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Crossing A River of Destiny

It was great to meet so many community managers while at the CACM trade show in Oakland. A few people asked me about how we arrived at the name Rubicon for our landscaping company. I really enjoy answering that question, and no we’re not named after a Jeep or a trail in the Sierra.  You see, we’re named after a history changing event that occurred over 2000 years ago, and another, less well known series of events, that happened just 40 years ago.

The year is 49 BC and the Roman Senate, concerned with his growing power, has asked Julius Caesar, governor of Gaul, to surrender command of the great Roman Army that conquered major parts of Europe.  In protest, Julius Caesar assembled a legion of his most loyal troops and marched toward Rome.

History indicates that he paused at the border between the provinces of Gaul and Rome, at a small tributary known as the River Rubicon. To cross that river with his army constituted an act of treason, punishable by death.  His soldiers knew that they too, would be considered traitors and face the same fate. There would be no turning back.  If you’re an ancient history buff, you know what happened. Julius Creaser’s decision to cross the River Rubicon was a life altering decision; it changed his destiny, led to the creation of the Roman Empire and cemented his place in history. 

For the second part of this story we need to fast forward to mid 1970’s. A group of concerned citizens and family members in the Richmond, CA area begin a support program for people with mental illness who were returning to their communities as a result of the closure of state hospitals.

They created programs to help their loved ones realize their potential. Some needed help with housing, others needed help finding employment, so they began offering those types of services. Eventually they extended their social mission to other community members in need in the East Bay.

They decided upon the name Rubicon Programs in the belief that clients who make a decision to come to Rubicon Programs for help are making a life altering decision to cross their personal River Rubicon and create a better life and destiny for themselves.   

Rubicon Landscape began as an initiative of Rubicon Programs.  We are a social enterprise, a business with additional social mission goals, and our own legacy of service.  For the past 30 years we’ve helped support Rubicon Programs, creating revenue that helps it build capacity as it pursues its goal and social mission of eliminating poverty in the East Bay’s poorest communities.  Last year Rubicon Programs helped over 4000 clients.

We’re organized as a non-profit, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.  We’re named after our parent organization, Rubicon Programs.

We compete with other traditional landscape companies for landscape installation and maintenance work in the private sector.  Additionally we provide bundled landscape and porter services to 3 campuses in the VA Medical System-Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Livermore, employing several persons with disabilities through a Federal Program known as Ability One.  That’s another part of our social mission.

So the next time you’re evaluating your landscape needs, we urge you to consider Rubicon Landscape.  We believe doing so is a decision you’ll never regret and who knows, it just might alter your destiny for the better.

Thanks for allowing me to share this.

Larry Brunink

Business Developer

Phone: 510-221-4400 Direct Line: 510-412-1764

Cell: 510-385-3414 Fax: 510-412-1759

Twitter: @RubiconLandscape


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