College-student parishioner tackles south entrance

Matt Mitchell, the owner and head landscape designer for The Green Guys Landscaping, LLC of Waukee, leads the landscape renovation at the south entrance. Matt operates his landscape firm in the summer and attends Iowa State University during the school year. Matt,  his parents Michael and Susan, and brother Josh Mitchell are parishioners at St. Boniface. During a recent rain break from landscaping, Matt took a few questions for us.

Q. How do you handle attending ISU and running your own landscape company?
A. To me, it is all about time management during the school year. When you say that you do landscaping in the summers when school is not in session, many believe there is no work when classes are going on. However, the busiest time for me is actually the early Spring months getting designs created or estimates made to work on over the summer.

Q. What are you studying at ISU?
A. I am preparing for my Sophomore year at Iowa State this summer. At this point, though it could change, I am studying landscape architecture at Iowa State’s College of Design. I am currently trying to get a minor in Spanish as well.

Q Aren’t most of you employees former Waukee students?
We have 11 team members that operate on our crews and 8 of these employees are either former Waukee students or current Waukee students. The other three are from other parts of the Des Moines metro. In the future we hope to continue bringing in students from other parts of the metro area.

Q. Can you explain a little of how you incorporate your faith into you daily work?
A. To me, this is the most important part of what I do for the company. Every morning before we start working, we devote about 20 minutes to prayer, Lectio Divina, and discussion. Every night before work the next morning, I settle in on some discussion points and a different bible passage each day to dive into with all of the guys. We usually gather around together in the warehouse before work, but since we have been at St. Boniface, we just go inside the chapel and gather around. Besides prayer we do other events where we tie in our faith as well. For instance, on our company retreat this year we all piled in two cars to go to Kansas City for a day where we spent some time at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) to attend some worship and testimonials.

Q.What drives you to share your faith-based so openly with your crew members?
A. Young adult ministry holds a special place in my heart ever since I rediscovered my faith during my first year of college at Iowa State. I had several one-on-ones with campus ministers and priests there about how to incorporate faith into the workplace with young adults and found this to be the most successful. Prayer plays a key role in the function of our day given the stressors, safety concerns, and occasional problems that come up. Prayer provides us with the tools to move mountains, or, in this case, plants or rocks. All I know is that I am very blessed to have such an open-minded staff from the start because now, you see the changes in their hearts that are helping them rediscover their faith just as I did.

Q. What are your plans for after college?
Well I am not much of a plan guy when it comes to that far. From previous experience I know that God really can throw a curve ball every once and a while, but it is all about how you react to it. At this point, I am hoping to continue working with The Green Guys after college, but I also hope to engage in many other ministry projects and even some missionary work abroad.

Click here to see the images of how Matt and his crew recreated the exterior entrance to the south entryway.


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