Since beginning in 2012, the Green Apple Day of Service (GADoS) has worked to unite communities in making schools safer, healthier and more sustainable.
And since the beginning of what has become an international movement, the Landscape Architecture Team at Haskell has teamed with students, parents and teachers to bring GADoS mission to life in its headquarters city of Jacksonville, Florida.
With Haskell’s support, GADoS has created environmentally friendly and sustainable projects at schools across Duval County. Every bit as important, though, are educational benefits, which include civic leadership, environmental literacy, and project management skills.
“We’re committed to this project because we want to educate the next generation about the importance of environmentally sustainable landscaping to our planet,” said Jenny Burkhalter, a Haskell landscape design associate.
Haskell’s Sustainability Council will meet in coming months to determine which school will be the focus of this September’s project. Past projects include an aesthetically pleasing and useful courtyard for Andrew Jackson High School students; a green space at Pine Forest Elementary using recycled oyster shells, raised beds, rain barrels and native plants; and the introduction of native, drought-tolerant plants to promote sustainability and provide a welcoming environment at Greenland Pines Elementary.
Andrew Jackson High School | 2012
Pine Forest Elementary | 2015
Last year’s focus was replacing sod with drought-friendly and native plants to decrease the amount of irrigation and maintenance needed at La Villa School of the Arts.
LaVilla School of the Arts | 2019
“The projects generally focus on landscaping,” Burkhalter said, “because it is cost-effective, can be implemented quickly, makes a positive visual impact and offers community involvement.”
Haskell’s Landscape Design team comprises Senior Landscape Architect Eric Lycke, a 25-year Haskell employee; Burkhalter, a Rutgers grad who joined the company in July 2018; and intern Emily Camacho, who is in her final year as a landscape architecture student at the University of Florida.
In the planning phase, Haskell’s designers work with students and teachers to choose a project and create a design charrette. Execution involves disciplines across the company, including engineering, interior design, and construction.
The Discovery School | 2018
“While the Landscape Design Team leads the project, we get help from members of the other teams in creating the design, building structures and moving materials at the site on the day of service,” Burkhalter said.
Haskell invests funds, as well as employees’ time and expertise. The school community contributes labor in the form of digging holes, painting benches, spreading mulch, planting, watering and more.
The Green Apple Day of Service is a program of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, which was founded to ensure green schools for every student in this generation.
Haskell’s involvement is an extension of its commitment to community service, one of the company’s core tenets. Employees receive volunteer hours each month to give back to the community.
Senior Landscape Architect