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Three men and a van. That's how LawnCare by Walter started more than 30 years ago. The small team provided lawn care services for only a few hundred customers in the Rockford area. Three decades later, the company's customer base has tripled, employing a staff of 45 and counting. (1) From lawns to landscapes, LCbW now serves residential, commercial, and municipal clients across Northern Illinois. Mark and Debbie Walter have locally owned and operated LawnCare by Walter since 1986. They've even raised a family of three in the process. Mark Walter credits a dedicated and talented staff and loyal customer base for the company's success. Some employees have been with the business nearly 20 years!It hasn't always been an easy road for the Walter's. As clients tightened their budgets during the recession in 2008, they had to re-strategize. The Walter's didn't' give up though. Mark says they crossed their fingers and diversified their business; introducing landscape and hardscape services. "You have to continually change to meet the customer's needs and somehow differentiate yourself from your competitors in the tougher times."The company's landscaping department now represents nearly half of the business, and it continues to grow. Giving Back.The Walter family is no stranger to charitable giving. Their middle son Grant was diagnosed with Austim at the age of 2. (Grant) Each year, they try to corporately sponsor as many events and charities as they can. With every dollar spent, they hope to raise even more awareness and money for services for those with disabilities.Landscape tips from the experts! You may not always have to start from scratch. Mark Walter says sealants will help restore your pavers to the original finish, even if it has been a few years since your patio or driveway was installed. He also says simple additions can substantially improve the overall look and feel of your existing space. Water features and fire pits can turn an ordinary patio into a relaxing, outdoor sanctuary. Looking to install a patio yourself? Keep in mind it's more than just laying down bricks or pavers. Walter recommends leveling the area and grade the pitch away from the house. He says installing a proper gravel base is also extremely important. If you skip this step, you may notice sinking issues in as little as one season. "Often times, paying a professional is going to save you a lot of heartache and expense down the road. If you hire someone that's not qualified, it may save you some expense upfront, but choosing a certified installer guarantees you're going to get longevity out of your project."LawnCare by Walter is certified through the Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute and is a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals and the Better Business Bureau. LCbW is also proudly considered a Veteran Preferred Business.

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