renew the landscape at an underserved YMCA in Texas. The Park South Family YMCA is a central hub for the community, but has had an unattractive landscape and vegetable garden that was never completed.  

BrightView employees led teams of volunteers from CBRE to install flower pots, enhance the landscape, and bring in topsoil for the vegetable garden. Members of the YMCA will now be able to grow produce for their community and also use the garden as an educational tool.

BrightView donated all of the plant material for the project and also installed 12 new trees on the campus.

“Trees play a vital role in our everyday lives by improving air and water quality, as well as providing shade for cooling and beautifying our communities,” said Lisa Colicchio, Vice President of Sustainability at CBRE. “We are proud to partner with BrightView for this event during Green Week to benefit the children and community at Park South Family YMCA today and for future generations.”

Now that the project is completed, volunteers from the YMCA will be coached by BrightView on watering and maintenance so that the new garden and landscape will thrive.

“This project is a way to help our community increase its environmental IQ while leaving a lasting, beautiful aesthetic, which is so important in blighted communities,” said Rodrigua Ross, District Executive Director at Park South Family YMCA. “Additionally, this generous project allows us to help our kids see the parallels between their growth and the growth of these gorgeous trees and plants, creating a visual reminder of their own strength and resilience.”

Maintenance
BrightView & CBRE Renovates Texas YMCA Landscape
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Hunt Heroes Foundation and BrightView Landscapes Partner to Donate Bikes to Military Children

Hunt Heroes Foundation and BrightView Landscapes Partner to Donate Bikes to Military Children Fifty military children received new bicycles and helmets
BrightView & HHF Donate Bicycles to Military Families
Fifty military children received new bicycles and helmets that were donated to the Hunt Heroes Foundation from BrightView, a partner of Hunt Military Communities on many of its properties.

Hunt Heroes Foundation (HHF), Hunt Military Communities Mgmt., LLC ("HMC"), a nonprofit organization, and BrightView Landscapes, the nation's leading commercial landscape company, recently partnered up to give 50 lucky military children new bicycles and helmets just in time for the holiday season. All 50 of the bicycles were generously donated to the HHF from BrightView, a partner of HMC on many of its properties.

"BrightView was truly honored to donate these bicycles to the Hunt Heroes Foundation," said John Chapman, BrightView Regional Key Account Manager. "These bicycles were purchased by BrightView and assembled as part of a team building exercise for our employees. We knew we wanted them to be put to good use so donating them to military children, through the HHF, made a lot of sense."

The bicycles were given away as part of a contest where military children, under the age of 16, had to write an essay on what it meant to be the child of a service member. Nearly 200 entries were received from almost every Hunt property nationwide. 

"The judges had an extremely hard time narrowing it down to 50 winners," said John Ehle, Hunt Heroes Foundation President. "There were so many good, heart-tugging essays that we really wish each person who entered could win. We are so grateful to BrightView for their generosity and for helping make so many children's holidays a little brighter this year."

Portions of some of the winning essays are below:

"I am thankful for being a military child because I love my dad and he is in the military. I love him but sometimes he has to leave to help or save people around the world." -Zyla V. Floyd, 8 years old.

"My dad is in the military. He goes to far away work for a long time. It means we don't always get to spend holidays together. It means I have to be brave for mom when he is not home. It means when other kids have their dad for the holidays mine may have to work. But when my dad is home it's super special." -Allen Corban, 8 years old.

"For me, being a military child is sometimes not so easy. It takes a lot of work to be in the military so there's a lot of times when my dad is gone. But, I know that he is doing good work, and that he is always there to take care of me, even when he's not right there next to me." -David Potter, 15 years old.

About Hunt Heroes Foundation

Formed in 2018, the Hunt Heroes Foundation proudly serves military families, partners and communities through opportunities and ideas generated by our people and partnerships. Together, the HHF will discover new ways to ensure we help bring a positive change to the communities in which we live and work. http://huntheroesfoundation.org/

About Hunt Military Communities

As the most experienced and largest owner of military housing in the nation, Hunt Military Communities offers unsurpassed quality and service to more than 200,000 residents in over 52,000 homes on Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Army installations throughout the country. With a 50-year legacy and a partnership with the Department of Defense, Hunt strives to build communities characterized by three clear promises: 5-star service, connectedness, and a culture of trust. For more information, visit www.huntmilitarycommunities.com.


Hunt Heroes Foundation and BrightView Landscapes Partner to Donate Bikes to Military Children, CBS 8
Hunt Heroes Foundation and BrightView Landscapes Partner to Donate Bikes to Military Children, 98.5 KVOO

BrightView partners with nonprofit to donate bicycles to military children, Irrigation & Green Industry
Military Family Bicycles - BrightView & Hunt Heroes Donation
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ALCC: BrightView Program GROWs Successful Women in the Industry

ALCC: BrightView Program GROWs Successful Women in the Industry
BrightView GROW women
BrightView's Kate Douglas Kestyn is encouraged with the recruitment of women currently being down by local branches.

BrightView’s Growth in Relationships and Opportunities for Women (GROW) was created with a mission of attracting, retaining, and promoting women within the company. As one of its first tasks, GROW surveyed the approximately 1,300 women at BrightView and learned that they overwhelmingly liked working for the company, feel their opinions matter and are heard and respected by supervisors and male peers, and they love what they do and feel they work with great people in a great company.

“Women in business typically wear a lot of hats and are crucial to our success – so how do we ensure there is a viable path for every woman in our organization?” said BrightView’s Kate Douglas Kestyn.

Kestyn, who is one of the founders of GROW, said she is encouraged seeing how local branches are trying to recruit more women.  She also is gratified to see many of these women being promoted through the ranks.

 To read the full article, visit the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado.
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BrightView Teams Prepare as Local Communities are Threatened During an Active Hurricane Season

BrightView Teams Prepare as Local Communities are Threatened During an Active Hurricane Season When a catastrophic event occurs, BrightView prepares to dispatch teams and respond faster than other landscape service providers
BrightView Prepares for Hurricane Florence
BrightView's North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia branches prepare for Hurricane Florence.

In mid-September, warnings for Hurricane Florence were issued in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. As a Category 4 storm, record rainfalls and a massive storm surge were anticipated as Florence headed for coastal towns and beaches. Due to the severity of the storm, state officials issued evacuation protocols, causing more than 1 million people to flee their homes for safety. When our models predicted that Hurricane Florence would likely have an impact, Branch Managers began their preparations in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, which included enacting BrightView’s Preliminary Response Plan:

  • Communication with all customers in the anticipated affected areas. Branches offer up manpower, heavy equipment, and chainsaws immediately to clients and properties in need.

  • Service all equipment in preparation for travel.

  • Preemptively work with rental companies to retain extra heavy equipment in times of distress.

  • Managers resourced emergency response teams who committed to open-ended stays in areas where Hurricane Florence was anticipated.

  • Five days before the storm was projected to hit the tree crews, chip and grapple trucks were serviced and lined up to respond, if directed.

  • BrightView provides daily updates to those who pre-approved a storm response to communicate the state of their property and work we complete on site.

 

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