Our History – The Sprouting of a Seed
Growing up on a farm just outside of Eleva, WI a small town with a population of 678, Wayne Bollinger began an iconic journey to planting and growing a remarkable business. Working at Greener Grass Systems during summers in high school, Wayne developed a blue collar mentality from the required Eleva farm duties on which he was raised. From the home-grown roots of Eleva to his hard working mentality, Wayne’s drive to succeed continued through schooling into his career.
While attending University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Wayne and Julie Bollinger became owners of a family owned business with 75 lawn care customers and 100 sprinkler system customers in 1984. Julie’s Business Degree and Wayne’s technical expertise, commitment and integrity (and a lot of long hours) gave them the basis to succeed. A hand written letter placed in the local newspaper vowed to the community a commitment to exceptional service. Not only did they provide exceptional service, but they strived to be innovators in the industry, the first to offer core aerations, multiple options for lawn care applications including Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices and water saving irrigation designs and techniques.
Commitment to Community
From lawn care, landscape, irrigation services, Greener Grass Systems served local communities in the Chippewa Valley with expertise and knowledge. The foundation for success established, Greener Grass Systems expanded its business to Menomonie, Black River Falls, Rice Lake, Ashland, Hayward, and in 2008 the St. Croix Valley and Eastern Minnesota including River Falls, Hudson, New Richmond, Woodbury, Hastings, Stillwater, Chaska, St. Paul and areas in between.
Although business seemed to be going perfect at the time, adversity struck. In 2009, the main office located in Chippewa Falls was engulfed by flames, leaving the Bollinger family with an extremely unfortunate circumstance. Years of promise and commitment were engulfed in devastation. With the employees and their families’ future in the palm of its hands, the Bollinger’s and dedicated employees decided to pull together with help from the community and decided to rebuild.
Foundation for Success
With renewed commitment and determination, the company built a new office and garden center at 1403 122nd Street in Lake Hallie, opening in the fall of 2010. Introducing a unique experience with gardening, trees, shrubs, perennials, annual flowers to ladies clothing, décor gifts even teas, candies, balloons and featuring Oasis Creations – custom designed unique creations that stand out of the crowd. Green Oasis Gardens and Gift Boutique a unique shopping experience was born for all to stroll and enjoy.
Small Business of the Year
Green Oasis received the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award for 2015. This is a prestigious honor recognizing the fine team of committed professionals dedicated to Green Oasis and its exceptional commitment to the community.
Next Generation of Growth
To better describe its entire operations, rebranding to Green Oasis began in 2014 for all operations and locations. The new name and focus on identity allowed Green Oasis to have a consistent recognizable brand allowing for easy recognition throughout the areas served. Nathan Bollinger, oldest son of Wayne and Julie joined Green Oasis in 2014 as a full time production manager. Nathan also graduated from UW-Eau Claire School of Business. In 2017, Jared Bollinger the youngest son, after receiving a degree from Southwest Technical Collage in Horticulture and Management joined the business team. This represents the next generation of company ownership and business growth.