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Amherst Landscape works with contractors, subcontractors to enhance beauty, value of any landscape

Over the years, Amherst Landscape and Design Associates has cultivated a network of contractors and subsontractors that work as a team to develop creative landscaping solutions for their clients throughout the Valley.

Steve Prothers and his crew have gained a reputation as being among the best landscapers in the business and his contractors and subcontractors work collaboratively with him to transform any landscape to enhance its beauty and value.

When an Amherst Landscape customer wants landscape architectural lighting installed, Prothers recommends Illumascape Lighting of Chicopee, owned by Phil Costello, as a subcontractor.

I enhance the beautiful work that Steve does,” Costello said. “We have a great mutual collaboration. He respects what I do and I respect what he does. He's a real gentleman. He treats both customers and subcontractors very well. He's an absolute delight.”

Costello first contracted with Prothers when he used to own an irrigation business. He started Illumascape five years ago.

Prothers and Costello recently collaborated on a pool landscaping project in North Hadley that included constructing walls and refurbishing around the home; and a large home renovation in South Hadley that included completely new landscaping.

“The owners were very pleased,” Costello said. “Steve runs a very professional operation, and they're great people to work with.”

Each year, Amherst Landscape creates a landscape design in front of the 40 by 60 foot stage for the University of Massachusetts graduation commencement. Jack Rogala, Umass Head of Grounds and Services, said Prothers brings his special blend of energy, artistry, and excellence to a project that enhances a very special day for the graduates, their friends and family, and the University.

Rogala said Prothers and his crew are on a tight schedule for the project and have about a day and a half to set up their design, which involves multiple plantings and stonework. When all of the photos are taken after commencement is finished, Amherst Landscape breaks the display down. It's a swirl of activity that Prothers and his crew pull off every year without a hitch.

Rogala used to set up a landscaping in front of the stage for years.

He hired Prothers about 10 years ago to do the job after viewing some of the projects he had done in the area. Prothers also outbid other landscaping companies to win the contract.

“I respect Steve,” Rogala said. “You ask for a 100 percent effort, he'll give you 200 percent. He has a very good crew and they are very regimented on how they do things. That's just how Steve works.”

Bob Sousa, owner of Country Club Landscape Service of Ludlow, works between six and ten jobs a year with Amherst Landscape. After Prothers and his crew are finished landscaping, Country Clubs does the hydro seeding on the property.

The first project the two collaborated on was a retirement home in East Longmeadow about 10 years ago.

“Steve is as good as you're going to get for a general contractor,” Sousa said. “He pays well and on time. Steve always has a positive, upbeat attitude. He never complains about anything.”

By the time a property is ready for hydro seeding, Sousa and his crew are the last ones on the job. That means Sousa sees how well a job has been completed.

“We work with a lot of landscapers and we observe the quality of their work,” Sousa said. “Steve is right up there with the best of them.”

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Steve Prothers • PO Box 1014 • Amherst, MA 01004 • 413.256.0666

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