ALCC news center
WSR teams up with vendors, Valerian and local youth on park project Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Denver’s St. Charles Park gets revamped

In business 39 years, Western States Recla­mation, Inc., (WSR), Frederick, has contin­ued to grow and diversify. “To this day, we are a family- and employee-owned company staying true to our values of always deliver­ing what was promised to our customers and building incredible natural environments,” says Adam Bappe, business development and project manager.

“WSR got to be a part of a unique project that benefited a great neighborhood,” states project manager, Joe Schneider. And the com­pany received the 2021 Gold ELITE Award for Commercial Landscape Construction.

Reimagining a north Denver neighborhood park

In a north Denver neighborhood, St. Charles Recreation Center serves as a refuge for neighborhood youth. With new development coming, in 2017 a partnership was created with community members to reimagine the park and make it a shared space for all members of the community. Valerian Landscape Architecture helped bring the vision together with a youth group that formed—St. Charles Ambassadors —to ensure direct community representation through the design process.

This third phase, culminating in 2021, of a multi-year project, constructed by West­ern States Reclamation, includes three nature playgrounds, swings, climbers, log borders and boulder walls, decorative gateways with light­ing, new plantings, trails, a new recreation cen­ter entrance and more.

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Pink Cotton is soothing in the garden Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Pink Cotton is soothing in the garden 

Imagine coming home to a soothing garden with soft colors, delicate blossoms with no immediate maintenance needs. Soft swaths of Pink Cotton lamb’s ear (Stachys lavandulifolia) provide that experience. Its unusual flowers look like pink cotton, as its name describes. Despite its frothy appearance, it’s tough, dependable and requires little fussing 

This plant is native to the Caucasus Mountains, from Turkey to Iraq, and rock gardeners have used Pink Cotton for years. In full to part sun, Pink Cotton is perfect to grow where rock berms interface with the flat ground, but can be the plant that transitions from turf, or a garden bed, to sidewalks or gravel pathways. Its appearance is calming, suggesting gentle motion in contrast to static rocks or concrete. Pink Cotton happily greets garden guests as it gently reaches into pathways or melds multiple gardens. 

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Designscapes Colorado's gift program changes childrens lives Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Designscapes Colorado’s gift program changes children’s lives

During the 2021 ELITE Awards reception held last November, Designscapes Colorado, Centennial, was honored with the Community Stewardship award for their “Angels Among Us,” project. The project gives a present to pre-K, kindergarten, and first- and second-grade students who may not receive one during the holiday season. It started six years ago. Participation is offered to each employee, who can opt to take a child’s name from the list and donate a wrapped present with a spending limit of $25. Designscapes  Colorado has donated gifts each year to more than 100 students, along with a hat, glove and scarf set. The program demonstrates to th community that there are people who care about them and want to help, and it has become a major tradition for the company. 

“The Angels Among Us program here at Designscapes Colorado is one that I am most proud of,” says Charlene Farley Chacon, residential team manager. “It is such an amazing feeling to see the support and enthusiasm from all our team members who are truly happy providing so many children with gifts during the holiday season! It reaffirms the goodness in people, especially when at times the world and our lives are challenging.” Chacon recognizes that children are our future, and they don’t have a say in the economic situations they are brought up in. 

“Some of these children may not be able to experience the dreams of Christmas we see in the movies or envision providing for our own children,” she says. “One of Designscapes Colorado values is to ‘Build and Shape a Better Future’ and helping children feel love, joy and happiness is a way we are supporting this value.”

The Angels Among Us program not only positively affected many children, but impacted many teachers, changed the lives of the organization directors, and shaped the hearts of  Designscapes Colorado employees.

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Women in hort celegrated at DBG Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Successful annual CNGA women in horticulture luncheon

On Thursday, October 6, 2022, this year’s annual CNGA women in horticulture luncheon took place at the Denver Botanic Gardens. This event is a wonderful tradition to celebrate women in the green industry.

There was plenty of networking and a wonderful lunch buffet was served accompanied by wine. There were also gifts and door prizes for all. This was the perfect social event to attend and a great reward for employees who have helped CNGA achieve another successful year.

Following lunch, a panel of women spoke on their stories of success in the horticulture industry. 

 

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How could a pending recession shift your balance? Email
Written by Steve Steele   
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

By Steve Steele, Steele Dynamic Services, LLC, Golden

Shift. Change. Innovation. Three words define how companies will need to navigate still-murky post-pandemic waters, which may be impacting their ability to thrive or even survive, in the uncertain market conditions that see now. While hope remains that “the Fed” (Federal Reserve) will navigate a soft landing economically—cooling consumer demand without massive job loss—there is general professional agreement that recession will occur in some form.

Dictionary.com defines shift as “a slight change in direction, position or tendency.” Change is “to make something different; alter or modify; replace something with something else, especially something of the same kind that is newer or better.” Finally, innovation is “a new method, idea, product, etc.” The key to success is properly balancing all three.

I recently visited Pisa’s Leaning Tower in Italy, an area largely unchanged over a millennium. While wandering the complex, I noticed a small machine docked on beautifully manicured turf. Closer inspection revealed an electric powered, robotic mower. In that moment, I realized this exact balancing act of shift, change and innovation was working here.

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Steep-slope terraced outdoor living Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green NowHow Changing Landscapes met homeowner goals
Foothills Terrace is the Boulder property for which Changing Landscapes, Inc., Longmont, received the 2021 Gold ELITE Award for Residential Landscape Construction. Paul Hartman, president, says his clients bought the property and moved from Texas. “They scraped the existing house and started over.” When Hartman and his team started constructing the landscape, the new house was mostly built but not complete, so coordination between the builder and Changing Landscapes was a necessity.

Access
In addition to the steep slope, access to the back of the property—where the outdoor living features were to be located—was limited. The general contractor assisted Changing Landscapes in accessing the area by boarding up a basement window and filling the window well and surrounding area with soil, to create a path for the skid steer—the only equipment Changing Landscapes’ team could utilize to get to the back. Albeit the skid steer was a large one that could lift up to 2.5 tons.

The skid steer got a workout! Up the back (and front) slope it cautiously hauled 100 tons of boulders, delivered by semi-trucks in four loads over the span of a month. Additionally, the skid steer moved 15-20 tons of soil from the house construction to help retain and stabilize the boulders. Some of the excavated soil was amended and used in planting beds. All the soil from home construction was put to use in the overall landscape.

Plants
“We installed water-wise xeric and native perennials throughout the landscape, including ground covers, grasses, trees and shrubs,” Hartman says. “We also planted the clients’ pots with dianthus for a burst of summer color, alongside succulents—sedums and ice plants—to display vibrant winter color.” The homeowners planted the vegetable garden.

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CNGA Women in Horticulture Luncheon Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

CNGA women in horticulture luncheon

On Oct. 6, the 2022 CNGA Women in Horticulture Luncheon took place at the Denver Botanic Gardens. This event is a wonderful tradition to celebrate women in the green industry. More than 174 people registered for this event. 

There was plenty of networking and a wonderful lunch buffet was served accompanied by wine. There were also gifts and door prizes for all. This was the perfect social event to attend and a great reward for employees who have helped CNGA achieve another successful year.
Following lunch, a panel of women spoke on their stories of success in the horticulture industry.  At the conclusion of the luncheon, attendees be able to stroll through the beautiful and always changing Denver Botanic Gardens!

 

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LatiKnow Leadership Committee kick-off event Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 LatiKnow Leadership Committee kick-off event

The ALCC LatiKnow Leadership Committee held a kick-off event at Raices Brewing Company in September where over 25 up and coming Latino industry leaders came together to network and discuss the future of the industry. The committee will leverage feedback collected during the event to shape the direction of their work.

ALCC has made it a priority to attract and engage more Latinos, including both Latino-owned businesses and Latino employees across the industry, and established the LatiKnow Leadership Committee, which participants named.

"The happy hour was a great success in introducing our mission and initiatives of the LatiKnow Committee. We managed to bring a diverse group together from various companies and positions. The information we obtained from our attendees was so valuable and is going to be used as a tool to help fortify our mission with ALCC. This event gave us the inspiration to keep moving forward to establish our committee as the growing voice of the Latino landscape community here in Colorado." - Committe member Marisol Medrano 

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CSU's Zach Johnson promotes industry partnerships Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, September 26, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

CSU's Zach Johnson promotes industry partners

Green industry gifts influence curriculum, attract students

The opening celebration for the new Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building at Colorado State University (CSU) in May 2022, represents an exciting commitment of the university to horticulture. For Zachary Johnson, CSU professor, whose major teaching emphasis is in the Landscape Design and Contracting concentration within the Environmental Horticulture major, is a boon for students, green industry businesses and the university. 
Donations directly support programs  
“Our new building represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strengthen the relationships with our industry partners. The capital costs of this building have been paid for in large part by Nutrien, allowing gifts to Environmental Horticulture to immediately impact programs and students in ways we just haven’t been able to do in the past,” Johnson explains. 
CSU/industry partnership is strong 
Several green industry companies have already stepped up and made substantial donations and numerous more gifts are in the pipeline. Johnson wants “to ensure long-term funding is in place to not only serve our current students but to meet the needs of future students."  
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How suppliers can support your business Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, September 26, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

How suppliers can support your business
Pioneer Contractor Services helps mitigate labor shortage 
According to Ben Powell, vice president procurement and strategic accounts at Pioneer Landscape Centers, the company answered “the call in the market” to help with the labor shortage when it launched Pioneer Contractor Services this year. 
“We are known for providing great value on materials,” Powell says. “Now we not only deliver to the site; we place material on the site exactly where it belongs.” The service saves time and labor hours by eliminating driving time for contractors to drive to a hub to pick up materials. Additionally, since Pioneer uses blower trucks to place materials such as soil, mulch and even small aggregate, additional labor and time for placement is avoided for the contractor. “While Pioneer is placing the mulch or other materials, workers at the site can focus on to other activities.” 
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What does inclusiveness look like for the Green Industry? Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, September 26, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

ALCC has made it a priority to engage and elevate more Latinos within the Green Industry. This includes both Latino-owned businesses and Latino employees across the industry. This year a committee was established, naming themselves the LatiKnow Leadership Committee. 

The committee has a strategic plan to help position the Latino community for more opportunities to advance within the industry. 

While the entire wish list will not be completed anytime soon, here are some future goals: 

  • Create a social group of existing and emerging Latino leaders and business owners in the industry. Social activities may include hosting happy hours or luncheons. 

  • Facilitate mentoring opportunities for Latino leaders and business owners. 

  • Provide more Spanish learning opportunities  

  • Steer the industry to be more bicultural and bilingual 

Breaking down and improving the cultural barriers for Latinos is a large goal of LatiKnow Committee.  

The Latino community will be stronger when people grow together by networking and partnering with others. 

This article appeared in Colorado Green magazine Sept./Oct., 2022 issue.


Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:

 
Express Mulching & Soil supplies and installs local mulch Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, September 26, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Express Mulching & Soil supplies and installs local mulch 

Express Mulching & Soil in Denver used to bring most of their mulch—Cedar Mulch—from the U.S. West Coast by rail car to Colorado until there was talk of a shortage this year and it was projected that supply would run out of cedar mulch by May. 

Colorado Green talked with Nick Holladay, president and founder, who over the past seven years has demonstrated his entrepreneurial success as someone who thinks out of the box, when he and partner, Macy Gibson, created their own blower company in the Denver market. Now Holladay was looking for an alternative source for mulch to run through those blowers.  

Local and sustainable 

Holladay has found a local source of mulch that is sustainable and reliably available. Express Mulching now uses tree mulch from multiple Denver-area landscape companies. The company uses only natural, untreated tree sources for its mulch—wood that has been chipped by landscape companies or logs from trees that needed to be downed or required severe pruning.  

Express Mulching has the equipment to turn most any tree material they get from landscape companies into mulch. “We have tub grinders that can handle 15-inch logs,” explains Holladay. “Our mulch is local and sustainable, never kiln dried. We don’t recommend using kiln-dried wood for landscape mulch.” Express Mulching uses only 100% non-kiln-dried wood. 

There’s a high cost to transporting mulch from the west coast and a negative environmental impact. “Our mulch is less costly, and customers can save 20-30% and feel good about reducing their carbon footprint by keeping business local. 

Educating others 

“We must educate the market about our mulch. Some believe cedar mulch is better,” comments Holladay. “What is needed is high quality wood mulch that decomposes, helps the soil and conserves water. That’s what we have, with the bonus of being locally sourced.” He also says some of his landscaping customers have had trouble getting mulch and they have been filling the gap using Express Mulching products. And customers can choose their color. Holladay claims their mulch holds color just as well as cedar, if not better. 

Constant supply 

Many trees were impacted by the recent storms we endured this spring, and Express Mulching still has raw material coming in from landscape contractors. There is no shortage for Express Mulching, and they continue to offer solutions for mulch supply even as shortages on out-of-state mulch are still on the rise.  

This article appeared in Colorado Green magazine, Sept./Oct., 2022 issue.

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Are you living like you love it? Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, August 23, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Early in 2022, at the start of the Water ’22 campaign spearheaded by Water Education Colorado, all of us were challenged to “take the pledge” to find ways to:

  • Conserve at least 22 gallons of water use per day.
  • Learn more about where Colorado’s water comes from and ways to protect it.
  • Find ways to live with less.

Similarly, Colorado WaterWise’s statewide, public education campaign on water conservation, Live Like You Love ItSM asks Coloradans to commit to learning more about water issues and to being an active voice for good stewardship of this precious resource.

This year is also important for the Colorado Water Plan. Originally released in 2015, it is under development and the revised Water Plan will be released early in 2023. The development process for the 2023 Water Plan included a robust stakeholder engagement process to consider feedback and concerns with the original 2015 Plan, followed by an initial drafting phase. The draft version is currently available for public review during a 90-day public comment period from June 30 – September 30, 2022. Public comments can be submitted through engagecwcb.org. For those who want to review or comment, now it the time.

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