As the saying goes, good fences make good neighbors. Rio Grande Fence Co. of Nashville, Tenn., puts that message into practice through its annual Good Friday community service project.

This past March, the company donated and installed 560 linear feet of chain link fencing to surround the athletic field at the Global Outreach Developments International (G.O.D. Int’l) headquarters in the underserved Hopewell neighborhood of Old Hickory, Tenn.

“Our annual Good Friday service project provides an enduring, visible tribute to the faith and ideals that we strive to achieve in life and business,” says Derek Smith, the company’s vice president of operations and third-generation owner.

All 35 of Rio Grande’s employees participated, contributing 201 total service hours of site and materials preparation over the three days leading up to Good Friday, when the project was completed.

To choose this year’s project, Rio Grande Fence reached out to Middle Tennessee’s construction community via email and social media channels for suggestions of worthy causes. One of the first replies received on Twitter was from Mid State Sports Leagues to consider the athletic field at G.O.D. Int’l, a local Nashville community service organization that also operates globally. G.O.D. Int’l serves neighborhoods by mobilizing, organizing or facilitating programs that meet particular needs in the area.

The new fencing provides perimeter security to create a safe, healthy recreational space for the multiple teams, leagues and area residents that have free access to the field. The project includes a 50-foot-long custom fence screen with a 5-foot-high, 17 foot-wide G.O.D. Int’l logo. Previously, the sports facility area had no visible signage.

“We believe in demonstrating through our actions the faith and ethics my grandfather, Lee Roy Smith, founded Rio Grande Fence upon 58 years ago. Our commitment to quality work and service for our clients and in the community translates into our employees’ quality of life,” Smith says. “How we operate our business and live our lives testifies to our grounding faith that solid principles are the bedrock of everything we do.”

Rio Grande Fence Co. specializes in chain link, steel ornamental, aluminum ornamental, wood, vinyl, access control, guard railing and temporary fencing systems, and its work can be seen at Nashville’s police precincts, Nissan Stadium, Nashville International Airport, and several businesses, sports facilities and government projects throughout the Mid-South. The company is a two-time winner of the American Fence Association Contractor of the Year Award for its commitment to safety, professional education and community service. 


Lauren Pinch is managing editor of Construction Executive. For more information, email pinch@abc.org or follow @ConstructionMag