Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Aug 31, 2018

By Charlie Hodge

Every time I look out my window I am reminded of the kindness and caring of people. It’s inspiring, motivating and came at just the right time. I was feeling a tad negative about people in general – which is not my normal state.

Creative Roots Landscaping changed all that in one day.

Even before Creative Roots Landscaping arrived at our front door last month two other folks had gone out of their way to make the world a brighter place for Tez and I. Kayla Anderson and Ashley Jeffery co workers of Tez’s at Geoffrey White Law Corporation heard about our yard issues and took it upon themselves to contact Creative Roots Landscaping putting our name forward as a candidate for a yard crash (clean up and beautify our yard).

Tez and I are avid gardeners with property near the Capri. A number of years ago we decided to eliminate most of the ugly weed and dandelion infested lawns in our yard which had only been made more unsightly when our sewer line blew and we had to trench 60 feet of our backyard to put in a new one. The end result was more weeds growing in the back then we thought possible.

Our answer to resolve the issue was to build a number of raised garden beds around the yard and crush a lot of the area as well. For years we had toiled at turning our yard into an attractive place to hang out.

However with my jaw surgeries last year and the heat and smoke this year (among other reasons) the yard had got completely out of control and the weeds were taking over much quicker than we (mainly Tez) could combat. We tried to hire some workers to assist however either we could not find any (no one wants to do physical work anymore it seems) or they wanted a ridiculous price to do so and then trashed everything they got near.

That’s why Kayla and Ashley called for help.

Creative Roots Landscaping do three yard crashes a year as part of their community ‘GiveBack’ program. The local company takes nominations for candidates and then hold yard crashes in spring, summer and fall. Lucky us we were their July choice.

When Creative Roots Landscaping rolled in the driveway I had no idea what to think.

Eight hours later we were blown away.

Led by company owners Collette Kinderdyk and Ryan Markewich an army of young, caring and skilled workers set to work, like ants scurrying around creating all sorts of change in the process.

Members of that army of employees included Jacob Markewich, Zach Jackman, Zach Neufeld, Louise Odell, Ran Martelly, Kyle Trautman, as well as two volunteers Amanda Bartlett and Effie Smith.

Part of what made the entire day so special for Tez and I was the positive energy and genuine kindness of the team. It was and is refreshing knowing that there are indeed a number of outstanding and caring young adults in our community. Off the chart sincere and sweet.

Creative Roots Landscaping has been giving back and helping out in Kelowna since 1994 and it is no wonder they have survived. Aside from their clear kindness and energy they happen to be very knowledgeable and talented in their work at landscape design and craftsmanship.

Creative Roots Landscaping operates using an Open Book Management system that includes weekly meetings to discuss the finances of the company, ways to succeed as a team, and the impact that success will have on the bottom line. Each employee donates an hour of their wages for these meetings to the GiveBack providing the program with between $800 and $1,000 per month, which enables all the giving to happen.

More than 30 charities have benefited from the Creative Roots Landscaping GiveBack program to date including the KGH Foundation, Make a Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Cops for Kids, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Inn From the Cold, HOPE, Outreach, Boys and Girls Club and the Kelowna Women’s Shelter.

Before Collette, Ryan and crew arrived at our yard, mini Bobcat and all, I had never heard of Creative Landscapes.

Now I will never forget them.

For further information on this tremendous Kelowna company go to  http://www.creativerootslandscaping.com/giveback

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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