With the completion of the master landscape plan for all three Habitat for Humanity
properties, master plant lists were created and plans for a Spring, 2005 installation were
set in motion.
Community Service
Over the years, members of The Design Network have supported community and academic
initiatives that are aligned to our mission. Although our activities vary from year to year,
we would like to highlight three worthwhile endeavors we enjoy supporting.

Critical Difference for Women
The Ohio State University
The Critical Difference for Women (CDW) initiative
is sponsored by The Ohio State University. It offers
three programs specifically for women: re-entry
scholarships, grants for professional development
and grants for research on women. Members of
The Design Network have made year-end
contributions to this program with the request that
our donation is earmarked for a female student
pursuing a degree and career in the "green
industry." In fact, one of our members has
benefited from CDW and is proof that it provides
advantages to women who need financial
Click here for more information about
Critical Difference for Women.

Habitat for Humanity
In 2005, The Design Network volunteered to design and install the landscapes for three
Geauga Country Habitat for Humanity homes in Middlefield, Ohio. The Design Network
members contributed their considerable knowledge of horticulture, creative talent and
expertise in design and installation, and tapped into their green industry resources
throughout the project.

The first phase began in the fall of 2004 and involved conducting interviews with the
prospective homeowners, measuring, photographing and assessing each property. Then in
January of 2005, an all day Design Workshop was held with fifteen Design Network
members teaming up to create three custom designed landscape plans. The designs
reflected each individual homeowner’s long term needs, wishes, and plant preferences as
expressed during the design interviews. The landscape designs incorporated trees,
shrubs, and perennial plantings with multi-season interest, and vegetable gardens, decks,
patios, fencing, screening and shade needs to create three
unique landscape plans.
Next began a massive effort by Design
Network members to secure the
donation of over 355 trees, shrubs and
perennials from 26 area wholesale and
retail nurseries in northeastern Ohio.
Plant material was stockpiled and site
preparations were made without much
cooperation from the northeast Ohio

On Installation Day, May 29, 2005,
eighteen Design Network members and
other green industry workers donated
their labor to install all the plant
material according to the designs
created at the January workshop. The
end result was three very happy
homeowners who are delighted with
their new landscapes. As part of the
project, Design Network members will
continue to mentor the new
homeowners for one year, teaching
them how to care for their plants.

The Landscape Volunteer Project was   
a challenging, but wonderful
opportunity for The Design Network to
use our knowledge, skills and resources
toward a good cause. In a first time
ever collaborative effort, the Geauga
County Habitat for Humanity worked
together with us to coordinate this
project during the construction phase of
the new homes.

In the end, the real reward was seeing
the Habitat for Humanity homeowners
who were beaming with pleasure at
their newly installed landscapes and  
are already conscientiously caring for
Landscape Installation Day! Design Network
members and other helpers install 355
donated trees, shrubs and perennials in
planting beds which had previously been
aerated and amended with donated
compost. Planting beds were mulched, trees
staked and vines trained onto trellises.
Watering instructions, donated hoses, Tree
Gators, and hand pruners were given to the
homeowners to help them care for their
newly installed landscapes.
A Design Network member counsels a Habitat
for Humanity homeowner on the care of her
French Hybrid Lilacs. The Design Network
members will continue to help the
homeowners learn about and care for their
new landscapes for one year.
A Street Fair, sponsored
by Habitat for Humanity,
was held on August 6,
2005 to celebrate the
completion of these
homes and landscapes.
The Design Network
participated in the Fair,
answering questions
about the project and
responding to general
landscape and horticulture
Women Committed to the Green Industry of Northeast Ohio
WomenSafe works toward
the elimination of physical,
sexual and emotional
violence against women and
their children through direct
service, education and social
change. Members of The
Design Network have
donated gift cards and
specific needed items to
support these women in
Click here for more
information about
WomenSafe and how you can
help too.