Preparing for The Big Chill

Late fall begins a hibernation cycle when plants and root systems slow down to conserve their energy. With no new foliage until warmer weather, our attention turns to the action below ground, long before signs of the first frost.

  • Protect and nourish root and soil systems, with a thick layer of nutrient-rich mulch to insulate and regulate soil temperature, hold in moisture, and keep roots from freeze damage.
  • Feed and water appropriately before the first frost. Avoid fertilizing, which will be ineffective during dormancy or cause them to sprout with unnecessary new growth.
  • Use soil moisture sensors and smart technology to measure hydration levels.Moist soil can hold 4 times more heat than dry soil, warming the plant as much as a 2-3 degrees
  • Deal with drainage problems promptly, as wet soils can make young plants more likely to uproot in wind.
  • Prune dead wood, clean up shrubs and trees, cut back perennials, remove debris, cut turf grass shorter, aerate and fertilize prior to first freeze.
  • Protect evergreens by wrapping with breathable burlap to shelter and protects the plant from heavy winds, salt, and heavy snow loads.
  • Get ahead of thaw cycles and know what plants can weather winter.

Contact Client Service Representatives Marc Angarano and Ted Marron at sales@easternland.com to learn more.

Unsure about your landscape contract renewal strategy? Here are four ways you can extract the most value.

For most property management companies, a wide-range of suppliers, vendors and partners are essential to meet the demands of daily operations, whether for the smooth running of the office or the way landscape and grounds significantly improve asset value.

The need for seamless continuity requires a life cycle of renewal that, despite its transactional nature, is an opportunity to safeguard relationships as well as an opportunity for both parties to achieve maximum value.

For properties pursuing initiatives that reduce energy, water, carbon and advance sustainability goals, ELM landscape contracts can take the process one step further with actionable steps that include specific solutions and provisions that protect and enhance local ecosystems, decrease the amount of chemicals, water and waste, and establish larger frameworks for continuous improvements in planting strategies.

  • Start early

Your landscape needs may have changed since you initially signed the contract.  Start the negotiation process early – prior to the existing season ending – and discuss options well before your contract expires. This gives you the opportunity to talk about pricing, learn more about new features and benefits, and discuss continuous refinements that meet green performance goals. On a practical level, getting your wish list in early gives your landscape contractor enough time to procure materials, and newer products and smart technologies that may have a waiting list. 

  • Get maximum value

Preparation is important if you want to extract maximum value. To achieve the best outcome, don’t cut corners. Give the contract process your full attention. It’s an excellent opportunity for both parties to achieve the best possible outcomes. build stronger relationships and renegotiate terms that are can be more favorable to both.

  • Reduce administrative burden

Most landscape contracts are automated with project management software that can make the administrative process fast and as easy as possible. If everything goes smoothly, it can be an opportunity to make the best use of the services and knowledge your landscape contractor offers. Having your contracts in place prior to spring – when the growing season begins – allows everyone to spend time on helping your property reap strategic benefits, such as higher ROI, enhanced oversight, decreased risk and higher performance.

  • Gain a seamless experience

Communicating and planning throughout the year – especially during winter and non-peak growing seasons – is crucial to success. By implementing the contract renewal process early, property managers can save time, extract more value, resolve problems faster, and stay ahead of important milestones and performance goals.

Email us  or call: 203-316-5433 to learn more.

Merritt 7 & ELM Win Another Award of Excellence from National Association of Landscape Contractors

Merritt 7 Corporate Park, a LEED-Gold certified Class A property owned by Clarion Partners LLC and managed by Marcus Partners CT Management, received a Silver Award of Excellence in Landscaping from the National Association of Landscape Contractors (NALP) on behalf of Eastern Land Management (ELM), M7’s landscape partner since 2013.  M7 and ELM received a Silver Award of Excellence in landscaping in 2018.

“The M7 ideas-driven team deserves all the credit,” said Bruce Moore, Jr., ELM president. “It’s a spectacular site with multiple elevations and revitalized open spaces that interweave nature and art, and reduce critical resources such as energy and water. It’s a smart urban showcase for sustainable performance and we’re proud to be part of its award-winning success.”

Key environmental features include its adjacency to the Norwalk River watershed, the use of digital technologies that control and conserve water use, batter-powered noise reducing equipment, green waste recycling, and landscape maintenance practices that support Merritt 7’s climate action goals.

The NALP Awards of Excellence program celebrated its 50th year in 2019, and recognizes the best projects in commercial and residential design, installation and maintenance across the nation. Winners will be recognized at NALP’s annual meeting in Dallas, Tx, Sept 10-13, 2023.

Gensler served as Merritt 7s revitalization partner in 2022.

Merritt 7, located in Norwalk, Connecticut, at 1.4 million sq. ft., is the largest and most prominent corporate park in Fairfield County. It features 35,000 sq. ft. on-structure landscaping, a green roof plaza, and 2,500 linear feet of water-smart streetscape.

Chris Keogh, ELM area manager, oversees ELM’s M7 crew.

About Eastern Land Management

ELM is a premiere CRE landscape and snow and ice management partner based in Stamford CT, with a green hub and snow training center in Monroe CT, and Westchester County service hub in Armonk, NY.

The firm is an active member of NALP, the Snow & Ice Management Association, a member of BOMA SoCt and BOMA Westchester County, the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, and Westchester County Executives. President Bruce Moore Jr. is a member of the Board of Corporators for First County Bank in Stamford, supports Fairfield County Hospice House, and active in urban renewal efforts and community outreach throughout Connecticut and Westchester County.

ELM received a Fairfield County Sustainability ChangeMaker Award for its work in drought and water management, and since its founding in 1976, has been recognized for its excellence from the industries it serves.

For more information, please contact ELM President, Bruce Moore at (203) 316-5433 or bmoorejr@easternland.com

When it comes to landscape and plant health, prevention is the best cure.

Your lawns, trees and shrubs are a growing investment worth protecting.

ELM’s new all-season plant health care program is designed to do that, and more–including scheduled inspections and treatments to keep your soil balanced and nourished, your plants healthy and beautiful, and keep destructive pests at bay, all year long.

Landscapes, like all living things, benefit from good health and if your lawn, plants and trees could use a boost, here’s what we recommend:

  • Early Spring – Apply horticultural oil to control scale and over wintering stages of many insects.
  • Early spring – Inject a balanced fertilizer into the root zone to boost the overall health of the plant and create new top growth. This will provide the plants with the needed nutrients to last the entire season.
  • Spring- Use foliar spray (a practice that involves applying spray directly to a plant’s leaves) to combat insects such as scale, mites, leaf miners, leaf beetles, and webworms just to name a few.
  • Spring- Apply optional fungicide spray as needed and do an overall health assessment and recommendation.
  • Summer- Apply second round of foliar spray to strengthen and protect plants from insects.
  • Summer – Schedule a summer inspection for any signs of fungus or disease and make recommendations for any further applications of fungicide.
  • Early fall – Apply a third and final foliar application of insect control to combat any late season insect damage and to help in the prevention of egg laying on the plants.
  • Fall – Inject a balanced fertilizer into the root area to enhance root growth, improve winter nutrient storage, and a healthier and faster green-up and growth in the spring.
  • Late fall – Apply anti-desiccant for winter burn protection and conserve plant moisture during the cold and windy winter months.

Deer ticks in the northeast are benefitting from warming winters, raising health risks and the potential diseases that they may carry. ELM offers deer repellents, deterrent services, and tick control and prevention—in addition to strategic landscape maintenance practices that reduce tick habitats.

Contact ELM’s plant health care expert Martin Minogue at mminoque@easternland.com, for a complimentary evaluation. And learn why prevention is not only the best cure, but the most cost-effective way to avoid fewer problems with insects, disease and environmental stress in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

The ABCs of RFPs: what CREs need to know about finding a landscape partner

If you’re a commercial property or facility professional, RFPs – Request for Proposals – will sooner or later fall within your task bucket.

As a procurement tool, RFPs can be a great leveler. But they also don’t tell the whole story; they can feel like tedious wheel reinvention for both parties, and when they’re ‘kitchen sink’ approaches – or ask for everything but, there is no room for differentiation.

We think there’s a better way.

With spring start-up season just around the corner, here’s our advice for tailoring your landscape services RFP to give you the best partner for the job.

Why RFPs can be a race to the bottom

Service companies that respond to RFPs essentially engage in a bidding way, ending up in a pool of contractors who compete on price. When landscape companies compete on price, it’s because they often look for cheaper options to deliver on apples-to-apples specs. The bad news for property and facility professionals who contract landscaping services through RFPs is that you get what you pay for – a hamster wheel of RFP-won contractors who cut corners on innovation to offer price instead of value.

We believe that value is a competitive advantage. When you eliminate value, you lose the upside value brings. In the ever-increasing, ever-complex world of collaborative service partnerships, an ill-conceived RFP can yield more problems than solutions.

How to make RFPs a win-win   

For both landscape services contracts and complex landscaping projects—those with upgrades, renovations, and performance and environmental improvements—a well-written RFP can be effective at filtering out weak players. To create a consistently good RFP and RFP process, think about shaping your RFP as an RFV – or Request for Value.

In addition to describing what you and your commercial property or facility needs and your expectations for delivery, include specs for your sustainability goals and context for what the landscaping itself will meet, such as: key site performance indicators for carbon neutral or LEED.  Include the ‘need to haves’ and the ‘nice to haves’, criteria for curb appeal and improved asset value, and communicate actual timelines with a realistic deadline for the contractor to respond.

Avoid generalities, proof-read for typos, edit for clarity, and eliminate redundant questions and contradictory requirements. If your RFP-issuing team is not clear on specs, risk mitigation, and expected outcomes, go back to the drawing board to make it better and tighter.

A cautionary note about AI-enabled technology:  When the RFP response process is automated, do the math.  While automation offers efficiencies and fills out things at a much quicker pace, the scope piece – when compared to non-automated bids – may not add up. Always double check to make sure you’re not getting apples-to-oranges.

If you’re looking to save cost, remember: low-bid doesn’t tell the whole story. The best return on investment will always be calculated by actual and perceived value, and the long-term value that comes from a strong relationship.

We do our best work when we work with people—face to face, building connections, friendships, and opportunities to gain trust.  Our advice? Use your RFP as a solid starting point. A way to open the door and start a conversation, and a way to make sure you’re getting more than a team of qualified vendors, but a strategic partnership where value is created and delivered every step of the way.

Spring is the time of renewal in nature and in the procurement office. If you’re renewing your contracts, seeking to find a new landscape partner, or interested in keeping the conversation going, give us a call.

We’re listening.

Contact President Bruce Moore Jr. (203) 316-5433.

Bruce Moore Jr. is a second-generation landscape industry leader and President of Eastern Land Management, a full-service commercial landscaping business serving the property and facility market in Fairfield County Connecticut and Westchester County New York.

Bruce is an active member of BOMA Westchester County and BOMA Southern Connecticut. He currently serves on BOMASoCt board of directors.

www.easternland.com

 

 

Landscaping is Changing the Conversation Around Green Real Estate. Top 10 things property people need to know.

January is Quality of Life month and with sustainability playing an increasingly more important role in how commercial real estate companies invest in green performance, the benefits of landscaping has emerged as an actionable priority.

From site design and infrastructure to LEED considerations to amenities and workplace wellness, new research suggests that nature will have the largest and most easily quantifiable impact on quality of life.

Here’s how:

  1. Health & wellness

The Covid pandemic flipped perceptions of workplace norms, leading to a rethink of the role air quality, natural light and quality outdoor space influences health and well-being. This has led to reconfiguring landscaped areas for outdoor conferencing and working, creating walking trails and bike paths for fitness, building out green roofs and terraces for encourage social interaction, and increasing the number of trees.

  1. Sustainability

As a philosophy and a practice, sustainability has influenced the built environment for years. But with concerns around extreme weather events, climate action planning and the need for increased environmental resilience, landscaping has become an essential key performance indicator for driving occupancy, higher rents, higher tenant retention and higher property value – all while reducing energy use, waste, and environmental impacts.

Getting up to speed. What’s next?

Nature, by way of landscaping and its ability to refresh and revitalize, is an unparalleled remedy to urban stress. When implemented in a way that also protects environmental health, the benefits to human health increase exponentially.  Ten things ELM can help you do now:

  1. Implement a water conservation and irrigation management plan, combined with low-water use landscape strategies and comprehensive guidelines for erosion control and storm water management.
  2. Reduce landfill waste through recycling and composting.
  3. Increase biodiversity, habitat health and plant life through best practices.
  4. Reduce chemical use.
  5. Improve soil health through mulching and microorganisms.
  6. Improve plant and pest management with biological controls, and beneficial insects.
  7. Create a long-range strategic landscape plan that includes ongoing landscape performance improvements.
  8. Transform underutilized areas into perennial meadows.
  9. Use advanced technologies for energy-efficiency and improved resource management.
  10. Create and maintain healthy and high-performing outdoor amenity spaces for people to spend more time in nature.

To learn more about how Eastern Land Management can improve quality of life through landscaping, contact company president Bruce Moore Jr. at (203) 316-5433.

Photo: Stamford Towers, Stamford Connecticut. A commercial landscape sustainably maintained by ELM for CBRE.

 

Martin Minogue Joins ELM as Area Manager

Eastern Land Management is pleased to welcome Martin Minogue as Area Manager.  He will be based in Stamford, Connecticut, and will lead the landscape service needs of ELM’s commercial real estate clients throughout Fairfield County.

Martin is a veteran landscape professional with a reputation for property quality and commitment to turf and plant health care industries. When he isn’t advocating for improvements in green performance, he’s working to advance ELM’s mission to drive excellence in sustainability.

Born and raised in Darien, CT, Martin grew up in the green industry. He began his impressive career at his father’s side when he was 8 years old and “never looked back”. From those early years mowing lawns to academic courses at UConn, and eventually running his own landscape company, Martin’s knowledge and technical skill, and commitment to detail, is an advantage for property owners and managers keen on increasing profitability while meeting environmental and energy-efficiency goals.

“Taking a property from what it is to where it can be is my passion. Keeping up with industry trends, working to find cost effective and productive methods to create smarter approaches and manage risk—I can’t even think of anything else I’d like to do,” he says.

“ELM serves the heart of the greater NY Metro commercial real estate market, and having Martin on our team accelerates our ability to be flexible and adapt, and take the long view,” said company president, Bruce Moore, Jr. “How and why people use different types of properties are key issues playing out across our region. How we respond and position our firm to look beyond cyclical headwinds is turning out to be our competitive advantage.”

Martin holds a CT DEEP Supervisor license, and Turf & Nursery Management degrees from Ratcliff Hicks School of Agriculture and the University of Connecticut.

To learn more about ELM’s expertise and CRE service areas, contact Bruce Moore Jr at: (203) 316-5433

How to Leverage the Benefits of Scale and Gain Market Share Through Landscaping

What property and facility owners and managers need to know.

It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy commercial landscape is a big job. And although it may seem that all commercial landscape contractors do the same thing, thanks to smart technologies and automation, there is a stark difference in the way commercial landscape and grounds services are delivered and the value landscaping brings to the bottom line.

The most obvious difference is impact landscaping has on property value. Landscapes need to look good all year-round; they need to be safe for people and the environment, reduce risk and liability, and deliver higher returns all while making a lasting impression.

This is where ELM comes in to help property and facility owners and managers capitalize on the benefits of scale.

ELM is a single-source provider. This means that all landscape and grounds services are integrated and strategically delivered across all seasons, including snow and ice. A single-source provider not only simplifies the process of managing your landscape and reducing the number of companies you need to contact, it’s the best way to reap consistent cost savings through economies of scale.

If you’re looking to contract with a professional commercial landscape services firm, here are five questions to ask:

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. What is their client retention rate?
  3. Do they offer year-round maintenance, including snow and ice services?
  4. What value-added benefits are included? Do they use low-noise equipment, electric or autonomous equipment, clean energy and options that help earn LEED credits?
  5. Will they make your landscape as technologically smart and as digitally-advanced as your building?

Here’s what you can expect from ELM in the day-to-day:

  1. Meticulous about clean and complete. No task left undone.
  2. No drama.
  3. Proactive about little things before they become big things.
  4. Make suggestions that make you look good.
  5. Willing to go above and beyond.
  6. Prepared, trained, and experienced emergency response.
  7. Highly responsive and easy to reach.

ELM commercial landscape maintenance services include expertise in the following:

  • Commercial property and facility landscape and grounds services
  • Landscape maintenance and horticultural services
  • Enhancements and renovations
  • Irrigation and water management
  • Hardscape projects, corporate terraces, plazas and patios
  • Parking lot and median maintenance
  • Snow and ice control, and winter management
  • Site safety
  • Spring plantings
  • Fall clean-up

If you’re a commercial property and facility manager seeking quality, excellence and cost-efficient contracting services for your landscape and grounds, working toward LEED accreditation and greater sustainability, ELM is your partner of choice.

ELM is a proud member of BOMA Southern Connecticut and BOMA Westchester County, and actively supports the greater multi-sector commercial real estate community in Connecticut and New York.

Roberto Chuquiano Named Enhancement Project Manager

Roberto Chuquiano, a recent recipient of ELM’s Branch Impact Award, has been promoted to Enhancement Project Manager, reporting to Scott DiStasio, Stamford, Connecticut branch manager.

“Roberto’s experience is second-to-none,” said company president, Bruce Moore Jr. “Not only is his promotion well-deserved, but it speaks to our commitment to grow career opportunities within our organization and build a clear path for advancement. Roberto’s a role model – his passion for the job, his knowledge and integrity, and the high-trust he has with our clients, is an inspiration to the whole team.”

A native of Peru, Roberto joined ELM in 2006. He holds multiple certifications in landscape, arboriculture, equipment operations, and snow/ice.

When he’s not creating harmony in the landscape, he pursues his passion for music. An avid collector of vinyl, Roberto DJs on weekends to bring people together, and says that music and outdoor spaces both have the power to make people happy.

Roberto says his best advice for customers is not to give up on plants. The cycle of life – whether in a home garden or in a commercial landscape – is about renewal and patience, and respect for the opportunities each season brings.

Please join us in congratulating Roberto on his leadership and next chapter at ELM.

Eastern Land Management Wins Award for Urban Renewal

From the Fairfield County Business Journal, September 17, 2022

by Edward Arriaza

Eastern Land Management (ELM) has recently been awarded the Silver Award of Excellence by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) for its renovation of Kiwanis Park, a placemaking and urban renewal project of Downtown Stamford’s Special Services District. In addition to Kiwanis Park, ELM was honored for developing a streetscape design in the heart of the downtown business district that included 250 hanging baskets, foliage containers and refurbished annual beds.

Founded in 1976 by Bruce Moore Sr., the Stamford-based company provides full-service landscaping and snow removal services and has 120 seasonal employees who work as landscape gardeners, landscape crew leaders, heavy equipment mechanics and plant health care technicians. According to Bruce Moore Jr., the son of the founder and ELM’s president, the company began “with a vision to maintain commercial properties in Westchester and Fairfield County” and later added New Haven County to its service area.

Moore knew he wanted to join the business when he was young, and immediately went to work for the company in 2005 upon graduating college.

“Growing up in the business, I really grew a liking to working with all the different people and working with horticulture and seeing what goes into the maintenance and snow removal of all these properties,” Moore said. “It was something that I always was passionate about.”

As a full-service land management company, ELM is able to act as a single-source provider for its clients, offering landscape management, water management and snow removal all in one.

“All those services are provided by our own personnel,” Moore said. “The customer has a single point of contact to use for pretty much the entire exterior of their facility.”

Among the services ELM provides for landscape management are turf fertilization, lawn mowing, tree and shrub pruning and integrated pest management. For water management, ELM provides troubleshooting and repairs, scheduled maintenance programs and system design and installation, among other services.

Moore believed that ELM’s award-winning work brought life to the underutilized Kiwanis Park, making it a “more welcoming, cleaner space.”

“What was originally just a cut through from lower Summer Street to Atlantic Street now is more of a place for people to sit, relax, hang out or have a conversation with friends, have a bite to eat and just in general socialize and mingle with people,” Moore said.

Though ELM has received accolades for its quality of work, it has still experienced its share of difficulties — the sharp increase in fuel and wages due to inflation has been felt acutely by Moore and the daily price fluctuations of material has required ELM to reach out to its vendors constantly in order to have up-to-date prices.

“We are working pretty hard every day to try our best to not pass off a lot of those increased costs to our customers,” Moore said. “We’re trying to manage it to the best of our ability, but we have had to make some adjustments over the last year to accommodate for all of the inflation on material prices.”

ELM has also dealt with labor shortages, facing some difficulties in recruiting people for its production teams. However, it had no issues in maintaining its workers the past couple of years and has even brought on board an employee relations coordinator to amplify employees’ voices. As a result, ELM has increased wages and implemented recruiting bonuses.

“We’ve made a big adjustment to ensure that we’re working really hard to become an employer of choice, and to make sure that we’re retaining our people,” Moore said.

Moore added that ELM will continue to keep its eyes on the changing weather and preparing for the first storm of the season.

“Right now, we’re working to allocate equipment and ensure that we have everything in place and prepared to go for the upcoming winter season,” he said.

Original can be found at Westfaironline.com: https://westfaironline.com/real-estate/eastern-land-management-wins-an-award-for-its-urban-renewal-work/

Photo: © PJ Kennedy