Landscape Staging is an Investment with Multiple Returns. Let’s start with flowers.

From high school seniors seeking an academic environment that supports campus life to parents looking for proof that their tuition dollars are well spent, nothing says ‘welcome’ and ‘value’ faster than a first impression.

Whether it’s campus tours, commencement, first day of school, or a photo shoot for marketing, landscape upgrades are the first line of defense when it comes to putting your campus’ best face forward.

ELM is an experienced partner at creating and sustaining exceptional outdoor spaces, and for nearly 50 years, has built a portfolio of expertise relied on to make your campus feel less like an institution and more like home.

10 ways to improve ROI:

    • Detailed flowers and beds
    • Annual / seasonal flowering plant combinations in school colors
    • Fresh mulch and compost
    • Shrub and small tree pruning
    • Recontouring dated and worn-out areas to freshen and revitalize
    • Infrastructure upgrades, stormwater and groundwater filtration improvements to reduce puddling, erosion and mud, and improve pedestrian safety.
    • Environmental improvements to meet master plan sustainability goals
    • Water management and conservation performance improvements
    • Revitalize athletic fields, donor-named buildings, theater courtyards, academic halls and common areas
    • Outdoor learning centers, classrooms, and event space

A well-maintained college campus helps raise enrollment. But it takes a dedicated commitment and skilled teams to keep grounds and landscape amenities at the highest standards.

For educational facilities looking to supplement inhouse landscape efforts or looking at outsourcing, ELM has flexible options.  These include contracting for need-specific assignments, supplementing and supporting in-house efforts, providing additional services for special events, or taking over the work.

ELM is specialized is serving New England campus environments. From landscape enhancements and amenities to full-service grounds support, water management and snow and ice removal, we are a strong commercial landscaping program for colleges and universities seeking cost-efficient and sustainable performance improvements.

For more information, contact Bruce Moore Jr, at 203-316-5433.

Photo: College of Health Professions, Center for Healthcare Education, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

From the Ground Up: Why Soil Regeneration Leads to Healthier Landscapes

From the moment we set foot on the landscape, we are stepping on the most biologically diverse material on earth—a living system of earth dwellers: worms, microbes, fungi, as well as insects and other organisms that are essential to both the environment and to landscape health.

When soils are neglected, weathered or overworked, soil health suffers.  By boosting nutritional content and improving texture and drainage, we can restore soil’s biodiversity and improve the landscape’s ability to sustain plant health.

Central to this is the need to increase soil carbon, which, in turn, attracts more microbes and becomes a self-nourishing loop. Technically, the complex relationships that exist within this community of organisms is known as the soil food web and similar to other food chains, it’s essential to overall life.

To keep soils healthy, ELM takes a systems-thinking approach to landscape health, where the world beneath our feet is connected to everything above. In practical terms, this means if the soil is sick, the plant doesn’t have much of a chance to beat the odds. 

There are 5 basic elements central to all soil systems: microorganisms, minerals, air, water and organic matter. When any one is out of proportion to the other, it compromises the ability of the soil to be an effective growing medium. The process for correcting these problems at their source has many names, but for ELM, our approach falls under the practice of Plant Health Care.

In general, the science behind this approach ensures that we treat the whole landscape system as more than just the sum of its parts. We do this by:

  • Encouraging biodiversity of plants and trees through better landscape planning
  • Building healthy topsoil using ground-cover to buffer temperatures and absorb and hold water
  • Establishing and maintaining healthy root systems
  • Planting trees with healthy canopies to protect the soil surface
  • Reducing soil traffic and compaction
  • Using mulch, compost and increased levels of organic matter
  • Improving nutrient availability
  • Regulating air and water, through aeration and advanced irrigation technology
  • Using Mycorrhizal fungi to increase a plant’s stress tolerance
  • Reducing pesticide use
  • Supporting beneficial insects and organisms
  • Planting essential habitats that increase, support and protect pollinators

To learn more about the benefits of sustainable soil practices or discover how climate-smart best practices are improving your plant and soil health, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr., at 203-316-5433.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

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.

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.