On Saturday, May 19, 2018, the Steel City Landscapers of Steel City Academy will beautify a lot at 15th and Adams Street to inaugurate their recently formed landscaping business. The event on Saturday, “Steel City Kickoff” is scheduled to run from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The kickoff will include a flag football game on the newly landscaped lot, food, music and fun. The event is open to the public.
Steel City Landscapers is a youth-led enterprise and a product of students’ desire to make a positive impact in their city. Every quarter, Steel City Academy organizes Gear and Flame Week, where students learn from local experts while pursuing their passions. Last fall, in a workshop with staff from the Department of Planning and Redevelopment (Redevelopment), students identified the biggest problem in their community to be a lack of safe outdoor recreational space. As a result, students brainstormed the formation of a landscaping company where they would learn how to organize a business while creating an agent of change in their city. Subsequently, in November 2017, Steel City received a $1,000 seed grant from Legacy Foundation’s On The Table initiative.
Steel City Landscapers intend for this Kickoff to be the first of many beautified lots. Steel City Landscapers also intend to acquire at least five clients as a result of their event. The landscapers will be on site prior to the event at 3:00 p.m. working to prepare the lot for the kickoff.
“The entire process—from the idea of a landscaping company to the organizational structure and budget—stems from the dedicated students at Steel City Academy,” said Sam Salvesen, Redevelopment Fellow for the Gary Redevelopment Commission. “These students are not waiting for a change; they’re aware that change comes from within and are determined to beautify their surroundings as landscapers and entrepreneurs.” For more information, con tact the Gary Redevelopment Commission at (219) 886-1531.