Pitching In

By on Oct 27, 2017 in Giving, People

Nearly three dozen Yardi Atlanta team members and their loved ones recently volunteered for the Mimosa Elementary School Courtyard Cleanup. Their atlschoolproject3efforts transformed a neglected square into a welcoming space for students and faculty.

A growing body of research confirms the importance of green space in communities. They foster physical and mental health, bolster energy, and even reduce crime rates. The myriad of benefits associated with green spaces highlights the significance of the elementary school courtyard.

Winding walkways, a spacious deck, and raised garden beds made the courtyard a beautiful place for learning. School counselor Flynn Pustilnik explained, “Teachers can facilitate their reading or writing time outdoors and incorporate science curriculum into that time. Some teachers have incorporated project-based learning with our outdoor space and made habitats for the turtles out there. As the counselor, I like to use the outdoor space to eat lunch with students.”

In recent years, however, weeds filled the garden beds and shrubs peaked near the gutters. In Georgia, school budgets do not include funds for landscaping other than grass mowing. A gardening club invested personal funds and time to maintain the space for years but the club eventually dissolved.

The courtyard became a less inviting place. The two turtles—one of which is more than 14 years old—were the only ones who liked to linger in the courtyard. It was time for an overhaul.

Yardi Atlanta stepped up to help the local school. The courtyard cleanup is one of many outreach collaborations between Yardi and Mimosa Elementary School, including a recent school supply drive.

The morning of the event, rain drizzled as the volunteers arrived to the parking lot, unloading the gardening tools and cleaning supplies that they brought from home. Other volunteers arrived with supplies from Home Depot, purchased with gift cards donated by Yardi team members. Additional supplies were donated by the home supply store, Yardi’s Marketplace partner.

The looming rain ignited a sense of urgency but the weather proved to be a blessing. The rain ceased but a fresh, cool breeze graced the volunteers as they worked.

One team pulled weeds and removed decaying mulch and straw from the garden beds. Another team trimmed shrubs and hauled away debris. The courtyard’s artistic accents, such as birdhouses and granite slabs, received fresh paint from a separate team. When team members finished their original tasks, they joined forces with another team that was still working.

The volunteer group finished the Mimosa Elementary School Courtyard Cleanup in three hours, an hour ahead of schedule.

“We were really amazed by how many people showed up early on a Saturday morning to contribute to the courtyard clean-up,” said Pustilnik. “We are so grateful to all who helped organize the event and all who came out to participate. We really, really appreciate your support of our students and making that outdoor space more functional for them to enjoy.”

To explore other ways that Yardi is Energized for Good, visit the Giving page.