Are You Caught in a Tug of War Over Summer Landscape Improvements?

Part of being a successful property manager is making your property more valuable. 

The good news is that landscape improvements can help you do that. Class A properties, retail and mixed-use can all benefit from landscape upgrades that drive asset value – through better watershed and habitat health, pedestrian access, hardscape repairs – and generate income, either through green credits, or increased occupancy and traffic.

If you are looking to boost your property’s ROI, aesthetics or functionality, consider the following:

1. Safety Value – Maintenance care prevents injury. Improved pedestrian walkways, parking lot surfaces, and structural pruning to improve visibility can all prevent trips, falls, accidents, and mitigate liability and risk. Strategic use of plant material can prevent flooding; drainage improvements can improve the absorption of rainwater and runoff; and tree-covered areas can reduce loitering – while also improving air quality. 

2. Health Value – Landscapes have direct impact on positive well-being. Healthy landscapes start with healthy soil and the reduction or elimination of toxic chemicals. For tenants, employees, guests, or customers, the quality of your property’s landscape influences how people interact with, and feel good about, your business. An attractive outdoor space, with courtyards and well-designed landscaped areas is advantageous to you as an employer and as an asset manager. We recommend investing in a regular plant health care program that creates a healthy baseline for your plants and trees, nourishes your soil and encourages vigorous bloom and vibrant foliage. 

3. Environmental Value – Conservation helps the earth and your wallet. Eco-friendly investments in green technology will improve your landscape’s water use and your cost through controlled irrigation and water audits; more trees contribute to using less heating or cooling energy; rain garden strategies and bioswales provide filters for stormwater and prevent flooding and puddling; flowering plants provide forage and habitat for pollinator insects, birds and wildlife. 

First things first. Prioritizing improvements is a task made easier by a master landscape maintenance plan.Knowing which improvement will offer sustained ROI depends on a few factors. One is the size of your property, the other is how it is used—where people gather, what types of amenities drive the greatest appreciation, and where fitness and pedestrian areas can be enhanced for greater health, i.e., walking and jogging trails, bike paths, bocce ball courts, green roofs, terrace and outdoor eating and meeting areas.

ELM’s top ten. Repairing walkways and footpaths impacted by winter storms, fencing/retaining walls, signage, water features, park-like amenities, new plantings and installation projects, turf aeration and plant health care, tree and shrub pruning, and power washing.

If you’re ready to take advantage of ELM’s summer landscape improvement and hardscape restoration expertise, perk up your high impact focal areas with bold containers and lots of color; swap out underperforming turf for perennial meadows; try our new and improved plant health program (and its organic option), upgrade your irrigation system with green technology, or partner with us to drive LEED credits, but don’t know where to begin, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

ELM Launches Core Values as Workplace Culture and Performance Initiative

Workplace culture surrounds us every day. Culture is what we do together as a team, what we value and believe, and how we behave and interact with each other and with every one we meet.   

Among the many essentials of a high performing workplace, we believe that positivity benefits everyone. For us, a positive place to work is the best place to work.  It reduces stress, raises morale, increases productivity and gives everyone a giant sense that what we do, and who we do it for, matters.

We believe that it’s not enough to simply hang a sign on the wall.  As part of our business strategy, and because we are, at our core, relationship people in a relationship business, we believe that it’s crucial for everyone on our team to take pride in making our values actionable.  

That’s why we came together as a team to identify them. And why we are now promoting them to foster inclusivity, and to improve collaboration and accountability at every juncture and in every function.

Basically, our core values are the principles that guide what’s most important to us: to act and work with integrity, to deliver quality and excellence, to be honest and reliable, and accountable to the expectations of those we serve. These notes will set the tone for ELM moving forward and identify what we, as a team, care about the most.

There is a lot of research on the importance of happiness at work. And while we recognize that happiness is, at best, open to interpretation, we also recognize that having a friendly, trusting, respectful and motivating company culture are essential requisites for professional happiness.

If our new core values can create and ultimately measure that happiness, then creating a high performing and positive workplace will be more than the sum of the investment we’ve made in making ELM a Great Place to Work.

To learn more about ELM’s ongoing commitment to pay its values forward, contact company president Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

ELM in Action! Watch high performance being delivered.

Being organized and efficient is part of our journey to service excellence. No matter what size we grow to, or the scale of our customers’ needs, the one thing that guides us is the value we find in ways to drive greater efficiency and do more with less.

Watch behind the scenes as ELM gets a head start on our day’s work—with people and tools working together to provide seamless choreography, configure priorities, meet variations in demand and capacity—all the while putting the needs of its customers at the center of everything we do.

A culture of continuous improvement can make things easier for everyone. And while you may not see what goes on behind the scenes, you’ll know our team is forging ahead to increase your satisfaction every step of the way.

To learn more about what ELM is doing to create and add more value, contact company president, Bruce Moore Jr., 203-316-5433.

ELM in Action! video can be viewed here

Calculating the Value of Trees.

There has never been a better time to plant more trees. With CO2 concentrations increased over the last century by half, trees are an easy, cost-effective and natural way to bring CO2 percentages down. In fact, trees are the single most powerful weapon in the landscape tool kit as a means to improve the overall health of the urban environment.

Every day, ELM practices sound best tree care management practices to improve the quality of life, reduce pollution, lower energy costs, improve the appearance of commercial and community landscapes, and increase the value of commercial and institutional real estate properties.

Tree facts:

  • Trees are natural carbon eaters. A single tree can absorb CO2 at a rate of 48 lbs. per year.
  • Trees are natural pollution fighters, filtering harmful particulates, such as dust, pollen, smoke from the air, through their leaves.
  • Trees are energy savers, lowering peak temperature by transpiring water and shading surfaces.
  • Trees reduce surface water runoff from storms, thus decreasing soil erosion and the accumulation of sediments and potentially harmful chemicals in streams.
  • An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a care 26,000 miles.
  • Trees provide forage and habitats for wildlife.
  • Trees recharge groundwater and sustain water stream flow.
  • One large tree strategically placed on a site can replace 10 room size air conditioners operating 20 hours per day.
  • Fallen tree leaves can reduce soil temperatures and soil moisture loss; decaying leaves promotes soil microorganism and provide nutrients for tree growth.
  • The carbon footprints of 18 average Americans can be neutralized by one acre of hardwood trees.

Want more good reasons why healthy trees and landscapes are a solid return on your investment? Contact Bruce Moore Jr., ELM president at 203-316-5433.

ELM Partners with Weathermatic® to Promote Water Conservation and Irrigation Efficiency

As a key component of broader sustainability initiatives, ELM today announced a Premier Partnership with Weathermatic®, a global leader in smart water technology.

As a Weathermatic® partner, ELM will be rolling out systematic approaches to water conservation, including sustainability metrics that will improve irrigation water use on commercial properties through sensor-based analysis and intelligent reporting. 

“Highly connected irrigation management systems are one of many ways smart tech is transforming commercial real estate,” said ELM President Bruce Moore Jr.  “We are focused on working more closely to advance tech-enabled solutions and work with property owners and managers to meet their sustainability and financial goals, especially when water use restrictions apply,” said ELM President Bruce Moore Jr. 

Certified irrigation professional and ELM program manager, James (Jamie) Gorton, is an authoritative voice for landscape water efficiency and planning, noting: “To more effectively manage water consumption, commercial properties must look at outdoor, as well as indoor, water use. Landscaping can account for as much as 70 percent of water use on some properties and we’re looking at multiple ways our clients can save water. Creative approaches to landscape planning, including the use of a less thirsty plant palette, permeable paving, and mulch and soil mixes that maximize water retention and encourage deep-rooted plants, go hand-in-hand with our comprehensive approach to water management and monitoring.” 

For comprehensive information about water-efficient products, practices and planning, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

About Eastern Land

Eastern Land Management is a full-service legacy landscaping firm serving commercial and institutional property managers and owners throughout Fairfield County, Connecticut. As one of the region’s leading providers of all-season landscape and grounds services, ELM promotes energy-efficient approaches that create long-term value and have a positive effect on the communities in which people live, work and play. www.easternland.comA

About Weathermatic®

Weathermatic® is the world’s leader in smart water technology and innovative landscape irrigation products, working with professionals, public agencies and consumers to advance water and resource conservation practices, programs and policies. Its products are in use on high profile properties the world over, including the U.S. Capitol Building and Buckingham Palace.  www.weathermatic.com

Chris Smith to Lead ELM’s Plant Health Initiative

Please join us in congratulating Field Manager Chris Smith who has been tasked to lead ELM’s commitment to plant health.

Plant health care is both a philosophy of long term health as well as a broad framework of customizable and proactive approaches that address commercial landscapes and soils as integrated, biodiverse systems.

“If your goal is a high performing landscape,” said Chris, “incremental fixes have little impact.  Like human health, treating the symptoms rather than seeking to understand the underlying cause of the problem, rarely improves the outcome.” 

“Nutrition and proactive disease management are the two most powerful things that can create resilience or cure stress problems in plants,” he added. “For clients pursuing green building or LEED credits, a plant health care program as part of a sustainability-driven landscape maintenance platform can help advance green goals.”   

“The bottom line for us,” said company president Bruce Moore Jr., “is to foster approaches where sustainability for our clients is profitable and a competitive differentiator.  As property and facility managers make investment decisions, capital improvement and site operations decisions, they will want to do things that drive greener futures and we believe that future starts from the ground up.”

ELM’s sustainable protocols include an increase in the use of non-nitrogen fertilizers, microbial organisms for soil health, an eco-system-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests, and a holistic approach to minimizing environmental risks while optimizing the quality of life for plants and people.

Chris holds a pesticide applicator’s license from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and will be receiving a certificate in Turfgrass Management from Penn State University in July 2019. Before joining ELM in 2017, Chris served with the Darien Board of Education’s ground crew.

ELM Promotes Greg Gross to Associate Branch Manager, Monroe

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Greg Gross to Associate Branch Manager, ELM Monroe, CT.

Greg will report to company president, Bruce Moore Jr. and will lead a team committed to operational efficiency and capturing and delivering value from sustainability.

“Promoting from within yields great results,” says Bruce. “Cultivating talented and motivated employees internally and advancing them when the time is right has long been a part of ELM’s great place to work culture.” 

A former commercial landscape services area manager, Greg has demonstrated clear and consistent efforts on certain projects and a willingness to take on additional responsibilities beyond his scope of responsibility.

ELM’s new branch in Monroe, Connecticut advances the company’s presence throughout Fairfield County and will serve as a hub for its sustainability team, exploring latest energy-efficient tools and technologies that will change the way ELM does business.

Please join us in congratulating third-generation landscape professional Greg on his well-deserved promotion.

ELM Announces New Green Campus in Monroe, Connecticut; Sustainability Team to Focus on Alternative Fuels, Eco-Friendly Best Practices, and Snow/Ice Management

STAMFORD, CT – Eastern Land Management, an environmentally-responsible commercial landscape and winter snow/ice services firm serving Fairfield County, Connecticut for more than 40 years, has opened a 6-acre, 20,000 sf campus in Monroe.

The expansion is part of ELM’s multi-year strategic investment to advance the company’s green footprint, integrate emerging technologies, and improve processes and practices to meet the stewardship needs of its clients throughout Fairfield County.

The campus will serve as a hub for its winter operations and will house ELM’s new zero-emission, all-electric fleet.  In addition, the site will include safe and sustainable salt storage, an eco-friendly brine-making facility, and a fleet of specialized vehicles and equipment for anti-icing pre-treatment, snow removal, and post-storm liquid applications during winter weather events.

“Last year, we committed to dramatically take our green game up a notch,” said Bruce Moore Jr, company president. “With a special focus on alternative fuels, and less harmful approaches, we hope to make ELM a leader in sustainability and value creation.”

The Monroe project team included: ELM CEO Bruce Moore, Sr., project lead; Claris Construction, building architect and general contractor; and Solli Engineering, land use consultant and owner’s representative. Construction began in 2017.

Company president Bruce Moore Jr. is currently leading the Monroe roll-out, with associate branch manager Greg Gross driving day-to-day operations.

The new office is located at 154 Enterprise Drive, Monroe, CT 06468. For more information contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

A Winter Readiness Checklist

Winter in New England is no fun if you manage commercial real estate. Brutal winter weather and longer-than-normal seasons can cause interruptions in service and exponential concerns for tenant and employee safety. ELM knows that facilities large and small depend on proactive measures in order to stay open for business and keep parking lots and pavements liability-free.

Our 10-step playbook for winter ensures your safety:

  1. Keeping our professional commercial equipment in quality condition and using specialized machinery that delivers versatility, functionality, and safety.
  2. Implementing snow and ice control practices that establish priorities for how removal is accomplished.
  3. Choosing appropriate and sustainable ice melting options, liquid chloride-free products, and salting strategies that balance environmental responsibility with cost, utility, temperatures and conditions.
  4. Having a risk management, snow and ice removal plan in place to assure that commercial properties have adequate protection for weather events.
  5. Eliminating slip, trip and falls on sidewalks and pavements by keeping sidewalks, parking lots and ADA access ramps free of snow and ice accumulation.
  6. Evaluating drainage issues and wet walking surfaces across pedestrian areas.
  7. Deploying a highly-trained ELM snow team led by SIMA (Snow and Ice Management Association)-certified advanced snow professionals and equipment operators who practice emergency drills and train in the off-season.
  8. Using proprietary weather forecasting software to assist in anticipating dangerous storm conditions and clean-up needs.
  9. Having an emergency storm response team available 24/7.
  10. Having a communications plan to provide you with critical guidance when needed.

ELM is proud to be named one of Snow Magazine’s snow leaders for 2018, and proud, too, of our commitment to the professional organizations that drive continuous learning and improvement: Snow and Ice Management Association, the Accredited Snow Contractors of America, and community-wide business councils throughout Fairfield County, Connecticut, where we can be an advocate for landscape and grounds safety.

For information on ELM’s snow operations policies, programs or risk management protocols, contact President, Bruce Moore, Jr. at 203-316-5433.

 

Follow us on Facebook

 

What Do Tenants Want?

According to a number of studies on millennials and the changing needs of the next-gen workplace, employers who want to recruit and retain top talent, and building managers who want to lease to and retain high quality tenants, the answer is: health, wellness and amenities.

Chief among these is the need to think about features that increase social connections.  Healthier people are happier people and data suggests that nature plays a strong role in contributing to both. Plants, trees, and foliage offset negative impacts from poor building air and light systems; bike paths and nature trails foster fitness, and converted outdoor workspaces wired for Wi-Fi boost productivity and engagement. Rooftop gardens with lounge areas and recreational areas give people a chance to freshen their perspective.

“A lot of these approaches are already part of strategic landscape thinking,” said Bruce Moore Jr, president of ELM and an advocate for landscapes that impact healthier lifestyles. “The demand exists, it’s just a matter of understanding that most of the amenities can be added for relatively low cost once the infrastructure is in place.”

Some of the best ways to introduce more green features include transforming loading docks to landscaped walkways, opening up interiors for large planted atriums that bring in natural light, and green walls – vertical plantings and living art forms that extends the building’s brand.

LEED designations, WELL-certifications, and corporate sustainability goals are reviving interest in finding better ways to create a bridge between the built and landscaped environment. Green roofs, in particular, with roof decks, lounge areas, putting greens and bocce ball courts, are thriving in urban business corridors and emerging bedroom communities where corporate HQs, redeveloped commercial properties, and aging office parks are being turned into highly desirable office space.

Workplace amenities that attract people, attract business.  “With blurred lines between personal and professional lives impacting everyone, workplaces no longer exist merely for career paths,” said Moore. “Adding nature into the equation ups the ante to create better places to live, work and play overall.”

That, and the case for the business benefits of a sustainable footprint, whether on the roof or on the ground. “People today expect more: property managers and owners want return on investment, employees want features they can use, and investors want to spend less for more.”

To learn more about tenant amenities and green roofs, updating your Class A property landscape or making your Class B property more competitive, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Photo: The green roof at The Cooper-Union in Manhattan was revitalized by ELM to include lounge areas, a bocce ball court, and reception and entertaining space.

Follow us on Facebook