Helping Out Kids and the Swamp Merchant

Restoration Systems’ Rookie of the Year, Ray Holz, and his roomate buddy, Wes Aycock, made an extraordinarily generous contribution recently to my children’s school. Ray and Wes help us rock and mulch the playground area at Joyner Elementary here in Raleigh.

These young men, I am absolutely certain, had other opportunities to spend their time early that Saturday morning — like sleeping. But instead they helped our school grounds committee beautify this kid-trampled chase-and-tag tract (cattle “hoof shear” comes to mind).

Ray’s contribution to the project did not begin that day, however. For nearly a year Ray has worked with Meriwether Hill, our committee chair, preparing drawings and estimates for the school’s application to the City of Raleigh for funds to solve Joyner’s persistent stormwater problems. He is a NC State trained Landscape Architect and his work planning the project was instrumental in Joyner being awarded….nearly forty thousand dollars!

Over the next few months Joyner will transform the hydrology of the playground and other areas behind our school with thoughtfully designed stormwater conveyances and rain gardens, as well as eradicating invasive species and weeds (a Ray Holz specialty) at the school.

Seeing that Ray has no child at Joyner, cynics may guess he is simply sucking up to the boss. Cynics would be wrong. For one, how would they explain the assistance of his buddy, Wes? I don’t recall managing to drag a roomate out of bed in my twenties simply to help me curry favor at work.

Indeed, Wes, like Ray, is simply working for his passion — and the kids. Wes has a new company, Green Roots Environmental Design, specializing in all-native plant landscaping

The truth is that these two guys are just good eggs — eager to help do whatever they do well. Stories From The Field will follow the improvements out at Joyner Elementary; progress which is in large part thanks to these gentlemen.

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