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.

Tina Zayas Joins ELM as Branch Administrator

We’re pleased to announce the recent addition of Tina Zayas to the staff at ELM. Tina will take on responsibilities as Administrator of our corporate HQ and branch office located in Stamford, CT.

Reporting to Branch Manager, Scott Distasio, Tina will be responsible for monitoring branch performance, tracking and implementing business practices and policies, and maintaining relationships with customers, clients, and community partners.

Tina is a certified project management professional and proven administrator, with experience running the offices of medical and dental practitioners, schools, and banks, and corporate sales and events.

A Stamford, CT native, Tina attended Norwalk Community College, where she pursued an associate degree in liberal arts and general studies.

With all the great places to work, why choose ELM? Tina says, the level of trust and fun, the level of pride the teams have in their jobs, and the opportunity to pull together to achieve something great together. “Any company that celebrates team success is a place I want to celebrate, too.”

Please join us in welcoming Tina to our success-driven team.

ELM Team Logs 55,000 Hours Incident Free

This year redefined expectations for the better. With return to work strategies, shifting mindsets, and attention to health and hygiene, ELM’s integrated health and safety system became mission critical.

“For as long as I can remember,” said Bruce Moore, Jr., ELM president, “we’ve focused on customers first. But Covid made us realize that if we don’t care of our team first, they won’t be as effective in running a smooth service operation or serving our customers. So, we’re doing all we can to protect our team, and their families, from risk of infection and contribute to flattening the curve in our region.”

Updated health and safety procedures at ELM’s facilities in Monroe and Stamford, Connecticut, include increased sanitation technologies, adequate PPE, hygiene and communications protocols, protective dividers between workstations and in truck cabs, and physical distancing to reduce risk of contagion.

This month, the team at ELM’s Monroe facility is celebrating a major milestone: 365 days incident free.  “That’s 55,000 hours, if we count seasonal crews,” said Branch Manager, Greg Gross. “In any year, it’s an impressive safety metric. In a year with as many disruptions as this one, it’s an achievement worthy of a special celebration,” he added.

So, what’s ELM’s secret to safety success?  “We empower our employees by bringing their ideas to the conversation.  They’re out there every day often under demanding circumstances and they know what’s needed to perform, how to determine and assess the best approaches and work practices, and how to keep their teams and their worksites safe,” said Greg.ELM promotes a proactive approach to safety through awareness, teamwork and training as a job requirement. 

To learn more about ELM’s culture of safety and performance, contact Bruce Moore Jr., at 203-316-5433, or bmoorejr@easternland.com

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.

Summer 2020 Outdoor Watering Schedule Returns for Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford and Westport Connecticut

With summer’s high water demands and another year of below average rainfall, large portions of Connecticut are experiencing and extended dry conditions and near record water demands, and Southwest Fairfield County has been classified as drought sensitive.

As a result, Aquarion Water Company has placed a mandatory irrigation schedule for its customers in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Newtown, Stamford and Westport, Connecticut. The schedule limits landscape irrigation systems to a maximum of twice weekly.

Here’s how it works:

  • Twice-weekly restrictions will apply to both in-ground systems and above-ground sprinklers. 
  • Drip irrigation systems, soaker hoses and manual watering are exempt.
  • Aquarion Water Company customers can file for a variance to allow for additional watering time if the property is: 1) larger than two acres or 2) qualifies as an irrigation-efficient by utilizing smart weather-based irrigation controller technology.

ELM’s water technology meets exemption criteria:

ELM’s water and resource conservation program includes a strategic partnership with Weathermatic®, a global leader in digital water technologies. This means ELM has the water conservation tools commercial property managers need to advance irrigation efficiency, collect real time water data (quantity and quality), and use that data to save water and cost.

Eight ways to conserve water outdoors:

  • Create a drought-tolerant landscape plant palette.
  • Enhance soil hydration through mulching, amendments and hydrogels
  • Convert underperforming turf to meadows with perennials and ornamental grasses.
  • Adopt digital innovation technologies to improve water use performance.
  • Make sure that your irrigation system is part of your building operation’s financial 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. 
  • Install pressure-regulating devices, which apply water directly to plants, and high-efficiency nozzles or other devices, such as drip system alternatives, as conservation measures.

ELM’s commitment to conserve water is a corporate strategy to manage your water better and manage environmental resources better. Learn how your journey toward intelligent water use can be expedited through smart water technologies and what steps you can take to be in compliance with water mandates.

Contact Jamie Gorton,ELM’s resource conservation expert at 203-316-5433. 

Welcoming Students Back. A landscape blueprint for campus health & safety

Schools are reopening for summer in Connecticut with restrictions for health and safety. Among these are guidelines for health and safety and protocols for precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

We are privileged to work with some of the finest educational institutions in our region and are prepared to take on responsibility to help them ensure the health and safety of their students and staff.

Based on state and federal guidelines and our current understanding of infection control measures, our campus health and safety program now includes a broad range of services that mitigate risk, improve logistics, functionality and delivery, and ensure that school landscape and grounds are sustainable and healthy from the ground up.

  • Athletic fields, high-performance turf installation and care
  • Complete outsource landscape and grounds maintenance package available
  • Custom on-site service schedule
  • Disinfecting and sanitizing services
  • Hardscape construction, renovations, rehabilitation of walkways, and outdoor amenities to meet social distancing requirements
  • Horticultural services
  • Lighting
  • Non-toxic plant health care program
  • Plant disease and pest control
  • Sanitizing and disinfecting services
  • Seasonal color, perennials, gardens for school garden clubs
  • Snow and ice management
  • Stormwater management/bioswales/drainage and grounds stabilization
  • Tree care
  • Uniforms and PPE protocols, and enhanced health and safety training
  • Updated equipment safety and functionality procedures and training
  • Vector-borne disease control, and mosquito/tick habitat reduction
  • Water conservation, water audits, smart irrigation technology and water management

For information on getting your campus ready to welcome students back, to disinfect, deep clean, spruce up your grounds, or upgrade irrigation and drainage, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore Jr., at 203-316-5433. 

Or email at bmoorejr@easternland.comto learn more.

ELM is a full-service landscape and snow and ice contractor, licensed and bonded in the States of Connecticut and New York. 

Photo: ELM is proud to be full-service landscape partner to Sacred Heart University Fairfield County Connecticut.

How Landscape Infrastructure Projects Can Reboot Our Economy

As commerce re-engages post Covid-19, the demand for resilient and more technologically advanced and sustainable sites are giving builders, place-makers and collaborative teams opportunities to close the gap on long over-due landscape improvements.

What does this mean for general contractors and building project teams? And for budgets where improvements are under review? 

As experienced sub-contractors active in the bid-build arena, ELM can help steer sustainable outcomes on projects of diverse scale, and compete where it counts on logistics, delivery and cost. We get our bid in early, we concentrate on value, and run a lean, productive and highly-skilled operation.

Our areas of expertise include, but are not limited to:

ELM Landscape Construction

  • Advanced irrigation systems 
  • Bioswales and drainage
  • Built architectural elements & features
  • Custom health & safety upgrades
  • Emergency site infrastructure
  • Emergency response
  • Erosion Control
  • Fencing, stonework & signage
  • Green roofs and vertical gardens
  • Ground stabilization
  • Hardscape & pavements  
  • Habitat rehabilitation
  • Seasonal repairs/storm damage
  • Site improvements and renovation
  • Stormwater systems
  • Tenant recreational amenities
  • Terraces, courtyards & walkways

ELM Landscape Maintenance

  • Annual color rotation, container plantings
  • Amenities, recreational areas, sports fields, public spaces
  • Automated lawn mowing
  • Automated irrigation and water conservation systems 
  • Budgeting, strategic landscape planning 
  • Buffer & riparian zone management
  • Drought-tolerant landscapes
  • Enhancements
  • Environmental services
  • Fertilization
  • Habitat management
  • Grounds disinfecting & sanitizing services
  • Insect, mosquito, tick and plant disease control
  • Integrated pest management
  • Plant health care & non-toxic alternatives
  • ROI budgeting, strategic planning 
  • Turf-meadow transformation
  • Water audits
  • Weed control

For an experienced, forward-thinking partner who makes each and every landscape project more efficient, contact ELM President, Bruce Moore, Jr., at 203-316-5433, or bmoorejr@easternland.com

ELM is licensed and bonded in the States of Connecticut and New York. ELM is a member of the National Association of Landscape Contractors and the Snow and Ice Management Association.

Let’s Get Re-Building. Tips to make your post-Covid landscape a healthier space to live, work and play.

Making our environment healthier for everyone is likely to be an upside of post-pandemic recovery.

From oxygen-producing street trees to broader walkways and wider spaces, here are ten ways commercial property owners and managers can rehabilitate commercial sites to be more resilient and safer spaces for all.

  1. Widen pedestrian plazas to enable people to spread out.
  2. Construct and protect bicycle paths.
  3. Renovate public gather places, dining terraces, common areas.
  4. Transform underutilized hardscape into landscaped spaces.
  5. Reclaim underperforming landscape areas into broad corridors.
  6. Introduce wide walking trails and sidewalks with lighting, shade trees, and habitat and vector-control buffer zones.
  7. Eliminate redundant landscape infrastructure systems, such as old irrigation grids, and introduce automation and advanced technology to improve cost, eliminate waste and improve resource management.
  8. Optimize amenities as flexible public spaces.
  9. Integrate natural systems, riverbeds, estuaries, habitats, transit areas, medians, and parks at all scales to create a sense of community.
  10. Activate a multi-functional landscape plan that adheres to healthy living/working guidelines and new interaction and safety norms.

Our high-performing teams have been respected members of the integrated landscape design-build and landscape maintenance community for more than 40 years.

Working with general contractors and builders, and directly with building and facility owners and managers to improve project delivery and cost, our full-service framework offers a multitude of ways to get started.

Contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433 or email at bmoorejr@easternland.com.

ELM is licensed and bonded in the States of Connecticut and New York. 

Introducing a New Standard for Clean: Property Sanitization & Disinfecting Services Now Available

To help contain the spread of Covid-19, ELM is offering enhanced protective measures to help property owners and operators mount an effective, precautionary response against pathogens, infectious agents and vector-borne disease. 

I. Disinfecting & Sanitizing Treatments Tackle Infectious Agents

Our disinfecting and sanitizing applications focus on high-touch points, environmental surfaces, and fixtures and furniture found in high-traffic common areas. These include, but are not limited to, patios, dining terraces and picnic areas, railings, entries, green roofs, recreational amenities, artificial sports fields, benches and bleachers. 

II. Exterior Pressure Washing Removes Pollutants

High-pressure water jets effectively remove environmental dirt, dust, tree pollen, and bird and insect residue on walls and walkways. Our service unclogs rain gutters and downspouts and freshens non-porous surfaces without leaving corrosive residues. 

III.     Vector-borne Disease Control Inhibits Mosquitos, Ticks, Fleas

Source reduction is the key to ridding outdoor areas of fleas, ticks and breeding environments for mosquitos. ELM’s seasonal pest control program reduces the risk of virus such as West Nile, Zika, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Lyme disease. Other insect control strategies, such as bio-control agents, landscape habitat modification, pesticide and non-toxic methods of control can be applied.

ELM’s Safety & Best Practice Guidelines

ELM technical services crews and grounds cleaning protocols adhere to guidelines issued by the public health departments of the States of Connecticut and New York, the CDCP and OSHA. All treatments are applied in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, in consultation with property and facility owners/managers, and with ELM’s safety best practices oversight.

ELM is the leading provider of commercial and institutional landscape and grounds services in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, Connecticut and Greater New York Metro. Family-owned and operated for over 40 years, ELM tailors its services for every situation–whether an essential facility still in operation or a property currently unoccupied–to ensure that your outdoor environment and public spaces are maintained, cleaned, and protected exactly the way to need.

Contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433 or email bmoorejr@easternland.com to learn more.

Mission Possible. How ELM’s Readiness Culture Drives Emergency Response

ELM’s readiness culture is forged in a habit of vigilance, a commitment to manage risk, and a mindset that allows us to communicate and respond quickly, accurately and effectively.

Building readiness into our mindset and processes sets the foundation for how we cover a range of measures. 

  1. Training – ELM’s trained teams are up-to-date in storm response, safety training and certification programs. Workplace drills, state-of-the technology tools, and field exercises keep our crews mindful and ready for the unexpected.
  2. Up-to-date Contact Information– Our emergency contact information is an essential element to our 24/7, whatever-it-takes culture. As a property or building and asset manager, you can reach us at all times, with our promise to be part of a robust interconnected team to solve problems together.
  3. Logistics – Our teams are trained and ready when circumstances require immediate deployment, be it a severe weather event or a storm of uncertainty.
  4. Documentation & Contingency– Our emergency preparedness process includes having updated plans in place, managed incident reports and updated compliance and safety response protocols. When your properties are impacted by the unexpected, knowing what to do, and how to do execute in a moment’s notice, are key.
  5. Briefing – We manage risk by running scenario drills and staying mindful about what ifs. Letting you know as soon as possible, working you’re your property management team, and staying on top of the issues is part of our commitment to your safety and the safety of the communities and the people we serve.

In today’s fast-changing world, a sense of urgency is our call to action: to lead change, to know what’s at stake, and to create and deliver solutions which are useful and flexible, and fulfill every client’s needs.  

This sense of urgency is the foundation of our readiness. Readiness to help where we can, to support our clients and communities whenever we can, and, above all, to support the people who need it most. Safely, responsibly, generously and proactively. 

Contact Bruce Moore Jr. at 203-316-5433 to learn more.