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.

ELM Rolls Out Landscape Platform for Senior Living

A new health care model is reshaping senior living as residential communities continue to raise the bar on amenities and innovation that improve the quality of life.

As this property market looks to a future where the population of seniors with incremental health care needs is growing, updating facility landscaping for aesthetics, and health and safety are no longer capital expenditures that can be put on hold.

ELM has identified five ways to prioritize improvements.

  • Update entrances and pedestrian areas for safety and flow
  • Create plant-filled, interactive outdoor spaces to heighten community engagement, support walking and fitness programs, and add curb appeal
  • Identify opportunities to transform underperforming areas into low-maintenance nature or activity spaces for bocce ball, croquet or putting greens.
  • Create a community garden, rooftop top garden, a composting center, or rain garden to create more opportunities for residents to engage over shared activities.
  • Create a tech-enabled, environmentally-friendly, resource-efficient and climate appropriate landscape maintenance program that reduces long-term costs and use practices that conserve water, energy, and soil health, limit waste and protect groundwater.

ELM’s team is experienced in this sector and understands its unique needs. Recently, we performed a complete makeover that included the installation a digitally controlled smart irrigation system, the natural pruning of dozens of shrubs and trees, layers of fresh mulch, splashes of seasonal color, and a refreshed entrance.

Enhancement Manager and project lead, Bobby Papotto, says, “Our connection with nature improves well-being and nowhere is this more important that when it comes to the specific needs of senior living residents, whether the facility is for independent living, assisted living or memory care. To make sure our landscapes support a range of quality of life goals, we look at soil health, plant material, biodiversity and habitat, and incorporate as much nature and natural elements, and safety features into the design and execution as possible.”

Landscaped spaces are an oasis for community engagement and safe socializing, and spending time in a healthy outdoor environment can make all the difference when it comes to choosing a senior community.

To learn more about ways landscaping can create an enhanced sense of community, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr., at 203-316-5433.

 

 

Cool Boules! It’s Game-On for Bocce Ball

Outdoor game courts are going in faster than we can say “baci”. And whether you play French-style pétanque, British bowls or Italian bocce, the simple bowling game that some say dates back to 5,200 B.C. is a hip, hot and happening trend for corporate campuses with outdoor space to spare.

Lucky for us, ELM has a growing game court niche, having built more than a few over the last few years, with more bocce projects in the pipeline. Enhancement Project Manager Bobby Papotto, who oversees our game court portfolio, says that a bocce court is easy to set up and there are different design features to take into consideration.

A recent example is ELM’s installation of a landscaped bocce court at a global headquarters in Fairfield County, Connecticut—a two-part campus renovation project that included drainage and grading, boundary construction and material installation, plus tree-shaded seating space, and border plantings to encourage employee team-building, as well as provide an upscale amenity area for corporate events.

ELM has a long history of constructing, renovating, resurfacing, re-turfing, and repairing performance and athletic fields, and sport courts are a natural next step, says Bobby.

For this project specifically, materials included constructing 200 linear feet of concrete curb, installing 400 yards of topsoil and over 10,000 square feet of sod; planting maple trees, ornamental grasses, red twig Dogwoods, and designing and installing a high-tech irrigation system.

As Connecticut’s top-performing companies continue their rapid growth, it’s becoming more important than ever for Class A property owners and managers to re-energize workplaces with healthy amenities designed to enhance people’s lives.

Whether the enhancement is a recreation pavilion, a landscaped gathering place, or outdoor conference space, giving executive teams and employees camaraderie and well-time outside the office is not only good for company culture and recruiting—bocce, volleyball, basketball, and walking and biking trails, give employees the next best way to build sweat equity.

To learn more about ways ELM is integrating nature into the future of work, contact ELM President Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Horticultural Therapy for Better Senior Health

An expanding senior population is creating renewed demand for high-quality senior housing.  And to us, high-quality means access to nature and using landscaping as a metric to rise to new market challenges and simultaneously improve the quality of life for residents across a spectrum of needs.

This is good news for facility and portfolio managers with capital improvement monies to invest as landscaping and outdoor amenities are adaptable, innovative and sustainable ways to gain competitive advantage.

The economic argument is compelling. Data suggests that an estimated 70% of Americans aged 65 or older may require long-term care. Coupled with a set of statistics suggesting that access to nature improves health care outcomes, and it adds up to landscaping easily delivering a measurable return on investment.

As the assisted living communities of the future take shape, here are four key landscape trends to put on your radar.

Gateway Landscaping and Showcase Features:

The point of entry for new residents and potential residents, and visiting guests, is the front door. In an era where screening devices and advanced safety protocols are the norm, strategically-placed landscaping can help soften the technology, minimize touchpoints and make your building’s main entrance look like a welcoming amenity space without compromising the need for security.

Outdoor Living Rooms:

Outdoor gatherings will continue to meet new standards for public health and safety, and we’re building functional amenity spaces that can host family visits and social gatherings, and are pet-friendly. With a renewed emphasis on an accessible and flexible outdoors, we’re seeing an increase in requests for balconies, patios, courtyards and other spaces that are tech-enabled, airy and ventilated, and meet new restrictions for disease prevention.

Water Features:

Water is a soothing element so it’s only natural that its ability to improve mood is a given. When designed for safety and installed correctly, and integrated with smart-technology, interactive fountains, pondless waterfalls, architectural lighting, and water-recycling and conservation systems are among our most requested outdoor features.

 Therapeutic Specialty Gardens & Biophilic Elements:

Simply put, gardens are the fastest and most cost-effective way to add quantifiable value. Value in contributing to health and well-being, value as a participatory activity center, value as a community gathering place and value in what gardens provide as a multi-sensory experience.  At any stage of our lives, access to nature is always better than being cooped up.  For senior communities, gardens offer ways for residents to interact with plants and engage in nature-based activities: harvestable vegetable gardens and orchards; butterfly gardens, planted with flowering perennials that attract hummingbirds and beneficial pollinators (avoiding plants that attract bees or stinging insects); and bird gardens, with plants that provide forage and nesting habitats for migrating birds or waterfowl.

For more information on how ELM’s senior housing specialists rehabilitate outdoor spaces for a spectrum of specialized needs, contact President, Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

 

 

 

Celebrating 45 Years of Trust & Growth

“Every decade has its detours,” says ELM founder and landscape industry legend, Bruce Moore Sr. “From good times to lean times, we learned to adapt. The pandemic, and a fire we had a few years ago that wiped out our archives, was nearly just another day at the office,” he added with the wisdom born of time and persistence, and a willingness to work very hard at what he loved.

ELM recently celebrated its 45th year in business and Bruce Sr. says, “agility is our middle name.”  Like a lot of entrepreneurs, Bruce Sr. had a broad focus starting out and discovered his survival kit along the way.

“Adaptability became our strong suit,” he said, “as the only thing that was constant in those days was change. We were good at keeping customers and building relationships, and it was the relationships that kept us in business.”

Fast forward to 2021, and it’s clear that relationships continue to drive the company’s collective success. Not only does ELM still have some of its original – going on four-decade relationships, but the company’s service quality and consistency keeps its customer retention at nearly 95%.  Which, given quarantines and confinements, and a chronology of unprecedented events that unfolded in real time, is a remarkable lesson for business leaders.

Today, ELM is proud to have had the foresight to invest in developing a high performing team.  “Even in the midst of turbulence, we’ve always had an ‘all for one, one for all’ spirit,” says Bruce Sr. “We were lucky then – and we’re lucky now – that we built a company of trust and ideas, so when push came to shove, we could improvise quickly and push through together.”

The result is impressive. ELM reaches across Connecticut with a multi-branch operation and an engaging workforce where team members trust the people they work with and are willing to collaborate on the next big thing.

As it turns out, team spirit is critical to the firm’s ability to pivot.  “I credit Bruce Jr. for embracing uncertainty and inspiring ELM to adapt to new normal realities,” says the proud father of the firm’s next generation leader who is ushering in new, innovative ideas, green technologies, and concepts for growth.

ELM mandates contingency planning as part of its operational strategy and the ability to switch gears is built into its culture.

“Working in the New England snow belt, we’re already aligned with the fluctuations of nature. We expect the weather to change. We plan for plant life cycles and seasons and weather events, and are always assessing risk and economies of scale. If you know anything about nature, even with technology forecasting, she can be imprecise. So, we have to be on our toes and proactive. Just like getting out in front of change in business, nature demands a fast and super-flexible response. Our training to do that well has become our value-add,” said Bruce Jr.

For more than four decades, ELM has kept the company going with its integrity and an ‘all hands on deck’ spirit at the helm.  With the firm’s half-century mark on the horizon, ELM continues to think beyond what’s possible.

“Creating a new future for what we do, without compromising what made us who we are, is our new leadership imperative.”

Over the next few months, ELM will be rolling out its legacy for the future. “With the health crisis more or less behind us, and enthusiasm for revitalized landscapes in all its forms – parks, open spaces, habitats, green roofs, and amenity zones – benefitting from a pent-up demand for being outside, we don’t want to lose sight of what made us great. Because what brought us here, will take us forward,” said Bruce Jr.

What inspired ELM back in the day – the solid relationships, the decision-making that helped the company think through challenge, and the firm’s strong commitment to people and community – that, and the high value support from all levels of its team, that’s the advantage ELM says they will always bring to the table.

Eastern Land Management was founded in Connecticut in 1976 by Bruce T. Moore Sr. Under the leadership of its president Bruce T. Moore Jr., ELM is one of the northeast region’s leading provider of commercial landscape, water management and snow services.

Bruce Moore Jr. is an active member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Snow and Ice Management Association, Southern Connecticut BOMA, Bridgeport Economic Development Council, a member of the board of directors for the Fairfield County House, and a former long-time member of the board of the Stamford Boys & Girls Club. As a team and company, ELM is a committed corporate citizen and community partner, and shares time and resources to support organizations and people in need.

For its efforts in advanced water management and resource conservation, ELM was honored in 2019 with the Fairfield County ChangeMaker Award for Sustainability.

To learn more, go to: www.easternland.com or contact ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr., at (203) 316-5433.

 

Nature is Transforming Outdoor Work and Conference Space

If Covid-19 accelerated an interest in healthier buildings, then landscaping, and its ability to leverage the health benefits of nature, will be front and center in any master plan that defines how we bring people back to work.

Landscaping opportunities that lead to stronger returns are those that respond to sustainability concerns, including automation, green technology, operational and energy efficiency, climate resiliency, resource conservation, and safety.

At ELM, we’re not only on top of these trends, we’re driving them. Here are our top 7:

• Bring nature to work. Incorporate outdoor conference space, green terraces, green roofs and walls, indoor atriums, water features, container plantings, natural light, texture and foliage, for improved air quality and ventilation.

• Create wow factors. Add seasonal color, flowering perennials, foliage texture for curb appeal, and native and adaptive plants to save water and maintenance.

• Dress it up. Prepare beds with fresh mulch, prune trees and shrubs, cull diseased and infested plants, power wash outdoor surfaces, eliminate weeds and unwanted plants.

• Invest in smart technologies. Upgrade irrigation infrastructure to offset water as the fastest growing utility expense. Invest in smart water technology to support and encourage conservation, and improved groundwater and stormwater filtration and management systems to support water quality.

• Renovate hardscape, pathways, paved surfaces, terraces, decks, and outdoor built elements to repair winter wear and tear, improve safety and manage risk.

• Add tenant amenities such as outdoor Wi-Fi, green roofs, LED lighting, outdoor television, dining areas, bocce ball, putting greens or jogging and bike paths.

• Replace underperforming turf with drought tolerant native plants and meadow-style perennials to improve aesthetics; invest in tree cover, rain gardens and bioswales, and permeable surfaces to improve environmental health and water and air quality.

Commercial properties with well-engineered landscapes and green site systems reap savings, financial incentives (tax credits, rebates and stormwater/irrigation credits where applicable), reduced life-cycle and maintenance costs, reduced flood damage, and reduced water bills, while also creating measurable value for property owners and tenants both.

If you’re looking to innovate, meet sustainability and LEED credits, or transform your building’s underperforming outdoor areas into functional conference space, contact Bruce Moore, Jr., president, at ‭(203) 316-5433‬.

When There’s No Margin for Error, a Quality Audit Can Be Your Best Return on Investment.

ELM’s landscape quality audit program is the gold standard in plant performance management. Because you can’t manage what you can’t measure – in business or in landscaping – we believe that a real-time assessment of plant issues and discrepancies is the best way to measure quality and improve the way your landscape looks, and the way its systems function.

When assessing quality, we consider intangible benefits like green systems efficiency, sustainability metrics, and ways to make the care of your plants, trees and soil structure more environmentally-responsible.

The first step in our program is to estimate total cost and benefits, count everything that is directly associated with your landscape, including hardscape and infrastructure elements, and factor in qualitative benefits such as: does this landscape add asset value, how can we make this site more productive and efficient, and where are missed opportunities for continuous improvement?

When key business objectives are driven by quality, we know that there is no margin for error.

If you’d like to learn more about our landscape quality audit and how we can improve your landscape’s ROI, contact President, Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

ELM is Driving the “E” in ESG. Here’s Why That Matters.

Environmental. Social. Governance. In the community of businesses across our portfolio – giants in commercial real estate, banking, the consumer services sector or institutions of higher learning, growth is increasingly contingent on how well captains of industry capitalize on ways to improve the world we all live, work and play in. And that includes us.

In a nutshell, ESG is a set of standards, reporting and benchmarking around issues seen by shareholders as drivers of the future.  And where ELM is placing its future is in the hands of how our business can drive your business through sustainable and environmentally-responsible practices.  That’s the “E” in ESG.

Here’s how E works to drive value.

A wide spectrum of ELM’s landscaping business practices, such as how good we are with water management, how well we protect against accidents and manage risk (especially in winter), how well we treat our workers, and how our corporate culture builds and fosters trust and innovation is key.

Whether we are helping you meet LEED or WELL criteria, enhance your environmental stewardship, be more energy efficient or streamline your carbon footprint, our end game is exactly like yours: to advance smarter, safer and better ways to be better at who we are and what we do.

Embracing a culture of sustainability delivers opportunities for everyone. We look forward to furthering our commitment to be a greener practice, take action on alternate fuels, and simply be better stewards to ensure that our growth – your growth – and our shared future is strategic, impactful and aligned with purpose.

For more information on ELM’s green goals, contact President Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-315-5433.

 

 

Communicating Smarter, Faster & Better

Communication means everything. Especially when it comes to client service.

But is there such a thing as too much information? 

There are many ways information overload can make things worse. Mostly when we try to do too many things at once, roll out too many ideas or action plans, or there’s just too many layers between the critical and the fluff.

Because last year’s Covid-crisis had us feeling like we were building the plane as we were trying to fly it, this year, we’re taking a targeted approach to make sure you get what you need, what you want and what you expect without a lot of time wasted on the ancillary.

Whether you need real-time emergency information, help on technical issues or assurance that something’s either done or on its way to completion, we know that for you to have confidence in us and feel better about working with our team, we need to empower and deliver the smartest way to do that. And it starts by our commitment to be better listeners. 

Moving forward, we are as eager as you are to personalize our interactions with you and demonstrate our team’s commitment to being reliable, relatable and ready to hit the ground running. And understand the ins and out of your businesses as well as you do. 

Our area managers will continue to be your go-to for solutions and opportunities to get stuff done faster and better than ever before. And when you need extra muscle, we have some really smart folks skilled at untangling the toughest knots.

At ELM, we believe that client service is embedded in our action as well as our voice, but only through seamless communications can we build a professional connection between you and our service teams, save you time and frustration, and ultimately win your loyalty.

Let’s talk. Contact President Bruce Moore Jr., at 203-316-5433.