ALCC news center
Extreme drought on Western Slope is real Email
Written by Kate Brocata   
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

How Yampa Valley reshapes local landscaping
By Kate Brocata

Residents of the arid mountain West in the Yampa Valley, it’s no secret that we are facing devastating impacts caused by a historically unprecedented 23-year drought. Despite a strong monsoon season that brought relief to much of our region, we are far from drought recovery.

Routt County, home to Steamboat Ski Resort, sits at the headwaters of the Colorado River with the Yampa River at the heart of our communities. However, being at the headwaters doesn’t mean the region is free from drought impacts. Agricultural producers suffered 70-90% reduction in hay and alfalfa yields in 2021 due to extended drought. For the past three summers, the Yampa River was closed to recreational uses due to high stream temperatures caused by low flows. River closures and use restrictions place burdens on the region’s already economically strained recreation and tourism industries.

The business you start is never the business you run Email
Written by Jessi Burg   
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Confessions of a serial entrepreneur
By Jessi Burg

 I have started two successful companies over the past five years, and I’ve learned that growing a successful business means following the money. You have to ask yourself: “What are my client’s currently paying for, what else are they willing to pay for and how does that overlap with the work I want to do?”

I opened my first business, Soe Harvest, in 2017, planning to teach people how to grow vegetables in their garden. This rapidly became overall garden maintenance, followed by working with clients to incorporate more sustainable and edible plants into their landscapes. Three years later, my vegetable garden coaching business had turned into Pears to Perennials, a design/build and maintenance company focusing on sustainable landscaping. I sold it in 2021.

My current business, Outgrow Your Garage, was started in 2021 and has followed a similar trajectory. What began as a direct- to-business consulting company has become an on-demand business development program. At the beginning, my clients were mostly existing trades and service companies looking to solve specific problems. Soon, I needed programs my clients could work through on their own. This segued into working with other consultants, nonprofits and business coaches to create business education that could be used by any small business — whether my clients or someone else’s.

Waterwise creates positive experiences for clients and employees Email
Written by Christy Eull   
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Waterwise creates positive experiences for clients and employees 

Waterwise Land & Waterscapes, Inc., Fort Collins, with its 100-plus-years of combined experience, serves a range or clients from small residential properties to million-dollar developments. The company provides landscape design, build, maintenance, construction and management services, and prides itself both on providing positive experiences for clients and valuing each crew member on every project.

When owner Lorin Bridger started his company in 2001, he had one truck, one small trailer and a lot of passion. His passion then and now is to improve people’s well-being with tailored environments. Bridger’s goal is to inspire other people’s passion for outdoor living by creating change through natural material projects.

Bridger’s company culture grew multi-fold from this passion. “As a company we care about each other,” he says. “We make it a priority to be sure all are enjoying their days while doing quality work. Our culture is one where we do right by each other to help make the quality of life, for our clients, better through landscape.

Waterwise wants to guide clients into landscapes that maximize use of natural resources, honor budgets, are creative and have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing. “We are creating ecologically minded projects” shares Bridger. 

Erratic water year for Denver Email
Written by Todd Hartman at Denver Water   
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Erratic water year for Denver

According to state climatologists, Colorado's summer or 2022 was the sixth warmest in the 128-year maintained record. Although, the summer was warm, Denver Water reported in its Denver Water Tap series that the 2022 water year (October 1 - September 30) was erratic. Colorado had a good water in year in the higher elevations and much drier one in Denver and nearby suburbs. 
Read the full article by Todd Hartman, Denver Water, and see graphs of historic temperatures and precipitation here.

Plant lovers, don't miss Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, November 09, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Plant lovers, don't miss

CSU planting containers for sale

CSU has 635 20-inch Brunello rolled-rim planters/pots made from 100% polyethylene with a “weathered terracotta” appearance. Though purchased in 2000 and used in CSU Flower Trials they are in excellent condition. The bottom of each pot has a small eye bolt attached used to anchor it into the ground.

Price: $10/container or $5,000 for all 635 containers. If interested, contact: Jim Klett at 970-218-0104 or [email protected]


Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:
Time for landscape pros to renew nursery license
Trust and honesty help retain employees 
Red Birds in a Tree - a native 'must-have'                                                                                                                  


Red Birds in a Tree - a native 'must-have' Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, November 09, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Red Birds in a Tree - a native 'must-have' 

Red Birds in a Tree (Scrophularia macrantha) is one of the most beloved North American native plants by gardeners across the nation. How do we know? Just google “Red Birds in” and you will see how many nurseries sell this plant, which is actually very rare in nature. Plant Select and High Country Gardens brought this plant into cultivation in the early 2000s, which may have saved it from becoming listed as endangered due to climate change and mining. Prominent plantsman David Salman, appropriately named this figwort Red Birds in a Tree. One look at the flowers, and you’ll see the joyfully singing red birds and you’ll never forget its descriptive common name.  
Red Birds in a Tree is native to the Sky Islands – mountains surrounded by deserts – of New Mexico in only three counties, more specifically in the mountains of the Mimbres Mountains, Kneeling Nun and Cook's Peak. It grows on steep, rocky, usually north-facing igneous cliffs and talus slopes, and in montane coniferous forests. Early botanists called this plant Mimbres figwort because of its location. Red Birds in a Tree is one of the few species of Scrophularia with red flowers. Most “scrophs” have terminal clusters of small greenish brown to purplish-brown flowers that wouldn’t stand out in a garden setting. And here’s some trivia. The genus name Scrophularia comes from scrofula, a form of tuberculosis. In the past, several species of figworts were used in herbal medicine to treat this disease.
Trust and honesty help retain employees Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, November 09, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Trust and honesty help retain employees

Companies share benefits and challenges  
When Dan Grange, ALCC 2022 board president and hiring manager at BrightView Landscape Development, concluded in his July letter to members that “the cost of low trust is poor employee retention,” Colorado Green magazine wanted to explore this more deeply. ALCC sent a survey to all members with several questions to prompt their input on key issues affecting employee retention. 

Responses are anonymous and mostly verbatim, and key findings are summarized here. ALCC received detailed responses from three companies that have been in business for a varying number of years. Each offers a broad suite of services including design, landscape construction, landscape installation and irrigation. Some offer additional services. Companies are referred to as follows: 

  • Company A: 12 years 

  • Company B: 21 years 

  • Company c: 39 years

Time for landscape pros to renew nursery license Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Wednesday, November 09, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Colorado law requires landscape professionals to have a valid nursery license

It is that time of year again for landscape professionals to submit the renewal for their Nursery license. All nursery licenses expire December 31st. There are some changes to be aware of before submitting your Nursery application for 2023 -- in particular that paper applications will no longer be accepted. Registering online will be the only way to renew for the 2023 registration year. 
To regulate plant quality, those that sell or distribute nursery stock for commercial purposes must register as a “Nursery” with the CDA. All growing nurseries (includes sod farms), retailers that sell nursery stock, landscape contractors, brokers, and collectors must register if selling or distributing nursery stock for commercial purposes.
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.

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. 

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.

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. 


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. 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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