After the Cedar Rapids Parade of Homes honored Jason Buresh's well-groomed yard with its Curb Appeal award, Buresh decided to capitalize on his landscaping talent. In January of 2000, he established Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care. Although Buresh earned a formal degree in applied science and agricultural marketing from Kirkwood Community College, his lawn-care education actually started in childhood, when he honed his knowledge of plants and landscape design on his family’s farm. Today, Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care creates lush, green lawns with aeration, dethatching, fertilizing, seeding, and mowing services. The company also installs greenery and retaining walls to beautify yards or keep out roving bands of lawn flamingos.
Armed to the eyeteeth with the twin cannons of custom nutrients and EPA-approved weed-wreckers, Weed Man's lawn-care commandos will travel up to 40 miles from Middleton, Wisconsin, to rescue innocent yards from the scourge of their thistle-topped brethren. Weed Man's technicians arrive at troubled terraces at predetermined times and zap up to 10,000 square feet of grassy surface with their exclusively brewed fertilizer, promoting increased oxygen flow and bolstering blade esteem with a slow-release collection of nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and gardenium. Depending on the time of year, Weed Man’s granular garden brew keeps yards well nourished for up to eight weeks, making them more equipped to battle weeds, seasonal illnesses, and inferiority complexes from being walked on by humans.
Since 1989, the dependable crew at Busy Beaver Tree Care & Lawn Maintenance has kept outdoor spaces neat and symmetrical through a range of tree and lawn services. The tree surgeons foster arboreal attractiveness by cropping boughs to a respectable length or removing trees altogether, which is necessary when they interfere with construction projects or grow into power lines in an effort to steal free cable. Clients who have been affected by storms or fire can call on Busy Beaver to help with controlling damage and clearing the debris.
The Stockton Park District hosts outdoor community events throughout the year, including craft fairs, basketball tournaments, and 5K and 10K run/walks. Brothers Steve, Andy, and Tom Jordan organized the first annual 5K in 2008. They used their skills from hosting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to plan and advertise the event. The first year, they signed up 91 runners and raised money for a tennis court behind the high school and a paper-airplane factory at the middle school. Since then, the brothers have worked to improve the race and transform it into a community event with entertainment and an increasingly challenging and interesting course.
The expert mechanics at Hill Motorbikes service 50cc–250cc mopeds and scooters from companies such as Lance Powersports, Puma Cycles, and BMS MotorSports. Safety-conscious riders can pick up a new helmet from the store to defend their craniums from bumps, scrapes, and segway-riding sharks ($50–$100), or order an oil change that douses engines and rear ends in lubricant to keep street prowlers purring ($35). Bike bosses kick off tune-ups with a test drive to check on-road performance before cosseting crafts with an oil change, a sparkplug replacement, and an inspection and adjustment of the valves, carburetor, brakes, and clutch ($75). Hill Motorbikes' knowledgeable staff can also dispense useful advice, such as how to winterize your bike by teaching it to hibernate in a hollowed stump.
Trees Forever works with volunteers in local communities to care for trees, native plants, and prairies. Together, they have organized more than 4,000 projects to plant more than 2.8 million trees and shrubs across Iowa and Illinois. The tree plantings, which take place in both rural and urban areas, help improve water and air quality, increase energy conservation, and help restore and beautify the natural environment. The organization’s urban farms, trail enhancement, and disaster-recovery efforts also connect locals to nature and serve as a resource for food and recreation. Another focus of Trees Forever is engaging the public in environmental stewardship. It produces educational materials for this purpose, such as the Spirit of the Trees documentary series, which examines Native Americans’ relationship with trees and forests.