Bobcat Reveals Backyard Makeover Contest Winner’s Transformed, Accessible Outdoor Space

Published on May 14, 2024

  • Turlock, Calif., resident Julie Rummer now has her dream backyard thanks to the Bobcat backyard makeover contest. 
  • Last summer, Bobcat Company announced that Rummer had won the contest, which awarded her a $25,000 backyard makeover using Bobcat equipment. 
  • The backyard makeover demonstrated the power of Bobcat equipment to get the job done, transforming the overgrown and compact backyard into an accessible and aesthetic space for the Rummer family. 

Transformation demonstrates the possibilities for creating  
a dream backyard using Bobcat equipment 

 

TURLOCK, CALIF. (May 8, 2024) – Turlock, Calif., resident Julie Rummer now has her dream backyard thanks to the Bobcat backyard makeover contest. 

Last summer, Bobcat Company – a global equipment, innovation and worksite solutions brand – announced that Rummer had won the contest, which awarded her a $25,000 backyard makeover using Bobcat equipment

Rummer survived a car crash in 1995 that left her paralyzed as a quadriplegic and dependent on a power wheelchair. An avid gardener, Rummer loved to spend time in her backyard, but navigating loose, dusty soil and thorny vegetation in her backyard became a challenge. She described the yard as an “eyesore, a big disaster” and an “embarrassment.” 

Winning the contest has completely transformed her backyard into a wheelchair-accessible “paradise,” according to Rummer’s husband Rich. With the help of Bobcat and the use of equipment from local dealer Bobcat Central, Inc., as well as the work of area contractors and friends and family, Julie’s dreams became a reality.  

“I just feel happy; it’s a happy place to be,” she said about her new backyard. “I can’t even shut the curtains at night, the backyard is so beautiful. Having complete access to nature and my garden is freedom.” 

The backyard makeover demonstrated the power of Bobcat equipment to get the job done, transforming the overgrown and compact backyard into an accessible and aesthetic space for the Rummer family. 

“The team at Bobcat is thrilled that we could help Julie achieve her dream of a wheelchair-accessible backyard with room to garden, entertain and get away,” said Laura Ness Owens, Doosan Bobcat vice president of brand and marketing. “Bobcat exists to empower people to accomplish more, and this is a perfect example of doing just that. We hope others are inspired by this transformation and recognize the potential in their own outdoor spaces.”   

Rummer’s project was kicked off by using a Bobcat skid-steer loader to prepare the area, as well as the demolition and removal of an existing patio, which made room for a new ramp that the Rummers needed for their back door. Tree removal, relocation and planting was done by HIS Tree Service and concrete work preparations by Ultimate Concrete.  

Then came Bobcat Central with a Bobcat MT100 mini track loader to complete work in the fenced-in area. Crews installed concrete paths, which was preferred for accessibility rather than stone pathways or a patio.  

The finished landscaping includes a water and irrigation system, new drought-tolerant plants, compost and fertilizer. New cedar mulch was placed to prevent weeds and hold moisture during the summer. After additional lighting, a fire pit, sound system and other items were installed, the job was done. 

When Rummer submitted her contest application, she did not have her hopes up. However, when her story was chosen as a finalist entry, her community rallied to show support and help Rummer win the grand prize. 

“I appreciate everyone’s vote and everybody who picked up a shovel or lent a hand clearing, shredding, spreading,” Rummer said. “Every day can be a challenge for me, but the kindness, love and support from everyone during this process just fills my heart. So, thank you, Bobcat, for empowering me and making my backyard dream come true.” 


Keys to Bobcat Backyard Makeover Accessibility 

Backyard accessibility involves creating an environment where everyone can move around safely and comfortably, whether using a wheelchair, a walker or walking. For Julie Rummer’s backyard, Bobcat and the project contractors incorporated the following key design elements into her backyard transformation to create an accessible outdoor living space. 

  • Avoid Obstructions in the Yard: Create a clear path from the house to the patio or garden. The path should be free of obstacles. Level the ground to remove any major slopes, holes or rocks. Use a compact loader with a landplane to level and grade. 
  • Build a Ramp: Accessing the backyard can be challenging for people who use wheelchairs or have limited mobility. In addition, yards also may have uneven terrain, making them difficult or even impossible to navigate. However, by adding a ramp, it is possible to make backyards more accessible. 
  • Accessible Patio: It is crucial to ensure the patio or deck is level and has enough space for wheelchairs to maneuver with no obstacles. The minimum width for a wheelchair to turn around is five feet. 
  • Provide Ideal Gardening Elements and Levels at Different Heights: Create raised garden beds, install planters and use trellises to accommodate people of all ages and abilities. Consider a water irrigation system to make gardening convenient.  
  • Add Backyard Amenities: Consider incorporating lighting in the backyard, firepits and sound systems to add additional amenities and ways to enjoy the outdoors.  

Read more about Julie’s story and see the transformation of her backyard.  


About Bobcat Company   


Bobcat Company empowers people to accomplish more, a mission it has honored since creating the compact equipment industry in 1958. As a leading global manufacturer, Bobcat has a proud legacy of innovation, delivering smart solutions to customers’ toughest challenges. Backed by the support of a global dealership network, Bobcat offers an extensive line of worksite solutions, including loaders, excavators, tractors, utility vehicles, telehandlers, mowers, turf renovation equipment, light compaction, portable power, industrial air, forklifts, attachments, implements, parts and services.   

With its North American headquarters in West Fargo, North Dakota, Bobcat leads the industry with its innovative offerings designed to transform how the world works, builds cities and supports communities for a more sustainable future. The Bobcat brand is owned by Doosan Bobcat Inc., a company within Doosan Group. 

©2024 Bobcat Company. All rights reserved. 

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