The members of the NG Turf team enjoy making a difference in the communities they serve, and they look for opportunities for outreach. Recently, NG Turf had the opportunity to get involved with two great causes — Kaleb’s Wish and the Master Gardner Program.
When the NG Turf team heard that a boy battling cancer had an important wish, they jumped at the chance to help. “We were asked to be a part of a project for a young guy named Kaleb who is battling cancer,” explained NG Turf VP Jutt Howard. “His wish was for a safe and healthy home for him and his grandmother.”
Fourteen-year-old Kaleb lives in Winterville, Georgia, where he has been battling brain cancer for two years. Rather than wish for an exciting trip or to meet a celebrity, Kaleb simply wished help repair his grandmother’s trailer.
All resources had been focused on Kaleb’s treatment, so the trailer was overdue for maintenance. The kitchen lacked a working oven or dishwasher. The roof leaked, the floors had sustained water damage, and the HVAC had stopped working. A group of Christian volunteers responded by creating a Facebook page and website to help spread the word about Kaleb’s Wish.
Contractors soon uncovered black mold, requiring the project to shift from repair work to a new build. Companies and individuals from the community and beyond volunteered time, skills and products to help make Kaleb’s wish come true. “We were proud to be a small part of that project, donating some of our premium sod for a finishing touch at the house,” Howard said.
It was a fulfilling project for the NG Turf team. “We always enjoy opportunities to get involved in the community,” Howard said. “Kaleb is a great young man, and we wish him all the best.”
The Master Gardener certification programs, offered through county Extension Services, provide extensive training to adults in gardening and horticulture. Students learn to grow and care for plants, helping “to improve their environment, personal health and quality of life,” states the UGA Extension site.
Earlier this month, NG Turf hosted 23 Master Gardener students from the local extension service. They spent half a day touring the farms, learning how sod is grown and harvested.
“We talked to them about sod identification, fertilizing, watering, weed and pest issues and proper controls and management practices,” Howard said.
The students also toured some of the breeder test plots to see how new grass varieties are developed.
Volunteering is a central part of attaining Master Gardener certification. Students help teach classes to youth, donate time to various community organizations, help with project gardens and much more. In 2020, Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Programs across Georgia logged 111,065 volunteer service hours.
“We’re excited that we can be part of helping educate this group of special people who get a very diverse background of horticulture,” explained Howard, “and we’re excited that we can help them understand sod and help homeowners for years to come.”