People in Your Neighborhood: Keeping Milton beautiful with the Landscape Department

Published on May 09, 2018 with 2 Comments

The city Landscape Department does more than just mow grass; it’s a small department with a big job. The department consists of 8 full time employees (along with two 10 inmate crews), who beautify and maintain the city, providing shade and color with a variety of plants, flowers, trees and manicured ball fields. They are the artists who skillfully create the hometown atmosphere of Milton.

The creative mind behind the beauty is Lee Willingham, landscape department head.

Lee Willingham, Landscape Department Head

He credits his crew for their hard work.

“The city wouldn’t be as beautiful without the help of my staff. Not a lot of cities of this size look this way. They do much more than just mow the grass.”

He said everyone who works in landscaping has a great sense of pride. “This is a job dealing with extreme temps and weather. In order for people to do their job, they must have a sense of responsibility. They want to feel they have accomplished something so they can say, ‘I do that. I did that project.’

It’s a paycheck but it’s a sense of ownership. We do something that has a heritage. We plant trees that can last generations and make decisions to drive the atmosphere people enjoy.”

Landscaping, he said, mows all parks, right of ways, city properties and retention ponds; all maintenance of parks, grounds, city right of ways, athletic fields, highways, roadways, irrigation, maintain trees, changing out annuals and plantings.

Along with planting, irrigating and maintaining, landscape empties the fixed trash cans within all parks, picks up litter throughout the city. “The public sees the end result. They may see a few seconds of maintenance but what they don’t see is how we deal with traffic, litter, vandalism and even emergency vehicles who have to park on the medians during a traffic accident. We maintain the beauty and there’s so much that happens behind the scenes,” said Willingham.

Sharail Figures, who’s been with the city for a year, said he enjoys the daily routine and seeing the results of his hard work. “My favorite project was working on the police station. We removed azaleas, laid sod, put in concrete and a new irrigation system and added a landscape feature around the new flag pole. It was great.”

“Each day we have different duties. Parks, playground, gazebos, we keep them all nice and neat. We take care of stuff that shouldn’t be there,” said Travis Zirker, a 5 year employee of the department.

“If we didn’t have a landscaping department, the city would lose it’s beauty.”

 

Employee Robert Hyman agrees with Zirker. “We maintain a healthy environment for children,” he said. Hyman served two years in the Street Department and the last 15 in Landscape. He spends most of his time maintaining city ball fields. “If we didn’t have a landscape department, the fields would look like every other municipal field.”

Hyman said another task he’s responsible for is preparing the ball fields for various age groups, which includes base settings and painting. Each age group will have a different set and he knows each requirement. “Milton holds various tournaments and landscaping is responsible for prepping for each game.”

 

 

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2 Comments

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  1. Doing a great job guys. Keep up the good work. Are you going to replace the two trees somebody took out on Dogwood?

  2. I am very grateful to all of the people that are making Milton the best little community. Creating beautiful roadways and maintaining parks are what will continue to make Milton a premier place to live. We have a uniqueness that needs to be nourished. I absolutely love all that you have done to help keep us a hometown. Thank you.

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