Third Community Impact project makes a difference in the Twin Cities

Sep. 19, 2021

Nine companies and their employees, who offered their rental expertise, equipment and labor, completed the third project of the Community Impact Program at Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul, Minn., on Tuesday, Sept. 14 – Wednesday, Sept. 15. 

This project — the latest joint effort of the ARA Foundation and The Toro Company Foundation — involved the installation of a nature play area, the moving of dirt deposited from floods and the enhancement of trails at the park, which sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.

Minnesota rental businesses and manufacturer/suppliers that participated in the two-day event included:

  • Hiawatha Reddy Rents, Minneapolis
  • Crown Rental, Burnsville
  • A1 Rent It, Wayzata
  • Brainerd General Rental, Brainerd
  • First Western Equipment Finance, Eden Prairie
  • J & F Reddy Rents, Saint Louis Park
  • DePrey Co., Saint Cloud
  • Great Northern Equipment, Rogers
  • Broadway Rental Equipment Co., Brooklyn Park

In addition to providing general support for the project, the ARA of Minnesota provided lunch on both days with proceeds from the state chapter’s “Happy Bucks” fund.

“At all of our meetings, everyone donates a dollar, five dollars or 20 dollars — whatever they feel comfortable donating — and says something that they are happy or thankful for, or excited to see in the future,” says Kevin Fitzgerald, manager, Hiawatha Reddy Rents, Minneapolis, who also serves as ARA of Minnesota president. “So, instead of using members’ dues for a project like this, we put our ‘Happy Bucks’ towards lunch.”

Fitzgerald says he was pleased with the project’s outcome and acknowledges that even though time ran short on finishing one of the smaller side tasks, the groundwork was laid for a timely completion by Fort Snelling State Park and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“It all went really well. The pathways, which are the majority of what the public sees, turned out really nice. We didn’t get all the silt cleanup from areas that flooded in 2014 and 2019 fully finished — we would have needed a third day for that. But the park district and the DNR said that they just needed some help moving it and that after we started helping them, they will be able to move forward and finish off that project themselves over the next few months,” he says.

The Community Impact Program, which kicked off with its inaugural event in Ohio during June and was followed up by a second project in Denver in July, involves the ARA Foundation and The Toro Company Foundation partnering with local nonprofit organizations to coordinate community service projects across the country. The purpose of the program is twofold: to allow those in the rental industry an opportunity to give back to their community as well as build public awareness and demonstrate the advantages of rental. 

Watch your email for details on future projects, which will involve the collaboration of American Rental Association (ARA) members, ARA state associations, and Toro and Ditch Witch representatives in the locations who will source donations and volunteers to work on the projects.

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