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.

 

It’s 2021 Budgeting Season… Three Landscape Trends Re-shaping CRE Outdoor Space

In early 2006, if we were to tell you that your lawn would be mowed by a robot, that the cloud was not a delivery system for rain, and that your sprinklers would be controlled by your iPhone, you would have said, ‘what’s an iPhone?’ 

Because in 2006, the device used by more people in the world than any other, did not exist.

Thirteen years ago, when Apple introduced its smartphone, even the most progressively imaginative among us failed to imagine that a pocket-sized digital tool would have the power to change the nature of our lives and create a boundary-less generation of professionals that could work from anywhere.

Big data, the internet of things, automation, video conferencing, smart technologies and collaborative platforms are, today, all part of landscaper’s tool kit.  

Here are three ways we’re using those tools to partner with commercial real estate professionals to drive continuous improvement.

Making outdoor space the new value-add.

Park-like settings, green spaces, shade tree allées and trails – the functionality of a facilities’ exterior landscaped footprint – are being re-configured to accommodate socialization, benefit health and safety, and create a new way of working and learning outside.

As schools move classrooms outdoors, restaurants expand patios, and health care promotes the therapeutic value of healing gardens, property and facility managers are also looking for opportunities to use outside space as an amenity that can contribute to the wellbeing of their workforce, as well as drive tenant retention.

Our landscape upgrade strategies deliver long term benefits in quality and flexibility, both in use and configuration, with smart technologies to enhance connectivity, and the revitalization of plant material to promote biodiversity and drought tolerance.

Optimizing pedestrian flow as the new outdoor amenity.

Pathways, border areas and buffer zones, plazas, walking corridors, sidewalks, bridge crossing, corners, lighting – landscaping is one of the best ways to control pedestrian flow and safety.  

From proper grading and drainage to hazard management, flow is more than social distancing. Having sufficiently wide, clear pedestrian paths that minimize risk and public space that’s risk free is a security priority. Especially in winter.

Prioritizing green tech as the new way forward.

Being ‘green’ gives property/facility owners and managers a number of ways to save on landscape costs due to tax breaks, incentives or others credits provided by utility companies or federal or state governments. 

And because landscaping is more about the environment than ever, building green tech into landscape’s infrastructure not only qualifies for LEED and green credits, but offer solutions that contribute significant savings to bottoms lines.

From corporate Class A to outdoor classrooms, increasingly sophisticated landscape technologies, biodegradable sanitation and smart sensors are changing the way properties become eco-friendly, energy-efficient and sustainable. These include, innovations in stormwater management, green roofs, water conservation programs, rain gardens and bioswales. 

ELM is not only leading improvements in commercial outdoor space, but building a better platform for service through enhanced communication, accelerated response and delivery, and aerial mapping for site improvements.

To learn more, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr @ 203-316-5433.

How Landscape Infrastructure Projects Can Reboot Our Economy

As commerce re-engages post Covid-19, the demand for resilient and more technologically advanced and sustainable sites are giving builders, place-makers and collaborative teams opportunities to close the gap on long over-due landscape improvements.

What does this mean for general contractors and building project teams? And for budgets where improvements are under review? 

As experienced sub-contractors active in the bid-build arena, ELM can help steer sustainable outcomes on projects of diverse scale, and compete where it counts on logistics, delivery and cost. We get our bid in early, we concentrate on value, and run a lean, productive and highly-skilled operation.

Our areas of expertise include, but are not limited to:

ELM Landscape Construction

  • Advanced irrigation systems 
  • Bioswales and drainage
  • Built architectural elements & features
  • Custom health & safety upgrades
  • Emergency site infrastructure
  • Emergency response
  • Erosion Control
  • Fencing, stonework & signage
  • Green roofs and vertical gardens
  • Ground stabilization
  • Hardscape & pavements  
  • Habitat rehabilitation
  • Seasonal repairs/storm damage
  • Site improvements and renovation
  • Stormwater systems
  • Tenant recreational amenities
  • Terraces, courtyards & walkways

ELM Landscape Maintenance

  • Annual color rotation, container plantings
  • Amenities, recreational areas, sports fields, public spaces
  • Automated lawn mowing
  • Automated irrigation and water conservation systems 
  • Budgeting, strategic landscape planning 
  • Buffer & riparian zone management
  • Drought-tolerant landscapes
  • Enhancements
  • Environmental services
  • Fertilization
  • Habitat management
  • Grounds disinfecting & sanitizing services
  • Insect, mosquito, tick and plant disease control
  • Integrated pest management
  • Plant health care & non-toxic alternatives
  • ROI budgeting, strategic planning 
  • Turf-meadow transformation
  • Water audits
  • Weed control

For an experienced, forward-thinking partner who makes each and every landscape project more efficient, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore, Jr., at 203-316-5433, or bmoorejr@easternland.com

ELM is licensed and bonded in the States of Connecticut and New York. ELM is a member of the National Association of Landscape Contractors and the Snow and Ice Management Association.

Introducing a New Standard for Clean: Property Sanitization & Disinfecting Services Now Available

To help contain the spread of Covid-19, ELM is offering enhanced protective measures to help property owners and operators mount an effective, precautionary response against pathogens, infectious agents and vector-borne disease. 

I. Disinfecting & Sanitizing Treatments Tackle Infectious Agents

Our disinfecting and sanitizing applications focus on high-touch points, environmental surfaces, and fixtures and furniture found in high-traffic common areas. These include, but are not limited to, patios, dining terraces and picnic areas, railings, entries, green roofs, recreational amenities, artificial sports fields, benches and bleachers. 

II. Exterior Pressure Washing Removes Pollutants

High-pressure water jets effectively remove environmental dirt, dust, tree pollen, and bird and insect residue on walls and walkways. Our service unclogs rain gutters and downspouts and freshens non-porous surfaces without leaving corrosive residues. 

III.     Vector-borne Disease Control Inhibits Mosquitos, Ticks, Fleas

Source reduction is the key to ridding outdoor areas of fleas, ticks and breeding environments for mosquitos. ELM’s seasonal pest control program reduces the risk of virus such as West Nile, Zika, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Lyme disease. Other insect control strategies, such as bio-control agents, landscape habitat modification, pesticide and non-toxic methods of control can be applied.

ELM’s Safety & Best Practice Guidelines

ELM technical services crews and grounds cleaning protocols adhere to guidelines issued by the public health departments of the States of Connecticut and New York, the CDCP and OSHA. All treatments are applied in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, in consultation with property and facility owners/managers, and with ELM’s safety best practices oversight.

ELM is the leading provider of commercial and institutional landscape and grounds services in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, Connecticut and Greater New York Metro. Family-owned and operated for over 40 years, ELM tailors its services for every situation–whether an essential facility still in operation or a property currently unoccupied–to ensure that your outdoor environment and public spaces are maintained, cleaned, and protected exactly the way to need.

Contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433 or email bmoorejr@easternland.com to learn more.

Environmental Planning & Design Professional Bobby Papotto Joins ELM

We are pleased to announce that Bobby Papotto, former owner of New Jersey-based landscape firm, Over The Fence Landscaping, joins our Landscape Enhancement Group as project manager. 

In this role, Bobby will partner with commercial real estate organizations to increase and sustain healthy asset value across property segments, and be a resource for improvements that ensure the continued vibrancy of the real estate landscape.

“ELM has a strong team in place, a growing set of enduring relationships and is committed to support our clients’ short and long-term growth objectives,” said Bruce Moore Jr. 

“I’ve always had a tremendous respect for ELM and appreciate what makes them different. I look forward to deepening ELM’s engagement with CRE sector organizations throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties, and doing what I can to contribute to positive change and a more sustainable future,” said Bobby. 

Bobby earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Planning and Design from Rutgers University. He’s a die-hard lover of all things outdoors, pet- and eco-friendly, and when he’s not solving client problems, you’ll find him in the Connecticut countryside on long hikes with his dog.