Home improvement retailer spruces up animal shelter landscaping

Shelly Perry, Asset Protection and Safety manager at Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus, weeds a flower bed at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

A chat between two former co-workers led to an extensive beautification of grounds surrounding the Bartholomew County Humane Society.

It all began when Shelly Perry, asset protection and safety manager at Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Columbus, was doing a safety walk at work about a month ago. When she reached the lawn and garden area, she spotted Katie Elkins, who once worked with Perry at the Indiana National Guard facilities in Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh, Perry said.

During their conversation, Perry noticed Elkins was concentrating her attention on the store’s discounted plants. When asked why, Elkins explained she was one of a few volunteers trying to clean up the grounds surrounding the animal shelter at 4415 E. County Road 200S. Besides a lack of personnel, Perry said she was told the effort was also challenged by very limited funds.

Landscaping maintenance has been a concern of the Humane Society since the animal shelter moved into its current facility in 2014, volunteer Ann Young said.

“All of the gardens located around the Humane Society’s animal shelter were desperately in need of help,” Young said.

After Elkins explained the situation, Perry told her about a program sponsored by the home improvement store chain called “Lowe’s Heroes,” which allocates funding to each U.S. and Canadian store for a project in their community that associates can complete together.

In the program, employees with at least one year of seniority are paid a full day’s (eight hours) salary to work on a community project, she said.

“I told Katie to let me see what I can do,” Perry said. “It sounded like a really worthwhile project that needs to happen.”

When the concept was explained to store manager Mike Butler, he gave the go-ahead to start the planning process, Perry said.

Just a few weeks after the co-walkers talked, a Lowe’s representative contacted Young and asked whether their company could possibly help.

“I said ‘absolutely!’ “ Young recalls.

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, store representatives arrived to do a walkabout and take photographs to size up the scope of the project, Young said. Three days later, trucks arrived from Lowe’s to drop off seven pallets of mulch, three pallets of fresh soil, one pallet of pea gravel, and landscape fabric. The estimated cost of all the landscaping material was $2,500, Young said.

At 7:30 a.m. Aug. 14, volunteers from Lowes began to arrive with tools in their own vehicles to begin a day-long project that essentially involved landscaping the grounds around the entire animal shelter from scratch, Elkins said.

The volunteers pulled out all of the weeds from around the building. Next, they replanted several perennials in a new location, added concrete animals to the decor, and placed a new coat of stain on exterior benches, Perry said.

“We really only had a few weeks to put this together, because we wanted to get things done before the weather changed,” Perry said. “But our job was to help make the animal shelter look extremely welcoming.”

Instead of eight, the crew from Lowe’s ended up staying about 12 hours Saturday to complete the transformation.

About Lowe’s Heroes

The extensive landscaping performed around the Bartholomew County Humane Society’s animal shelter was done through a program called “Lowe’s Heroes” – one of a number of charitable programs initiated by Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.

Through this particular program, the company allocates funding to each U.S. and Canadian store for a project in their community that associates can complete together.  Lowe’s also provides what is called “give-back hours,” which gives employees who have worked for the company at least one year eight paid hours to work on a community project.

Celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, Lowe’s Home Improvement Center has set a goal to invest $350 million in local communities through partnerships and charitable contributions by 2025.

Rhianna Gambrell and Carrie Caldwell, Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus employees, remove weeds from the pavers and the surrounding area at the entrance to the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Rhianna Gambrell and Carrie Caldwell, Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus employees, remove weeds from the pavers and the surrounding area at the entrance to the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Kevin Thompson, Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus employee, trims the shrubs the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Kevin Thompson, Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus employee, trims the shrubs the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Steve Warren, employee of Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus, looks up as he uses a trimmer during the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Steve Warren, employee of Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus, looks up as he uses a trimmer during the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Amaya Jain Amaryillas, the dog adopted by Katie Elkins from the humane society, that led to Katie seeking to find a way to do the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society. Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus donated supplies and the Lowes employees donated their time to the project, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Amaya Jain Amaryillas, the dog adopted by Katie Elkins from the humane society, that led to Katie seeking to find a way to do the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society. Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus donated supplies and the Lowes employees donated their time to the project, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Shelly Perry, Asset Protection and Safety manager at Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus, weeds a flower bed at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Shelly Perry, Asset Protection and Safety manager at Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus, weeds a flower bed at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

The trimmed hedges at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

The trimmed hedges at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

One of the feral rescue cats in the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowes Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

One of the feral rescue cats in the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowes Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Mike Butler, Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus store manager, takes time to visit with a husky puppy that needs adoption during the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Mike Butler, Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus store manager, takes time to visit with a husky puppy that needs adoption during the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Sheila Ward, Lowe’s Home Improvement employee, weeds, thins and transplants plants in one of the beds during the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Sheila Ward, Lowe’s Home Improvement employee, weeds, thins and transplants plants in one of the beds during the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Lowes employee Robbie Young and Harold Force, Force Construction, load and distribute mulch and pea gravel donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus for the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Lowes employee Robbie Young and Harold Force, Force Construction, load and distribute mulch and pea gravel donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus for the landscaping project at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Lowes Home Improvement Columbus employees, Rhianna Gambrel, from left front, Carrie Caldwell, Angel Novreske, volunteer Katie Elkins with her adopted dog Amaya Jain Amaryillis, Lowes employees, Shelly Perry and Sheila Ward, in back humane society volunteer Cheryl Zuckschwerdt-Ellsbury, Lowes employees Kevin Thompson, Steve Warren, Robbie Young, Humane Society spokeswoman Anne Young, Lowes employees Justy Hutt and Allen Naldrett, and volunteer Harold Force, of Force Construction, at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Lowes Home Improvement Columbus employees, Rhianna Gambrel, from left front, Carrie Caldwell, Angel Novreske, volunteer Katie Elkins with her adopted dog Amaya Jain Amaryillis, Lowes employees, Shelly Perry and Sheila Ward, in back humane society volunteer Cheryl Zuckschwerdt-Ellsbury, Lowes employees Kevin Thompson, Steve Warren, Robbie Young, Humane Society spokeswoman Anne Young, Lowes employees Justy Hutt and Allen Naldrett, and volunteer Harold Force, of Force Construction, at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Volunteers Shelly Perry, from left, Justy Hutt, Allen Naldrett, and Angel Novreske, all employees of Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus, work on the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Volunteers Shelly Perry, from left, Justy Hutt, Allen Naldrett, and Angel Novreske, all employees of Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus, work on the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Shelly Perry, Asset Protection and Safety manager at Lowe’s, weeds a flower bed at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Shelly Perry, Asset Protection and Safety manager at Lowe’s, weeds a flower bed at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

The landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society shown after the volunteers from Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus spent the day, Saturday August 14, 2021, working on it. Sunday, August 15, 2021 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Charlotte Maggard, at left, with her cousin’s adopted puppy Amaya Jain Amaryillis and her cousin Katie Elkins who with the help of Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus was able to improve the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Charlotte Maggard, at left, with her cousin’s adopted puppy Amaya Jain Amaryillis and her cousin Katie Elkins who with the help of Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus was able to improve the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society, Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

Brady Dell Collier, in front, and Gracie Collier set up the free lemonade stand for the Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus employees and other volunteers working on the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society. If someone gives a donation to the Humane Society they can pick out a rock hand painted by the girls. Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic  Carla Clark | For The Republic

Brady Dell Collier, in front, and Gracie Collier set up the free lemonade stand for the Lowe’s Home Improvement Columbus employees and other volunteers working on the landscaping at the Bartholomew County Humane Society. If someone gives a donation to the Humane Society they can pick out a rock hand painted by the girls. Saturday, August 14, 2020 Carla Clark | For The Republic Carla Clark | For The Republic

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