A Yard & A Half Landscaping is a Waltham, MA landscaping company founded by Eileen Michaels in 1988. Over the years, she grew the design/build/maintain firm to a place in the top 15% of U.S. landscaping companies and the top 3% of all women-owned companies by annual sales. Eileen accomplished this by guaranteeing all of A Yard & A Half’s work and investing in her employees. In preparation for her retirement, she offered the employees the chance to buy the company, and we incorporated as a worker-owned cooperative. The company had historically operated with open books, shared profits with employees, and involved employees in decision-making, so the cooperative model was a natural step for us.
A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative, Inc. was formed in 2013 to preserve and continue to develop a locally-owned, safe, just, and democratic workplace in an industry where workers often face exploitation, wage theft, and hazardous working conditions. Participation in the cooperative is a financial and career investment for members, not just a job. Worker-owners participate in professional development, learning transferable skills and creating economic growth and self-sufficiency. We also share in the profits of our labor, allowing us to reinvest in our own local economy, communities, and families.