ALCC news center
Consumers prefer a well-maintained landscape Email
Written by Lisa Schaumann   
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 09:11 PM

Even in the age of the smartphone and T.V. show binge watching, the love affair with the American yard is not over. According to an online survey commissioned by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and conducted by Harris Poll in May 2015, Americans think it is important to have a yard, keep it looking well-maintained and live in an area with nice landscaping.

The study, conducted among 2,034 U.S. adults (ages 18+), finds that three quarters of Americans (75%) feel that it is important to spend time outside in their yards. Despite the perception that the younger generation is only focused on a high-tech lifestyle, nearly three quarters (74%) of Millennials (18–34 year olds) think spending time outside in their yards is important.

Customer service is key to client retention Email
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 08:00 PM


 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.netYour company spends time, effort, and money to attract new clients to your business. Increasing your customer base is often a priority. But are you remembering to take care of the customers already in your portfolio?

It’s easier to keep a current client than it is to recruit a new one. We’ve all been asked at the check-out stand, “Do you need socks to go with those pants you’re buying?” or “Would you like fries with that?” Increasing business with your current customers can be a great way to grow your company.

According to The Chartered Institute of Marketing, it’s cheaper, too. Estimates vary, but acquiring a new customer can often cost more than four times the cost of customer retention (some estimates can be as high as 10 times).

Front Range observed National EAB Awareness Week Email
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 05:05 PM

Emerald Ash BorerLast week, residents of several Front Range communities noticed trees in high-traffic public parks or along street rights-of-way encircled with wide bands of green or yellow ribbon that warn of an invasive tree pest.

City parks departments, Colorado Tree Coalition volunteers and others marked more than 450 trees, all of which are ash, to offer a visual example of a mere fraction of the millions of trees in Colorado that could be lost to the invasive, tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB).

Pollinator Task Force announces national strategy Email
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 04:58 PM

Pollinator on a flowerOn May 19, the White House Pollinator Health Task Force released its "National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honeybees & other Pollinators." You can download or read the entire report here.

The strategy focuses on "three overarching goals:"

          1. Reduce honey bee colony losses to economically sustainable levels;
          2. Increase monarch butterfly numbers to protect the annual migration; and
          3. Restore or enhance millions of acres of land for pollinators through combined public and private action.
American's say their yards are important (infographic) Email
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 04:48 PM

A 2015 Harris Poll of more than 2,000 US adults found that having a yard with trees, shrubs, and other plants is important to their quality of life. They also believe that a landscape professional would improve the value of their yard. Learn more in an infographic from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP, formerly PLANET).

ALCC introduces the LAB Email
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 10:49 AM


Legislation & advocacy blogAssociated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) has launched a new blog. The mission of the new Legislation and Advocacy Blog, nicknamed the LAB, is to be a trustworthy source of information and breaking news for members and their customers who wish to keep up-to-date on legislation, regulations, and advocacy efforts that relate to the green industry.

Welcome to our LAB! Email
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 04:58 PM

BlogWelcome to the ALCC LAB, our new Legislation & Advocacy Blog. Here you'll find weekly posts--updated every Tuesday--about legislative issues and regulations that affect the landscape industry. It will also be the place to find breaking news about changes to legislation.

          • What exactly is WOTUS (Waters of the US) and how can it affect your landscape business?
          • How do I figure out which of my seasonal workers are eligible for health care?
          • Where do I find out who my legislators are?
          • Why should I volunteer with ALCC's advocacy efforts?

These are just a few of the questions we'll try to answer.

Visit this page to find out the latest on the H-2B visa program and related rulings. Learn about NALP's Legislative Day on the Hill and how you can get involved. And see what fellow ALCC members are doing to influence government and support the success of your business.

We look forward to this new venue to share our efforts and help more members get involved. If you have suggestions or feedback about what you'd like to read in the LAB, please contact us at [email protected].

Final H2B Wage Rules Email
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 04:58 PM


The H-2B rules promised by end of month are available at the following links. They become effective today.

Comprehensive IFR:

Wage Final Rule:

So far, Senator Bennet has asked for comments on how these rules will affect member businesses. If you respond to him, please also email that response to your House Representative and to Senator Gardner. They need to continue to hear from us.

What is a WOTUS? Email
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 04:58 PM


Waters of the USWhat's a WOTUS?
In June 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers, released a proposed rule (known as Waters of the United States, or WOTUS) in order to, in their words, "clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources." The rule describe which waters can be federally regulated under the Clean Water Act.

Why should the landscape industry care about the WOTUS rule?

STARS Act Email
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 04:58 PM

The STARS Act, to be reintroduced this year, defines and simplifies ‘seasonal worker’ for the purposes of complying with the Affordable Care Act. ALCC, National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), and other seasonal industries all support this act. But what does this act mean? Here is a quick overview of the act:

California’s drought: dead lawns and denial Email
Thursday, May 14, 2015 12:11 PM

California droughtLast week, California’s State Water Resources Control Board approved rules forcing cities to limit watering on public property and encouraging homeowners to let their lawns die.  Figures released only 2 days earlier revealed that water use statewide had only decreased 4% in March compared to the same month in 2013.  This is far short of Governor Jerry Brown’s desired savings of 25% statewide.

At a time when dead lawns are encouraged, some say many Californians, especially in the southern areas of the state, are in denial about the drought.  High end neighborhoods and estates in prestigious zip codes still have green lawns.  Yet, what these property owners don’t yet know could catch them off guard.  

Drought watch: Is landscape industry poised for pain or profit? Email
Thursday, May 14, 2015 11:48 AM

CA drought pic

In its coverage of the California drought last month, separate Fortune magazine articles listed the 6 industries hurt most by the drought – and the 9 industries that stand to profit most from the drought. 

With government encouraging homeowners to let lawns die, in which camp do you think the landscape industry landed?

Affordable Care Act and defining seasonal workers Email
Thursday, May 14, 2015 02:00 AM


CourthouseALCC members have questions about the Affordable Care Act and how it interacts with the H-2B visa program. That response is simple: there is no difference. H-2B visa employees are treated the same as an American worker in terms of the law and the state exchanges.

More challenging, however, is the determination of who qualifies as a seasonal workers. Employers are obligated to determine who is a seasonal employee and calculate who is eligible for health coverage.

The STARS Act, to be reintroduced this year, defines and simplifies ‘seasonal worker’ and would help with this issue. ALCC, National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), and other seasonal industries all support this act. (View or download a brief from NALP's 2014 legislative conference for more info about this.) But until it is passed, the calculation of this status is left to the employer—with some guidelines.

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