Backyard Preserve restored into outdoor oasis After a wet and gloomy spring, our colleagues from Decorative Paints in Strongsville, Ohio, were eager to get outside and volunteer for an outdoor community service project. The choice that had to be made was not very difficult as the Strongsville Backyard Preserve was in desperate need of a little tender love and care. The Backyard Preserve is a 30-acre park area made up of a number of flower gardens and walking paths. It is a quiet nature preserve, including a butterfly garden that residents can enjoy. In the past, the seniors from the Strongsville Senior Center have taken care of the area. However, recently the volunteer efforts have been limited and the gardens had not been maintained very well and the wooden sign and walking bridge were quite weathered. A group of 9 volunteering employees picked up the challenge. Support from the Community Program was granted and they went out to the Preserve to weed, clean up the garden, plant annuals, spread mulch, and also stain a walking bridge, welcome sign and six trash cans. 'Originally, we were just going to do the gardening project, but the wooden structures in the Backyard Preserve needed to be refreshed so we agreed to clean and stain those surfaces with Flood® woodcare products as well,' said Patrice Avsec, project leader and Specialty Business Excellence Manager. At first, Patrice was afraid that she over committed the group, but once they arrived on location, everyone was willing to do as much as possible to beautify the area. She said: 'No one cut corners and it was exciting to see the difference we made to the Preserve.' The entire project took two days. One day was designated to clean and prep the wooden structures and the other was a full, eight hour work day. Patrice explained, 'The team effort was awesome! Normally, the volunteers that signed up wouldn't typically work together on a project in the office, but regardless, everyone worked together great here.' Jennifer Milbrandt, an arborist for the city of Strongsville, was quite impressed with the result and said: 'It is amazing what nine people can accomplish in a day! Thank you!' And indeed, the pictures clearly show that everything looks much brighter and colorful. An outdoor oasis has been restored for the more than 40,000 residents in Strongsville and neighboring communities, thanks to our volunteering colleagues from Decorative Paints.