The Green Guardian nourishes landscapes with an approach that shuns harsh chemicals in favor of effective, all-natural fertilizers, herbicides, and pest-control solutions made from edible ingredients.
A proprietary line of products includes vegan herbicides that fertilize lawns as they kill broadleaf and certain grassy weeds, and granular fertilizers that nourish turf with feed-grade corn, soil conditioners, and naturally-occurring microbial stimulants. Pest-control products use odorless garlic to repel mosquitoes, billbugs, grubs, geese, and displaced vampire squid, all without leaving behind an unpleasant smell.
In addition to lawn-care packages and à la carte treatments, The Green Guardian is also registered with DuPont to remove and replace trees killed by the chemical herbicide Imprelis.
Chris Beutz founded Green Horizons in 1988 to combine professional landscaping techniques with a growing knowledge of natural ecological cycles that restore spring vibrancy to yards shocked by winter months. In spring and fall, Beutz and his team clear away seasonal debris, lower the ears of lawns, and trim any remaining patches of scruff. Summer services, such as weekly shrubbery trimming and lemonade sprinkling, keep lawns looking good enough for a garden party. Services save homeowners valuable weekend time to attend their children's sporting events or the NBA Spelling Bee.
In September 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas, tearing up trees and demolishing entire houses and towns. When the crews at Urban Tree & Landscape, hundreds of mile north, heard about the destruction, they headed down to Houston to help with the recovery efforts. After a tornado touched down in southern Minneapolis in 2009, the arborists cleared debris and felled trees around the clock. This willingness to tackle the hazardous jobs that other tree services turn down is the cornerstone of the business.
The winner of Angie's List 2011 "Super Service Award", the tree experts at Urban Tree & Landscape offer a number of tree services, including pruning of young and mature trees, removal, and untangling rogue paratroopers. Their knowledgeable field reps have fought off the pests that have laid waste to the emerald ashes and oak population using eco-conscious pesticides. Customers have also lauded their landscaping team, who adds value to homes by planting gardens and installing features such as stone fireplaces and outdoor kitchens.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Though it advertises itself as the largest no-kill shelter in the Twin Cities, Animal Ark’s homey facility seems more like a relaxing retreat for the more than 1,000 homeless cats, dogs, and rabbits that come through its doors each year. Cats bask in sunlight within feline apartments as dogs lounge atop soft raised beds in their own spacious kennels, sinking teeth into chew toys and treats. Of course, time at Animal Ark isn't all leisure. Canines awaiting their forever homes stretch their legs across a large outdoor play yard, aptly named the Ark Park, where ample trees and greenery mix with park benches where dogs can train their human friends to sit.
Potential owners can also get to know adoptable pets online. The website posts a first-person profile of each available animal that lists its breed, personality, and master’s degrees.
In the midst of an industry so saturated in emerging technology that fierce competition is law, the Twin Cities Photography Group operates as a cooperative to nurture the artistic development and technical skills of amateur and professional photographers. To expand the photographic community and foster a passion for creativity, the group keeps a clean studio space for picture snappers to host shoots and workshops.
Skilled instructors educate the public on basic photography fundamentals and camera-specific tips that allow students to get the most from advanced equipment without threatening to cut its weekly allowance. Regular meet ups assemble members for photo walks at area parks and photogenic seasonal events, such as air shows and free outdoor concerts.