The Importance of Campus Landscapes

What attracts students and parents to a school? One major factor that might go overlooked is the curb appeal of the campus environment. A well-maintained landscape will draw them in and add a level of pride and beauty, which will contribute to their decision. Below are three recommendations to add value to your school or campus and increase enrollment.

Entryways and Medians

One of the first things a potential student or parent sees when they are making that initial drive to explore the school or campus are the medians leading into the parking lot of the school. The school sign and the median landscaping surrounding it are the first impression of the educational institution. This makes entryways and medians that much more important. Many families capture visual images to help remember the campus and it’s important that yours stands out. We recommend having beautiful, eye-catching flowers and plants that guide visitors as they make their way to their parking spot.

Green Spaces

Having well maintained green spaces are vital when it comes to schools. No matter what age the students are, they all appreciate having open spaces. These spaces provide opportunities for relaxation, physical fitness and a place to connect with others. In addition to that, green spaces provide vegetation that help with carbon levels ensuring that the students are breathing cleaner air. Another perk of green spaces is noise reduction, helping students with their ability to study.

Shade Trees

Planting trees on your property are also a great way to make your landscape more attractive to prospective students or parents who are deciding on the school. Shade trees provide students with comfortable places to relax and stay cooler out of direct sunlight. Additionally, choosing trees that are known for providing shade and planting them strategically around your property can save you up to 30% on your building’s heating and cooling costs. For suggestions on shade trees click here:

What’s next?

Here at Terracare, we have a proven track record of providing high quality landscape maintenance at educational institutions. From Colorado Christian University to St. Mary’s Academy, we have a vast amount of experience maintaining educational institutions. Our experts can help with any landscaping needs or enhancements you may have at your school. For all of your campus landscape maintenance needs please contact Terracare below:
Contact Us

2018 NALP Awards of Excellence Winners

Terracare Associates captures SEVEN prestigious National Awards of Excellence for Landscape Maintenance Services

Our Terracare team is proud to announce that we were awarded seven 2018 Awards of Excellence by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). This achievement recognizes the Terracare team for outstanding landscape maintenance and installation services honoring the following properties: 17Seventeen McKinney Construction Project, Centennial Center Park, Grapevine Public Safety Building, One Legacy West, The REC of Grapevine, The Source, and Wind Crest Retirement Community. We have built a strong partnership with our clients and are thrilled to share this award with each one of them. Our teams work diligently each day to bring out the best in every property.

17Seventeen McKinney Construction Project, Texas-

Located in the heart of Uptown Dallas, this property features 19 stories of office space. It is also connected to a luxury apartment building by a one-acre amenity deck on the seventh floor. Terracare restored this amenity deck to reflect the rest of the upscale property. Many challenges arose during the completion of this project including sinking soil conditions and scheduling. Our crews met these issues with intuitive and cost effective solutions. We provided the client an atmosphere that was aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable for both the employees and the residents.

Centennial Center Park, Colorado-

Serving as a focal point for the city of Centennial’s nearly 110,000 residents, this iconic park allows people of all ages to relax and gather to build a sense of community. Along with an awarding winning playground, the park also contains an amphitheater with large turf seating, a coffee shelter, a large picnic shelter and plaza, a native butte, walking gardens, and a creek that flows along the west side of the park. By keeping the park’s landscape in pristine condition, the city’s’ residents have the opportunity to grow in community while taking in the beautiful scenery that the park offers.

Grapevine Public Safety Building, Texas-

This project is located on 104,000 square feet and includes both the police and fire department, the city jail, police dispatch, information technology services, the municipal court and two indoor kennels for the city’s K9 units. Given a shortened deadline due to a highly anticipated grand opening, our amazing team was able to meet this challenge. We created a property that reflects the pride and importance of the organizations that call the Public Safety Building home.

One Legacy West, Texas-

One Legacy West is a 14-story, five star office tower located in the booming Legacy West area of Plano, Texas. Terracare was able to match the landscape of this property with the building’s breathtaking interior. To achieve this, we provided the client with ongoing maintenance of the project as well as enhancements throughout the property. Our incredible team has been overcoming the intense Texas heat and water restrictions to allow greenery to flourish. Water conservation has been crucial to this property and will continue to be a priority.

The REC of Grapevine, Texas-

The REC of Grapevine is the crown jewel of Grapevine Parks and Recreation. It is located on 108,000 square feet. This includes 7,000 square feet of fitness rooms, a state-of-the-art senior center, an indoor pool, multipurpose rooms and game rooms. By resolving the poor soil conditions and installing a drip irrigation system we were able to provide the residents of Grapevine a facility where they can enjoy a healthier lifestyle and also enjoy the community.

The Source, Colorado-

The Source is a bustling artisan food market in Denver’s River North Arts District. When the client decided to renovate their parking lot, they realized it was also the perfect time to update their landscape. The Source is located in an old iron works building. When it came time to complete the new landscape the client wanted an atmosphere with a more organic feel. Furthermore, the client desired a beautiful landscape that their guests could admire as they make their way to the entrance. To accomplish this, our crews started work at three in the morning every day to avoid the Denver traffic. In addition to that they had to use innovative techniques to address issues. These issues included lack of curb, runoff issues and a limited tree install space.

Wind Crest Retirement Community, Colorado-

Wind Crest Retirement Community encompasses over 84 acres and allows for an upscale living center for those ages 62 and older. The client’s primary objective for this property is to provide a safe environment for all of the individuals who visit and live there. Moreover, the client requests a well-maintained and beautiful landscape for the residents to enjoy. Our landscape gives the current residents with spectacular surroundings and encourages future residents to join the community. Being able to use the landscape as a selling point to potential residents is very important to the client.

Terracare is very proud of all the hard work that our teams do day to day on these and all of the properties that we are privileged to partner with. We value and applaud the teams at Terracare. Thank you for your hard work and congratulations!

Commercial Landscaping Fall Checklist

Fall is here! The leaves are changing and the weather is beginning to cool down. This is the perfect time to get your commercial landscape property in pristine condition and ready for the winter weather. While every region of the country experiences different winter weather, there are a few tasks that are applicable to every landscape.

CamelliaReplace Seasonal Color

Fall is an amazing time to change out summer seasonal color with flowers and plants that can handle the winter months. A few suggestions for winter color include Pansy, Viola, Dianthus, Cabbage, Kale and Winter Camellia. For more information on winter seasonal color click here: Winter Plants

Aerate

No matter the style of aeration, fall is the best time to aerate the green spaces and grassy areas on your property. Aeration opens the soil and promotes a better environment for grass roots.

Reshape trees

Conduct major re-shaping of shade trees (oaks, aspens, poplars, elms and birches) as needed after the first freeze when plants go dormant. This is a good time to remove dead or excess plant materials that stands out on bare limbs.

Prune

This is the time to prune trees and shrubs to minimize any possible damage, which may occur during ice and snowstorms. After the spring and summer growing seasons, overgrown branches and limbs can cause damage to your property. Removing damaged or diseased limbs will contribute to the overall health of the tree and also help with the prevention falling limbs. Trees should be pruned to allow “room” for sunlight and breezes to naturally flow through. For more pruning tips click below:
Fall Pruning

Install new plant material

Plant roots grow anytime the soil temperature are 40 degrees or higher – this is typical during the fall. Cooler temperatures and more moisture means newly sowed plants can focus on establishing heartier root systems.  If a root system is established in the fall, then when spring arrives, this expanded root system can support and take advantage of the full surge of spring growth. It also means it is more likely to survive during the summer heat.

Divide and replant perennials

A benefit to including perennials into your landscape property is that they can be divided and replanted after they become established and healthy. Now is a good time to do this task. Perennial flowers such as iris, day lily, coneflower, coreopsis, and lavender are great examples.

Control weeds

Weeds are just like other plants in your landscape. They are saving the last bits of sunlight, water and nutrients to survive through the winter. Now is the time to apply weed killing compounds to stop their growth.

What’s Next?

These steps can be challenging and overwhelming for any commercial property owner. This is where Terracare Associates comes in. Our trained and certified professionals are here to help you achieve the commercial landscape property that you have always dreamed of. Click below to set up a meeting:
Contact us

5 Budget Tips For Commercial Property Managers

Each year, as a commercial property owner, you make a budget for landscape maintenance. And each year do unexpected costs arise? Even with careful planning, organizing and budgeting you may still be taken off guard.

 

Let Terracare help! Here are the benchmarks you need to make sure your budget covers to meet your landscaping goals.

1. Have strong guidelines

Be very critical when it comes to your bid. Make sure it is specific to your wants and needs. Ensure that it includes how many visits, how many applications needed, how many services are desired and provided. To receive the most accurate bid possible every single detail needs to be accounted for in the contract.

2. Include extra expenses

Have you ever had a sprinkler head break or have you wanted to add an unplanned enhancement to your property? Unexpected services are a common occurrence in the landscape maintenance world. There is no telling what may come up throughout the year so it is important to be ready when that time comes. Setting aside money now may be crucial down the road.

3. Ask questions

Don’t sign on those dotted lines until you ask some very important questions from your landscape provider. These can range from: What is the company’s safety record? Does the landscape provider hire certified, trained professionals? What awards nationally or regionally has their company won? It is very important to make sure you have all your questions answered before you enter a contract.

4. Prioritize enhancements

Analyze which services or projects need to take place this year. Does your irrigation system need improved upon or modified? Does a flower bed need renovated? Do you have a turf conversion project to be done? These different projects can help keep your property in pristine condition; however, they can also influence your budget. Plan now to avoid unexpected expenses.

5. Hire a qualified landscape company

Search for a landscape provider that invests in the training and education of their employees. A landscape provider that guarantees that their legal workforce is held to a high standard whether that be by drug testing or by background checking their team. A professional landscape provider has a crew that holds industry certifications and also adheres to strict safety guidelines. In addition, you want a landscape provider that cares about the project, not just the numbers. Simply put, these types of landscape providers are a step above their competition.

What’s next?

Whether you are clear about your commercial property landscape goals or you need help to define a plan, take a moment, and schedule a consultation with your Project Manager at Terracare Associates. We at Terracare will help you achieve all your commercial landscape goals.

Schedule an Appointment.

Your Irrigation System Checklist

Many property owners unintentionally over water their landscape every time their sprinkler system turns on. Using an automated irrigation system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn and landscape beautiful and healthy. A good irrigation system is also one of the best ways to keep watering costs low and protect the environment.

Are you planning to upgrade or make significant repairs to your irrigation system this year? There are a number of things you should consider before you invest in an irrigation system.

Investing in a good irrigation system

Plan carefully for a reliable, flexible irrigation system that can grow along with your property. The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is often true, especially when you are investing in an irrigation system that can last for many years.

By using the best components you can afford, you minimize future maintenance and extend the lifetime cost of your system.

Plan for plant health

Designing an efficient irrigation system requires understanding of irrigation design principles and local environmental conditions. Even the best irrigation design won’t perform well if installed incorrectly or with inferior components. Something as simple as selecting the correct type of pipe can mean the difference between a system that lasts and one that requires ongoing repairs.

In addition to proper irrigation components, you should also consider your property’s features. You should select the appropriate trees, turf and plants that have right requirements for your area.

Plan your irrigation zones carefully, grouping plants with similar water needs together. Be sure your system will have enough capacity, both now and in the future. The more irrigation zones you plan, the more you can tailor watering even if you modify landscaping.

  • Include “smart” controls that automatically adjust watering based on rain, soil moisture, evaporation and plant water use.
  • Use quality components to minimize future maintenance needs and the total lifetime cost of your system.

Plan for Growth and Flexibility

Allow for future landscape redesigns and changes to your property.  The plants, turf areas and trees on your property each have different watering needs. Over time, these needs may change and your system should have the flexibility to change along with them.

Keep future expansion in mind when you install a new irrigation system. You will want to allow for excess irrigation zone capacity, including extra connections in your system design, to make it easier and less expensive to expand in the future.

Select an appropriate system for your property’s water pressure. Having water pressure that is either too low or too high can seriously affect an irrigation system’s performance.

If you have questions about how to improve your irrigation system, contact Terracare Associate’s irrigation specialists.

Drought Conditions? Try Xeriscaping

As a commercial property owner, you are always striving to keep your landscape in immaculate condition despite the circumstances. With projected drought conditions for much of the western United States, this will be a struggle. However, the idea of xeriscaping, which is, the practice of conserving water through strategic landscaping, may be your solution. While not a new concept, the increased frequencies of droughts and water scarcity has put a spotlight on the importance of xeriscape and its capabilities of reducing water while maintaining a beautiful and appealing landscape. Here are some of the benefits you can gain by incorporating xeriscaping practices into your property.

10NorthCityReclamationPlant_previewLessens Water Usage

When drought conditions are present, the main concern for any commercial landscape owner will be cutting back the usage of water. Property owners that chose to xeriscape will be able to reduce water usage as much as 70 percent. To make this reduction possible, begin with careful planning and designing of your landscape. This ensures that not only water efficiency is achieved, but also maximizes the survival of carefully chosen plants. It is also important to include correct mulch, rocks, and composted soil into your landscape plan. These steps will help reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation, which then limits water usage. Another vital xeriscape procedure is to choose plants that require low amounts of water. These plants can range from native plants to non-invasive plants that are well adapted to our local region’s climate. To learn more about native plant options click here.

Increases Property Value

One of the foremost concerns that will often arise when drought conditions are present is being able maintain an appealing landscape. The dryness and lack of water from the drought will unfortunately turn your property into dried out shades of yellow or brown. When the health and beauty of your landscape suffers, it can reflect poorly and may decrease the value of the property. However, a xeriscaped commercial property will offer a beautiful landscape year round.

What’s next?

Are you a commercial property owner in need of more information of xeriscaping or transitioning your landscape? Contact your Terracare expert for all your xeriscaping needs.

Contact Us

Who else wants to add color despite drought conditions?

Whenever drought or water restriction hit, one of the first things commercial property owners notice is how brown and dry everything gets. Your property’s once lush landscape will quickly begin to fade. One way to add some color to your property’s landscape despite these drought conditions is the addition of native plants. The word “native” means that the plant is indigenous to the area and can thrive without human contributions. Below are five beautiful options that can enhance your property.

Prairie Coneflower

The prairie coneflower’s coloring ranges from yellow to red, which will surely brighten up any commercial property during the dry months. Prairie coneflowers can thrive in full sun exposure and only need light to moderate watering.  In addition to their drought resilient ability, these flowers are also resistant to most diseases and pests that plague other garden plants.

Desert Four O’Clock

Desert four o’clock is one of the showiest drought resistant flowers. They produce an attractive magenta flower that will catch anyone’s eye.  They require little to no additional water making them the perfect flower for your commercial property once a drought rolls around.

Tradescantia

These unique flowers offer something different to your landscape. Tradescantia flowers are usually blue or purple and only remain open during the day, closing during the night. They are very resilient and prosper in hardy conditions.

Gaillardia

If your commercial property’s landscape is in need for a cheerful flower this is surely the one. Gaillardia are marked with a flamboyant bright red and yellow coloring. They flourish in full sun and love well-drained soil, which is great for dry conditions.

Pink Muhly

This ornamental grass is a tough, hardy plant that is undaunted by drought conditions. It also, does amazing in conditions ranging from full sun to shade. If alone doesn’t sell you on the plant, the grass also changes coloring throughout the year. In the spring and early summer months, the grass begins as a green, then changes to a pinkish, burgundy grouping, and then finishes off the year as a wheat colored plant.

For recommendations or help planting flowers for your commercial landscape property click here: Contact Us

 

2018 Summer Weather Predictions. Will your Region Experience a Drought?

Summer is almost here! Now is the perfect time to evaluate your region’s weather. By doing this now you can prepare for any restrictions and potential drought conditions in your area. For these forecasts, we chose to use The Farmer’s Almanac along with other accredited weather sources.

10NorthCityReclamationPlant_previewCalifornia:

California is projected to have warmer conditions that combined with dryness can pose a risk for wildfires and drought. The southwestern part of the state will surely will be affected by these conditions the most. Additionally, The Farmer’s Almanac states, “the hottest periods will be from late May into early June and in mid-June and mid-July”. Fortunately, rainfall should increase for the area from July to August and bring much needed relief to this region.

Colorado:

According to The Farmer’s Almanac, temperatures throughout Colorado will be “warm to hot” and “the hottest periods will be all of July and mid-August”. The biggest issue facing Colorado however is lack of snowfall from the previous winter. The Natural Resources Conservation Service says, “The state would need over 14,000 percent of its normal precipitation now to reach normal peak levels”.

Texas:

Texas is predicted to have a “very warm, average rainfall with plenty of thunderstorms” with “the hottest periods in mid-July and mid-August”. However, in spite of this rainfall, Texas currently has almost 50 percent of the state dealing with a drought that is still threatening to spread. In addition, the Texas Tribune says “six Texas cities already limit residents to two days a week of outdoor watering: Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Lubbock and The Woodlands”.

Drought conditions may seem daunting especially for your commercial property’s landscape. It may be hard to keep up the appeal you want while adhering to mandatory water restrictions. However, they do not have to be. Each Thursday this month, we will be releasing articles on how to respond to these conditions. Terracare can also help you with any questions you have in the meantime.  If you have any questions please contact us below!

Contact Us.

5 Amazing Trees for Your Parking Lot or Streetscape

Choosing the right tree for your parking lot or paved area can be a very daunting yet important task. Hardy trees are imperative and need to be able to withstand the baking sun and lack of or excess of moisture in a parking lot environment. The addition of the right type of tree can benefit your property’s parking lot or streetscape. An appropriate tree will not only improve the overall appearance, but also can help reduce storm water drainage problems and prevent soil erosion. Below are five great options to try in your parking lot or streetscape.

Elm

Up until the 1930s, the elm tree was the most popular tree for streets and parking lots. Around that time, Dutch elm disease struck causing turmoil for countless elm trees. Presently, the elm tree is making a comeback! Researchers have developed cultivators, which allow the tree to be more resistant to the disease. In addition to now being disease resistant, these trees are also very tolerant to any salt from your roads or parking lots.

Crepe Myrtle

This vibrant tree is a great option for your parking lot. These trees range from red, pink or white blooming flower clusters, which will brighten up any parking lot. Parking lots are also notorious for being hot. Heat reflects off the asphalt making it very hard on trees. Crepe myrtle trees fortunately can thrive in this heat. They have the ability to flourish in drought conditions, which is good for parking lots with storm water drainage problems.

Zelkova

The zelkova tree can grow up to 60 feet and forms a beautiful vase-like shape with a rounded crown. In the fall zelkova trees also have a beautiful, rusty red and orange color that will truly add to the appeal of your property. This tree flourishes in parking lots or other paved areas because of its high tolerance for wind, pollution and drought conditions.

Linden

Another beautiful option are the Linden trees with their dense canopies and fragrant flowers. This canopy produces amazing shade for anyone entering and exiting your parking lot. Furthermore, linden trees have the ability to tolerate a wide variety of hostile conditions such as pollution, compacted soil and parking lots with poor drainage.

 

 

Scholar tree

The scholar tree grows from 40 to 50 feet in height and displays beautiful white or yellow flowers in the summer. These trees thrive in sunny, heated locations and can tolerate polluted city conditions, salt, alkaline soil, and moderate drought.

5 Benefits of Green Roofs

You may think living in an urban environment severely limits a commercial property’s ability to enjoy a landscape. However, the trend of growing a green roof now provides that opportunity. A green roof allows projects in high-density areas to be built with a landscape, by partially or completely covering their rooftops in vegetation and plant life. Green roofs have many more benefits and below are a few of these attributes.

Reduces Heat

In many urban or metropolitan environments, heat increases considerably due to the use of various materials such as the concrete and steel that cover most buildings. These materials absorb and store the sun’s energy as heat. Furthermore, as the population expands in these environments, so does the use of these materials. This dome of heated air in cities is referred to as the “urban heat island effect”. As a result of noticeably warmer cities, the cooling costs of the building are significantly raised. However, with the addition of a green roof to a building, it can reduce the heat a building generates by 50 degrees. The vegetation of the green roofs serve as a cooling property. This provides a natural insulation that result in a work environment with a pleasant temperature.

Storm Water Management

Throughout a typical day in an urban environment, dust and particles collect on rooftops. This dust then builds up until a storm washes it away. The precipitation then carries the dust that has been built up resulting in unwanted runoff.  When a property has a green roof, vegetation stores the water and other materials like a sponge. This results in a great reduction in the amount of runoff. Additionally, the green roof will delay the excess amount of storm water from the roof or into your property’s storm water system.

Allows for Employees/ Residents to Relax

Whether you are trying to escape the office or just need a chance to enjoy some beautiful foliage, green roofs can be your solution. A busy, loud city can add stress to the lives of occupants at a commercial property and the calming green roofs provide a much-needed respite. Having the opportunity to walk through and enjoy the scenery that a green roof brings is the perfect way to add some much-needed relaxation in the midst of a hectic day.

Create an Eco-system

With the expansion of growth, the urban setting has displaced the natural habitats of many animals, insects the native vegetation. With the addition of a green roof, a commercial property can attempt to recreate the eco-system. This attracts an assortment of wildlife to the green roof. From bees to migratory birds and even foxes that the Facebook campus in Menlo Park has, installing a green roof will help restore the environment that is no longer there. Additionally, green roofs allow for the replacement of the plants that were likely destroyed when the building was constructed. This is beneficial because the plants generate necessary oxygen and trap the hazardous carbon dioxide. The plants also catch particles and pollutants that reduce the dust and smog levels.

Farm to Table

One unique benefit that a green roof can offer is to cultivate fresh produce. This trend is growing in popularity as farm to table restaurants continue to spread throughout the country. This allows restaurants to incorporate the yield from the gardens into their menu. Guests enjoy eating the freshest foods and those preparing the food know that they had a hand in the process at every step along the way.