A Tribute to Dave Harris

Today, MPS installed a commemorative tree and plaque at Markham District High School, in memory of former teacher, David Harris.  Dave taught at MDHS from 1973 to 2003.  In that time, he was not only a teacher, but was also a coach, mentor and friend to countless students and members of the community.  At MPS, a number of us attended his classes, and were always amazed at his organization, preparedness, and ability to convey a huge amount of information in a short time.  But perhaps our fondest memories are from the rugby pitch, where this English gentleman introduced us to a game which we had never seen, but soon fell in love with.  With his endless enthusiasm, and through countless volunteer hours, Dave took us on tours of the U.K., molded us into a provincial championship team, and fostered teamwork and friendships that still stand today.  That teamwork is a cornerstone of our success at MPS!

Dave was taken from us too early, but we’re proud to have been involved in this project, and to let his memory live on.

Jim Monk President

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Summer Staff BBQ 2016

As fall approaches and our summer students start to head back to school, we wanted to have one last summer work social to show our appreciation for the staff. We finished work early on the Friday afternoon and invited all of the MPS staff to attend the BBQ at the Markham Rugby Club. MPS provided snacks, drinks and delicious burgers for all the employees. While music played on the patio, our staff took to the field to play Frisbee, catch and beanbag toss. It’s not very often that our office staff has the opportunity to mingle with all of our employees working out in the field, so it was a great experience for the staff to hangout and relax outside of work. Everyone at the BBQ received an MPS t-shirt, and the summer students were given an extra-special shirt….

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We hope to see these students back next summer, and wish them luck in their studies this year!

Jenna Monk

Pollinator-Friendly Garden Project

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Pollinator Garden 

Centennial College approached us earlier this summer to design and renovate an existing garden to become pollinator friendly! A pollinator garden attracts bees and provides a habitat for native pollinators. Bees are extremely important. In fact all creatures that eat plants depend on pollinators, and unlike the mysterious disappearance of the honeybees, many other bee species are declining due to habitat loss.

MPS’s commercial design manager, Mark, designed a pollinator garden by incorporating a variety of native, flowering perennials. He choose plants with different colour flowers, as well as plants that bloom at different times throughout the season to attract bees all summer long. The perennials that were planted in this garden include:

  • Purple Cone Flower 

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  • Aster aster flower

  • Autumn Joy Sedum 

    autumn joy sedum

  • Snowberry 

    snow berry

To create this garden, the MPS crew cleared the existing area and put in new triple mix growing medium. Centennial students helped to install the stepping stones and plant the perennials. By working on the project, students were able to learn outside the normal classroom environment. The new pollinator-friendly garden at Centennial College is now a flourishing habitat for bee species, in a mostly urban area.

Why create pollinator friendly spaces?

  • Bees pollinate ¾ of the foods that we eat

  • There is a loss of bee habitats in developed urban areas

  • Creating a habitat for bees and insects means they are less likely to move into a structure (…your house!)

  • They’ll help pollinate your fruit and vegetable gardens, increasing your yield!

Some tips for creating your pollinator garden include choosing perennials with lots of colour, especially blue, yellow, red and violet. It is important to choose plants native to north america that will thrive in this environment and create the proper habitat for native pollinators. Installation of ‘bee’ houses and water features can also help to attract pollinators. It is important to avoid using chemical pesticides near the pollinator garden, as the pesticides are detrimental to bees. Lastly, the most attractive feature for pollinators is a high density of plants. 

List of other pollinator friendly perennials

  • Cardinal flower
  • Honeysuckle
  • Bee balm
  • Zinna
  • Phlox
  • Mint
  • Fushia
  • Sage
  • Cosmos
  • English lavender
  • Nasturtium
  • Lupine
  • Coneflower
  • Geranium
  • Black-eyed susan
  • Sunflower
  • Angel’s trumpet
  • Verbena
  • Aster
  • Shasta daisy

Jenna Monk 

Why Choose Us? Trex vs. Stone Steps

Industry standard is changing and we want to tell you about it!

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When MPS began residential landscape construction, almost 25 years ago, it was common to build stone steps or interlocking platforms right against the bricks or foundation of a house. However, over time this method started causing water and foundation issues. Stone or interlock steps that are built against the house can cause water to build up behind the stones, causing cracks in the foundation or spalling of the bricks (breaking off into fragments).

To prevent future water issues, the designers at MPS recommend a Trex step. It has become an increasingly popular option over pressure-treated wood, natural stone or interlock over the past few years. Trex is a composite deck material that resembles wood, is low-maintenance, high performing and eco-friendly. Due to the wood frame beneath the Trex deck, it allows the foundation and brick to breath, while also allowing water to drain and not get trapped against the wall. We prefer Trex because it doesn’t need to be stained or treated, it won’t warp, crack, split or rot and it’s resistant to all pests. Trex is truly maintenance free decking! Below are some recent projects we’ve completed with Trex steps and platforms. Trex is available in numerous colours and looks great with natural stone and interlock. For more information about Trex composite decking, check out their website.  side-6
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Jenna Monk

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