Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Labor Day in May

Our company had Labor Day in May. A Nationwide effort to help out in our communities, and a day "off" work. Here's the write up I wrote for the company blog.

When the Powers that Be announced Labor Day in May, the Coral Springs office immediately decided they wanted to contribute to a region specific cause. Cleaning the beach would have been an easy option (looking at you, Boston!); however, we opted for a more challenging and very sweaty endeavor: The Everglades Restoration Movement.

In the Beginning

The crew, bright and early, before the 90 degree heat and 1000 percent humidity set in. From left to right: Breann, Denise, Cindy, Tyler (Jim’s son), Larry, Erika, Rob and David.

The Dreaded Melaleuca

The Melaleuca Tree was introduced to the Florida Everglades over 50 years ago to dry out the land for the progress of civilization. Little did our Floridian ancestors know, they were also sucking up a major source of water and the Melaleuca took over hundreds of thousands of acres. The Melaleuca virtually eliminated the natural vegetation.

Rob and Breann Hard at Work

This is Breann and Rob. We were given machetes (!!) and herbicide. The trees were cut at the base and then sprayed with the herbicide to inhibit further growth.

Early in the Day

The trees were then hauled to a central location and piled. Each tree can release hundreds of spores which make more trees. The Melaleuca are better at producing than rabbits.

Get to Work
This is what happens when you take one too many breaks. Off with her head!

What Happened to the Last Group

We were out in the boondocks, folks and lucky to have gotten back. See what happened to the last group?

Tyler Earning Community Hours

Jim’s son, Tyler, is a freshman in high school and about 10 feet tall. He’s also pretty good at welding a machete and mastered the art of chopping the Melaleuca with a single blow.


We went through 40 bottles of water and gatorade, 10 bottles or so of herbicide and about a bucket full of sweat.

One of Many Piles

The Coral Springs crew made at least five piles of trees this size and a ton of smaller ones throughout the glades.

Much Needed Break

Larry, Cindy and Denise taking a much needed break.

Larry, Studly as Always

Larry. There’s not much else I can say about that.

Hot and Sweaty

Oh yeah, we’re getting dirty now. Next year, we are doing Labor Day in May in January.

Hauling More Trees

The trees and the debris and the hauling and the cutting was never ending. We would clear out a section, look to the left and see more trees, look to the right, even more trees, behind us, yep MORE TREES!

Denise Attacking the Trees

This is why Denise is our best Liability adjuster. Watch out!

Deep in the Brush

Where’s David?

Cindy Carrying Debris

There was no distinction between the men and the women out in the glades. We were all busting tail!


Sawgrass is nothing to mess with. All of our arms were cut up, David lost the sole of his shoe, Tyler had a larva stuck to his back and I saw two stick bugs mating. On my arm!

Oh, and there was the Red Rat Snake our guide caught.

Getting Dirty

Dirty David.

The Group After

Afterwards, we were still smiling, just a little grungier. Hey, it’s nothing a beer can’t fix.


Chelle said...

what a cool thing to do!

SuZ999 said...

You are so amazing... and inspiring. :)

tamara said...

Looks like FUN!! When can I sign up?