EATON —In honor of Arbor Day, Fitzwater Tree and Lawn Care partnered with the City of Eaton and the Preble County YMCA to plant a tree at Seven Mile Park on Friday, April 29.
Greenville-based Fitzwater Tree and Lawn, which recently opened an Eaton location as well, is celebrating its 70th anniversary of providing tree and lawn care, landscaping, and snow removal to Darke and Preble counties. Owner David Furlong wanted to give back to the region by bringing new life to the ecosystem; in recent years, Preble County has lost many trees to the emerald ash borer epidemic.
“Good service and giving back to the community are very important,” said Furlong. “God and this community have blessed me with a lot of work, and so I want to give back. Every year, I want to work with the City to plant more trees.”
Furlong’s business is also growing something else that gives back to the community: legacy. Multiple family members are employed by the company, and other employees become like family. Previous owner Larry Fitzwater, son of the original owner, was on hand, as was an employee who’d served for over 50 years, under all three owners.
“Many employees have worked their whole careers here,” Furlong said. “A lot of employees came before me to establish the level of service we give, and the people I’ve got now are continuing that legacy. I have a mom and a dad and their son working for me. My son works for me. Several other employees are related, as well. We have a third-generation worker in house, too — one of the guys working for me also worked for Larry and Stan, and his son is now my shop manager, and his grandson is now working for me. If you have good employees, usually their kids will be good employees, and that’s what makes a company great.”