Create a Sustainability Framework for Your University Landscape

Campus landscapes are advancing higher education’s sustainability mission.  As universities adopt and improve on energy efficiency, green infrastructure and water conservation initiatives, landscape performance is becoming essential to generate best-in-class environmental metrics.

ELM is working with colleges and universities across Connecticut and New York metro to address both landscape construction and maintenance objectives, as well as innovative water and resource conservation, watershed and stormwater management, responsible approaches to pest and disease management, meeting zero waste to landfill, and reducing carbon footprints in the following ways:

  • Modifying our production processes to meet resource reduction targets.
  • Using less toxic or non-toxic substances.
  • Implementing conservation techniques through water management and smart water technology.
  • Improving water governance.
  • Providing solutions in stormwater management, flood control and drainage systems, bioswales and rain gardens to enhance water quality, filter runoff, and recharge local aquifers.
  • Reducing heat island effect by replacing surface space, and implementing and maintaining green roofs and vertical gardens and outdoor spaces to address heat absorption and filter water.
  • Using strategic planting and plant health care and maintenance strategies to improve air quality, and provide attractive, cohesive park-like settings that serve as both healthy respite and multi-purpose outdoor learning space.
  • Protecting wildlife corridors and habitats, watersheds, and riparian zones by reducing pollutants.
  • Reusing and recycling materials rather than putting them into the waste/landfill stream.
  • Using renewable energy, flexible fuel or low emissions vehicles, and autonomous equipment.
  • Upgrading equipment and approaches to better deliver on goals for safety, efficiency, service and innovation.
  • Training our team for sustainability engagement and greener mindsets.
  • Using lean approaches to minimize waste without sacrificing productivity.
  • Embracing responsible consumption by minimizing fuel consumption, mapping routes, production and logistics for optimum efficiency.
  • Supporting LEED and green building goals to reduce environmental impacts and overall exposure to water, waste, and weather events.
  • Including SMART goals in our planning to take landscape planning and higher education green objectives to the next level.
  • Investing in continuous green improvements.
  • Receiving the ChangeMakers Award from Fairfield County for sustainable water conservation program.

About Us

ELM is recognized as a leader in campus landscape sustainability planning and implementation and offers five ways in which our specialists can customize a working relationship with campus facility managers to improve sustainability:

  1. Full service outsource partner – landscape construction and renovation; green infrastructure; site improvements; landscape maintenance; plant health care; water management; and snow and ice/winter management.
  2. Specialty landscape contractor for grounds maintenance and management, snow and ice, irrigation and water management, performance turf and athletic fields.
  3. Specialty landscape contractor for broad site improvements and green infrastructure, stormwater and drainage systems, and site amenities.
  4. Full-service landscape maintenance.
  5. Team partner with general contractors, design-build teams, or onsite horticultural and/or grounds professionals.

Whether refreshing iconic campus footprints, innovating for a next generation of students and  faculty, or to lead capital improvement for conservation and development, ELM is shaping campus green spaces to connect people to nature, to each other and to the future they serve.

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.

Meet our Super Duty® F-350 4x4s

From utility to performance and durability, we’re all-in on the rugged reliability of our new fuel-efficient Ford 350s.

Landscapers can’t live without a heavy-duty delivery system and for us, this next generation model promises to out-haul and out-perform any truck we’ve had before. 

Our quest for fuel economy, technological advancements, and smarter ways of working never ends and the impressive mileage data on this model will make our fleet upgrade more cost effective overall.

We customized our crew cabs with Covid-compliant acrylic safety dividers, and added high-capacity cargo containers that will generate less drag, deliver greater engine efficiency, and offer our all-season team greater endurance.

We know there’s no end in sight for ways to shrink our environmental footprint. From streamlining trailers, to burning less fuel, to making major improvements in energy savings, our team is stepping up to power smarter growth. 

To learn more about how landscape efficiencies benefit long-term requirements for doing more with less, contact Bruce Moore Jr, @ 203-316-5433.

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