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O'Hara landscaper pitches in to make garden event a success

Sharon Drake | for The Herald
Greg Shaffer.

Name: Greg Schaffer.

Age: 47.

Hometown: O'Hara.

Family: Wife, Amanda; daughters, Kaitlyn, 17, and Hannah, 14.

Up next: Gardenfest at Boyd Community Center.

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By Sharon Drake
Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Taking care of the neighborhood makes sense to Greg Schaffer.

He's lending a hand — figuratively — as the named sponsor of the May 11 Gardenfest at Boyd Community Center.

Gardenfest, the annual environmental event at the center along Powers Run Road, will have banks of flowers, many harvested from local gardens, waiting to be adopted.

This year, nature will be joined by art as jewelers, photographers, painters and other works inspired by the environment are part of Gardenfest.

Greg's landscaping business, GreenPrints, is underwriting this year's event.

“There are a lot of things we want to give to. We wish we could support them all,” Greg says.

His connection with the community center and library runs deep.

Greg has been involved with the garden located at Cooper Siegel Library, which is dedicated to Fritz Mitnick. His landscapers continue to maintain the grass that is bordered by benches and bushes that separate the library from the Fox Chapel Borough Building.

GreenPrints does all types of landscape design, installation and maintenance, such as grass moving and tree pruning.

The company also builds outdoor walls and fire pits.

“It's no different than having an interior designer,” Greg says.

Greg enjoys his outdoor space at his home in Oak-hill Manor.

“It's my favorite hobby,” he says. “What I like about my garden is I get a chance to see and interact with the nature. When you're working it's production. When I'm home, I get a chance to do that; I have the time to smell the roses.”

As much as he enjoys his home, Greg likes his work, too.

“I could not imagine going to work and not enjoying it,” he says.

Greg, who grew up in Shaler, started a landscaping business as a teen.

After graduating, he went into the military. When he got out, he attended Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Along with all his environmental and plant knowledge, a landscaper has to wear many hats, Greg says.

“I like just interacting with people the best,” he says.

Most of his customers are local. Some live on the other side of the river, across the Highland Park Bridge. Greg says he appreciates the beauty of the local neighborhoods.

His wife, Amanda, grew up in the area, and the couple first lived in Aspinwall before moving into O'Hara.

It is there they make their home with their two daughters, Kaitlyn and Hannah, and, of course, their garden.

Sharon Drake is a freelance writer with Trib Total Media.

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