ALCC news center
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.


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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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Add FREEDA® caterpillar grass to garden design Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, August 23, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

FREEDA® caterpillar grass (Harpochloa falx 'Compact Black’ FREEDA® Caterpillar Grass) is as wonderful as the name sounds. Imagine dozens of 2” long caterpillars, yellow anthers for legs, gallivanting through the air above clumps of green grass in June, and you will understand why “caterpillar grass” is the perfect name for this grass. It is a fun plant for all ages. In mid-May, narrow light green grass blades radiate out to form a soft texture in the garden. In late June, the excitement begins with dark green arching flower buds suspended sideways above the blades of grass. One end of each flower is connected to a stem with only one flower per stem. The flowers elongate into wavy cylindrical seed heads in the summer and the “caterpillars” look to be in motion even when standing still. Backlighting from the sun at dawn and dusk shows of this plant off best. Through the fall, the seed heads become fuzzier until they shatter and mostly disappear in November. The compact clump of grass becomes a light tan and as temperatures continue to drop, the lower foliage experiences a metamorphosis, becoming chocolate brown in color until February. This is the wonderful life cycle of FREEDA® caterpillar grass.

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Mengmeng Gu is new CSU HLA department head Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, August 23, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Mengmeng Gu, Ph.D., joined the department of horticulture and landscape architecture (HLA) at Colorado State University (CSU) July 1, 2022, after a decade at Texas A&M. Gu assumed the role as department head.

Her attraction to, and interest in plants began as a child and her passion for ornamental plants remains strong. As a CSU professor and extension specialist, Gu’s goal is to actively find the research needs for Colorado. In her new leadership role, she will be broadening her service by reaching out to the community and the industry to involve more stakeholders to help identify needs. “I look forward to identifying needs from multiple stakeholders and finding viable research topics,” Gu said.

Gu is joined in Fort Collins by her husband and four children.

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Industry celebrates James Klett's 42-year career Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, August 23, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Known as Dr. Klett to most, Jim Klett, Ph.D., has been a faculty member in the CSU landscape and horticulture department since 1980, more than 40 years. He has been an invaluable asset to ALCC and the green industry in his tenure. CSU and the industry recognized his long career and commitment to Colorado horticulture with a celebration August 9 at the new Nutrien ag sciences building. Attendees included former students, CSU colleagues, green association members and people from industry companies.

Klett has touched the lives of countless students in horticulture and volunteered tirelessly on various committees and boards at the state and national levels including serving on the ALCC board of directors. He has been instrumental in the development of several programs to educate the industry about plants, particularly those that can thrive in Colorado.
Additionally, he has consistently encouraged collaborative participation of industry companies and organizations with the university. It’s no wonder that CSU is hiring two people to replace Klett!
“I’m not going away anytime soon,” Klett reminds us, even as the gathering in August celebrated his retirement. “There are still several things I’m working on.”

 

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Want winter color in your garden? Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

This was the fourteenth year Colorado State University has conducted Cool Season Trials at the Annual Flower Trial Garden. The overall goal of this project is to determine which varieties of cool season plants are best suited for marketing and growing in the Rocky Mountain Region. For the plants tested in the 2021-2022 trial, initial data was recorded in October 2021 and taken monthly, unless under heavy snow cover, until end of April 2022. Irrigation was monitored throughout the trial period and additional water was added when temperatures were above 40°F. Snow cover and rain amounts were recorded throughout this period.

The winter and early spring 2022 had some different weather periods. There were lengthy periods of snow cover in January and February 2022. April was extremely dry, having with very little or almost no rain, with extremely high winds. Also, on the evening of April 12, the low temperature dropped to 16°F after several very warm days in early April reaching 80°F.

Representatives from the CSU Annual Trial Committee met on April 27, 2022 to evaluate 57 different varieties of Cool Season plants. Unlike last year, there were no geese problems because almost all of the kale and cabbage varieties did not survive the cold temperatures encountered.

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ALCC summer golf tournament was a hit Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

ALCC’s 2022 golf tournament is in the books and what a great day it was! The tournament, held at Arrowhead Golf Course, Littleton was sold out.

Thank you to all who supported and participated in the tournament. Without sponsors, golfers and contributions, this event would not have been a success.

Congratulations to our first-place team from Ground Solutions – Mike Uittenbogaard, Mike Neal, Ryan Clifford and Raul Martinez.

A special thank you to all our tournament sponsors:

2M Company

A-1 Organics

Basalite Concrete Products

BBSI

Buckner Insurance

Colorado Materials

DBC Irrigation Supply

Ed Bozarth Chevrolet

ET Water/Jain Irrigation

Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply

Ground Solutions

Honnen Equipment

LL Johnson

Potestio Brothers Equipment

Purple Wave Auction

Rain Bird

SavATree

SiteOne Landscape Supply

Wagner Equipment

 

 

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EDI gets ELITE Award for irrigation project from hell Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

“I really didn’t want to do this project,” admits Geister, branch manager and business development at Environmental Designs, Inc. (EDI). “This project involved planting and maintaining annuals in planters outside two Centerra industrial buildings—16 at each.” The planters weren’t working as planned and McWhinney, the Centerra development management and investment company, knew.

Drains in the planters were not functioning and in 2019, the year before EDI took on this challenge, runoff from the planters was so high that standing water with algae could be found several feet away from the planters, plants were in poor health and the “rotting stinking mess” resulted in tenant complaints.

Also, the way the buildings are situated can create heat and a wind tunnel effect, which have an effect on water needs of the plants in the planters.

For the EDI team’s effort, they received ALCC’s Gold ELITE Award for Sustainability.

Rising to the challenge

“We have a good team,” Geister asserts. “It has rock stars. We agreed that ‘we can do this.’” To start, they removed all the soil to see how the planters drained. Then they removed existing components, installed new lines and added 360-degree adjustable drip bubblers to each planter. They refilled with aggregate and soil.

Using Rain Bird Xeri-Bubblers, Geister and senior Irrigation tech, Alejandro Arenas, improvised, installing the bubblers instead of using more traditional micro-sprays. “They are super simple to regulate above the soil line. It takes just a twist to adjust water.”

Based on his learning from this project, Geister would say this to colleagues, “There is amazing technology out there. Think out-of-the-box. Be innovative when using these products.” Before testing the new components, the team also cleaned the drains as best as possible.

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The wonder of nature right at home Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

“I love bringing the feeling of nature into the spaces people live in,” reveals Johnny Moore, designer at Tree of Life Landscapes, Mead. The beauty and joy of nature that speaks to Moore, is something he wants to capture when he designs.

“When we first talked with this Boulder- based client about her yard, she didn’t have a detailed vision for her landscape renovation,” says Moore. “What she did know is she wanted to remove most of the sod and create perennial gardens more suitable to the Colorado climate. My work as a designer is often to help clients realize a vision they can’t articulate.”

Four seasons of immersion and mystery

The perennial garden Moore designed in 2017 included removal of all sod on one side of the driveway and a portion on the other side. “Our vision was to create four seasons of interest. Color in the spring, summer and fall and in the winter a lot of texture and different hues of brown. There is a lot of richness and depth to the winter textures that can’t be seen in other seasons. Leaving the seed heads allows the birds some winter food. We are creating more than a garden. It’s an environment for not only us but the other inhabitants.” To Moore’s point, this property has earned National Wildlife Federation habitat certification.

The design includes a walking area throughout. The walking area serves three functions: it ties the areas in the design together, it provides immersion from within the garden among the plants to enjoy them up close, and thirdly and importantly, it provides ease of maintenance.

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Landscape Workshop: in a league of its own Email
Written by Becky Garber-Godi   
Wednesday, July 27, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, when eighth in line to the Saudi Arabian throne, built a 60,000-square-foot house, in Aspen Colorado, in 1990 that needed a landscape on a par with his palatial retreat. It was an opportunity Landscape Workshop, Inc., then based in the Denver area, felt prepared to tackle. “It was a good fit for us,” says Tim McMichael, now the president. “It put us on the front end of development when Aspen was on the cusp of breaking out and we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”

Leading up to this opportunity, Landscape Workshop had been a fast-growing company founded in 1979 by landscape architect Jim Pitts, McMichael’s father. By 1986 Pitts had grown the firm from a team of three to one of largest landscape installation companies in Colorado. With experience from large projects such as Southwest Plaza shopping mall and The Pinery, Landscape Workshop was confident taking on a big job in the mountains. At the time, there were no companies in the high country that could match their experience. Landscape Workshop gained a What does it take to please a Saudi prince in Aspen? Jim Pitts, founder of Landscape Workshop, Inc., with his wife and their great grandchildren who may someday be part of the company team. Landscape Workshop knows how it’s done foothold in the Aspen market and soon operations moved to Carbondale.

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