With the inside of the Carnegie building newly renovated, Exmark volunteers work to add some curb appeal.

A total of 12 Exmark employees -- five from Monday and seven on Tuesday -- took time from their working days to volunteer landscaping the front of the Carnegie Building that recently had a nearly $1 million interior renovation.

“Toro and Exmark are all about beautification of the land, so we thought this fit in really nicely,” Patty Kaufman of Exmark's community giving program said.

This week the Carnegie Foundation will be moving into the building. Landscaping was not in the funding of the renovation.

The Toro Foundation that owns Exmark gave the local Exmark employees a $5,000 volunteer grant that purchased the plants and irrigation system to landscape.

“Part of grant is that the employees actually volunteer,” Merry Coffey who works in human resources at Exmark said.

Betsy Frerichs of Bloomscapes and Pam Peterson of Countryside Greenhouse led the landscaping work. They got involved through a garden club that asked the pair if they wanted to provide input in the project.

They tried to put in plants that were similar to plants that the building had in the early 1900s, Frerichs said.

Last year, the Exmark group made care packages for troops with a grant from the Toro Foundation.

“It is hard for us to come up with projects like this,” Kaufman said. “It is really easy to write a check and give it to a project, but to find a project where our employees can actually do something is more meaningful.”

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