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.
Owner Phil Glaser and his staff of grass whisperers have been nurturing lawns for more than 10 years. Yard experts aerate homeowners' slices of the outdoors to stimulate new root growth, creating durable root systems able to withstand the heat of summer, the cold of winter, and the chill of spilled ice water. Alternatively, the grass gurus can nourish lawns by spreading seeds. The tiny morsels of flora food help transform sparse plots into luscious and verdant grasslands rivaled only by a biodome stocked with chia pets.
Snug in your bed, you awake with a jolt to a mysterious thump. Tossing aside the covers, you tip-toe out of your bedroom to investigate the sound. You hear another thump, and your heart races—it's coming from the attic. As soon as you pull down the stairs to climb up, a bat swoops down with a screech. But this is no horror movie—this is a pest-control problem.
Owner Aaron Steen knows just how to get those spooky critters out of homes safely and efficiently. He and his team of experts inspect the property for gaps, install eviction valves that allows bats to escape (but not reenter), and provide cleaning and sanitization of the indoor space as needed. They even offer a three-year guarantee where they will return to treat the structure whenever necessary.
A well-rounded company, Smart Pest Solutions can handle more than just bats. With their deep knowledge of local pests and free consultations, they can develop a customized treatment plan to handle everything from spiders and ants to hornets, cockroaches, and even raccoons.
The massage therapists at Destination Massage & Spa ease clients’ aches with more than just their hands. They maintain a running dialogue during appointments to answer any questions about the service and adapt the session to their individual needs. Eleven different massages take a variety of tracks to relieve stress, whether it’s the organic essential oils of the aromatherapy massage or the penetrating warmth of the hot-stone massage. During a fourhanded session, two therapists or half of an octopus blend a number of styles and techniques to fully relax bodies. Licensed aestheticians wield Dermalogica and Éminence products during facials and exfoliating salt glows to complete rounds of pampering.
Though it has pastures, cornfields, and livestock, Bloomsbury Farm isn't your average farm—in fact, it's an agritourism destination. The farm boasts more than 20 attractions, including a 10-acre corn maze and a giant jumping pillow popular with kids and flightless birds alike. For the more adventurous, a newly installed zipline speeds people across the farm at a height of 40–50 feet, offering bird's-eye views of the land below. Throughout the year, special events celebrate the seasons with wine tastings, concerts, and breakfasts with Santa.
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.