Adding color to Deere Run, then giving it away

SILVIS, Illinois – Before the golfers arrived for the 2018 John Deere Classic, the grounds crew is already primping, preening, and putting the 18 holes of TPC at Deere Run in the best possible shape.

But so are the folks at Uncommon Ground.

For a week before tournament play, they brought in semi loads of plants and mulch.

They are the landscapers who focus on the areas where the spectators see.

"It's huge. We plan for months and we get it all done in four to five days," said Uncommon Ground Vice President Mike Cavins.

Kathy Meyer along with Uncommon Ground owner Jennifer Cavins and her husband Mike led a crew of 16 people to set flowers, trees, and shrubs in place in more than a dozen locations around the course.

This was no small feat.

The team had four days to put 2500 flowers, flower pots, and flower boxes into place.

They also spread out almost two semi-loads of mulch.

They followed a plan for each of the last five years, but that first year was the biggest challenge.

"We had a plan, we thought it would work, and we changed that plan five times in that first year."

Uncommon Ground is also doing something uncommon at the course.

Mike says much of their work is donated.  It's his family's way to give back to the community.

"If I had to charge something, that money doesn't go back to Birdies for Charity, it has to go to me."

All the landscaping is temporary.

Uncommon Ground will donate all the mulch and many of the plants to Arrowhead Ranch, the Rock Island County facility that helps at-risk youth.

"We always have a biology class or a botany class going on and the flowers, taking care of the flowers, and the planting of them are all part of that lab work for those classes," said Arrowhead Ranch director Dr. Chester Lien.

As for Uncommon Ground, Mike says the work at the golf course gives his workers a common goal: teamwork.

"It's a lot of work in four days so the guys come together."