CopperTree In The News

CopperTree is honored as one of UCB's '15 Under 15'

October 1, 2014
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses have been growing over the last decade while larger companies have been shrinking their workforces.  Small businesses now provide more than half of all jobs in this country, and also account for just over half of all retail sales.  Locally, our economy has taken a hit in recent years from reductions in the state workforce, but the number of small businesses continues to increase, and the Springfield metro area unemployment rate has consistently been one of the lowest in the state.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but due to their size they may not individually get the recognition they deserve. Read More

City gets its first ‘parklet’ outside Maldaner’s

September 5, 2014
Downtown Springfield now has one more thing in common with much larger metropolises such as Chicago, San Francisco and Denver — its first “parklet.” The parklet, a deck built Friday on two Sixth Street parking spaces, will serve as an extended outdoor dining area for Maldaner’s Restaurant, 222 S. Sixth St. But parklets, which can be either public or private and are in many cases small, movable sidewalk extensions, also can serve as places to put greenery, sitting areas or art displays. Read More 

Landscaping Changes Aim To Bring More Visitors To Old State Capitol

September 5, 2014
It's been the town square of Springfield since it was built. But the Old State Capitol grounds has taken on a varied look through the years. And an effort is underway to do something different and better. A lawn party is being held this Saturday afternoon from 5 to 7 at the site to raise money for beautifying the grounds. WUIS' Sean Crawford talks with Justin Blandford about the plans for sprucing up the Old State Capitol grounds While the location is teeming with history, from it's role as the home of state government, to it's ties to Lincoln and later, Obama, something is still missing. Read More 

What Internet tax?

August 2014
“My competition is not brick and mortar businesses. It’s the Internet.” Laurie McWilliams, owner of CopperTree Outdoor Lifestyles, recently made the declaration that many other Springfield area retailers have repeated as Internet sales become a much larger percentage of retail sales in Illinois and the United States. Just as retailers are feeling the pinch of fewer customers and reduced sales, local and state governments are experiencing similar pain in lower sales tax revenues from online purchases. Read More 

Downtown Outdoor Dining Space Could Expand with ‘Parklets’

July 14, 2014 
Downtown Springfield’s landscape could soon include expanded outdoor opportunities for restaurants and other businesses with the removal of parking spaces in favor of “parklets.” An informational meeting conducted by city traffic engineer Lori Williams was held Monday evening at Maldaner’s Restaurant, 222 S. Sixth St., to introduce the plan to business owners and downtown residents. Michael Higgins, owner and chef at Maldaner’s, first approached the city with the idea of taking metered parking spaces away from the curb and creating a semi-enclosed, usable outdoor dining space a year ago after seeing them during a visit to his hometown of San Francisco. Read More

CopperTree Organics Now Offers Organic Solutions

June 1, 2014
CopperTree Organics is proud to introduce a new line of sustainable and organic soil amendments and fertilizers this spring. Introducing, BioFlora® - new biotechnology that extracts natural Humates from “Mother Earth,” which are intrinsically a natural part of the environment; they occur in all soils, waters and sediments. Simply put, Humates arise from the decomposition of plant and animal tissues that have been compressed over millions of years. BioFlora has developed a proprietary process for maximizing the amount of humic and fulvic acids derived from these materials. Humic and fulvic acids have been proven to benefit flowers, shrubs, trees, turf, gardens, and even commercial crops because the humic and fulvic acids essentially aid soil ecology, friability (mass), and fertility. Read More

Digital Sign Gives Drivers a New View

October 2013
Mark McWilliams remembers talking about how to improve the looks of the railroad overpass at Sixth Street and Stanford Avenue - one of the city’s busiest entryways - during a Springfield Green meeting six years ago. “We talked about getting the railroad to paint it,” he said. “And it was a lot of work. We just always struck out.” McWilliams and his wife, Laurie, of CopperTree Landscaping, joined Ward 6 Ald. Cory Jobe, Mayor Mike Houston and other community members...Read More

Street Beautification a Challenge for Landscape Planners

July 8, 2012 
It takes a tough plant to survive on the mean streets. Not all plants and trees can withstand the dirt, grime, heat, exhaust and road salt thrown at them and still come back every year leafy green or with a defiant blaze of color. So the task of beautifying the city’s streets, like the recently announced project to spruce up Springfield’s east-side entrance along Clear Lake Avenue, creates a challenges for landscape planners. The good news is the lessons learned by working on street projects translate nicely to the home landscape. Mark McWilliams, co-owner of CopperTree Outdoor Lifestyles in Springfield, says the industry watchword these days is sustainability. He is a landscape architect currently serving on the board of the Illinois Green Industry Association. “What I see is a big push towards native,” McWilliams said. “Native is very sustainable.” Read More 

Tiny ‘Park’ Provides Mini-Oasis Downtown

August 6, 2011
Springfield officials hope a redesigned intersection near the Old State Capitol will help provide sort of a mini-oasis for downtown visitors. They also hope the changes to the intersection of Sixth and Adams streets will make downtown Springfield a little greener, safer and pedestrian friendly. A similar project was planned for Fifth and Adams, although officials say that project might not happen, because downtown tax increment financing funds are running low. “The idea of the park is to not only improve the visual aesthetics of downtown, but to soften traffic, enhance the pedestrian experience and provide a welcoming green space oasis to visitors, workers etc. who wish to enjoy the Old State Capitol, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices etc.,” said Mike Farmer, director of planning and economic development. Read More

Today's Garden Center Top 100 Revolutionary Garden Centers  

December 2009
What changes have you made in the last 12 months to increase your garden center’s profitability? We added a key sales position in Landscape department and added two landscape crews. We found better sources for materials that helped cut cost overheads. We go straight to the source for as any of our products lines as possible. What are you involved in that promotes your store while contributing to a charity or community cause? Mark McWilliams is one of the head designers for Springfield Green, the city’s greening initiative. Both Mark and Laurie donate their time and talent to Springfield Green in an effort to beautify the city. There are many self promotion opportunities that are presented through this involvement. The charitable organizations we donate to are also invaluable marketing. Read More