Sprucing up Tesh's entrance

Agency receives special landscaping project

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Justin Moore, left, and Melanie Jenkins move some dirt to help BCR Land Services install a new irrigation system to beautify the front entrance of the Tesh building in Coeur d'Alene.

COEUR d'ALENE - James Dunn, facilities manager of Tesh, Inc., looked at the area near the building's entrance Thursday afternoon as workers from BCR Land Services dug in the landscaping.

"I have a blue bucket in that bush over there that I fill up every morning, and I bring it out here and water all this to try to keep it nice," said Dunn, of Coeur d'Alene.

Dunn explained that he specifically chose the hydrangea tree near the entrance a while ago to honor his late coworker Rita House, who was with Tesh more than 30 years. He said he and House, along with director of operations MaryBeth Ranum, would watch the quail huddle near it in the quiet mornings.

"They like the roses in the tree over there, and they like to huddle around this tree, and that's why I bought them for her, so they'd have a place to live," he said.

Dunn's morning routine is a bit different now and he will no longer need the blue bucket, thanks to members of the Rotary Club of Coeur d'Alene, BCR Land Services, Northland Nursery and O'Day Custom Construction.

"For me, just beautifying this area ... to keep this nice and not to (let it) die is great," Dunn said.

The community entities and businesses came together to spruce up the entrance at Tesh, planting new greenery and installing about 65 feet of irrigation line with individual drip heads to keep the plants watered and healthy. Rotarian and project coordinator Valleta O'Day of Coeur d'Alene said the day's work totaled about $15,000, without Tesh having to pay a dime.

"It's been a lot of work," Dunn said. "This property is like, 35 years old."

Chad Ross owns BCR Land Services with his brother, Brenny. He said it was great to be able to use his services and abilities to assist Tesh in having a beautiful campus.

"My brother and I grew up here in Coeur d'Alene, and just to see where Coeur d'Alene's gone and just to be able to help out, it's wonderful," he said.

Bryce Carkhuff of Coeur d'Alene is a foreman with BCR. He explained that part of the task included hiding the drip heads in the shrubbery so they would be hidden and look nice as they bubble water. He also enjoyed being a part of the Tesh beautification process.

"I like it. Anything that God's behind, I'm behind," he said. "I always love to be involved in stuff like that. I think it's beyond what they were expecting."

Rotary members who meet Fridays started a new community service committee "so we could do more locally," said Barbara Smalley, of Coeur d'Alene. Smalley and O'Day were on-site as the work began to wrap up.

"Don't you think coming into a place with nice plants and a good-looking landscaping would make you feel like you were going to get good care?" O'Day said. "I think so."

Tesh is a private, not-for-profit organization focused on enriching the lives of people of all ages who are living with disabilities, and works to provide opportunities for them to be self-sufficient and more active in the community. Ranum said the attention to the exterior of the building was a special gift because when Tesh does receive funding, the first priority is the people it serves.

"Tesh wants everybody to know how much we appreciate it, whether it's a Rotarian organization or similar organizations who contact us and partner with us on things that we need," she said. "The funding that we get through the state agencies is not enough to cover, and often the extras, like a beautiful garden, is completely out of our reach. Having an opportunity to get something this special is very appreciated."

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