Brasfield & Gorrie Co-ops, Interns Volunteered to Landscape Sims Garden
March 4, 2016
Students volunteered to refurbish local botanical garden
Birmingham, Ala. (March 4, 2016) – Today, college students took a break from their co-op and intern responsibilities to join Brasfield & Gorrie employees in enhancing the beauty of a unique botanical gift, Sims Garden in Homewood, Alabama. The students, who are part of Brasfield & Gorrie’s co-op and internship program, spent the day planting flowers and shrubbery and providing general landscaping to the garden and adjacent property that Catherine Sims deeded to the city of Homewood 10 years ago for a botanical garden.
Located within walking distance of Homewood Middle School, the garden and vacant lots sat dormant for five years before Birmingham-Southern College was contracted to manage the site. All native plants had been taken out, and the property was overgrown with invasive plants.
Over the years, the college’s Southern Environmental Center has been bringing the garden back to life and currently uses it for course demonstrations, lectures and community workshops. Their master plan is to further develop the site into a botanical garden, educational site and event venue.
“As this garden is transformed, we hope that members of our community will be able to enjoy this outdoor space and use it in the way that Ms. Sims envisioned. We are excited to work with the Southern Environmental Center while making an impact in two areas that are very important to our company: sustainability and student development,” said Brasfield & Gorrie Business Analyst Katie Voss, who led the volunteer initiative.
The portion of the work completed today is just part of Birmingham-Southern College’s plan to transform the garden into a community destination. According to Southern Environmental Center Director Roald Hazelhoff, “Our plan for the garden is for it to become a venue for social events, concerts with local artists and small rustic weddings in addition to the educational component.”
Brasfield & Gorrie co-op and intern students completed the project with support of the company’s sustainability committee and landscaping company Blackjack Horticulture. “The new landscaping provides more ecosystems for examination. Students will be able to learn about gardening, plants and pollinators,” said Blackjack Horticulture owner Bryan Word.
Blackjack Horticulture donated materials for the project and assisted Brasfield & Gorrie’s team with plant and stone layout. Word said, “The long-term vision is to have pockets of the garden that bloom at various times throughout the year so the community can enjoy it as a botanical garden year-round.”
About Brasfield & Gorrie
Founded in 1964, Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, providing general contracting, design-build, and construction management services for a wide variety of markets. We are skilled in construction best practices, including virtual design and construction, integrated project delivery, and lean construction, but we are best known for our preconstruction and self-perform expertise and exceptional client service. Brasfield & Gorrie has 11 offices and approximately 2,600 employees. Our 2015 revenues were $2.3 billion. Engineering News-Record ranks Brasfield & Gorrie 27th among the nation’s “Top 400 Contractors” for 2015.
About Blackjack Horticulture
Blackjack Horticulture, Inc. is a Birmingham-based landscape contractor performing work throughout Alabama and Mississippi. Founded in 1998, Blackjack Horticulture specializes in landscape installation and construction, outdoor masonry and hardscape, landscape management, and floriculture design and installation. With a firm commitment to quality and serving clients in a way that builds lasting relationships, Blackjack Horticulture has become one of the leading landscape contractors in Birmingham and throughout Alabama.