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Unsung heroes

Who doesn’t hate cleaning up snow?

Well, I can think of a few people. I interviewed them this week.

As the rest of us panicked, avoided the outdoors and drank hot cocoa, a few individuals got out there and did the dirty work involved with a snow storm — landscapers and snow removers. I set out to learn more about their business, and how much money a storm like Tuesday’s can bring in.

Some of my findings were expected, like the difficulty I found in reaching snow removers on a snowy day — go figure, they were all pretty busy. I also found, unsurprisingly, that the ones I spoke with enjoy the cash flow that a snowy winter brings.

But one, unexpected finding was how enthusiastic they were to do their jobs.


Tom Eckert, owner of Seasonal Changes Lawns & Landscapes Inc., plows a parking lot on Jan. 21, 2014. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

“In this trade, I am lucky to share in the growth and creativity of the warm months, but also in the cold months, I take great pride in keeping Baltimore as safe and productive as possible,” wrote Dan Trupia, of Advantage Lawn and Landscaping, in an email.

“My commercial clients need me to keep their storefronts and lots accessible, inviting and safe,” he continued. “I also know how important it is to assist my residential clients. Some need to have their homes and vehicles accessible for medical reasons, others need to work.”

Likewise, Tom Eckert, of Crofton-based Seasonal Changes, had no complaints about the work.

“You get ramped up and where the energy comes from getting out there, and doing this for 12, 14 hours — I don’t know where it comes from,” he said. “When you get done a property and knowing it’s good to go and clean it’s just a good feeling.”

Snow removers are not alone in the ranks of people who have to work during a storm. Certainly the police and other emergency personnel who weather the weather deserve recognition for their dedication to service when most people retreat to their homes.

Nonetheless, it’s always nice to hear that a person can enjoy the job they’ve taken up, no matter the temperature.