The newly created natural playground replaced a traditional play space that consisted of plastic structures that no longer gave the students a unique play experience. The new playground is a natural space that offers a myriad of learning opportunities to the students, including topics such as science, music, reading, and horticulture. Some of the features include gardens, a science observation area, a dedicated space for music and movement, mud and sandpits, and wood stump seating for picnics and story time. The primary objective of the new space is to help enrich the children’s physical being, cognitive skills, and social and emotional aptitude.
The playground is divided into two sections based on the ages of the students. The area for the older children features a large sandpit where many kids can explore their creativity and play together. A wooden water runnel extends into the sandpit and provides an opportunity for the kids to watch water flow into the sand. A custom bridge enables the children to climb and see the space from a higher elevation. The custom playhouse is a popular space for kids to bake mud pies in the make-believe kitchen. Students can sit and relax in the bamboo sukkah or walk through the structure to get to the opposite side.
Furthermore, the area for the youngest kids includes two slides that are built into a fescue hill and a custom sandbox, which includes a cedar cover that folds back in order to create seating. Throughout the space, log steppers are arranged to encourage the kids to jump from one to the next. A council ring provides a space for instructors to teach class outside. During the lesson, students sit on the logs arranged in a semi-circle, which assists in creating a culture of participation.
The new, innovative playground is now a space where children can play and learn in a natural environment and inspires them to use their multiple senses and play with more vigor, engagement, and imagination. Check out the project photos below!
Clarence Davids & Company is proud to announce that our work at Grand Plaza in Chicago, Illinois won a 2017 Illinois Landscape Contractors Association Excellence in Landscape Award. The project scope was to transform the dated pool deck into a hip Miami-style space for entertaining and outdoor leisure. The client wanted to enhance the sun deck outdoor areas that were previously based on function into aesthetically appealing spaces that drew their young luxury apartment residents in, as well as, attracting new residents to their building.
One of the biggest priorities of the project was to take the previous outdoor grilling/dining area that consisted of freestanding grills with tables and chairs and elevate it into elaborate built in kitchen and bar areas. Because of the large space we were allotted, we were able to design in two large outdoor kitchen/bar areas. They each consisted of a large commercial size grill, outdoor sink, ice chest and a miniature refrigerator. Each built in kitchen accommodates bar seating to add to the upbeat ambiance the client was looking for, as well as additional seating space. They are also both covered by a pergola to add shade to the sun deck. The outdoor kitchens are built with a cultured stone veneer with granite counters.
One of the other elements to the project was to transform the tired landscaping into a healthy rejuvenated backdrop to our newly designed spaces. Another important priority for the client was to create a clean and open lawn space that could be used for towel and blanket overflow seating. On the weekends the pool area can get so busy that they run out of seating for their residents. Our newly designed lawn area took the place of multiple crab trees that had previously made the pool area dark and claustrophobic. By opening up the pool area, the terrace feels like a totally different place. The terrace border planting is filled with flowering hydrangeas, roses and large drifts of Panicum grasses that enhance the breezy fill of the deck.
Another feature that was important to our client was the addition of Cabanas to the Pool Area. In an effort to keep up with the competing luxury apartment rentals Pool Cabanas are the new hot things. These Cabanas are open for daily rental to the residents so that they can enjoy an intimate pool space to hang out with their friends and family.
Finally, in an effort to update and tie the entire pool and dining spaces together, a new outdoor furniture scheme was put together. This included dining furniture, lounge and spa pool chairs and deep seating furniture for the Cabanas and other intimate spaces. As well as, the addition of new cantilever umbrella’s to create shade spaces. The color scheme consisted of Miami Orange, Spa Blue and Granite grey to create the clean hip Miami style terrace the client was looking for.
The renovated pool/dining terrace has been a huge success and well received by the client, residents and guests. Take a look at the photos below!
Clarence Davids & Company is proud to announce that our work at Gaelic Park in Oak Forest, Illinois won a 2017 Illinois Landscape Contractors Association Excellence in Landscape Award. Our challenge from the client was to take a steel and concrete patio area overlooking an enormous gravel parking lot, 1000’s of feet of chain-link fence, a five story radio tower, playground and soccer field and transform it into their dream event and wedding venue.
We started this project by removing the declining Ash trees. Next, we created a natural water feature to serve as a backdrop and provide both a focal point and a photo opportunity in the space. The waterfall feature, with staggered spillways, offered visual appeal as well as the gentle sound of flowing water. A stone bridge was installed at the end of the falls to complete the feature. It was now time to add our structure-a pergola large enough to comfortably accommodate a large group. The paver patio under the pergola joined a meandering paver path to connect the existing outdoor area with the new event space. This also provided the romantic feel of “walking through a garden” that our client requested. An additional challenge was to revitalize the area along the existing patio so that it would meld together with our newly created event space, while not blocking the spectator view of the soccer field. This was no easy feat. We were able to strategically plant some columnar trees to mask the fence and goal posts and soften the area by installing some low bushes and perennials. At the transition spot, we installed a semicircle stone seating area which could easily adjust from a photo taking “nook” to a conversational fire pit area. Our final challenge was installing the perfect combination of mature plant material for immediate screening with trees and bushes that would mature into the space and both perennials and annuals to provide seasonal blooming and color.
In the end, we were able to take an eyesore, an under-utilized outdoor space and create exactly what our client envisioned; a multi-functional event space which would attract new business and provide a colorful, natural extension of their existing venue. Check out the photos below!
“Like father, like son,” is a phrase that in many ways could be applied to this years Illinois Landscape Contractors Association Man of the Year. The honor that is being accorded, however, recognizes an individual that, while continuing in the family landscaping business that his dad launched back in 1951 and serving – as his father had – as a president of the ILCA, 2017 Man of the Year recipient Bill Davids has made his own mark on the company he now leads – and on the industry it serves.
Though Bill followed to a large degree in the footsteps of his father, company founder Clarence, each man had a distinct vision for the company, which they applied in steering the business – an enterprise which has won more than 200 awards on state and national levels for achievement in landscape design and maintenance. Recently, in 2015, the company was recognized with four awards in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Association’s Curb Appeal competition.
“We worked together many years,” relates the son, in recalling the familial collaboration. For his part, Bill Davids would pursue the design-build process, introducing a service offering that he believed was “necessary to go along with maintenance.” Today, the company is a full-service contractor offering a wide array of services from maintenance, design-build, installation, lawn care, snow removal and tree pruning to creating seasonal flower displays and providing holiday decor.
“Design always interested me,” says the younger Davids, who studied horticulture at Michigan State University. He conveys that in business such as the one in which he grew up – and grew into, “There’s a lot to learn.” He also acknowledges the senior Davids’ appreciation of this requisite to success. “My father thought education was important,” he relates. The current company president, in turn, carries the same outlook when it comes to developing employees. “We support further education,” he says. “As we’ve been blessed as the company grows, we bless other people with key positions.
A great example
The company also maintains a focus on environmental consciousness and sustainability, as well as expresses a commitment to providing a safe work place for employees, its customers and the general public. Impressive, too, is that fact that Bill Davids can name some big-time commercial clients that the company has maintained from the contractor’s early ventures into this market – an accomplishment that can be credited to company leadership.
Bill’s business leadership style has not gone unnoticed. Industry colleague, Jim Melka, who as founder of Melka Landscaping & Garden Center in Mokena, Ill., is another south suburban contractor observes, “The one word that comes to mind when thinking of Bill is ‘professionalism.’ It radiates throughout the entire company.”
Clarence Davids & Company has also maintained a long-time relationship with ILCA, a relationship that Bill values strongly. “ILCA has meant a lot to us over the years,” he says, citing learning opportunities the affiliation has afforded. He also expresses an appreciation of the affiliation with what he sees as some of the “most knowledgeable and largest landscaping firms in the United States.” It appears that fellow ILCA members have a mutual appreciation for Bill’s service to the association.
Preceding Bill as president of ILCA was Kenny Gallt, founder of Foliage Design Systems, Lombard, Ill. Gallt: “Bill is one of those quiet supporters of ILCA and the landscape industry. Through Bill’s leadership, he has grown Clarence Davids landscaping business into one of the most distinguished companies in the country. While doing this, Bill has found time to give to others in the community, and to ILCA as a past board member, office, and president.
“But more important, the association has always been able to call on Bill and his company for his support for talent for ILCA committees and participation in the ILCA programs,” Gallt continues. “Bill through his leadership sets a great example for anyone in this industry.”
A steady hand on the rudder
Frank Mariani, who leads Mariani Landscape in Lake Bluff, Ill., served on the ILCA board with Bill, and shares some observations of Bill’s manner. “What I enjoyed most is his steady and consistent hand on the rudder. He always took the time to think before he spoke and for that reason his words carried a lot of weight,” relates Mariani. “I also admire Bill as he took over for this father Clarence, who was a well-respected legend in our industry and one of the founding members of ILCA. Those were big shoes to fill and Bill was and still is up to the job!”
Also serving on the board with Bill was Scott McAdam, president of McAdam Landscaping, Forest Park, Ill. “What I always remembered was that he was a quiet leader,” recalls McAdam. “He had a calm demeanor about him and was very thorough in his thought process. He always had the best interest of the industry, even before his company, no matter what issue was before the board. He was also very humble and well grounded. He was quite passionate about the industry and what the association could do to help move us to be a more professional organization.”
Perhaps Melka sums up why Davids is being recognized with the Man of the Year honor for 2016-17. “Bill has set the bar to provide the highest quality of service and integrity in the landscape maintenance industry,” declares Melka. “I am proud to be involved in a profession that has such as a dedicated and reputable individual like Bill Davids.”
Thank you very much for helping us celebrate our 65th Anniversary year together. Thank you for your trust and the opportunities you have provided each of us to sustain Clarence Davids & Company over the years and into the future.
On your behalf, we are making a financial gift to Providence Life Services. Since 1959, Providence Life Services has been caring for mature adults, providing independent living and assisted living along with rehabilitation services. To learn more please go to their website: www.providencelifeservices.com.
From each of us at Clarence Davids & Company, we extend our very best wishes to you and your family for a very blessed Christmas. We offer our prayers for Hope and Peace for the future.
Below is a video of some of the holiday decorations that we have installed this year. Enjoy!
Clarence Davids & Company, a landscape architecture design-build firm, has an opening for a landscape designer in the Matteson, Illinois corporate office. The full time position will include developing design solutions and graphic presentations for both commercial and residential clients, with a strong emphasis on seasonal floral displays. The designer will also assist the production department and sales staff on the installation and supervision of projects.
Clarence Davids & Company was established in 1951 and specializes in landscape management, seasonal rotations, and design/build landscape construction. The company has three offices; Matteson, IL (Corporate), Plainfield, IL, and Ingleside, IL. More information can be found online at www.clarencedavids.com and facebook.com/clarencedavids.
This is an exciting opportunity to work for an award-winning design-build firm!
• Graduate of an accredited Landscape Architecture Program
• Experience in AutoCad, Photoshop, and Microsoft Office
• Good knowledge of annuals, perennials, and woody plants
• Strong design creativity, including seasonal floral design
• Ability to work independently and be self-motivated
Interested applicants should send a resume and work samples to:
Clarence Davids & Company
22901 S. Ridgeland Avenue
Matteson, IL 60443
NOTE: The following article was written by Barbara Dutton and is an excerpt from the August edition of The Landscape Contractor.
As this company enterprise celebrates 65 years in business, reflections on its early days and its enduring philosophies and practices are certainly due.
The year was 1951. Automobile owners could expect to pay 19 cents a gallon for gas on their way home from work for an evening that might include watching an episode of newly debuted I Love Lucy, after puttering around their backyard – a prized aspect of a home in the rapidly developing suburbs of the post-World War II era.
It was in this climate that Clarence Davids & Company was launched by Clarence Davids, Sr. The family-owned landscape management firm is now operating under its second generation of leadership, headed by Bill Davids, son of the founder. Having studied horticulture at Michigan State University and worked closely with his father in the business, the younger Davids now serves as the company’s president.
He attributes the business’ endurance to sustaining an environment marked by customer satisfaction. “We owe our longevity to our customers,” he reflects. “We strive to establish partnerships with our clients by providing prompt, quality landscape services at fair competitive pricing.”
The company’s client base consists of high-end residential, multi-family, industrial, commercial, and institutional property owners. Headquartered in Matteson, Illinois, with branch offices in Plainfield and Ingleside, the full-service contractor offers maintenance, design-build, installation, lawn care, snow removal, tree pruning and removal, seasonal flower displays and holiday decor services.
Over the 65 years of its operation, Clarence Davids & Company has garnered more than 200 awards recognizing landscape design and maintenance achievements. Among these was a first-place accolade from the Chicago business group, the Magnificent Mile Association, in recognition of a winter/holiday display created by the landscape contractor. Davids makes proud reference to an Illinois Landscape Contractors Association honor recognizing the company as being the only business, of the original founding members of ILCA, still in operation.
Client satisfaction, industry involvement, education, and employee retention appear to all have added up to a substantial legacy of success. “We look forward to continuing to provide beautiful, sustainable landscapes to our customers well into the future,” comments Bill Davids.
VALLEY VIEW, Ohio–Clarence Davids & Company has been named one of the largest landscape companies in North America by Lawn & Landscape Magazine!
“To be included on the Top 100 list is a high honor. This list is very exclusive–only a small percentage of landscapers can make it–and brings with it a great responsibility,” says Lawn & Landscape Editor and Associate Publisher Chuck Bowen. “Because of their size and stature in the industry, these 100 companies act as ambassadors of the landscape profession to homeowners and commercial property managers across the country. They continue to exhibit all the things that make the landscape industry great: dedication, drive and a desire to make the world a better place.”
The Lawn & Landscape Top 100 is based on 2015 revenue from landscape profit centers, and is reported by each company listed. Companies on the Top 100 list earned total revenue in 2015 of $8,445,782,868. That’s $403,225,109 more than in 2014 – an increase of 5 percent. Companies on the list reported total employment (seasonal plus year-round employees) of 83,971 people. The list comprises 96 companies in 30 states and four firms in Canada.
Clarence Davids & Company is honored to be part of this select group!