How to make your landscape tough enough, strong enough and healthy enough to weather a long, hot summer.

With summer right around the corner, resilience is our number one landscape goal. But what does that mean?

Heat poses significant risk to human and plant health. To combat and offset the increase in extreme weather, and its impacts on entire landscapes,  we’ve become a leader in efforts to increase landscape resilience.

One successful way to do this is with a combination of Plant Health Care and Water Management–two approaches that help plants be less susceptible to pests and disease and, at the same time, encourage growth and blooming and the visual aesthetics that make a difference in how your property looks and performs.

Start small. Look underground for early signs of trouble. 

A healthy plant adds no value if it’s overwatered or under-watered, or if poor soil texture affects uptake of vital nutrients.  

  • Improve soil structure. Plant growth depends on two natural resources—soil and water. Healthy soil is the key to improving water use efficiency through better drainage and absorption, strengthening root systems, and supporting the ability of the microorganisms below ground to nourish and sustain what grows about ground.
  • Strengthen plant health. Bio-stimulants and biological control products are essential to keep plants free from pests and disease. Combining fertilization and insect control can prevent problems from occurring and save money when the need to replace plants is at least twice as much (if not more) than simply investing in diagnostic and actionable care up-front.
  • Be smart about water. A healthy plant adds no value if its overwatered or underwatered, or if poor soil texture affects uptake of vital nutrients and the right amount of water. Improve irrigation efficiency with digitally controlled water management technology to protect plant health and water quality and keep water and cost from going down the drain.

ROI is the best KPI

High-performing landscapes are good for business.

If you’re benchmarking key performance indicators to meet climate action goals, or making green performance improvements for 2030 and beyond, the health of your landscape and strategies you deploy to bring your site up to speed on sustainability is an action item.

There is no better time to improve landscape performance than summer. And no better way to add immeasurable value and return on performance than an investment in plant health care and water management.

Contact sales@easternland.com to learn more.

 

 

 

Climate-Positive: Our Path to a More Sustainable Future

Eastern Land Management is committed to providing significant economic benefits through sustainable best practices that improve landscape and ecosystem health, protect and conserve resources, and enhance healthier, higher-performing commercial landscapes.

On approach to 2026–our 50th year in business–we are doubling-down on our commitment to do our part to create a more sustainable,  more environmentally-resilient,  and more climate-positive future.

The path forward 

  • Recruit, train and develop landscape and snow professionals, and technical specialists who support our commitment to sustainability and drive progress on goals.
  • Partner with the commercial real estate (CRE) community to  provide landscape services and nature-based strategies that minimize environmental impacts, support green infrastructure, and harness the unique capacity of landscape to reduce and sequester carbon dioxide.
  • Help our clients in commercial real estate and property and facility management to create sustainable value by conducting business with integrity and a shared commitment to advance climate action goals.
  • Help our commercial real estate clients achieve net zero emission goals through a range of options, including robotics, autonomous mowers, smart technology framework, and alternative fuels.
  • Help commercial real estate clients accelerate its transition to a regenerative economy through our commitment to and use of practices that drive carbon sequestration through soil regeneration, plant and ecosystem health.
  • Help commercial real estate clients achieve a climate-positive profile through ongoing improvements in water conservation, irrigation technology, smart water management, ground water health, green waste composting, integrated pest management, resource conservation, erosion control, improvements in energy efficiency, and the use of green technologies that support green building and LEED initiatives.
  • Help commercial real estate clients benefit from the ‘E’ (environmental) metric in ESG, and derive economic benefits that come from high-performing landscape and grounds management services.

Alliances

Our green framework is anchored by a network of sustainability thought leaders and stakeholders who care about these issues as much as we do.

For instance, we …

  • partner with Aquarion Water Company to increase awareness and approaches to water conservation and drought management.
  • are Premier Partners with global irrigation technology pioneer Weathermatic.
  • train with world-class EV manufacturers and sustainable snow and ice consultants.
  • are EV-certified through the American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA).
  • are active members and leaders of national and local trade associations across the industries we serve, including the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP),  Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), Building & Office Managers Association (BOMA) Southern Connecticut Chapter and BOMA Westchester County, and the Bridgeport Regional Business Council.
  • are certified professionals with advanced accreditation from both the Green Industry and Snow & Ice Industry.
  • have a dedicated sustainable snow/ice and winter operation at our green hub and brine-making facility, located in Monroe Connecticut.
  • provide services that support LEED criteria and work with LEED-certified properties across the CRE spectrum.
  • are experienced in navigating complex logistics for on-structure landscapes and complex commercial sites, including environmentally-sensitive watershed-adjacent, multi-grade, and elevated terrains.
  • have won national Awards of Excellence for our clients across categories, including recognition for Class A green roofs and “green cities” initiatives for urban redevelopment.
  • were recognized as a 2030 Sustainability ChangeMaker by Fairfield County for drought and water management leadership and contribution to urban sustainability.

Advocacy

  • We believe landscape professionals are uniquely situated to advocate for and lead on sustainability, and  will continue to collaborate with clients, suppliers and allied professionals to champion better ways to make Connecticut and Westchester County, NY, water smart, green smart, and healthier, more beautiful places to live, work and play.

For more information on ELM’s path to sustainability, go to: Sustainability | Eastern Land Management | Commercial Landscaping CT & NY

References:

https://www.easternland.com/meet-elms-silent-weapon-in-climate-positive-noise-reduction/

https://www.easternland.com/elms-green-infrastructure-program-is-tackling-urban-stormwater/

https://www.easternland.com/from-the-ground-up-why-soil-regeneration-leads-to-healthier-landscapes/

https://www.easternland.com/elm-is-driving-the-e-in-esg-heres-why-that-matters/

Your Landscape is More Than Just a Pretty Face

Stunningly beautiful, incredibly lush–the look and feel and relationship people have with your landscape is part of the interplay between your business and biodiversity, and the economics of investment into one of the most important ways to create and sustain asset value.  The starting point is understanding the business case landscape makes for having more nature outside your front door.

With spring ushering in longer days, and even longer to-do lists, getting your landscape ready to take on summer puts your property in the cross-hairs of opportunity: make progress on EV and net zero goals,  improve water management and plant health, tackle pests and disease, upgrade worn or dated hardscape, green-up infrastructure, and take action on nature and climate-related risks.

Finding the right partner can help.

Our full-service all-season landscape maintenance contract includes a good turf and perennial program, annual flower rotation, spring and fall seasonal issue targeting and clean-up, irrigation maintenance and water conservation, tree and shrub care, aeration and overfeeding, plant health care, and mulch.  We also have a wide range of enhancements that improve green performance and curb appeal, a strong sustainability framework in place that includes snow and ice services in winter, and ways to help you drive progress on net zero and climate-action goals.

It’s not complicated to get started. We’ve made the process easier than ever. Follow these four simple steps.

1.  Send us a RFP – Request for Proposal – with specs and scope of work, and stretch goals we can look at separately. This will give you a quick apples-to-apples number plus learn if your stretch goals are a cost-efficient tuck-in.

2.  Ask us about our employees’ training and certification, and verification; about our memberships in professional organizations, the awards we’ve won, and our leadership in sustainability.

3.  Don’t forget to ask about our reputation for quality and delivery, and experience on projects just like yours. Ask us what we’re doing to improve water conservation, drive progress on green goals, or meet LEED criteria; and be sure to check out social media to see what others have to say about the work we do.

4.  Include deadlines and timelines so we can get you what you need when you need it, with some wiggle room up front so we have time to cover everything.

Better yet, give us a call. We’d love to add you to our list of CRE partners in Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester Counties.

Contact us at ‭(203) 316-5433. We can’t wait to hear from you.‬

 

 

 

2024 Amenity Report: It’s a Green Light for Outdoor Green Space

With commercial real estate getting back on solid ground, prestige amenities are changing the value narrative. The more innovative, the better.

If you’re looking to differentiate your property, landscaping is a relatively easy way to fast-track progress on goals, mitigate risk to extreme weather, and meet the objectives of all stakeholders with improved aesthetics, reduced energy and water use, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and improvements in net zero.  Consider the dovetailing wants and needs of building owners and their tenants, and how both benefit from a greener footprint.

  • People want to work at properties with quality of life amenities that offer sun and shade, outdoor places with flowers, benches, lighting, fitness areas, walking trails and bike paths, courtyards and plazas, bocce ball and putting greens, no mosquitos, and always, more trees.
  • Property investors and owners want finance upsides–increased reduction in energy use, improved carbon capture, improved water use, green credits and offsets, integration of smart technologies, and a landscape partner that can successfully deliver return on investment and return on value in equal measure.

Improving a landscape is like improving a building. Start with a good foundation, a high-functioning infrastructure, and state-of-the-art technologies to make it greener, make it marketable, and make it profitable.

30% of your site should be high-performing vegetation. Convert turfgrass to meadow plantings or eco-lawn ground cover; create natural areas and restore damaged ones to provide habitat and improve biodiversity; plant more trees to reduce heat island effect; install smart irrigation controllers; improve hardscape with sustainable materials; plant blooming perennials to improve pollinator population; and use integrated pest management, plant health care and best cultural practices to maintain healthy and vigorous plants; and seek less hazardous alternatives to chemicals to improve public health.

About Eastern Land Management.

ELM is a high-value partner, working directly with property owners as well as property and facility managers across Connecticut and Westchester County, NY.

Our CRE portfolio includes trophy Class A, green roof/on-structure mixed-use, multi-family/HOA, hospitals, senior living, and private universities. ELM received the ChangeMaker Award for Sustainability from Fairfield County, CT.

To learn more about green performance and which amenities can fast track your sustainability goals, Call ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr. at: 203-316-5433

Affiliations:

Member, Board of Directors, BOMA Southern Connecticut & BOMA Westchester County; Member, National Association of Landscape Professionals; Member, Snow & Ice Management Association; Certified Landscape Professional; Certified Advanced Snow Professional

 [Photo:  ELM received two NALP (National Association of Landscape Professionals) Awards of Excellence in Landscaping for Merritt7, Norwalk, CT.]

 

The ABCs of RFPs: What property & facility managers need to know about finding a landscape partner.

Whether you’re a property or facility professional, RFPs – Request for Proposals – will sooner or later fall within your task bucket.

As a procurement tool, RFPs can be a great leveler. But they also don’t tell the whole story; they can feel like tedious wheel reinvention for both parties, and when they’re ‘kitchen sink’ approaches – or ask for everything but, there is no room for differentiation.

We think there’s a better way.

With spring start-up season just around the corner, here’s our advice for tailoring your landscape services RFP to give you the best partner for the job.

RFPs don’t tell the whole story

Service companies that respond to RFPs end up in a pool of commodity contractors who compete on price. When landscape companies compete on price, it’s because they often look for cheaper options to deliver on apples-to-apples specs. The bad news for property and facility professionals who contract landscaping services through RFPs is that you get what you pay for – a hamster wheel of RFP-won contractors who offer price instead of value.  We believe that value is a competitive advantage. When you eliminate value, you lose the upside value brings.

How to make RFPs a win-win   

For both landscape services contracts and complex landscaping projects—those with upgrades, renovations, and performance and environmental improvements—a well-written RFP can be effective at filtering out weak players. To create a consistently good RFP and RFP process, think about making your RFP an RFV – or Request for Value.

In addition to describing what you and your commercial property or facility needs and your expectations for delivery, include your sustainability goals and context for what the landscaping itself will meet, such as: talking points from your site performance plan (are you targeting carbon neutral or qualifying for LEED?), include the ‘need to haves’ and the ‘nice to haves’, criteria for curb appeal and improved asset value, and a realistic deadline for the contractor to respond. Avoid generalities, proof-read for typos, edit for clarity, and eliminate redundant questions and contradictory requirements.

A cautionary note about AI-enabled technology:  When the RFP response process is automated, do the math.  While automation offers efficiencies and fills out things at a much quicker pace, the scope piece when compared to non-automated bids may not add up. Always double check to make sure you’re not getting apples-to-oranges.

If you’re looking to save cost, remember: low-bid doesn’t tell the whole story. The best return on investment is calculated by actual and perceived value, and the long-term value that comes from a strong relationship.

We do our best work when we work with people—face to face, building connections, friendships, and opportunities to gain trust.  Our advice? Use your RFP as a solid starting point. A way to open the door and start a conversation, and a way to make sure you’re getting more than a team of qualified vendors, but a strategic partnership where value is created and delivered every step of the way.

If you’re renewing your contracts, seeking a new landscape partner, or just interested in keeping the conversation going, give us a call to share your thoughts.

{This blog was originally published in February 2023).

 

 

How to Leverage the Benefits of Scale and Gain Market Share Through Landscaping

What property and facility owners and managers need to know.

It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy commercial landscape is a big job. And although it may seem that all commercial landscape contractors do the same thing, thanks to smart technologies and automation, there is a stark difference in the way commercial landscape and grounds services are delivered and the value landscaping brings to the bottom line.

The most obvious difference is impact landscaping has on property value. Landscapes need to look good all year-round; they need to be safe for people and the environment, reduce risk and liability, and deliver higher returns all while making a lasting impression.

This is where ELM comes in to help property and facility owners and managers capitalize on the benefits of scale.

ELM is a single-source provider. This means that all landscape and grounds services are integrated and strategically delivered across all seasons, including snow and ice. A single-source provider not only simplifies the process of managing your landscape and reducing the number of companies you need to contact, it’s the best way to reap consistent cost savings through economies of scale.

If you’re looking to contract with a professional commercial landscape services firm, here are five questions to ask:

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. What is their client retention rate?
  3. Do they offer year-round maintenance, including snow and ice services?
  4. What value-added benefits are included? Do they use low-noise equipment, electric or autonomous equipment, clean energy and options that help earn LEED credits?
  5. Will they make your landscape as technologically smart and as digitally-advanced as your building?

Here’s what you can expect from ELM in the day-to-day:

  1. Meticulous about clean and complete. No task left undone.
  2. No drama.
  3. Proactive about little things before they become big things.
  4. Make suggestions that make you look good.
  5. Willing to go above and beyond.
  6. Prepared, trained, and experienced emergency response.
  7. Highly responsive and easy to reach.

ELM commercial landscape maintenance services include expertise in the following:

  • Commercial property and facility landscape and grounds services
  • Landscape maintenance and horticultural services
  • Enhancements and renovations
  • Irrigation and water management
  • Hardscape projects, corporate terraces, plazas and patios
  • Parking lot and median maintenance
  • Snow and ice control, and winter management
  • Site safety
  • Spring plantings
  • Fall clean-up

If you’re a commercial property and facility manager seeking quality, excellence and cost-efficient contracting services for your landscape and grounds, working toward LEED accreditation and greater sustainability, ELM is your partner of choice.

ELM is a proud member of BOMA Southern Connecticut and BOMA Westchester County, and actively supports the greater multi-sector commercial real estate community in Connecticut and New York.

Wow-Worthy Containers are Welcoming Employees Back to Work

After a year of change and transition, property owners and managers are using flowers – and lots of them – to restore a sense of normalcy as tenants and workers return to the office.

Outdoor planters with cascading greenery, sensational pots of fall foliage, freshly mulched borders of mums, and impeccable outdoor green spaces are a sign that life is gradually finding its way back.

Although the impact of hybrid work will be felt across all aspects of the workplace for some time, investments made in bringing more nature into the workspace will be one of the healthiest legacies of the pandemic era.

Research suggests that plants, in or out of the office, are more than a decorative touch. In fact, across high performing buildings and green-certified offices, nature equals higher productivity, improved morale, and an increased ability to focus.

As the return-to-work workplace continues to evolve, ELM will continue to innovate with plants and sustainable landscape strategies that improve well-being and meet the demand for healthier environments.

To learn more about green workplaces and how landscape amenities attract and keep tenants, contact President, Bruce Moore Jr. @ 203-316-5433

 

Think Outside the Job: Why ELM’s All-Hands-On-Deck Workplace Means You’re Not Just a Cog in the Machine

The best people are fast on their feet, says Bruce Moore Jr., ELM president, and chief culture officer.  “We’re a business of specialists who end up doing a little bit of everything. Including me.”

The whole business of commercial landscaping is shifting and no one knows what’s going to happen in the next ten years. But one thing is certain. Our customer will still be in charge.

For ELM, that customer is the vast commercial real estate industry in Connecticut and Greater NY metro, an economic powerhouse that spans multiple sectors—from retail and industrial to office and multi-family, and the property and facility managers, and owners who call the shots.

“Making sure the properties perform and contribute value is our job,” says Bruce, who leads a diverse team committed to a seamless bucket brigade of seasonal landscape maintenance services and a portfolio of green site infrastructure, irrigation and water management, construction and improvements.

The ability to understand and apply value-added concepts is critical to the success of a commercial landscape team and the concept of creating value has shaped how ELM’s culture works. At the most basic level, it’s about increasing effectiveness of the processes, understanding why quality is so important, and why the flow of work must exceed customer expectations.

“The most important thing we look for when hiring,” says Bruce, “is personality and the ability to work well with others. We can always teach a skill or provide training to ramp up expertise, but we can’t teach compatibility. When success is on the line, the team has to fit.”

7 reasons why ELM is a great place to work:

  • Team Spirit. Henry Ford said “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. And working together is success.” We agree and believe that more ideas, better decision making, fewer mistakes and getting faster results is one of the significant characteristics of ELM’s winning team spirit and the energy behind the company’s high performing teams.
  • Awesome People. Choosing the right people and treating them the way we want them to treat our customers helps the whole company work smoothly. We’re looking for the right skills, the “yes we can” mindset, a willingness to jump in no matter what, and people open to change.
  • Common Purpose. ELM teams share a distinct characteristic of shared purpose, and people who are organization-oriented, know what they are required to do, and willing to work together on SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely) goals for better productivity are the kind of high-value people who can harness the real potential of what’s possible.
  • Trust & Respect. Mutual respect is critical in companies where members of teams don’t have the same level of authority. At ELM, team members function best when there is mutual trust and where it’s the responsibility of the team leader to lead by example.
  • Innovation. We encourage creative problem-solving, practice constructive criticism, and know that great ideas can come from everyone on our team if we empower people to think differently. From faster ways of doing business to the better use of tools and equipment, ideas—and our ability to execute them—are our secret sauce.
  • Training. We believe that the more we invest, the better our return. ELM supports training, and technical and professional certification programs specific to sustainability, landscape maintenance, irrigation, and snow and ice management. And once we have a well-trained team, we do everything we can to give them a reason to stay: appreciation days, opportunities to grow, and team building time to get to know one another better.
  • Readiness. Working outdoors means weather is a constant companion and being prepared to manage uncertainty is part of the job. From climate events to storm watch, our ‘extreme team’ is not only top notch when it comes to safety and risk management, our winter management specialists are our region’s best. As an ASCA (Accredited Snow Contractors of America) Snow Leadership Award winner, we know that being vigilant and proactive will go a long way to make sure our clients, their properties, and our own great team stays safe when it counts.

ELM is hiring at both locations, Stamford and Monroe, Connecticut, and has open positions for full time and seasonal work.

Contact us for job applications at careers@easternland.com, or go to https://www.facebook.com/EasternLandManagement for job postings.

ELM is a member of NALP (National Association of Landscape Professionals), SIMA (Snow & Ice Management Association), ASCA (Accredited Snow Contractors of America, and the Irrigation Association.

Photo: ELM Team Monroe celebrating 365 days of no accidents.

 

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.

Rich Veenhuis Joins ELM as Area Manager

Eastern Land Management is pleased to announce Rich Veenhuis has joined its team as Area Manager. Rich will be based out of ELM’s facility in Monroe, CT.  

Rich brings a solid combination of business and snow industry experience to his new role, ranging from project management to operations.

“I am delighted to be part of the ELM team. I got the ‘landscape bug’ at a very young age and have enjoyed working in this industry my whole life. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for smart technologies and high performing landscape systems, and working with our regional team, customers, partners and community to deliver great and safe service, and perfect the experience people have with us,” said Rich.

“Rich is an exceptionally motivated professional, whose genuine passion will bring out the best in his team,” said ELM President, Bruce Moore, Jr. “He has a great blend of technical and people skills and will play an important role is driving consistent, year-round quality.”

A Chicago native and a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, Rich’s professional certifications includes Six Sigma, CNLP (certified nursey and landscape professional) and a lifetime safety ranking from OSHA.

He holds a pesticide applicators license in the states of Illinois and Wisconsin, is a graduate of the New England Tractor Trailer Training School and a veteran of the Illinois Army National Guard.  He attended College of Lake Country in Grayslake, Illinois and was a member of the famed Chicago Second City improvisational theatre group.

Please join us in welcoming Rich to the ELM team.