YardApes Inc. in New Milford recently donated materials and mobilized 31 volunteers for a five-site, community outreach landscaping and green-space renewal effort.

The efforts celebrated Earth Day on April 22 as part of a nationwide day of service initiated by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

The program’s goal is to give member companies an opportunity to plan, organize and carry out projects to benefit their respective communities.

YardApes identified a local property owner who demonstrated a particular landscaping need and, most importantly, who would benefit from a renewed connection to nature.

“We set out to pick one area nonprofit and one area homeowner,” YardApes owner Shayne Newman said. “And, as has been the case in previous years, we expanded our efforts to include more projects.”

“I hate to say ‘no’ to anyone,” he said. “We have to assess the need, and need is defined differently by everyone.

“We look at where we can make the biggest difference,” Newman added. “Consensus is never easy. So we end up adding more projects.”

This year’s efforts mark the seventh time YardApes has participated in such a program.

This year’s recipients of landscape and green-space renewal included, in New Milford, the playground along Pickett District Road, where installation of topsoil, in effort to stabilize the playground’s walkway, created a safe play area for the community’s children; the New Milford Bulls’ Pop Warner football field, which benefited from installation of new landscaping, weeding and mulching of existing plant beds, over-seeding and fertilizing of football field for the community youth football and cheer organization; the Pratt Nature Center, a 201-acre wildlife preserve and environmental education center which had entrance gardens in need of pruning, cleanup and mulching, and an area overgrown with invasive plant material received a cleanup; and a homeowner’s property, where volunteers cleaned up fallen leaves, pruned shrubs, dormant pruned trees and pruned Privet hedge.

In addition, volunteers cleared invasive plant material and refuse, including approximately 100 tires found in an overgrown wooded area of the Steep Rock Land Trust in New Preston.

“I am deeply gratified to have employees who volunteer their time, friends and colleagues who volunteer — and strengthen — our effort,” said Newman, “and to have nonprofits and homeowners show our volunteers unbelievable support and kindness.”

“Each year we meet new people who share their stories with us, who inspire us, and whom we are privileged to know,” he related.

The 31 volunteers comprised 22 YardApes employees who donated their day, one Aspetuck Tree & Landscape volunteer, as well as eight local business people from the BNI Business Bobcat group, of which Newman is a member.