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  • Backyarding

    TurfMutt partners with Mission: Unstoppable and Lucky Dog to highlight the industry’s impact.

    By Ami Neiberger

    The TurfMutt Foundation was formed to provide learning experiences, stewardship of our green spaces, and care for living landscapes for the benefit of us all. More people in the last few years have discovered that caring for our living landscapes is important—whether it’s in a backyard, at a business office, or in a public park.

    That’s why the Foundation was proud to invest this past year in two different shows on CBS—Mission Unstoppable and Lucky Dog—that helped showcase the importance of stewarding our living landscapes and the benefits they provide, while also spotlighting landscape industry professionals.

    This past May, in an episode of Mission Unstoppable on CBS, three experienced tree care professionals, Rebecca Seibel, Bear LeVangie, and Melissa LeVangie Ingersoll, were featured. This was an excellent opportunity to showcase women in arboriculture and the green industry.

    Hosted by Miranda Cosgrove on CBS, the Mission Unstoppable series routinely covers science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts, so talking about backyarding and living landscapes through the show made sense for the TurfMutt Foundation.

    Rebecca is a lead instructor for the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop (WTCW) and a lead instructor for North American Training Solutions. Bear is the co-founder of the WTCW and serves as a lead instructor and as the Executive Director. Melissa also is a co-founder of the WTCW and the Educational Director and a Business Development Advocate for Shelter Tree/RBI.

    While talking about arboriculture and how decisions are made when caring for trees during the Mission Unstoppable episode, the three tree-care professionals also showed off the benefits trees provide—from comfortable shade and oxygen generation to providing a home for wildlife.

    Equip Exposition attendees will also notice the “Women in Trees” t-shirts sported by the trio on the show, which they might have glimpsed in Freedom Hall during the WTCW event. That popular event will return to Equip Exposition this October, with another live tree anchored in the hall and used for climbing and arboriculture instruction.

    Additionally, the TurfMutt Foundation partnered with Lucky Dog on CBS for an episode that featured backyard makeovers for families adopting rescue dogs. Both families
    reside in California, which is enduring a difficult drought that is straining water supplies, and resulting in restrictions by local utilities on lawn watering.

    The backyard makeover was particularly important, as it gave the TurfMutt Foundation a chance to spotlight how a living landscape could be maintained in a water-conservation-friendly way, at a time when many are saying landscapes should be ripped out and destroyed.

    By putting the right plant in the right place, emphasizing native and adaptive plants, and planting for pollinators, show producers were able to carry a message of sustainability to viewers. Backyarding—taking indoor activities outdoors—featured prominently in the landscaping makeovers, which were designed to help the families bring more activities outside while caring for their pets.

    Carlos Hernandez of Cadre Landscaping used a drone to plan the yard makeovers, and TurfMutt Foundation President Kris Kiser appeared on the show to offer advice.

    With episodes airing in May and October, as well as lawn care tips scattered throughout Lucky Dog, the TurfMutt Foundation continues to inspire families and television viewers to invest in their living landscapes for outdoor living.


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