Women in the landscaping field aren’t as uncommon as you would think, however it is still a male dominated industry.
Here at SLS we are lucky to have 3 talented, hard-working women employed with us. They all have one common thread, and that is their love for nature and its beautiful surroundings.
All of these women have proven themselves to be resilient, knowledgeable and enthusiastic to not only do the work they are used to doing but learning new skills as well.
Jenelle Kanaday, one of our Garden Care Crew Leader’s, had a background in the restaurant and housekeeping service industries that was leaving her quite unsatisfied. When an opportunity presented itself for Jenelle to dig around in the dirt all day, she took a chance and hasn’t looked back. “I jumped on the opportunity, trading cleaning up people dirt for earth dirt! It was one of the best decisions I've made. “
Jenelle spends her day outdoors making container arrangements, deadheading flowers, pruning and garden restoration. "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life", has never rung so true. What I love most about gardening is feeling the connection to Mother Nature. I don't have to go to work; I get to go to work outside, crawling around the Earth's floor, making bug buddies, and remembering to stop and smell the flowers all while making people's surroundings more beautiful; which in turn makes me so happy!”
High school students entering trades in general have been notably declining in the past few years with young adults opting for college life. After all, the landscaping business is hard work. It’s physically demanding and here in Massachusetts, there is also the weather to contend with, but these ladies take it in stride.
“I’ve loved every aspect of being in the landscape industry. It's hard work but good things always are.” says Ali Johnson, one of our Garden Care crew members. She agrees with Jenelle that being outside, working with her hands is her calling. “There's nothing more relaxing than sitting out by a beautiful garden. After long, tiring days’ work, I'd still look forward to coming home and building my own gardens. It was being outside, working with my hands, and enhancing what nature has to offer that really made me happy. “
Unlike Jenelle and Ali in our Garden department, Zeke Heckman works in landscape maintenance. Mowing, mulching, raking … you name, she’s on it! Zeke also learned how to use a skid-steer for our snow operations team this winter and blew other “newbies” on the equipment out of the water!
These “ladies who landscape” bring something a little different to the workplace than their peers, like personal touch and adaptability. John Nigro, Landscape Manager for SLS, commends their hustle “Working with these women can be effortless. I give them some instruction and they put it into a plan of action and I know it will get done ”.
Fortunately, women are catching on to the benefits of working in the landscaping industry and are feeling more comfortable breaking into this field. We expect to see more women knocking on our door for career opportunities and we couldn’t be more excited!
~ Sally Steeves
Joe Szcechowicz and Danielle Lees recently visited Washington D.C. to participate in the Renewal & Remembrance Event.
An article was featured about the event with quotes from both Joe and Danielle! Follow the link below to read the article.
BonVoyage Magazine (A digital publication in Boston) wrote an article for their "Hidden Gem" section on SLS! They interviewed our Operations Manager, Andrew J. Langlois, for the feature. Follow the link below to read the article.
Andrew Langlois has another accomplishment to add to his accolades, 2017 Snow & All-Star! Check out the press release here http://business.newburyportchamber.org/news/details/local-landscaping-company-manager-recognized-for-all-star-performance
SLS AND RVC NURTURING THE NATURALIST IN KIDS WITH TREE PLANTING ON ARBOR DAY
Newburyport, April 14th, 2017 - This Arbor Day, SLS is honoring the holiday by donating two trees to a local school.
River Valley Charter School in Newburyport was chosen as the recipient of the donation by SLS due to the school’s philosophy, which puts great importance on the earth and protecting its resources, and for the participation of their students in similar projects. “We thought the kids at RVC would really enjoy this kind of project which also aligns with the involvement we want within our communities.” - Sally Steeves, SLS - Marketing
On Friday, April 28th, SLS will join some of the middle school students of RVC to plant two trees on the school’s property. Middle school teacher, Colin Vandenburgh, along with Sasha Pilyavskiy and Kevin Szczechowicz of SLS will educate the kids on planting the trees and how to care for them. SLS will also be sending eight kids home with their own saplings to plant.
"As a school and a middle school staff, we are always looking for ways in which we can authentically engage our students in their community and their learning. River Valley Charter School as a whole is committed to "place-based education," where we ask our students to focus on the rich history, culture and ecology of the Merrimack River Valley. Through this approach, we hope that we can develop a strong sense of appreciation and stewardship in our students, and that they might carry that forward in their lives. Hopefully they'll subscribe to the idea that it's important to value and take care of our world when it's their turn to lead." – Colin Vandenburgh
Whenever SLS Landscape Design & Development has the opportunity to be involved with their community they are delighted, especially when it combines children and nature. This just might have to be an annual tradition!
SLS Landscape Design & Development was founded in 1975 by Joe Szczechowicz. His love and passion for nature and the landscape has grown into a full service landscaping company out of Rowley, MA. The team at SLS boasts highly experienced and educated Designers, Horticulturists and of course, Arborists. Learn more about SLS at www.sls-landcapes.com.
See the video below!
At the end of the summer, SLS was contacted by the Triton Regional School District to help with a landscape design for the entrance to the new Triton Memorial Field at Institution for Savings Stadium. We were honored to have this opportunity and were delighted to bestow our services along with a preferred vendor Martignetti Enterprises of Amesbury, and fellow landscape professional Jim Ziolkowski, owner of Environmental Landscape Management of Danvers.
After much discussion the final design was to use four pathways that would converge on a center circular node all paved with brick pavers. Future plans for this garden include flowering trees and perennials to be installed in the spring of 2017. The design included areas for granite benches that are future amenities to be installed as part of continued fundraising efforts. Philanthropists (like yourselves) purchased these pavers through donations to fund the efforts of the Triton Education Foundation. The names of the donors and/or a message were inscribed either onto a 4x8 or 8x8 brick paver unit. The stadium is absolutely beautiful and we were delighted to participate in such a historic endeavor for the Triton District.
A tremendous amount of credit is due to the Triton Education Foundation, their fundraising efforts generated over $20,000!! We would like to extend our gratitude to the ‘TEF’ for carrying out a principal duty for all of humanity; PROVIDE A QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ALL CHILDREN.
“The Triton Education Foundation (TEF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, is committed to supporting and enhancing the educational experience of all students in Triton schools in the three towns of Newbury, Rowley and Salisbury”
We had a write up in the Newburport Daily News! SLS installed trees on Green Street in Newburyport as part of the Community Preservation Act! Click here for the full story!
WE WON GOLD BY WICKED LOCAL, READER'S CHOICE AWARD! REGIONAL FAVORITE FOR LANDSCAPERS!
Kevin speaking with the kids about the best way to measure an area to plant a tree.