At BrightView, our teams take care of our communities by donating skills, expertise, and resources to help our communities prosper and thrive. There is no community more deserving of our support than our nation's heroes.
From installing low-maintenance landscapes for veterans' homes to building parks and memorials for military communities, our teams are proud to be a part of these projects and have the chance to give back to those who protect our homes and freedoms.
BrightView supports the Gary Sinise Foundation's R.I.S.E. program in its efforts to build custom smart homes for wounded veterans across the country.
The foundation was established in 2011 under the direction of Gary Sinise, an award-winning actor and advocate for members of the military, to support active duty service men and women, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones.
The foundation's R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment) builds specially-adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans, including one completed in October 2016 for U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brian Kolfage in Sandestin, Fla.
To go along with the custom home, BrightView installed a low-maintenance landscape and irrigation system to give the Kolfage family a sustainable, safe, and attractive outdoor area.
"Our teams were thrilled to provide a landscape and home environment that the family can enjoy for years to come," said Todd Chesnut, Vice President and General Manager at BrightView. "I had the pleasure of meeting the family and was inspired by their love and support for each other and their new home."
Landscapes have also been installed as part of the R.I.S.E. program for U.S. Army Master Sgt. Cedric King in Georgia, U.S. Army Capt. Luis Avila in Maryland, and U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Guillermo Tejada in Texas.
BrightView continues to support the foundation and has committed to providing low-maintenance landscapes through the R.I.S.E. program.
It wasn't located in Iowa, but BrightView teams created their version of a “Field of Dreams” for military families at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
An old golf course was transformed into a Major League field, built to the league's exacting specifications by BrightView, for a special game between the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins on July 3, 2016.
The game served as a tribute to the U.S. military and became the first professional sports contest to be hosted on an active military base and was attended by more than 12,000 service members, veterans, and their families.
After the Marlins defeated the Braves, 5-2, BrightView then converted the stadium and grounds into a softball field for the Fort Bragg community and built an additional three softball fields and nine youth multipurpose fields.
"Our team has the field in great shape," said Murray Cook, BrightView Sports Turf President. "It has been an honor assisting the MLB in creating something that honors not only the soldiers of Fort Bragg, but all men and women in uniform."
Another organization which builds homes for disabled soldiers is A Soldier's Journey Home (ASJH), which BrightView also supports and has worked with to create special landscapes for these veterans.
The nonprofit organization is a group of volunteers, most of which are current or retired firefighters, that had once focused on a variety of disaster relief construction projects, but have since changed their focus to severely injured veterans.
Part of ASJH's mission is to involve the community with each project to have everyone come together to lend a hand in helping the people who were willing to sacrifice themselves for the country.
In Chicago, ASJH and BrightView built a home for U.S. Army Spc. Anthony Chobanov, who was deployed twice during Operation Enduring Freedom VII and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
With donations from local nurseries and landscape suppliers, all the needed material was donated for BrightView to install through the spring of 2017.
"It was an honor to work on the home," said Mike Morey, Account Manager at BrightView. "I was really struck with how, during the entire process, people from different organizations came in from all over the country to take part in this. ... I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
An open space in the Forest Lake Estates community was converted into a Memorial Park dedicated to the military and first responders.
In November 2017, the new park - located in Zephyrhills, Fla. - was dedicated by U.S. Air Force retired Gen. David Scott in front of more than 600 community members, dozens of which were veterans and first responders.
BrightView designed and installed the park, including paver walks, a memorial wall, a commemorative plaque, a flag representing each branch of the military, beautiful landscaping, and a fire pit area dedicated to first responders.
Residents of Forest Lake Estates are able to purchase and dedicate bricks on the walkway and memorial wall with proceeds going toward maintaining the park.
Forest Lake Memorial Park will serve as a place of remembrance to honor the many veterans and first responders who reside in the community.
A playground for military families stationed at Fort Carson received a much-needed upgrade by BrightView volunteers.
Service members, their families, and volunteers from Balfour Beatty installed numerous shrubs, perennials, and trees and replaced more than 2,000 square feet of sod.
The impact was immediate as the community began to enjoy the renovated park the next day with children playing and families having a barbeque.
"It's very satisfying to see what started as an idea turn into a vision and come together with generous contributions and help from so many people working together to give back to our military community," said Dean Laird, BrightView Account Manager.