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.

For Landscaping to Add Real Value, Focus on Aesthetics, Functionality and Green.

It’s not just beautiful flowers, perfect turf and no weeds. If you want your landscape to significantly increase the value of your commercial property, focus on functionality and experience. In other words, the way the landscape systems and features work and the way your landscape makes people feel.

To calculate landscape’s value, consider the direct economic role it plays in enhancing image; the way it attracts tenants and investment, and can become an integral part of the property’s brand. More importantly, consider that as property owners and managers and industry players value green building, landscape has growing clout as a link between sustainability and marketability, and contributing to making our communities overall healthier places to live, work and play.

The landscape projects that tend to lead to stronger returns are those that strategically improve focal points, tenant amenities and update the landscape’s infrastructure to meet higher standards for operational and energy efficiency, climate resiliency, resource conservation and safety.

Our top six ROI impact list includes:

  • 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 technology. 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 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 green systems reap energy 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 reate measurable value for property owners and tenants both.

Eastern Land Management is a leader in sustainable landscape solutions, less toxic approaches to plant pest and disease management, and green infrastructure. 

ELM has been connecting the landscape of Greater New York Metro, and Fairfield and New Haven counties, Connecticut to what’s important to businesses for more than 40 years.

Contact Marc Angarano 203.316.5433 to learn more.

Liquid Brine Pre-Treating Options Are Effective for Fighting Snow and Ice

ELM is rolling out a liquid brine option as a cost effective and more eco-friendly way to prevent snow and ice from forming.

Typically a blended solution of salt and water, brine has a freezing point lower than water and when applied to surface areas before major storms, acts as a protective barrier, preventing snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. This helps to eliminate any residual snow & ice forming on the pavement and reduce re-freezing after the storm. 

Part of ELM’s growing sustainability platform, proactive brine applications can optimize winter road safety and mitigate the damaging impacts of traditional salt on infrastructure and the environment. 

The brine is being made at ELM’s Monroe, CT facility, the site of the company’s recent “Snow Rodeo” – a professional training day focused on technical quality performance, environmental impacts, best practices, and improved snow and ice control methods. 

ELM is an active member of SIMA (Snow & Ice Management Association) and ASCA (Accredited Snow Contractors of America). 

To learn more about winter services for your commercial property, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

How Innovative Turf Equipment Benefits Your Landscape and Controls Noise

Autonomous equipment is a game changer. Eco-friendly and reliable, robotic mowers are delivering impressive results. For property managers keen on reducing noise, robotic mowers are among a class of next gen options designed to provide a less disruptive landscape maintenance experience.

ELM is currently testing autonomous equipment and plans to use on unique, size-constrained areas, such as green roofs, or to simplify tough mowing jobs, such as clearing vegetation from sloped areas. 

As part of ELM’s ‘future ready’ initiative, Husqvarna robotic mowers will become part of a fleet of smart commercial grade equipment that will help us offer new and existing clients increased efficiency, added safety, and the opportunity to deliver complex and less disruptive turf services in a new way. 

Overall, autonomous vehicles are safer, produce fewer emissions than conventional mowing equipment, and offers specific benefits to property owners seeking environmentally-friendly options for green build or LEED credits. 

ELM is applying green technologies to support our clients’ and our own sustainability goals and robotic mowers are an important next step in flexibility, scalability and improved services. 

To learn more about how advanced technologies can make a difference in your landscape management services, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Charles Andrianus Receives NOFA Certification, Takes Lead on Sustainability

South Area Manager Charles Andrianus and ELM’s plant health care team is helping us aim higher in our goal to make sustainability a driver of innovation. 

Recently, Charles completed a course sponsored by the Connecticut Chapter of the New England Organic Famers Association (NOFA) on sustainable organic landscaping and gardening practices, giving ELM’s clients more options when it comes to maintaining a healthy landscape. 

According to Charles, “The built environment is not just about buildings and the landscaped outdoors, but includes the way people interact and derive health benefits from nature. For ELM, this means we’re putting an emphasis on how the landscapes we care for improve peoples’ lives.” 

The growing visibility of sustainability at ELM, and its integration into the company’s service and cultural footprint, is an example of where leadership companies are going. For Charles, who’s been a passionate promoter of environmental sustainability since 2014 when he joined ELM, the NOFA course was a pivotal moment. 

“Sustainability is now a cross-company initiative with a center of gravity around leaders like Charles,” said company president Bruce Moore Jr. “From water conservation to green waste reduction and lean management principles, we’re stepping up our game and accelerating our focus and commitment across operations, customer solutions, and best practices.”

The impact of Charles’ commitment means that he will now oversee alternate approaches that will allow ELM to perform much larger projects over a longer period of time. Under Charles’ guidance, ELM can now recommend organic options, turf alternatives, native plant palettes and wildflower and perennial plantings; wetland restoration projects, improved soil health, and increased landscape bio-diversity.

“As ELM’s sustainable landscape management program evolves, we will be looking at ways to meet the needs of various landscape systems across the commercial and institutional properties we serve. These will include soils management, soil testing, composting, pest and disease control, and a holistic focus on treating landscape health from the ground up,” added Bruce.

For information on how ELM can help you meet your corporate sustainability goals, contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433.

Photo L-R: Chris Smith, plant health care technician with Charles Andrianus.

Irrigation Update: Water Restrictions Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford and Westport

Aquarion Water Company has joined with local officials to promote water conservation and reduce water use by restricting outdoor and landscape watering to a maximum of twice weekly, as follows:

  • Twice-weekly restrictions will apply to both in-ground systems and above-ground sprinklers. Drip irrigation, soaker hoses and hand-held watering will continue to be allowed.
  • Aquarion Water Company customers can file for a variance to allow for additional watering time if the property is larger than two (2) acres.
  • ELM’s installation of smart water conservation technology will allow for watering to occur outside of the normal water restrictions due to their ability to conserve large volumes of water.

Ways to save

  • Make water conservation a strategic priority.
  • Reduce watering needs by strategic plant practices (mulching, soil amendments and hydrogels, and proactively managing moisture-stress symptoms).
  • Convert underutilized or underperforming turf areas to perennial meadows or alternative use.
  • Use state of the art water technologies to better manage, use and conserve irrigation water.

ELM’s Premier Partnership with Weathermatic®, a global leader in smart water technology, is a new addition to our water conservation tool kit. The technology uses high-efficiency components designed to improve irrigation water use on commercial properties through sensor-based analysis and intelligent reporting. 

This technology is now available to all of our clients as part of a green tech upgrade program. 

Maximize efficiency

ELM recommends the following to ensure that landscapes remain healthy and high-performing:

  • Include irrigation data as an essential financial metric in your building operation’s dashboard system.
  • Install smart water technology to manage water distribution, gauge irrigation requirements and save on water costs.
  • Use proper irrigation methods to improve system efficiencies, such as pressure-regulating devices, which apply water directly to plants, and high-efficiency nozzles or other devices such as drip system alternatives as conservation measures.

Act now. Implement dramatic water savings and immediate compliance with water restrictions to avoid costly fines:

Call: Jamie Gorton, ELM’s resource conservation expert at 203-316-5433 

Learn more: ELM’s Water Conservation & Sustainability Platform

Make it happen: Email us to get started

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.

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.