Lake Norman & Mooresville

Lawns of military families cared for

Six years ago, Isle of Pines resident Alan Schmidt, 35, began Greenway Lawn Management, a full service lawn care and landscape company.

He grew up working in the lawn-care industry with his father, Jim Schmidt, in California.

Schmidt and his wife, Karen, have four children 5 to 10 years old. Karen helps Schmidt in the office, and Schmidt's father, who moved with the family from California, works on the design component for big jobs.

Schmidt says he has always had a heart for members of the military, especially because his dad served in Vietnam.

"Anything to do with the military and the country, I get a real soft spot for," said Schmidt.

Schmidt subscribes to a lot of landscaping periodicals.

In one, he read about Project EverGreen, a nonprofit organization that represents service providers, individuals, suppliers, and distributors - anyone in the "green" industry.

According to its website, the mission is to "preserve and enhance green space in our communities for today and future generations."

One nationwide program initiated by Project EverGreen is called GreenCare for Troops. Schmidt read about the project and decided that Greenway should participate in the program.

The program benefits military families who have a family member serving the United States overseas. The families that sign up will receive free lawn maintenance from participating landscape companies.

Having a mother or father overseas puts stress and hardship on many families in the Lake Norman area.

"Greenway Lawn Management is participating in the GreenCare for Troops program to ease stress by helping affected families with the important task of caring for their yard and landscape," said Schmidt.

Maintenance for military families will include a weekly cutting, edging and trimming the bushes.

"The whole idea is to maintain the yard for these families they way they would normally maintain it," said Schmidt.

The biggest challenge for Greenway is finding families in the Lake Norman area to sign up for the program. Greenway is not allowed to solicit families to participate. Families need to come to Greenway to receive the benefit of the service. Schmidt is hoping that people will contact his company so they can start maintaining yards for these families.