Archive for the ‘water’ tag
Some very cool stuff this week: New research examines the health benefits of green space, a big western city is raising water rates because people are saving too much water and Pittsburgh reinvents itself from a black smudge of steel factories to a champion of sustainability. There’s hope for us all.
See you next week.
- ASLA Guide to Washington’s great landscapes was nominated for a Webby. Vote here.
- Portland is raising its water rates to keep pace with lagging demand.
- The outside Rx.
- Related: New study further shows health benefits of green space.
- 6 of the coolest trees in America.
- How to choose a board for your business.
- Above: Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory opens the Center for Sustainable Landscapes at the “greenest building on Earth.”
This week I’ve got a lot of cool forest stuff for you, as well as the latest research on America’s Hispanic population and a neat case study on water savings. Needless to say, it’s a grab bag. Have a great weekend!
Spring isn’t technically here yet, but we’ve made it through the longest shortest month, and that’s reason enough to celebrate. This week I’ve brought you a solid reading list, a video to share with your friends and a great post on marketing.
- Lead gen tips for your sales team.
- Jim McCutcheon explains that you can make real money as a landscaper. (via Chris Heiler)
- Late winter reading list from Marty.
- Medieval flower clock.
- Rainscaping is growing more popular out east.
- Marketing means answering this question: Who do we want to change?
- Learn more about how to figure that out in our Grow the Market report.
- Above: Some pre-spring blooms to get you through the rest of winter.
I had a great talk today with Richard Restuccia, director of water management solutions at ValleyCrest Co., and a contributor to Lawn & Landscape magazine.
We talked about California’s water conversation in Landscaping Act of 2006, which took effect in 2010.
So why, you may ask, are we discussing state-specific legislation that was enacted two years ago? Well, apart from the fact that I think Richard is just really smart and I just enjoy talking with him, California’s AB 1881 is an example of how legislation seen my many as a threat to the industry could really be an opportunity for contractors. And, as water supplies become more scarce and intense drought becomes more normal, these kinds of regulations are going to spread from California to the rest of the country.
You’ll be able to hear our conversation later this week on the Lawn Care Radio Network.
Here’s our weekly list of cool and otherwise interesting things from the web. I’ll be out next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, so look for more updates after. Enjoy!
- A guide for commercial property owners and managers on the new EPA WaterSense program, and how it can save them water.
- Related: Water savings ad campaign in Denver uses naked people to get its point across. (via the Water Bloggers)
- Deer now vectors for malaria-like disease in New England.
- Sales training for California contractors.
- Landscape lighting to the max.
- Finally, some logical news from Canada’s Left Coast.
- Lessons on Lincoln’s leadership.
- Above: The third issue of MOWmentum is live now in iTunes and on Google Play. Check it out today.
Here’s our collection of interesting things we found on the internet this week. Enjoy, and have a great weekend.
- A visual guide to American employee tenure.
- Demand for water will outstrip supply by 2030. (via @H2Otrends)
- 40 things to say before you die. (via @joecalloway)
- Long read: Flowers in the psych ward.
- New report: Home prices up in many markets.
- Where do multimillionaires live?
- Above: 9 things you can do to stay in the black this year.
Here’s our weekly digest of interesting and useful links from around the web. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
- Retail spending is slow, but people are still spending.
- 50 years of LED tech. (via @Carolyn LaWell)
- Related: Reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial drained due to algae invasion.
- Science makes it true: To be more productive, watch cat videos on the internet.
- London wants its own High Line, but underground.
- Above: Water rates are going up. They won’t stop. (via CLCA)
Colorado, like many western states, has strict regulations on the use and management of water. But the Silver State has long topped lists of the strictest. As the green movement grew, cities, homeowners and landscapers rushed to embrace stormwater detention systems like cisterns and rain barrels. Colorado banned them.
Water, in Colorado, belongs to everyone, and it’s no one’s right to stop God-given raindrops from entering “the stream.” Property owners get what falls on their property, but aren’t allowed to keep any of it for themselves to use later.
But that hard-line stance is softening a bit. In 2009, the state government allowed a few pilot developments to experiment with rainwater collection systems to see if they could limit the total water use on a property.
In the October issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine, Arthur Allen takes a look at one of these first projects, and what it could mean for a new Colorado landscape.
The first of these projects is scheduled to take place at Sterling Ranch, a 3,400-acre development south of Denver that when completed will include 12,050 residential units. It has been described as one of the most ecologically friendly developments in the West, and water conservation is a primary element. The project, which occupies the last major swath of undeveloped land between Denver and Castle Rock, Colo., has required a lot of paperwork and rigorous preparation, but groundbreaking is expected in 2014.
Planning for Sterling Rance focused from the beginning on minimizing water demand, with smaller individual yards and larger shared open spaces and parks that emphasize landscape solutions such as native plant use and artificial soccer and baseball fields. The project also incorporates conservation inside the houses, with auditing for excessive water use, which would bring financial penalties. The planners expect to average 0.286 acre-feet of water consumption per household. This would be a dramatic reduction compared to the traditional usage in the area. Before the project began, the surrounding county, Douglas County, had a cap of 0.75 acre-feet, which, in response to research conducted partly for Sterling Ranch, it has subsequently lowered to 0.4 acre-feet.
The biggest water savings are expected to come from using rainwater collection as a primary source for the community’s outdoor water needs. The developers expect to be able to meet about half of these outdoor requirements with God’s very own rainwater. Cisterns above- and below-ground will collect rainwater from houses and neighborhoods.
The story, which you can read here, is a fascinating look at the inner-workings of water savings on a large scale, and should give us some very practical data on how stormwater and detention systems can impact the residential landscape. These types of systems and regulations aren’t just impacting the West, and will only get worse in the future. No matter what part of landscaping you’re operating in, the water question is one everyone will have to think about in the coming years.
- What’s college for if not pranking the administration with bat guano?
- “Biomechanical trebuchets.” (via: New York Botanical Garden’s Tumblr)
- 4 leading botanical gardens to create first online catalog of all plants. (via @BatesNursery)
- Why efficiency won’t solve our water problems. (via @waterguru2)
- How to: reboot a terrible voicemail. (via @jasoncupp)
- Above: Environmental Business Award winner Mark Halla explains why and how he built a wind turbine at his Minnesota headquarters.
Regardless of your service mix, water has an impact on your business. And, in a world of weirder weather, increasingly tight supplies and even tighter regulations, water is one of the most important resources for anyone in the green industry.
So, to help our readers stay on top of the issue, we’ve brought on the very talented Richard Restuccia, Martha Golea and Alan Harris – all contributors to the must-read ValleyCrest Takes On. Based in San Diego, Phoenix and Atlanta, respectively, our three latest contributors will address the most important and pressing issues pertaining to water for the average landscape contractor.
I’m excited to work with these three writers, and proud to bring them to the L&L readers. Stay tuned for your October issue (hitting newsstands soon!) for Richard’s inaugural piece on the future of water, and what landscape contractors need to do now to make sure they’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to increasing regulations. In November, Alan will discuss the seven reasons people hate irrigation systems.
But, if you can’t wait for the mail, you have a few chances to see us in real life.
This week, the team is on the road at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas, where they’re discussing best practices on social media. If you can’t make it out west, we’ll all be at the IA Show in Orlando in early November and you can catch us there.