Volunteers spruce up Sage House landscaping

CARY – They came. They saw. They planted. Volunteers from Sebert Landscaping gathered on Earth Day to renovate the landscape of Sage House Group Home for Individuals with Autism, 851 W. Main St., Cary.

Where tired and dated plantings once stood, the 10 volunteers planted a variety of colorful flowering shrubs, evergreens, ground covers and a small flowering tree.

The Monday event was part of a nationwide Day of Service held each Earth Day by PLANET (Professional Land Care Network), providing an opportunity for green industry professionals to demonstrate environmental stewardship and humanitarianism by giving back to their communities.

“These plantings give Sage House even more of a homelike environment,” said Chris Kane, program manager at Sage House, a program of Pioneer Center for Human Services, based in McHenry. “They’re calming and relaxing for our kids – something nice to look at.”

“We chose plants that add some nice color to the grounds and are lower maintenance,” said Shannon Hoban, branch manager for Sebert Landscaping. “There are Endless Summer hydrangeas, which add beautiful pastels through spring, summer and into fall. Forsythia will show bright yellow flowers each spring. And purple coral bells will provide a nice contrast.

“Each year, we choose a different nonprofit to help out for our Day of Service. It was nice to learn that this time our donation coincides with World Autism Awareness Month.”

Another company, Bartlett Tree Experts, also contributed to the landscape project. Bartlett arborists removed  the old plantings and trimmed a large tree on the property in advance of the Day of Service.

The value of Sebert’s and Bartlett’s in-kind donations was more than $4,000.

Sebert learned of Sage House through its client, Sage Products, which has been a major benefactor of the home since it opened. As well as financial support, Sage Products’ contributions include ongoing facility maintenance and repair services at the home. Each year, as many as 40 Sage Products employees perform volunteer maintenance projects at Sage House for a Lend a Hand Day.

“All these efforts help foster a sense of pride, not only for the residents, their families and the wonderful people who work at Sage House, but for the neighborhood as well,” said Russ Lutz, director of facilities and safety at Sage Products. “It’s a great cascade effect: Sebert learned of Sage House from us, Bartlett learned about it from Sebert. And we’re all trying to provide the best possible care for its residents.”

Sage House provides brighter futures for families living with autism by creating a safe, warm, yet structured home away from home. It teaches daily life skills within a group of peers guided by qualified and loving staff who are committed to encouraging children to become successful in a variety of family and social settings.

Sebert Landscaping is a full-service commercial landscape contractor that has provided conventional landscape services to thousands of clients in metropolitan Chicago for more than 25 years. Sebert uses lean management strategies to achieve efficiencies that reduce costs and environmental impact.

Sebert has locations in Bartlett (where it’s headquartered), Elk Grove Village, Naperville and Bolingbrook. It also owns and operates Grace Nursery, near Marengo, where it grows trees and shrubs for its clients.

All of the volunteers for the Sage House project were from the Bartlett location.

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