October 15, 2012
For the past year, each issue of Landscape Ontario magazine has featured a number of projects our members have performed in their community.

This month we feature a project that involved a number of members.

Adam Bienenstock, founder and principal designer at Natural Playgrounds of Dundas, contacted Tony DiGiovanni, LO executive director, about friends from Ancaster, Lesli Smith and her husband Darren who was struck by ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Bienenstock said that the family needed some landscaping for a new entrance to the house and an accessible wheelchair ramp that wraps around the house to Smith’s bedroom.

“All I did was make a call to Tony and then leave the country for work, while he called Walter (Hasselman, owner of Dutchman’s Landscaping in Burlington), who scrambled a team and donations to make it happen. Walter did all of the heavy lifting on this one,” says Bienenstock.

Lesli Smith wrote that the path Landscape Ontario put in looks fantastic. “I don’t even know how to begin to thank you, getting a ramp path in place and done in time for the arrival of his wheelchair. The path Landscape Ontario put in looks fantastic. The wheelchair drives wonderfully on the path and ramp.”

She continued in her letter, “The day that Landscape Ontario came was also the day that all of our friends and family came to demolish the garage. In total, around 35 people were here.

It was like an extreme home makeover. Cars were parked all the way around the block. The garage came down, Darren’s man-shed was moved, the path was put in, the ramp was built…the energy of everyone was incredible. It is a day we will never forget.”

Lesli Smith wrote that “It is incredible to receive the support, friendship and love from so many wonderful people like yourself. We truly appreciate you forwarding our name to Landscape Ontario and for being so generous with your time and thoughts.”

Adam Bienenstock says, “This project made me proud to be working in this business and proud to be a part of Landscape Ontario.”