Growing up around perfectly manicured lawns and impeccably landscaped properties, Arlene Golish of Littlesteps Landscaping has a knack for property maintenance and beautification – and an unwavering commitment to serving the community.

Littlesteps took its first steps in the Okanagan more than a decade ago, serving the Vernon area initially. When Golish decided it was time to move back home to the Nicola Valley, the business came with her, and Merrittonians suddenly had access to a plethora of landscaping services, and to Golish’s expertise. 

“I like being outside, I like seeing the people, and I enjoy looking at their yard when we’re done,” Golish told the Herald. “It looks good, and it’s rewarding. It’s exercise, I get outside, I enjoy the fresh air and the people, and I enjoy what I’m doing.”

Golish serves about 50 regular residential customers in the Nicola Valley, along with a number of commercial and non-profit contracts. While she is the driving force behind the business, Golish works with her son Dalen, along with two employees. The team stresses their attention to detail, low costs, and variety of services.

Arlene herself has two years of formal training in landscape architecture and design and can complete most projects, from designing a full yard makeover and installing a lawn at a new build, to regular maintenance such as weeding, mowing and snowplowing.

Born in the old Merritt hospital, Arlene values the community and the connections she has built in it, including those she has built through her business and personal life.

“It’s very supportive here locally,” said Arlene. “I hit the ground running and never looked back. It’s been received well. Lots and lots of feedback, it’s been positive, and everyone is referring.” 

A unique feature of Littlesteps Landscaping is their lower customer cost, which is due in part to more efficient equipment. Arlene and Dalen recently invested in an all-electric equipment setup to accompany their existing gas-powered tools. 

Two solar panels on the company vehicle charge dual batteries, providing 650W of solar and running a 1500W inverter. This then powers the batteries for electric trimmers, lawnmowers, and more, allowing Littlesteps to be one step ahead of the competition. The set up was designed and built by Dalen, who has seen many benefits to the new technology.

“It keeps up, and it’s really, really capable,” said Dalen. “There’s almost no need for stored energy when the sun is out, it charges 100 per cent on sunlight.” 

Dalen Golish poses with Littlesteps Landscaping’s truck and trailer combination, built and designed by him to both transport and solar charge the company’s new electric equipment. Marius Auer/Herald

Dalen noted the electric equipment is not only quieter, allowing for earlier starts and less noise pollution, but also lighter and easier on the operator. It eliminates some issues seen with gas entirely, such as accidentally spilling fuel. 

While Littlesteps said its electric equipment provides cost-savings and a competitive advantage, the company will still utilize gas machinery until the new technology catches up. 

“We’re always going to have gas, we’re not against it,” added Dalen, noting that rain is a challenge for the new electric technology. “We’re just trying to get ahead of the curve.” 

As the business moves forward, Dalen will focus on the mowing and landscaping portion of the business, while Arlene looks forward to connecting more with clients through administrative work and otherwise. 

For more information on Littlesteps Landscaping, call 250-550-0335, or visit their self-titled Facebook page.