Earlier this month, 25 employees from Ruppert Landscape’s Maryland and DC branches came together for a day of service to help restore the grounds of the Long Branch Community Recreation and Senior Center in Silver Spring, MD. The cleanup and installation were part of Ruppert’s ongoing effort to partner with community organizations providing support and services for vulnerable populations.
This day of service involved an investment of both time and materials, totaling approximately $30,000 and consisting of 160 labor hours. To bring this project to fruition, the site was cleaned and prepped, turf mowed, dead and aging plant material removed, existing trees and shrubs pruned, community garden areas re-framed and prepped, and over 125 perennials and shrubs installed along with bed edging and mulch.
The recreation center and surrounding community is home to a diverse population of about 20,000 residents including new immigrants from more than 120 different countries. “The Long Branch Center has been a community hub for more than 30 years, providing support, opportunities, programs, and services to one of the county’s most vulnerable communities,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.
“This project came to us through one of our employees whose friend is the Division Chief for Montgomery County Recreation and brought the opportunity to us seeking our partnership. We also have many customers we provide service to in this area and 50 employees who live within the community that’s serviced by this center. Our decision to get involved made sense on so many levels as it helps us our community, our customers, and our employees,” said Craig Ruppert, CEO.
During the early onset of the COVID-19, Long Branch Community Recreation Center became a shelter for homeless community members to have safe lodging and basic services. Due to safe distancing and COVID-19 protocols there was a critical need to provide people with a warm and safe place with sufficient shower/bathroom facilities. Throughout the pandemic, the Center ensured that those in need had access to medical services. In early March, the Nebel Street Shelter opened, and residents from this shelter were relocated there. Work then began on renovating this center.
The extensive landscaping work made it possible for community members to be welcomed back to their center with an inviting, attractive outdoor space—and enabled Montgomery County to focus on the interior space at this center as well as renovations at other centers.
Long Branch Community Recreation and Senior Center will be able to provide summer camp once again; a safe place for teens to take classes, enjoy sports and have positive interactions with caring adults; and senior programs which include health, wellness, and congregate meal programs for vulnerable older adults in the community.
To learn more about charitable efforts by Ruppert Landscape, click here.