History

From Humble Beginnings to a "Top 10" Company

NatureScapes 1983
In the early days, a modest house served as headquarters.

NatureScapes Timeline

NatureScapes Timeline
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Dissatisfaction with the current climate has launched many an enterprise, and NatureScapes was no different.  It was a series of unpleasant experiences with landscape contractors while working on projects for the MARTA rail system that propelled Rick Upchurch to start NatureScapes in 1983.

“I enjoyed the satisfaction that came with completing a landscape project, and I knew I could deliver a better, timelier product than the other companies I had been dealing with,” explains Upchurch.  So with a lawnmower and minimal equipment, Upchurch struck out on his own to build a company dedicated to service and building relationships.

In 1996, NatureScapes acquired Greensphere, a high-end residential landscaping company then owned by Rick Barnes.  Both companies had hit a plateau and merging them created a renewed vitality.   After the merger, NatureScapes’ revenue more than doubled.

A couple of years later, the company began thinking about a new facility.  “We were running out of parking space for our employees,” says Upchurch.  The dream became a reality in October 1999.   The company moved into its current home and now occupies two-thirds of an 18,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility.

A decade later, NatureScapes again began seeking major growth opportunities and found it in the form of another merger.   In 2009, it acquired Landscape Management Group allowing NatureScapes to expand its coverage area and add a Marietta branch location.   It also made NatureScapes one of the largest locally-owned commercial landscaping companies in Atlanta.

With all of the changes over the years – almost three decades now – one thing has stayed the same: NatureScapes’ commitment to service and building relationships.  “We are proud of our team and the service they provide," said Upchurch, and he credits this as the single biggest factor in the company's success today.

Below are just some of the highlights from throughout the years as NatureScapes has grown from a one-man operation into a company with more than 135 employees during peak seasons, $10 million in revenue, a large number of long-term customers, more than 40 industry awards, and multiple appearances in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s annual Top Commercial Landscape Companies list.

History Links

 


History Highlights
 

1983 Rick Upchurch founds NatureScapes
1991 NatureScapes unveils a new logo with a tag line that endures the test of time, “Your Property.   Our Passion.”
1993 NatureScapes celebrates 10 years of business
1996 NatureScapes merges with Greensphere, a high-end residential landscape company owned by Rick Barnes; Rick Barnes remains with the company as vice president
NatureScapes purchases four acres down the street from its office to set up a recycling operation for landscape debris
1997 NatureScapes begins working with two premier properties in Atlanta – the Margaret Mitchell House, where Scarlett O'Hara came to life in Gone with the Wind, and the Atlanta Botanical Garden
NatureScapes receives its first GGIA Award
1998 NatureScapes jumps to 13 in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of Top Landscaping Companies
1999 NatureScapes moves into its new office and warehouse space occupying two-thirds of an 18,000-square-foot facility
2000 Rick Barnes is bestowed the Jake Tinga Distinguished Professional of the Year Award by GGIA
2001 NatureScapes is honored with its first two MALTA Awards
2003 NatureScapes celebrates its 20th anniversary
Rick Upchurch is named Volunteer of the Year by Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation
2004 NatureScapes partners with Simply Green to expand its services and ensure top-quality turf management
NatureScapes receives its first Consumer Choice Award
2005 NatureScapes receives another Consumer Choice Award for the second year in a row
2006 Rick Upchurch is named the new president of MALTA and serves his first of two terms
2007 NatureScapes partners with the Georgia Real Estate Commission to offer free continuing education classes for its customers
2008 NatureScapes celebrates its 25th anniversary
2009 NatureScapes acquires LMG and expands its geographic coverage area
2010 NatureScapes gets a makeover with a fresh new logo that is applied to everything from letterhead to trucks
NatureScapes is ranked eighth in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s list of Top Landscaping Companies
2011 NatureScapes expands maintenance operations to the Macon, GA area