Youth, seniors benefit from Springbrook yardwork programs
Residents in Springbrook who are seniors or people with limited mobility that need some help with yardwork can take advantage of a program that matches them with local youth.
“I’ve got three matches so far,” said Adrian Pidhirney, the Family and Community Support Services worker for Springbrook.
“The three people that are in it are ecstatic,” he said of the response to the program.
The program works by matching youth aged 12 and up with someone who needs help in their yard. Pidhirney said the youths are paid by the employers but he helps work out a fair price for their efforts.
The youths are responsible for “light yardwork” but are not allowed to take on anything like rototilling.
“They’re not allowed to use dangerous equipment,” Pidhirney said. He said work can include things like mowing the lawn, working flowerbeds, trimming grass, pulling weeds and so on.
“They do have to know how to mow the lawn,” Pidhirney said.
Part of the paperwork the youths must get filled out includes a parental permission form confirming the worker can operate a lawn mower.
Once a youth is matched with a home, Pidhirney does an orientation with both parties to set out expectations.
The program is brand new this year and was inspired by similar winter-based programs.
“I think it was the snow angel programs,” Pidhirney said of one part of his inspiration. The other spark for him was talking to a woman last year who said she was having trouble with some of her yardwork.
The program can help keep people in their homes longer if they don’t need to manage the yard on their own, Pidhirney said.
The kids themselves are enjoying getting paid for their efforts.
“It gives them candy money,” Pidhirney said.
He’s hoping once the fall hits the yardwork program can be shifted into a snow-shovelling program.
The program is strictly for Springbrook residents. Pidhirney said he could use a few more workers as he has one yard waiting for a match.
To inquire about the program as either a worker or employer, contact Pidhirney at 403-350-9533.