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Oklahoma City University Landscapers Win National Award
Oklahoma City University’s landscaping contractor won an award of distinction at the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Green Industry Conference in Louisville, Ky., last weekend. Local contractor Turf Appeal, Inc. was recognized during the conference’s 40th annual Environmental Improvement Awards ceremony for its efforts in beautifying the OCU campus. “We have helped the university become more environmentally friendly with low maintenance, drought-tolerant native plants,” Turf Appeal President Matt Doerr said. “We have eliminated the high costs of changing our seasonal flowers and mulch every year, and we constantly look for other ways to enliven the campus while saving money.” Doerr said his crew has focused on removing outdated and overgrown shrubs, trimmed more than 500 trees and established a weed control program for all turf areas. They also removed weeds and grass from all of the flowerbeds and finished the first installation phase of an irrigation system. Doerr said he enjoys many partnerships with OCU that have resulted in landscape improvements. A recent partnership was a campus-wide improvement day called OneGive. Student, faculty and staff volunteers helped replace annual mulch in landscape beds with decorative gravel, placed sod on grassless areas, planted annual flowers, painted curbs and performed other tasks. Brian Holland, chief financial officer for OCU, said the award is a sign of the university’s commitment to environmental improvement. “The beauty of our campus is proof that landscaping doesn’t have to sacrifice the environment in order to look good,” Holland said. “The landscaping crews do a great job of making this a pleasant place for our students, faculty and staff.” Doerr said Turf Appeal extends its services off campus as a member of Project Evergreen, which helps military families care for their lawns while they are serving overseas. “We want to make lawn mowing easier for military families,” he said. Turf Appeal will accept nominations for the service in the Oklahoma City area by calling (405) 869-9755.