Bobcat reveals backyard makeover contest winners transformed outdoor space

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

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.

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.”