Community Service in Landscaping
Community Service in Landscaping

Community Service in Landscaping

The benefits of community service for a business are about much more than the bottom line. More and more these days, your customers are actively searching for companies that make social responsibility a part of their values. It's also just the right thing to do.

John Janes | Landscaping Marketing Manager

Businesses both large and small know that community service offers a positive way for them to engage with their local community as well as build a values-based brand. Small businesses in particular tend to come up with unique and highly meaningful ways to give back within their communities, and landscapers across the country do an exceptional job at supporting their neighbors, friends, and clients, especially in times of need.

Why is community service important to your business?

The benefits of community service for a business are about much more than the bottom line. More and more these days, your customers are actively searching for companies that make social responsibility a part of their values. Customer perceptions of your brand, as well as word of mouth, are huge ways that potential new clients form opinions about who they book work with.

Employees also want to work for companies that prioritize making a difference in the communities in which they live and work. Your involvement in and support of the community gives employees a sense of pride, and it’s also a draw for job seekers. Volunteer opportunities also help your employees practice and hone their skills, providing them chances to learn and grow into new roles and services. Engaged and skilled employees generate added earnings for a business.

Beyond the business impact, social responsibility work is the right thing to do on many different levels. Communities rely greatly on their local businesses to make the area the best place possible for people to live and work. Community service programs are a way for your business to create positive change for the people who need it most.

How can landscapers add value in their communities?

If you’re struggling to come up with ways you could add value in your community, start by thinking of all the reasons your customers hire you as a landscaper to begin with.  You’re knowledgeable, you’re creative, you’re efficient, and you provide specialized services for maintenance and beautification of properties. Here are a few groups of people who could benefit from your services:

  • Families of active duty military and veterans
  • Healthcare heroes, educators, first responders, single parents
  • Underserved youth
  • Students looking to enter the workforce
  • Non-profits
  • Disaster relief/restoration organizations
  • Affordable housing complexes

Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) is always in need of experienced equipment operators and volunteers who can safely and efficiently work in and around natural disasters.


High school or collegiate competitions, such as NALP's National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC), are a great way to mentor the next generation of landscapers.


Habitat for Humanity is a great organization to be involved with to support your local community, and a huge opportunity for landscapers to provide services and equipment.

Sheep Dog Impact Assistance: Community Service in Landscaping
NALP NCLC: Community Service in Landscaping
Habitat for Humanity: Community Service in Landscaping

How do I get started?

I gathered some input from colleagues here at Caterpillar on organizations that we’ve worked with, as well as some ideas from our partners at NALP:

  • Ways to support veterans:
    • GreenCare for Troops
      Project Evergreen works with volunteer landscapers to provide complimentary services for military families. This program will also be extended to help those serving on the healthcare front lines through October 1, 2020.
    • NALP Renewal and Remembrance
      Each year, hundreds of landscapers (alongside their families and other industry companies) donate time, equipment and supplies to help enhance Arlington National Cemetery. Caterpillar is honored to participate in this annual event, and we would love to see you there next year!
    • Military discounts
  • Ways to support specific trades:
    • Landscape Makeover Giveaways
      Sun Valley Landscaping out of Omaha, Nebraska, recently asked community members to nominate a local healthcare worker or first responder to win a set amount of services from your company.
    • Discounted services for (healthcare, first responder, teacher, etc.)
  • Ways to support your local community:
    • Habitat for Humanity
      Our Caterpillar teams are incredibly active with Habitat for Humanity – in Wake County North Carolina alone our employees logged 175 volunteer hours in 2019. This organization would be a great opportunity for landscapers to provide services and equipment toward affordable housing in your local community.
    • High School Landscape Competitions or College Horticulture Clubs
      Earlier this year we participated in an event to introduce high schoolers to the landscaping industry, providing training on safety procedures around heavy equipment. Another great event to get involved with is the National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) through the NALP. Contact local high schools or colleges in your area to see how you can get involved with horticulture clubs or landscaping competitions. Not only is this a great mentoring opportunity, but could also end up being a recruiting tactic.
    • Community Non-Profits
      We recently had an opportunity to participate in a Sharefest Workday in California where we donated equipment use for cleanup projects. Finding organizations that help connect resources to local needs helps get meaningful work done, and quickly.
    • Become a Sheep Dog Impact Assistance (SDIA) Volunteer
      One of the primary missions of SDIA  is to help military veterans and first responders continue to serve their communities via disasterresponse missions – providing immediate impact assistance to devastated communities when natural disasters hit. Caterpillar employees who are involved in the Sheep Dog organization work to try to provide Cat equipment and attachments whenever possible to help aid in these missions. This organization is always in need of experienced equipment operators and volunteers who can safely and efficiently work in and around  natural disasters. With 24 chapters and over 50,000 members and volunteers nationwide, you can connect with a local chapter to offer your support. If you are willing to join a registry of potential equipment operators who could support Sheep Dog in the event of an emergency, please contact
    • Chamber of Commerce
      Try contacting your local Chamber of Commerce for additional ideas of ways you can support your local community!

How are you giving back and staying active in your local community? We’d love to hear from you, and we’d love to highlight the good work and good vibes you’re putting out into the world. Find us on Facebook and Instagram to tell us more about your community service programs.

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Blog author John Janes

John Janes

Landscaping Marketing Manager

John Janes has been bringing his diversified expertise to sales and marketing initiatives at Caterpillar for more than a decade. Not only does he hold an LIC certification from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), CSP and ASM certifications from the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), but Janes also serves as an American Concrete Institute (ACI)-certified concrete flatwork technician.