Supporting the Humane Society, Uncovering History, and Restoring a Resting Place for Local Pets
On Tuesday, October 6, 2009, twenty-seven employees and staff of Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc. spent the morning clearing out parts of the Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery in Aspen Hill, MD. After changing ownership hands many times, the historic pet resting place was bequeathed to, and is now owned and operated by, the Montgomery County Humane Society. The society relies on volunteers and donations to maintain this seven-acre property.
For many reasons, prior to the Humane Society running the operation, parts the Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery had become overgrown to the point where clearing out years of growth requires special tools and a lot of sweat and tears. Volunteers often are unable or do not have the time necessary to uncover the history under all the growth.
After watching a newscast reporting the needs of the cemetery, the ownership of Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc. decided it would be a good opportunity for their company to give back to the local community. In addition to the service to the humane society, Johnson’s Landscaping also needed a location to conduct its regular safety training for its employees. “It was great to knock out the proverbial two birds with one stone,” says Matt Johnson, sales manager of the company, who hastily added that these birds were “metaphorical, of course.”
Left: Landscape crews clear the overgrowth
Right: Masonry crews restore a mausoleum
Photo 1: Jimmy Johnson, General Manager
Photo 2: Maintenance crews clear the gravestones
Photo 3: Restoring the headstones
After the training, management, maintenance, landscape, and masonry crews all gathered at various parts of the cemetery to begin the renovation. The before, during, and after pictures tell the whole story. By morning’s end, the designated work was done, and crews and management went their separate ways throughout the county.
However, not before David Poole, a local representative of the Montgomery County Humane Society, returned to inspect the work. Says Poole, “After spending several weekends at the Aspin Hill Memorial Park working on clearing brush myself with a small group of volunteers it was amazing to see what Johnson’s Landscaping Service was able to accomplish in just one days time. What they have done to honor the memory of these animals goes beyond words.”
Cris Bombaugh, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Humane Society, agrees with Poole. “We are so fortunate to have the support of Johnson’s Landscaping Service, which pitched in to transform the grounds of the Aspin Hill Memorial Park. We are grateful for their generous help, and were very impressed with their professionalism, efficiency and careful caretaking of this special resting place for beloved pets.”
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Chevy Chase, MD 20815