LANDSCAPE Nightmare Results in Dream Backyard

Monday, July 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Consumer 6 team usually investigates complaints and problems that people have with businesses, and while the first televised report of this story started out that way, it ended with companies that went out of their way to do some good. One local business saw that report, and gave the story a happy ending.

It was about a young family's struggle with a landscaping company, that left their yard a complete mess. But the good news is that as a result of our televised story, several companies joined forces to clean it up.

We talked with the Saunders family at an afternoon backyard barbeque - a favorite activity for many families. But for them this is no ordinary cookout. It's a celebration for some local landscapers.

Shannon Saunders: "They worked really hard in our yard and we're so thankful so we wanted to show them how thankful we were for them." Thankful for making their yard look like this...
because not too long ago it looked like this... Dirt instead of grass... no plants or flowers. Just a bunch of railroad ties - that were supposed to be used build a terrace wall.
"That's where all the water runs out."
When the Saunders family discovered foundation problems last fall, they hired a small landscape company to level it - and paid a two thousand dollar deposit. They say the owner began the work by digging up their yard... but he walked away from it because he ran out of money.
They couldn't afford to hire someone else... So they worked weekends and evenings - fixing what they could - and they called Consumer Six. We showed their story in June... and another landscaper saw it.
Jake Hummel, Casa Verde Landscape: "After hearing your story, I and Casa Verde Landscape decided we'd get together with some of the local merchants to see if they'd donate some of their goods and services so we could get this problem taken care of."

It didn't take long - in less than two weeks they had donations of dirt and and shrubs. This weekend they went to work.

Hummel: "We filled this whole area up, raked it all out and put down a nice bed of dirt on top of it, fertilized it, put down the sod and this is the finished product."

Shannon: "It looks like a yeard again. Chris: "It's usuable.. usuable space instead of unusuable dirt. Shannon: "And they brought color back into our backyard. We've got flowers, it's not all brown dirt any more. We've got some grass growing."
And a new dogwood tree for their little girl. Shannon Saunders: "They gave us another dogwood to replace her old dogwood so now she's excited that she has a tree to take care of again." And a new yard where their daughter and their dogs can play. "So far I'm pretty sure they approve. They're so excited we've got grass again."
And the Saunders are overwhelmed by the generosity. Chris: "I'm just glad we live where we do - where people come together like that to help other people out." Several people came together to help the Saunders family. Casa Verde Landscape coordinated the project, Duncan & Sons in Sapulpa donated the dirt and Green Acre Farm donated the sod. Juniper Hill Farm provided flowers and John Deere donated shrubs. Bloss Sales lent them the equipment to put it all together. And they did most of the work in less than two days...a happy ending. A big hurrah to all those great companies!