ALCC news center
ALCC Service Awards - Char Chacon, Scott Fritchie Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Char Chacon is Garvey Person of the Year
Chacon, a Colorado native having a horticulture degree from CSU with an emphasis on business management, started at Designscapes Colorado in 2001, exactly one week after she graduated. She is now the Residential Team Manager and as evidenced by her nomination for an MVP Award this year, the company is very thankful for her many contributions over the years.  

Beyond her contributions within her company, Chacon’s contributions within the industry have also been noticed. She has participated on many ALCC volunteer committees and efforts throughout the yearsfrom Career Pathways and workforce development, to Day of Service and legislative efforts. And you may recognize her voice since she has been one of the voices of the ELITE Award category introductions for several years.

Chacon is passionate about encouraging involvement of women in the green industry. She was the first woman manager at Designscapes Colorado, and then went on to implement a women’s leadership program there called Cultivate. She is also the committee chair of ALCC’s recently-formed Women in Green Committee, and looks forward to getting more women involved in leadership. In the bigger picture, Chacon says that she loves to help any company, team or peer to be better, and advocates for the industry by emphasizing its many paths for personal and professional growth. Go here for more.

 Scott Fritchie receives Stan Brown Award
Scott Fritchie began at LL Johnson in 2000, as a salesperson with no sales experience. His career plans were to be a mechanic for an airline, but as usual, life had other plans and he ended up at LL Johnson because of his mechanical knowledge and love of machinery. He leaned on his knowledge of mechanics and provided excellent customer service. He eventually became one of the top salespeople in the company and is now the Grounds Power Equipment Division Manager.

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ALCC Service Awards - Jim Klett, Luis Estrada Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Jim Klett receives 2nd Canon Lifetime Achievement Award
A faculty member in the horticulture and landscape architecture department at Colorado State University (CSU) since 1980 – more than 40 years – Jim Klett has been an invaluable asset to the green industry in Colorado. He has volunteered on multiple committees and boards of directors at both the state and national levels, and encouraged the collaboration between industry companies and organizations with CSU 

Over the years, he brought the industry and university together on several projects that continue to this day. Those he is most proud of are the CSU trial gardens, Plant Select and Planttalk Colorado. These programs center around determining which plants are best suited to thrive in Colorado’s harsh climate and providing valuable information to consumers and the industry about those plants so they are chosen and incorporated into landscapes.  

As he retires, Dr. Klett reflects back on his years in the industry and says the most rewarding part of his career has been seeing his students succeed in the industry. And a great many of those students have gone on to be successful and well known in Colorado – running landscape companies, nurseries and more – and some have been inspired to follow his path into the education realm at CSU and Front Range Community College Go here for more.

Luis Estrada Estrada received Outlook Award

Originally from Mazatlan, Mexico, Estrada came to the United States in 2001 on a work visa. Before coming to the U.S., he received a degree in accounting, but says he’s rusty and not to quiz him on accounting terms or equations. He fell in love with the green industry and has worked at several landscape companies in the Denver area, including CoCal Landscape and Metco

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Water Efficient Landscape Grants Program Email
Written by Frank Kinder   
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

SLM in use by Northern Water for its Water Efficient Landscape Grants Program

By Frank Kinder, Northern Water

2022 marks Northern Water’s fourth year of water efficient landscape grants, and the first-year grant review included ALCC’s SLM designation in the rating criteria for project applications. Applicants with landscape employees who’ve completed SLM get additional points toward pursuing certifications. Northern Water finds value in the SLM designation and training in how to manage water use, implement irrigation efficiency, enhance landscape resilience, support habitats, and expand the education opportunities available to industry professionals. 

To make SLM broadly available to additional landscape professional workers who partner with applicants, Northern Water continues to host spring and fall classes at its headquarters and to reduce the price of access through directly subsiding the cost of attending. Our challenges with climate extremes and water scarcity require innovations and adoptions of new landscape models that do more with less, and SLM is a crucial component of making that happen. Find more about our services at Northernwater.org/Efficient Water Use.

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Growing Water Smart Workshop available Email
Written by Frank Kinder   
Tuesday, January 24, 2023 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Growing Water Smart Workshop available to create water resilience

By Frank Kinder, Northern Water

Growing Water Smart is an innovative workshop that aims to integrate land use and water planning at the community level, which means cities, counties and districts. It was developed to bring together municipal staff, elected officials, and key stakeholders to break down silos and empower communities to collaboratively work towards creating water resilience goals and the steps to meet them. Ultimately, a community’s team of 5-7 individuals will leave the workshop with a detailed action plan and a commitment to take action in order to ensure their community has a sustainable water future. Northern Water helps fund and facilitate to help the state achieve the Colorado Water Plan. The landscape industry is crucial to this future and frequently benefits from the programs cities and districts implement upon completion.

The workshop is up to six teams of staff, elected officials, and other representatives from communities. After the workshop, these six teams will join the ranks of other cities across the state who have completed Growing Water Smart. This video from past Northern Water participants shows the value they found working together.  Get the application details here and apply by March 1st for this no-cost workshop and follow-up support. There is no charge to participate.

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Snow management companies beware Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Snow removal contractors face frequent equipment theft

By Kimberly Jewell, general manager at GroundMasters/Snow Management Services

Whether you are new to snow and ice management, or have been doing it for years, one thing for certain is there is always change, and change often includes different obstacles to maneuver around or challenges to overcome.

In my 23 years in the industry, I have seen it evolve in so many ways, which include:

  • Equipment that makes sidewalk clearing efficient
  • Heavier duty plows or pushers to clear parking lots faster
  • Use of technology to prove services were performed and help contractors defend themselves should litigation arise
  • Cellphone or computer applications that track time and materials

And the list goes on. These improvements have helped both the contractors and our clients.

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2023 ALCC Board of Directors Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Congratulations to our 2023 Board Members

Results or the 2023 Board of Directors are in. Please join ALCC in congratulating this year's Board of Directors. Together, ALCC and its board members will help guide, advise and oversee our organization through 2023. We look forward to a fantastic year!

President, Zak George, Zak George Landscaping
Vice President, Brian Levins, Arrowhead Landscape Maintenance
Secretary/Treasurer, Steve Steele, Steele Dynamic Services
Past President, Dan Grange, BrightView Landscape

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Aurora Water Stage 1 Drought Restrictions Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Aurora Water anticipates Stage 1 Drought Restrictions for 2023 irrigation season

By Adam Waters, Water Conservation Specialist at City of Aurora/Aurora Water

Amid the worst drought in 1,200 years, reservoirs in the western U.S. are being pushed to the brink. Years of dwindling precipitation, soil aridification and growth in demand mean a year of average, or even above average, mountain snowpack won’t bring the region out of its current water crisis. While Aurora Water’s reservoirs are faring better than some others, they started the new year at just 55% of their combined storage capacity.

In these situations, Aurora turns to its Water Management Plan (WMP) for measures to ensure the sustainability of its water resources. With drought lingering and lackluster snowpack forecasted, Aurora Water will ask Aurora City Council to approve a Stage 1 Drought Declaration for the 2023 irrigation season. Stage 1 drought aims to reduce outdoor water usage by 20%, primarily through increased enforcement of water waste violations and firmer user irrigation restrictions.

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New Plant Select recommendation Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, January 10, 2023 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Leprechaun southernwood provides texture and wildlife resistance 

 Contributed by Ross Shrigley and Bev Shaw for Plant Select®

It’s been said by Robin Sharma that “simplicity is the trademark of genius. Leprechaun southernwood (Artemisia abrotanum ‘Leprechaun) is the epitome of that trademark for landscapes in the intermountain region. Even as rabbits and deer are becoming a wildlife staple in neighborhoods, they won’t eat Leprechaun southernwood!  

Interestingly, in the Victorian era, this clean-scented, slightly citrus-smelling plant was included in handheld bouquets to mask overripe body odors of the day. Its pleasant, fine green texture enhanced the bouquets, acting as floral filler and showcasing other flowers in the arrangement. We have now found other uses for Leprechaun’s scent, though discouraging herbivory is an important asset.  

Look at a perennial border and imagine the enhanced presentation Leprechaun southernwood could make with its fine, airy texture and dark green coloration behind all the vibrant flowers. Combine it with groupings of Undaunted® ruby muhly grass to set off those red seed heads. This woody perennial behaves more like a shrub and can also be used as an informal or formal hedge by shearing it. Every fall, be sure to its sheared back to 4 inches. This annual maintenance practice will encourage the presentation of fresh emerald green growth each spring, while allowing space for a carpet of early spring flowering bulbs to bloom at its base. 

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Tom Delaney receives MVP ELITE award Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, December 27, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Tom Delaney has been with Rocky Mountain Trees & Landscaping since 1989. During that time, he has been on almost every crew, starting from entry level and working his way up. Now and for several years, he has been the company’s the go-to irrigation tech. 

Delaney knows the irrigation systems of Rocky Mountain Trees’ clients inside and out, having installed many of them himself. Many clients only trust Delaney to service their irrigation systems.  

During the 2022 season, Delaney was the only irrigation tech for Rocky Mountain Trees. In addition to being the sole tech, he has also assisted some of the maintenance crews, often weeding and pruning when on-site at clients’ homes for irrigation checks. He also coordinates with other crews on installations, trains staff on mowing and shares tips of the trade. It seems like Delaney is everywhere – and what sets him apart is that no one had to ask him to do any of these things. 

Delaney brings a level of detail about drought awareness to clients when setting controllers. He often says his plan is to “keep the water use in our landscapes just on the edge of dryness so they are more drought resilient. 

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Dustin Dayton receives MVP ELITE Award Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, December 27, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Dustin Dayton has moved through the ranks since starting with Zak George Landscaping (ZGL) in 2012 as a maintenance crew member. He moved to maintenance crew leader then on to a maintenance field operations supervisor position, then maintenance operations manager. In 2021, the company needed a full-time fleet manager, and called upon Dayton to fill that role. He is also the company’s snow commander. All in all, Dustin oversees 10 maintenance crews, three junior supervisors, three in-house mechanics, over 300 small engines, and many trucks and trailers. 

Dayton is respected by his entire team and a great resource for the leadership team to rely on for anything at ZGL. He sends multiple forms of media to his team including professional coaching and podcasts to inspire them to improve as people. Dayton portrays a very kind-mannered way of supervision. He understands their job and knows how they would like to be treated.  

The retention rate in the maintenance department that Dayton oversees is incredibly high compared to the industry standard several employees with more than 5 or 10 years of service. This is due to Dayton’s coaching and teaching.  

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Char Chacon receives MVP ELITE Award Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, December 27, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Char Farley Chacon has been with Designscapes Colorado since 2001, starting out as a team administrator, and progressing to her current position as Residential Team Manager over the past 20 years.  

Chacon demonstrates exceptional customer service with our clients and treats every employee with kindness and compassion. She is always producing the highest quality of work, which inspires others to do their best. She is dependable, responsible, empathetic, trustworthy and excellent at actively listening. The door is always open to Char’s office. 

In her desire to give back to the community, Chacon introduced the “Angels Among Us” program to the company. This program provides Christmas presents to children in need, and the company received an ELITE Award in 2021 for their work on this program. She also was a huge contributor in building and maintaining the Moonbeam Gardens at Clayton Early Learning, a program which provides healthy, fresh food to children, their families, and the community that are located within a food desert.  

Chacon’s co-workers describe her as “the heart and soul of Designscapes Colorado.” She sets the standard for every employee and has set the bar high.  

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American Design & Landscape receives HNA Award Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

In October, the 2022 Hardscape North America (HNA) Awards ceremony was held at the Kentucky Exposition Center. These awards recognize top residential and commercial hardscape projects including walkways, patios, outdoor living spaces and kitchens, driveways as well as commercial plazas and streets.

Congratulations to Colorado's American Design & Landscape for their Outdoor Living Features award for Wolverine Kitchen in Parker. View more HNA awards: 2022 HNA Awards Winners and Honorable Mention Recipients Announced

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Tom Handy receives MVP ELITE Award Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Tom Handy has been in the industry for 37 years. Before managing the irrigation service department at NationScapes, he was employed by a company acquired by NationScapes 

Under Handy’s leadership, the irrigation service department has grown from approximately $1 million to almost $2.4 million in revenue in two years. Furthermore, his dedication to efficiency has raised the gross margin from 46% to more than 55% in two years.  

Known for his leadership, dedication and professionalism, Handy will never leave someone in the field to struggle. He will rally the entire field team to a small residential service repair at 7 p.m. to help someone who is struggling. He routinely spends time with customer service representatives training them on technical aspects of sprinklers so that we can provide the highest level of service to customers during phone interactions. 

In addition to his many contributions to the company, Handy is also active in his community. Last winter, he spearheaded an effort to organize and collect goods to assist victims of the Marshall fires. 

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