James Wilkinson, 25 Over Fifty-five

A GREENER THUMB: James Wilkinson had an advantage when he launched SeaScape Lawn Care Inc. in 1992: He has a degree in horticulture and a doctorate in agronomy.
 / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
A GREENER THUMB: James Wilkinson had an advantage when he launched SeaScape Lawn Care Inc. in 1992: He has a degree in horticulture and a doctorate in agronomy.
 / PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

25 Over Fifty-Five 2019 Award Winner
JAMES WILKINSON | President, SeaScape Lawn Care Inc.


NECESSITY IS INDEED the mother of invention for James Wilkinson, president of SeaScape Lawn Care Inc. He founded his lawn-care company in 1992 after his previous employer was sold and he needed a job.

“It was the best thing I ever did, and I haven’t regretted it since,” he said.

Together with his wife, Cheryl, he grew the company to 70 employees and has since added complementary services for customers in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. His 35 years of experience, a degree in horticulture and a doctorate in agronomy give him a business edge.

- Advertisement -

Unhappy laying off employees in the winter, as most landscapers do, Wilkinson searched for ways to stay busy longer. SeaScape jumped into the holiday lights craze and now strings bulbs for thousands of residential customers and companies such as Foxwoods Resort Casino.

“Lawn care and putting up Christmas lights are entirely different things,” he said with a laugh. However, the lifts and other equipment SeaScape already owned for tree work came in handy for installing decorations. “It was so much bigger than I ever thought it would be,” he said. “We now keep half of our people busy through the better part of the winter.”

Wilkinson is a respected leader in the industry, with published articles in scientific journals and trade publications. And his own experiences with helpful professors and business mentors inspire him to do so for others. “Mentors and their encouragement made the difference,” he said. In 2017 Wilkinson partnered with Apprenticeship R.I. and the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association as the first landscape company in the state to offer a year of paid, on-the-job and classroom training.

His commitment to environmental responsibility was demonstrated when SeaScape became the first Rhode Island landscape company to earn a green certification from the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.

No posts to display