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.