Yakima company offers $25 gift cards for an hour of weeding

Hogback Development Company begins second year of 'Get Yakima Out of the Weeds' project

YAKIMA, Wash. — For the second year in a row, Hogback Development Company is offering gift cards to community members for weeding areas in Yakima that have become an eyesore.

“A big portion of this initiative is to encourage people to go out and to put others before self and really feel what it feels like to be altruistic and to do something that is for the greater good,” said Michelle Blanchard, Director of Operations at Hogback Development Company.

Blanchard said they started the Get Yakima Out of the Weeds project during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to get people out of the house safely, to make a difference in the community and support local businesses.

“What we were really noticing that there was a lot of stress and anxiety within our community and within ourselves as well,” Blanchard said. “The only thing that we found that really made us feelbetter was finding ways to put others before self.”

The company began offering community members a $25 gift card to a local restaurant for each hour of work they spent weeding alongside city streets, in parking lots and anywhere else weeds were a problem. Now, they’ve started up the project again and have already had several people go out and clean up areas in their neighborhoods.

“We’re actually really surprised to see how excited the community is to see this come back and to jump on board, so we’ll see how much we can accomplish,” Blanchard said.

Community members have tackled five of the 10 locations posted on the company’s Facebook page, but can still weed at the other five or pick their own spot to clean up.

“We really are encouraging the community to go out and look for locations that need weeding, locations that are eyesores to them and to go ahead and weed those and we’ll give a gift certificate for those as well,” Blanchard said.

Most of the gift cards are to restaurants located within Hogback Development Company properties like Dickiey’s Barbecue Pit, Kabob House, Mod Pizza, Starbucks, Icy Thai and more.

Participants can message before and after pictures of their weeding location to Hogback Development Company on their Instagram or Facebook pages.

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