Friday, December 18, 2009

2010 Dominican Trip begins Jan 4th - Follow Us Here!

As part of our commitment to our re:nourish philanthropic program and our core purpose, we nourish lawns and lives, a team of franchisees and staff will be traveling to the Dominican Republic in early January to spend a week at the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos or "Our Little Brothers and Sisters," orphanage for approximately 160 children in San Pedro de Macoris.

Last year we completed a project that saw the team build a full size soccer field including irrigation and new sod on what was a rocky dirt field. We also irrigated an existing vegetable garden.

This year's theme is agriculture so we will be working with local staff to expand and further irrigate the vegetable garden, build animal enclosures as well as conduct some maintenance work on our soccer field.

If you would like to donate to our efforts please click the donate button below.

Follow us here for regular updated beginning Jan 4th.

For more information on our renourish program visit our website.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nutri-Lawn Newfoundland Launches Annual re:nourish Food Drive

On October 8/09, Nutri-Lawn will be holding its 2nd annual FOOD DRIVE to help refill the shelves of the Salvation Army Food Bank during this busy period.

For more information or to donate contact Boyd Loveless @ 709.728.8830 or

Nutri-Lawn Kelowna's re:nourish program collects over 2000lbs for local food bank

Local company ensures Kelowna food bank’s shelves filled for the next week

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 | 11:00 am
food bank's shelves kept full for a week thanks to a local business

The food bank's shelves were kept full for a week thanks to a local business. (Photo Kathy Michaels)

By Kathy Michaels

Usually they make sure local lawns are kept healthy, but recently the staff at Nutri-lawn turned their attention to families in need.

Over the month of September, Nutri-lawn staff took it upon themselves to collect food items from their customers as they visited their houses to do fall fertilizer treatments — and when all was said and done the local foodbank found itself 2,400 lbs of food richer.

“When we finished loading up our trucks today we had two full loads of food,” said Kevin MacKenzie, sales and customer experience manager Nutri-Lawn Okanagan.

Upon reaching the food bank, he learned the two truck loads would translate into 250 hampers or one and a half to two weeks worth of food supplies.

As a franchise, Nutri-lawn has a give back program in its communities and each is encouraged to do food drives. It was something that was going to fall to the wayside this year, but when news of the fires and the food bank’s struggles to keep their shelves filled pierced their consciousness, they made the decision to move forward.

They contacted their customers, and the project took on a life of its own.

“About 50 per cent, or 600 to 700 families, gave us food,” said MacKenzie. “Each guy was bringing in 70 to 100 lbs of food a day, and by the end we had 51 banana boxes full.”

Now that MacKenzie has realized that the effort was so easy, he’s hoping other businesses will take the charge and help fill the food bank’s shelves.

“We really weren’t sure what to expect but everyone who did it was surprised by how easy it was to give back to the community,” he said.

In addition to this effort, the company also sends a team abroad every year to do work that may otherwise be ignored. Last year a team went to the Dominican Republic and built a soccer field for a community that would have gone without.

And, MacKenzie said, the reward of community involvement both at home and away is irreplaceable.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nutri-Lawn 2009 Food Drive Now On!

With our 2009 re;nourish Food Drive underway I thought I would share some of the fact from our 2008 efforts.

The Nutri-Lawn / re:nourish food drive program began in Kitchener, Ontario on 2007 when franchise owners Gary & Nancy Mulhall felt the calling to assist their local community food bank by collecting non-perishable food items. They contacted each customer the day before they were due to visit their property asking them to leave any item they wish to donate on their front door and the Nutri-Lawn representative would collect and deliver the items to the food bank.

Positive feedback from customers, staff and the food bank themselves in the Kitchener/Waterloo are soon lead to other franchise owners wanting to do their part in this very worth while cause.

2008 saw eight locations participate with over
12,000 items or 10,000 lbs collected and over $1200 in donations from customers.

With the 2009 efforts now underway we hope to have another great year. If you are contacted by your local Nutri-Lawn please consider giving some non-perishable food to this very worthy cause.

If you would like to donate and haven't been contacted please contact your local team by clicking here>

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NPH Dominican Republic Summer Newsletter 2009:

Thanks to NPH DR home correspondent Megan Palacios' for her Summer Newsletter update.

Summer 2009 Newsletter

If you have trouble downloading News>Download>Look for June 22. 2009 posting.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Our soccer field lives on!

Well after nearly six months to establish itself our soccer field project is looking great!

Jordan had Damon from the Roco Ki golf course do an inspection last week and as a result has offered to do some weed control, fertilizing and top dressing of the entire field! Thank you very much Damon!

Damon had a plant pathologist from North Carolina with him during his visit and they took some soil samples and will do a nutrient analysis for Damon to work with.

Below are some pics from Damon's visit. It looks like when we return again early next year we will be doing some serious weed control around the perimeter of the field.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Update from Mark at the DR orphanage

This week is a time to catch up and re-group. Freda, Joanne, Willy and Tena are here working with the girls in the sewing room at the school. Many have completed the pajama bottoms and are in the completion stages of a reversible wrap-around skirt. Some want to make some special bags next week. We hope to move two of the machines to the tias home so they can continue projects at any time with the girls, not just during school hours. There was a small group of ladies from Nova Scotia connected with the Rotary here yesterday (Wednesday) helping in the sewing room.
Kieran, Ken and Dr. Chris left to visit the NPH orphanage and Father Rick’s hospital in Haiti on Tuesday of this week. They plan to return on Friday afternoon.
It is nice to have Connie with me this week. She has been helping Kelly the one year volunteer from the US with the English program for the past two weeks and again this week. It is quite interesting.
Nina, the therapist from Austria (one year volunteer), has her mother visiting for the next two weeks and then her father will arrive for the last week. Her mom is painting a mural in the therapy room at the clinic. I’ve been in for a peek and one wall is just about completed. Amazing!! She is looking for help from the next group to complete the other three walls.
Julie, from France, (one year volunteer), it teaching French class at the school and is also setting up a library room. The Canadians helped with getting shelves, books, a special desk and also purchased a new computer for use in the library for cataloguing the books. Her parents are visiting for a couple of weeks and are staying with us in our house.
Francisco is working on a roof framework for the new safari seat unit the Canadians made for the truck they purchased. The welder hopes to have it finished by Friday.
Our little group invited the office staff for a little get-together yesterday afternoon - tea, juice, cake and cookies.
Today (Thursday) we have invited all the teachers and support staff, for a Canadian luncheon at our house - BBQ chicken, mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, jello and cookies for dessert. We discovered they have their lunch at the school with their own children, so the group has grown to about 40. Should be exciting!
I’m working on getting the sleeping quarters organized, schedules, etc. in readiness for the next group. We will have two full houses and another 3 at the clinic - about 45 in all. There are many things for them to busy themselves with.
Saturday will be a busy day. I will meet the team from Nova Scotia in Punta Cana at about 11 a.m., pack them up and head back to the orphanage. Ken will pick up some that stayed a week at the resort and take them to the airport and wait for the Walkerton group to arrive about 4:30 and arrive back at the orphanage for a delicious spaghetti supper about 9 p.m. Sunday everyone can attend mass with Father Ed and all the children at the school.
Thanks for all your support and prayers.
Mark, Ken, Connie, Freda, Willy, Tena, Joanne

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Update from team 3 - week 2

This is the second and last newsletter from Team 3 at NPH in Dominican Republic.
This week I am reporting on some different aspects of the Mission. Many pairs of donated and purchased glasses were brought down. Volunteers tested mostly people from the surrounding villages and then handed out glasses. Many of them had been unable to read due to declining sight and were just amazed and thankful for the gift of their sight back.
Some of us had a visit to a nearby Hospital. Many of the areas were dirty and supplies were few.
The electricity wasn’t even on in places. Behind the hospital was a huge pile of unusable wheelchairs and other supplies as well as three or four inoperable ambulances one of which was just sitting on the tire rims. This is such a huge difference to the healthcare we receive at home in Canada. All of the medical supplies that were not needed by NPH itself were distributed to three nearby hospitals.
We had to say goodbye to a few volunteers who left after the first week and we welcomed three more in.
The Medical Clinic continues to see orphans and villagers every day. We were very fortunate to have a multi-talented Registered Massage Therapist with us from the beginning. She treated patients, some of whom had immediate results from their longstanding problems . She also worked closely with the therapist at the Orphanage to teach her new techniques as she continues to work with the orphans that need treatment.
This therapist has also been chronicling the entire experience with uncountable spectacular photos.
The sports team continues to give out sports equipment to towns and schools and also set up and play sports with the orphans. This work has mostly been done in the very hot sun with temperatures over 45 degrees celsius some days.
Other volunteers have been driving vans and the tranportation truck to bring people from villages and towns into the Medical Clinic and back home again. They also drive us on outings we have had like a trip to see nearby caves and the Texas Rangers Training Camp.
Volunteers also continue to work on the endless handyman list.
When we came to Dominican Republic we got out of our chores at home, but not here. Volunteers have been keeping our sleeping areas, washrooms, and kitchen areas clean and also
working in the kitchen with the cook and doing endless dishes.
As we pack up we are reflecting on our experiences here and look forward to being home again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

An update from Team 3 at the orphanage

Below is an email from the third group to go down to the NPH orphanage they have been there for almost two weeks there now.

Greetings from Team 3 of the Friends of the Orphans Sports/Medical Team:
I bring you a condensed report of the goings on so far this week.

The sports team spent the early days of the week sorting 25 hockey bags of donated sports equipment, sports clothing and shoes. They have so far distributed equipment to the children of three nearby villages, one school and of course to the children of the Orphanage. An exciting time was had when six members of the Texas Ranger Farm Club played baseball with the children here. The entire group had a barbecue at Batey Monti Christy and fed many children of the village.

A baseball game was played between the volunteers and the children of the Orphanage and of course the children outshone us by far.

There has been many physical improvements of items like repairing sinks, toilets and other things that have been broken for a long time. New tables, shelves , towel hooks have been added. Some items have been painted and bulletins boards and a Code of Conduct sign was installed at the school.

The big pick up truck now has a frame , canopy and benches in the back for transporting people. A local company had built this installation and the volunteers worked tirelessly to modify it for safety purposes.

The tremendous amount of donated clothing, hats, baby formula and other items were sorted for several days and the distribution has begun to the orphanage children and to the Tias (caregivers of the children) for their own families. The rest will be given to the poor children of the nearby villages.
Volunteers have also been going into the Music and new English classrooms to observe and help.

Much fun has been had with the Music class seeing some instruments for the first time. The sewing class has been abuzz with volunteers helping the girls sew pajamas and skirts.

Lastly, the Medical Clinic was organized and up and running despite 25 of our 60 hockey bags of medical supplies and personal belongings detained at the Airport for two full days after arrival.
There is a flurry of activity every day in the Clinic as the Orphanage kids have been receiving Health Assessments and I am happy to report that they all seem full of joy, healthy and well taken care of. We have given Medical Care to close to 200 villagers.
All the volunteers have been working so hard and are really enjoying getting to know one another.

We are a committed, enthusiastic group of forty individuals!!!!!!!

Please pass this on to your friends.

Monday, February 23, 2009

An Inspiring Success Story

As you are probably aware our recent trip to the Dominican was coordinated through Friends of the Orphans- Canada. Friends of the Orphans(FOTO)-Canada is dedicated to seeking and providing support for the needs of orphaned and abandoned children in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua on behalf of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, which means "Our Little Brothers and Sisters."

Their website a very inspiring story that I thought valuable to share about one of the girls that was welcomed into the orphanage at age 9 after her mother passed giving birth to her youngest brother. I really encourage you to read this story and see the great work being done by NPH & FOTO-Can.

Please read Ana Maria's story at:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nutri-Lawn donates soccer field to rapidly growing Dominican orphanage

Toronto, Ontario, Feb. 4 / -- Since its inception in 2003 the children at the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) orphanage in the Dominican Republic have been playing soccer on a rocky dirt field. Nutri-Lawn, a Canadian-based lawn care company, teamed up with Friends of the Orphans (FOTO) and sent eleven volunteers to the town of San Pedro de Macoris for seven days to participate in the construction of a competition size soccer field for the 160 children residing at the orphanage.

The trip was organized by the re:nourish program established by Nutri-Lawn in 2008 with the objective of contributing to projects that are environmentally sustainable and encourage community health.

“An important part of our re:nourish program is to reach out to communities beyond where we currently operate and live,” said Ryan Vincent, president of Nutri-Lawn. “In the orphanage team building occurs in the classroom and also on the playing field. Seeing the excitement and wonder in the eyes of the 160 children when they were released from school and were able to run and play on the field for the first time, is a moment I will not soon forget.”

As leaders in ecologically friendly lawn care, the creation of the re:nourish program was the natural realization of the company’s core purpose: “We nourish lawns and lives.” Nutri-Lawn believes that nurturing communities – both near and far – is manifested though giving communities back their greenery.

“As we were working on the field we also had a crew working on an irrigation system for the community garden that produces all the vegetables for the orphanage,” said Jordan Lavin, the Director of Operations for Nutri-Lawn. “There is an onsite preexisting well that was used to fill buckets by hand, and then the water was poured onto the plants. With the new fully automated system that draws its water from the local well, we are saving a huge expense of energy that can now be refocused.”

The process of rebuilding the soil structure of the playing surface was the most intensive aspect of the field’s construction. Construction equipment was borrowed from a local golf course to remove rocks from the open field. An irrigation system was installed and instruction provided to the onsite staff for the maintenance of the field for years to come. The children of the orphanage also received donated soccer jerseys, cleats and shin pads, as well as goal posts for the field. “The kids should now have everything they need to go out and have a good time,” Vincent said. “At Nutri-Lawn we are committed to creating healthy lawns that are also ecologically friendly, so we felt that the children at NPH deserve to play on a great field.”

Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (which means for "Our Little Brothers and Sisters," in Spanish) started with seven children in January of 2003 and has been growing ever since. What began as one house has grown into a much larger residence where 159 children live in 15 homes and attend school in nearby classrooms. The organization hopes to house 500 children in the next five years.

For more information on Nutri-Lawn’s commitment to community partnerships please visits

About Philanthropy at Nutri-Lawn.
Nutri-Lawn is proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and their associates in the global community. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, Nutri-Lawn supports environmental responsibility and community involvement. For twenty years Nutri-Lawn has been the leader of ecologically responsible lawn care, and their core purpose is to nourish lawns and lives. They are committed to community health through the re:nourish program. To learn more, visit

For more information please contact:
Jordan Lavin
416 620 7100

Photo's from the trip

Sunday, February 1, 2009

We did it! Thanks to so many...

Well, this trip was very moving to say the least. The kids on the orphanage are great kids, very respectful, well behaved and very well off as far as quality of life compared to the rest of the country. To be submerged in the poverty that surrounds the NPH property for 10 days really put things in perspective for me. When and entire village of 300 people share 2 outhouses, one with a door, that makes you appreciate the luxury that we live in. When 65 year old men and on the end of a shovel all day to earn a meager $5 to feed his family rice, that pulls on your emotional side.
I have a long list of very important thank yous to get through and first and foremost, the team itself. Boyd Loveless, Jessie Montpellier, Jody Macinnis, Shawn Karn, Cam Hansuld, Ryan Vincent, Steven Brooks, Terry Ormrod, Sandra Ormrod, Kalon Fairclough and Angela Arnsby. These people worked very long, very hot days and maintained the most positive of attitudes…The odds were stacked against us time after time and we still made it through completion. I was very impressed and I thank all of you. I could not think of a better team of people to work with for a week.
The Toro Company for their generous donations, Terry Ormrod for his technical expertise and unending commitment to the project, Brandon Mathews for his connections and his willingness to help out. Damon DiGiorgio, course superintendant at Roco Ki Golf course, a gem of a property in Punta Cana for the use of his brand new trencher and his assistance in connecting us with the sod farm. Mr. George Durman, whom I have not met, but through Brandon Mathews heard about our project and donated 2000 ft. of PVC pipe to install our irrigation. To all of our donors, personal and corporate, who contributed to our trip. To Green Financial for being so supportive and for “sharing the green”. Transcontinental for sending enough shirts for every child on site. Ken Speers for his level of commitment to FOTOCAN, Kieran Rigney for all he does for the children on site. Mark Robinson for a huge commitment to the cause and to Bill and Toni VanHaeren who in a roundabout way, were the inspiration for our group to take on this adventure, and many future adventures with NPH.
Anyone wanting more information about our efforts, the FOTOCAN organization or the NPH projects in central and Latin America, I am more than happy to share my experiences with you.
Please check back here regularly for photo uploads and some posts about our future plans with both Fotocan and NPH.

Thank you all,

Before -Jan 24, 2009 After -Jan 29, 2009

Mural for the new library

Last minute attendee Angela Arnsby spent the second half of the week in the new library working on a new mural for the children. The library project is headed by Julie from France who is volunteering for a year at the orphanage. The week we were there shelves were being built by one of the other groups and the books were being sorted according to age and language (English, Spanish & French).

Orphanage Director Keiran Rigney

Orphanage Director Keiran Rigney gives an overview of the overall progress at the orphanage and future development plans.

Last Day

We arrived back in Canada yesterday (Saturday) after a very early start, our bus left the hotel at 6am, then a 3 hours before taking off around 11am local time. Arriving back in Canada we are very thankful for a hot shower, the ability to drink directly from the faucet and to see our families not so happy to see the snow....

Here is a recap from our last day:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

UPDATED - Auction for local artist

Sorry the link to my email was dead, please email click here to send me email if you would like to bid on the auction - the current bid stands at $40

On Tuesday one of the local men from the nearby Batay Nuevo (which is a small village that used to be for the sugar cane workers before the cane fields closed. Now it is mainly squatters) came to display his art work to the volunteers. One of the directors of the orphanage had advanced him a small amount of money so that he could buy some paint. The idea being that once he sells a painting or two he will be able to support himself in this business that can generate some money for him and his family. When you see the ‘sheds’ these guys live in it isn’t hard to see how it would be almost impossible for them to get started otherwise.

Some of the volunteers that come to the orphanage also work and help out at Batay Nuevo. For example this week there is a group down that is starting the building of an adult classroom and small pharmacy (which is actually no bigger that a closet) at the Batay.

As part of Nutri-Lawn’s commitment to the re:nourish program at NPH we have purchased the painting below and would like to auction it off, the money raised will be sent down to continue the work in the Batay as well as go to the artist himself. The idea is the more you can empower these people the more than can start to help themselves. An example of this is that some of the donations we bought down; toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc were taken to the lady who runs an ‘convenience store’ in the Batay. Of course all she has is the front of her shed where she has items that the others living in the Batay can buy for a small amount but this generates some money for her to buy more supplies to support her.

We would like to start the auction at $20, if you would like to bid on the painting please email me by clicking here. When I get back I will send out a daily email letting people know what price the auction is at the end of the day. We will probably run the auction for a week or two depending on the response we get. Please remember a small amount to use goes a long way here.
Thank you

Day 5

Jordan, Cam and Terry update us on the various pieces that are bringing the field together.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 4 Updates

Here's the update from this morning.....must run we are on schedule but need to keep moving.

Late on Day 3

An update from Shawn towards the end of Day Three

David Beckham he isnt but Boyd wins it for the Canadian

Last night we had a Canada vs the kids soccer match on the exisiting soccer field, which meant plenty of scrapes & scratches....thanks to an impassible defence line of Terry, Boyd & Ryan the local lads were kept to a one all tie at the end of regular time. A penalty shoot out results and with the last kick Boyd stepped up......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The new onsite high school

This is the second school block at the orphanage. The first is complete and it houses the primary school. This is the high school which is in the middle of construction however the space is so valuable they are already using some of the rooms.

An update from Ryan on Day Three

Ryan gives us an update on the progress of the soccer field at the start of Day Three. The first load of sod arrives this afternoon!!!

Day 3 - Toro and Green Financial Garden

Shawn gives an update at the end of Day Two

Monday, January 26, 2009

Terry Ormrod from Toro

Terry from Toro explains the irrigration layout.

Day 2

Day 2
The challenges of getting this blog posted continues....just as I was in the middle of posting after finally finding an internet cafe where I could hook up my laptop, which I then couldn’t actually do so I just had to use their computer the power has now gone out! Thankfully I can still laugh despite the challenges. They do have internet at the orphanage however connecting to it is another story. They are very limited in their bandwidth allowance and at the end of the month it tends to be off more than on added to that hydro is off 70% of the time.
However our projects are progressing well at the orphanage. Irrigation of the veggie garden is almost complete and this was done by the end of day one. I will post a video of this tomorrow, fingers crossed.
A grader turned up today (that was supposed to be here Saturday) this was a huge saviour as the ‘top soil’ that was laid on the field before we got here was rock hard.
Power is back on so I will attempt to post the videos I have so you can see and hear how the progress is going.....

Day 1

Here is Jordan from the start of day 1.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sun Jan 25

Hi All

We are having some challenges with our net connection. I hope to have this resolved tomorrow.

Day one went well though. We had some challenges leveling the field but the irrigation in the garden area is almost complete. We are planning to hook the pump up tomorrow to test it out.

Our efforts and time here is being very well received and they enjoy helping us with our work.

As soon as I get the internet situation resolved I will post plenty of photos & videos.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thanks to Transcontinental

We also wants to give a special mention to the gang at Transcontinental for their generous donation of 160 t-shirts for the children at the orphanage.

Thanks to Terry Lapp & everyone at Transcontinental

Go Tigers/Tigres Go!

Pre-Construction started today!

This morning came early after a good night sleep in a bunk room that I shared in the clinic but the cold shower took care of the cloudy morning mind.

The grader operator was up and running by 7:00 a.m. and now it is noon, he has the makings of a field in front of me. I staked off an area 210 feet long x 120 feet wide this morning when he started and he has been doing a great job so far. In the background, you will see the makings of our pump house. I pre-ordered a well to be drilled so we could draw water for our Toro irrigation system. I was hoping for a drilled well and a well head but in the Dominican, every well comes with a concrete building and a tank on top for gravity feeding water when the power is out (70% of the time, there is no electricity).

I am waiting for the arrival of our PVC pipe and a visit from the local sod farmer.....getting our container from the port is not going well so far.
I made arrangements for some local labor to assist us for the week. We will have 5 Dominican's help our team of 11, and on Thursday, I am trying to get 15 men to work with us as we hope to complete the field and lay an acre of sod. Labor in the Dominican get's paid $5.00 per day, and the sugar cane workers get paid by the ton of cane cut and loaded and on average, make $3-$4 per day. On the orphanage, and with the help we have hired, we will pay them a bit more, but we have to be careful that we don't set a precedent for the full time staff that work here.

Shout out from Boyd

Boyd, our Newfoundland Franchisee also wanted me to pass on special thanks to Major's Path Automotive @ 59 Major's Path, St. John's, NL a significant contributor to his fund raising efforts.

Thanks guys!

Special Thanks

What good is a soccer field without the right equipment? Well that question as answered by Ramona Gellel and the children of the Durham School Board where she teaches Physical Education and Health who donated a load of soccer shoes. Bobby Lennox and the West Rouge Soccer Club donates a mountain of uniforms and the nets for the goals we will be constructing.

You can read more about Ramona's amazing accomplishments and believe me there are lots!

For more info about the West Rouge Soccer Club please visit

Thank you to everyone!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Arrived to orphanage tonight

We left Punta Cana this morning and started our 3.5 hour trek across to San Pedro. Before leaving, we made a stop at Roco Ki golf course, a beautiful new Nick Faldo design built and maintained by Troon Golf. They were very generous in loaning us their brand new trencher for the installation of irrigation line and water lines for the village.
I was able to confirm the donation today of our pipe requirements. We are receiving 2000' of 1.5" PVC pipe courtesy of Corripo, a large Manufacturer / Distributor here in the DR.
Our Grader is on-site and ready to work tomorrow and the sod farm is delivering samples tomorrow as well. So all in all, a good first day, topped off with dinner at a corner taco stand in San Pedro.
Tomorrow's challenge is getting our Sea Container from the Port and through immigration!

Arrived Early to D.R.

I arrived in Punta Cana last night with Mark Robinson and Ken Speers from Ontario. These two dedicated volunteers have been managing the Canadian trips to the Dominican for several years now. They are here now for 8 weeks to receive and manage all of the groups, 140 people in total this year including the Nutri-Lawn group. We made it through customs with our 10 hockey bags of donations and relief gear and to the local hotel to stay the night.
I arrived a couple of days before the rest of our group to finalize some arrangements for equipment and supplies. We are waiting in the hotel lobby now for the NPH director to pick us up and start the 3 hour journey across the South East corner of the Dominican to San Pedro where we will work for the next week. Before we leave Punta Cana, we will be visiting Roco Ki Golf Course ( where the course superintendant Damon DiGiorgio has graciously offered the use of their brand new Toro TRX Trencher and any hand tools we need to borrow for our project. Thank you to Damon for his generosity, and to Brandon Mathews of Toro (Latin America and the Caribbean) for putting us in touch with him.
Once we arrive at NPH, our first project is to receive the Sea Container that was shipped here a month ago. It is currently sitting in port. Tomorrow’s project is to supervise the grading of the field with a local pay loader that we hired, make contact with the PVC Pipe supply company to ensure our 1.5” pipe will be delivered to the site on Monday and to arrange for Bermuda Grass Sprigs to be delivered on Wednesday for the installation of the turf.
The weather is 30 degrees and humid….a drastic change from the sub zero temperatures at home.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Special thanks to Angela Arnsby for taking up the last minute ticket to the DR. Angela is a very active community member and when I mentioned to her about the opportunity to spend a week at the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage well she just couldn't say no. Amongst her many activities Angela is a board member of an animal welfare group in London,ON and she also traveled to New Orleans in the days after Katrina hit to volunteer her time. Thank you Angela and Welcome!


One of the members from another group(not Nutri-Lawn) is unable to make the trip to the Dominican next week, therefore there is 1 spot available. If you would like to join us here is the deal; you would leave with our group from Toronto this Saturday 24 and return on the 31st. The ticket is being offered at $1500.00 and you would receive a 2009 tax receipt. A Great deal! And you might even get famous on this site!

If you are interested we need to know by no later than 3pm Thursday (21st). This is offered on a first come first serve basis.

Please call me, Kalon @ 416-577-3316.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Photo of the NPH property

This fly-over photo shows the location of the NPH orphanage in the Dominican, near San Pedro. Located directly across the street is the Texas Ranger and Atlanta Braves Dominican training camp (the 4 baseball diamonds).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Field Shots

To give you an idea of what we are dealing with, here is the loader 'leveling' the area for the soccer field.....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Learn More About the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos project in the Dominican Republic

This is a short video prepared by the Friends of the Orphans - Canada about the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos project in the Dominican Republic.

Our 2009 Dominican Republic Goal

To provide a safe, sustainable playing field for the kids to enjoy for many years. We will do this by:

1. Installing an Inground Sprinkler System
2. Rebuilding the soil structure of the playing surface
3. Planting grass seed
4. Fertilizing
5. Irrigating the existing garden areas to yield better vegetables for use on the dinner tables in the orphanage
6. Teaching the site staff to maintain the field for years to come

re:nourish core beliefs

We believe that the idea and reality of community is the bedrock of a healthy society

We believe that everyone can contribute in some way to the health of a community somewhere

We believe that when we nourish a community we nurture its future

Friday, January 16, 2009

welcome to re:nourish

Inside every company there is the heart and soul of the people who make its brand so valuable. At Nutri-Lawn we say “We Nourish Lawns and Lives.” That is why we have created our most meaningful idea. We call it re:nourish.

re:nourish is our program to nurture the communities around us – both near and far – by giving back to them their greenery. Every part of our organization, the employees of our corporate office and our franchisees, are committing themselves through various projects to making the environment more lush and more nourished.

The way we organize our efforts we call From The Ground Up

  • 1. We find projects with which we can engage
  • 2. If we can bring our experience and expertise, as well as our passion, for healthy grass and exquisite irrigation to the project
  • 3. If we can mobilize our whole franchise system to contribute to a project that helps the community, such as a Food Bank
  • 4. We contribute individually and as a group