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Three people in helmets and bright yellow safety vests planting plants in a median.

SOAR365 Beautifies Chesterfield County With Late-Night Landscaping

The Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance team at SOAR365 is known for working hard and doing great work. From mowing to trash removal to demolition, this award-winning group has made an impact throughout the Richmond area.

But sometimes, their stellar work takes place when no one is watching.

That was the case in early April, when SOAR365 partnered with the Chesterfield County Community Engagement Department. Employees with and without disabilities made late-night trips to the intersection of Huguenot and Jimmy Winters Road. There, under the direction of Commercial Grounds Director Randy Britt, they planted trees, placed shrubbery and spread mulch in the medians.

Over the course of four days, from 9:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., they successfully completed the job.

“It was a couple of cold nights, but our employees remained positive and had great energy throughout,” says FaithAnn Zamparelli, Internal Employee Supports Manager. “They used equipment such as a skid steer to move heavy root balls on some of the trees. And they put their bodies to work with the number of large trees that were planted, as well as the many little shrubs that had to be delicately planted and mulched.”

Since the team’s typical work hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., this effort required extra planning. Employees with disabilities had to get permission from their home or caregivers to work such a special job. And staff provided transportation to and from the work site for those who needed it.

Changes in routine can be hard for people with disabilities, but the team overcame those challenges with encouragement. “Morale was really good,” says Ashley Absher, Mobile Crew Leader. “We didn’t have any complaints.”

“We kept everybody’s spirits up,” agrees Weldon Hall, another leader in Mobile Crew. “I’m real good about noticing when we’re starting to lull a little bit. I’ll be one of the first ones to jump up and start yelling, ‘This looks good, guys! Keep going!’ Everybody starts joking, and before you know it another two hours have gone by.”

“I think the first night there, besides digging and getting the edges right, we planted 144 plants,” says Ashley. “It kept you busy! It not only went by really quickly, but it’s very rewarding because you get to see how much you finished.”

While the hours were different, the excellent results were the same – and that’s what clients have come to expect from SOAR365. “We are honored to have the relationship that we do with the Chesterfield County Community Engagement Department,” says FaithAnn. “And we’re proud to be able to make this happen with the diverse team that we have working at SOAR365.”

To learn more about SOAR365’s Ground Maintenance and Mobile Crew, visit

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