Our 50th anniversary year was the perfect time to formalize Hoppe Helpers, a volunteer team of employees who have been leading our company in giving back to the communities where we live and work. The team decided to accept applications for a service project where we could put our unique skill set as arborists to work. The projects proposed where so interesting and the organizations so deserving that one Day of Service turned into three! Here's a look at the fun we had and the help we provided across southeastern Wisconsin.
Visitors to Racine Zoo’s outdoor Wildlife Theater have great views of A.B. Modine Pond after Hoppe’s Day of Service.
Our eight-person crew showed the Zoo some love on Valentine’s Day by clearing out buckthorn, honeysuckle and other invasives around the pond, and doing pruning and tree removals along the way. We replenished the Zoo’s mulch pile with nearly 40 cubic yards of woodchips – that’s about 500 full wheelbarrows. Hoppe co-owners August and Fred Hoppe, Operations Manager John Wayne Farber, and Urban Wood Lab Store Manager Dan Booth enjoyed getting out into the field with one of our Caledonia tree crews, led by Caledonia Branch Manager Max Breitzman! With tree crew members Michael Kelling, Jereme Kniess, and Bryan Millard on the job, we accomplished even more than we’d hoped. It felt great to help one of Wisconsin’s oldest and most beautiful zoos keep up its first-class guest experience.
Zachariah's Acres, Oconomowoc
What could be more fun for kids than a bonfire on an island? Clearing campfire space was a mission Hoppe happily chose to accept for Zachariah’s Acres, an exceptional place dedicated to connecting children with special needs to nature. Our plan came together: The pond was still frozen in late February, which allowed our 7-person crew to easily access the heavily-wooded island and move the cleared brush to the shore.
ZA volunteers treated our team to lunch and a tour of the 48-acre Oconomowoc campus. Our crew even took home a dozen eggs each laid by ZA’s chickens and collected, washed and packaged by young adults with special needs. Co-owners Fred and August Hoppe and Operations Manager John Wayne Farber joined crew leader Frank McNutt, and crew members Jacob Casey, Cam Miller, and Will Young for a day of giving to the community.
"At Zachariah's Acres, we serve children with special needs, and strive to do so with authenticity and excellence. We experienced the same attributes from the Hoppe team,” says Terry Bartowitz, President of Zachariah's Acres, Inc. “The crew was timely, professional, and efficient. Their willingness to volunteer on our campus in Oconomowoc not only saved us considerable time and money, but more importantly, enables us to make nature accessible to children with special needs. We're grateful, and resoundingly recommend Hoppe Tree Service for tree care, pruning, and removal."
The Women's Center, Waukesha
Hoppe Helpers was excited to complete our third Day of Service in August with a project at The Women’s Center in Waukesha. Since 1977 this nonprofit organization has provided safety and support to survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. The Women's Center wanted to create more outdoor green space for its visitors and clients to be able to get outside in a safe, protected environment. When it acquired two adjacent properties to create that greenspace, Hoppe Tree Service was glad to help.
“Our team took down weed trees and cleaned out a lot of overgrowth,” says Abbie Hilgers, Hoppe Scheduling Assistant and future arborist. “We were happy to help clear the way for The Women’s Center to turn the area into a garden with walking paths. I really enjoyed helping out, and getting the field experience was great.”
Purchase of the properties was part of The Women’s Center’s long-term expansion plan. It hopes that creating a secure park-like setting for clients will help them heal. Hoppe President August Hoppe and Operations Manager John Wayne Farber joined Abbie on the Day of Service crew.