ELM’s green infrastructure program is tackling urban stormwater.

Stormwater runoff is a leading cause of urban water pollution. When rain, snow, sleet fall on impervious surfaces, such as parking lots, roads, rooftops and other hard surfaces, the water washes off and carries sediment and pollutants on its way into streets and storm drains, and subsequently into rivers and lakes and watershed.

“Green infrastructure – both hardscape and natural systems, such as bioswales, rain gardens and other vegetated biofilters – is a functional, attractive, environmentally-friendly and effective way to reduce the volume and flow of runoff,” said Bobby Papotto, ELM’s enhancement manager, who is overseeing a large-scale stormwater project in Westchester County NY.

“After Hurricane Ida came through last year, there was massive flooding, roadway erosion and safety issues due to collapsed shoring and insufficient filtration systems.  We began the project as a storm response effort, working with local engineering teams and the town’s permitting department to build a new retaining wall and a complex swale filtration system using a mix of sand, gravel, and soil amendments.”

“The design of this project went far beyond repairing storm damage. It has effectively provided a mechanism to reduce the volume and velocity of runoff, reclaimed water and created an important environmental asset that serves multiple functions,” added Bobby.

Green infrastructure offers an integrated solution to stormwater management, solving problems and providing benefits at the same time. This includes reducing pollutants and localized flooding, conserving water, and increasing property and economic value through improved site aesthetics and performance.

To learn more about ELM’s green infrastructure program, or ways to address water usage by reducing demands for supplemental irrigation through smart water management, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203.315.5433

Wildflowers Are Transforming Former Corporate Plazas.

Corporate America has jumped on the perennial bandwagon, says Josh Thermer, area manager for Eastern Land Management. A former golf course superintendent from Lake Preston, CT, who joined ELM in September 2021, he now leads ELM’s turf-to-meadow conversion program, in addition to overseeing procurement for all plant material and turf and ornamental products out of ELM’s Monroe office.

To Josh, there is no irony in promoting meadows during April’s Lawn Care month, as lawns and turf grass, like all plant material, are in a constant state of renewal.

“Landscapes are naturally transformative,” says Josh. “From converting worn-out concrete plazas to an expanse of wildflowers to replacing underperforming turf with native grasses to swapping out thirsty plants for drought tolerant perennials, it’s all about doing what’s best for the aesthetics of the site, the needs of the client, and the health and performance of the environment overall.”

Perennials are a trend worth keeping, especially given the challenges Connecticut has faced with drought. Meadows, prairie-plantings, naturalistic landscapes, and eco-lawns are all versions of an ecological revolution that improves soil health and groundwater, and reduces the need for toxic chemicals. When the soil is healthy, it sequesters carbon, which, in turn, is climate-positive—a win-win for companies seeking to improve their sustainability, ESG and LEED metrics.

“Improving the way we conserve water, and the way we improve the way people experience the outdoors is what we do. But we’re also improving the quality of corporate life and view meadows as a tenant amenity. Sitting in a gazebo and watching pollinators and birds is more relaxing than sitting on a bench and looking at a lawn devoid of wildlife because nothing’s blooming,” Josh adds.

Currently Josh is on point for several major corporate projects and landscape transformations deferred by Covid. An expert in sports and performance turf, he says he looks forward to working with college and university athletic directors looking to up their game.

For questions on lawn care turf conversions, meadows or athletic fields, contact Josh at 203-316-5433.

 

 

 

Christopher Koenig Joins ELM as Area Manager

West Haven, Connecticut native Chris Koenig says the green industry is a perfect fit for him because he’s loved the outdoors since he was a kid.

With passions ranging from ice hockey to ice fishing, Chris is well-positioned to lead Eastern Land Management’s cold weather crews on ice and snow management, in addition to his role advancing service delivery to ELM clients throughout Fairfield County.

Chris’s journey to area manager began at the ground level, as a gardener. “The cutting edge of what we do as landscapers starts with the soil. Getting our hands dirty, nurturing and improving plant health, dealing with insects and the weather, and making sure all the dots connect on everybody’s needs. Front line ‘boots-on-the-ground’ work is a tough assignment. But it’s great on-the-job training,” said Chris.

Chris has held several landscaping positions over a dozen years, from field operations to production and customer service.  “Chris’ experience is inspiring,” said company president, Bruce Moore Jr. “When people work their way up, they can be phenomenal leaders. Chris’ crews respect his understanding of their jobs and customers value his impressive impact as a problem-solver.”

Please join us in welcoming Chris to ELM.