horse racing

For horse-racing fans, you understand the importance and excitement of correctly naming a “trifecta” (essentially, three winners crossing the finish line in a particular order).

In the story that follows, you’ll discover an actionable, real-life example of a trifecta (although, in this specific case, the emphasis of the order isn’t the priority, but rather the focus lies within the three defined parties who cross the finish line).

Additionally, this “local trifecta”  is not found on a track filled with dirt, but rather in a community filled with encouragement. The three entities for whom “community” is synonymous with “kinship” and “cooperation” include Habitat For Humanity,  the award-winning landscape experts from O’Donnell Landscapes and the Bonita Bay Community Association. 

IMG_7355“Community” is loosely defined as “a social group – of any size – whose members reside in a specific location, share a government, have a common history, and believe in – strive – for a singular goal.”

The expression, “It takes a village” commonly refers to the concept that it takes an entire community to successfully raise a child.

According to Harvard Health Publications’ website, “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.” (Since Bonita Bay was recently recognized as an official Blue Zones project, this all ties together beautifully, much like a perfectly wrapped gift.)

The first part of this winning trifecta represents the true heart of our community; the people who live here. The local Habitat For Humanity, led by Katherine (Kitty) Green, President, and CEO for Lee and Hendry Counties, orchestrates the program that builds homes, thus provides hope and inspiration to low-income families. The Red Hibiscus neighborhood, located in Bonita Springs, Fla., consists of 19 homes and has another seven on the docket for future construction. The homes are simple and affordable – and offer pride of ownership to those who may not otherwise have an opportunity to establish roots locally near work and schools.

We are truly grateful to the Bonita Bay Community Association and O’Donnell Landscapes for helping supplement the landscaping surrounding Habitat’s Red Hibiscus neighborhood.  Habitat is focused on helping families earn their own affordable home; it’s a blessing to have landscaping experts assist us to make the neighborhood more attractive and private. 

– Kitty Green, Habitat For Humanity

The second player to cross the winning finish line has a dual purpose in their support of Habitat. The Bonita Bay Community Association (BBCA) boasts one of the largest private-communities in Bonita Springs, was recently bestowed the certification of Blue Zones Project Recognized and is honorably an Audubon certified property.

In order to remain “status quo,” the BBCA continues to promote local outreach and educational programs – this is where the Habitat connection becomes paramount. By assisting in locally supported programs, not only does the BBCA share the weight of building a strong community, but also documents said assistance as a requirement for re-certification with Audubon and Blue Zones alike.

Bill and Wilson
Bill Lynn, Director of Grounds Maintenance and Wilson Cypher, Assistant Director of Grounds Maintenance for Bonita Bay assist with planting new foliage at Red Hibiscus, the Habitat for Humanity in Bonita Springs, Fla.

With a combined total of 43 years of employment at Bonita Bay, the top directors for the grounds maintenance department – William (Bill) Lynn, director, and Wilson Cypher, assistant director – understand fully their essential role in the community at large. In addition to the Habitat project, Bill and Wilson have sustained long-term relationships with local programs like S.T.E.M., the Bonita Bay Resident Wildlife Sponsors, as well as a successful Earth Day programs with local elementary schools.

Last week, the dynamic team of groundskeepers from the BBCA provided the “elbow grease” necessary to fortify a hedgerow behind the Red Hibiscus subdivision. The goal was not only to provide residents’ with additional privacy but to also assist with sound abatement from adjacent Interstate 75.

We are proud to be part of the Habitat for Humanity effort to bring affordable housing to the Bonita Springs workforce. Our Bonita Bay resident “Nail Pounders” help build some of the Habitat homes, and it’s nice that they allow our grounds maintenance team an opportunity to contribute to such a great cause. 

– Bill Lynn, Director of Grounds Maintenance, Bonita Bay


(Nail Pounders: a group of Bonita Bay residents who for the past decade meet regularly at the Habitat site and supply the necessary quality “muscle” to construct the homes. Their motto – “It doesn’t take any longer to do the job right“!)

Finally – but certainly not least – the third and equally powerful leg of this winning trifecta belongs to the locally owned and operated, award-winning landscape experts from O’Donnell Landscapes, who humbly donated the plants that were recently incorporated into the Habitat property landscape project.

Bonita Bay grounds team; Luis Landa, Bruce Mattern and, Christine DeVita work at Red Hibiscus site.

As illustrated, this is a shining example of community stewardship; an effective and winning – successful – trifecta.

What begins as a basic human need for shelter becomes a reality when three separate entities harmoniously coordinate their efforts to satisfy those needs.

Additionally, this community effort plays upon the aforementioned “it takes a village” theme. When local businesses work in concert to meet the needs of the community, the results are a successful, balanced and thriving tribe.

By taking a cooperative step for the greater good, this successful trifecta shares equally in the joys of support, comfort, and belonging, and the “village” sustains a positive ripple that likely travels beyond local borders.

We – the BBCA – are honored and proud to be part of this winning trifective effort.


Written by Katie Walters

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