Jason Eaton of Chippers & Eric Fritz of Woodstock Terrace
Chippers’ Tree Care and Landscaping Company
I know it’s pretty rare to only work for one company, but I liked what Chippers was doing, and most importantly the people I was and am working with, said Jason Eaton, vice president of sales at Chippers Tree Care and Landscaping Company. He started out as a foreman for a production crew, and worked his way up over the past 21 years to the position he holds now.
Chippers receives a lot of praise for their landscaping and forest management work within the Quechee Lakes community and the Upper Valley, but it is the people behind the operation that truly make their service so effective.
Eaton received a degree in applied science with a focus on forest technology from The Ranger School in New York. He and his now-wife, Jody, were both offered positions by Chippers’ founder, the late Will Russell, at an interview on campus prior to graduating.
Eaton takes pride in working closely with landowners on creating unique and safe spaces. “Every job is a question of the landowner’s tastes and what they’re trying to achieve. It’s really gratifying to see the project through from start to finish... turning the property into what it is that they’re trying to get out of it.”
To Eaton, forest management is about so much more than cutting down trees. It is about the health and beauty of the forest, and how harmony can be achieved between the natural world and the humans who inhabit it.
He works under a simple philosophy, “I like creating a landscape in two different ways: subtraction and addition. In other words, if I am planning a forest around a driveway or a house, I remove trees according to either their species, size, health, or spacing so that I am leaving the best trees to occupy that space. That’s landscaping by subtraction – when we are working with a forested area and trying to leave the best quality trees, giving them room to develop.”
“Or,” continued Eaton, “...landscape by addition is obviously the planting side of things, and we have managers for our landscaping and gardening divisions, and they really like to see what the landowner prefers as far as color, purpose, and seasonality. We try to tailor each landscape so that they [the landowners] get the most benefit, beauty, and enjoyment out of that,” said Eaton.
A true outdoorsman, Eaton takes advantage of his love for the outdoors through snowmobiling, snowboarding, hiking, playing softball, golfing, and camping. His favorite tree? The sugar maple because “it’s native and strong and doesn’t require a lot maintenance if properly pruned when it’s young. It offers vibrant fall colors and provides a sweet nectar in the spring.”
Eric Fritz, Woodstock Terrace
Woodstock Terrace is truly a community – almost like living in a close-knit neighborhood. Eric Fritz, the executive director, said, “One of the things we focus on most is making sure our residents are as engaged socially as they would like to be. Isolation is one aspect of aging that is really important to guard against.”
As we age, it is inevitable that loss becomes a theme in our lives. Friends pass away before we do; family members may live far away; physical and mental abilities wane. With this as the landscape, Woodstock Terrace provides care in every realm of its residents’ lives, often tailoring plans down to the little things like providing supplies for one whose passion is needlepoint, or taking groups on lunch outings or cultural events. Basically, depending on the needs of the residents at any given time, the staff members at Woodstock Terrace do everything in their power to make it happen.
Eric continued on about the importance of the larger community at Woodstock Terrace. “The friends and family members of the residents also become like family to the staff and to other residents here,” he said. “Strong and long-lasting relationships are formed over the years; it’s really nice for everyone.”
And, the greater village of Woodstock is a wonderful resource for additional ways to create community. Briana Maxham, the activities director, has created a special way for intergenerational bonding. She set up a pen pal opportunity for local elementary school kids to correspond with the Terrace residents. Later in the year, she hosts a gathering where the kids and elders get to meet each other and connect in a festive atmosphere.
While aging is inevitable, the opportunities to engage in life to its fullest are still available to all, and places like Woodstock Terrace make it seamless and special.