ALCC news center
H-2B Fly-in Email
Written by Colorado Green Now   
Tuesday, July 11, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

ALCC led the Colorado 12-person delegation on the D.C. Fly-in on June 14 and met with all the representative’s offices. Rep Petterson and Neguse signed a letter supporting RWE language being pursued with the judicial committee. Crow and Caraveo provided staffing challenges to making the deadline given for June 17 deadline. Still awaiting responses from the rest of the Colorado house representatives. A one-year returning workers exemption, with a three year look back, was added to FY 24 DHS Appropriations via a manager’s amendment (meaning non-controversial). 

  • It is unclear if this will go across the full House floor (very unlikely) but if it does have to go through the full House this will likely present some additional roadblocks that we will need to overcome just because of the narrow Republican majority and extremely volatile policy issues in DHS Appropriations.
  • We now will shift gears to the Senate appropriators, which conversations have already begun.  The question will be, “What will it take to garner Dem. Support for RWE?” There are several provisions that the coalition can support that are in the SEA bill, which is based on coalition positions we made last November/December.
  • Having an RWE now does not ensure that’s what we will have in December and is the best position we have been in since 2018.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:

Help needed - Instructor for Fall semester

9News backyard renovation

 
Calling all change makers Email
Written by Colorado Green Now   
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Colorado State University’s (CSU's) Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is hosting a series of mixers – “Come to the Table with HLA” – to promote Colorado’s horticulture and landscape industry. The four events will feature opportunities to learn more about the department’s teaching, research and outreach activities, network, and sample local food and drinks. 

April and September events will be hosted on campus in Fort Collins with a focus on undergraduate and graduate programs and will include interaction with faculty from other academic units on campus. Summer events will be held at Designs by Sundown event space in Littleton and Green Valley Sod Farm in Platteville will focus on building stakeholder and alumni relationships.  


CSU College of Agricultural Sciences has a seat at the table for all students, faculty and partners who want to become global change-makers. CSU is connecting your meaningful lived experiences to agricultural innovation and optimizing our impact to our global community. Become part of our agricultural community and experience hands-on learning while building relationships. Bring your creativity, ideas and lived experiences. Leave with the confidence to collectively solve the grand challenges of sustaining our natural resources and feeding the world.

Join students and faculty of the HLA Department for a series of industry mixers to promote Colorado horticulture and green industry and enjoy local food and drinks. For questions, please email [email protected]

The events are hosted in partnership with the Colorado State University Alumni AssociationColorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers AssociationColorado Association of Viticulture and EnologyASLA ColoradoRocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass AssociationColorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association and Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture is looking for partnerships for future events. 

Click here for more information.


Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:
SLM Initiative

Changing Landscapes, Inc., received Gold ELITE Award

 
Changing Landscapes, Inc., received Gold ELITE Award Email
Written by Colorado Green Now   
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Rural openness inspired design

“The clients came to us already sharing our company philosophy of sustainable landscaping. They agreed to a dryland, native, xeric plan,” says Paul Hartman, owner at Changing Landscapes, Inc., Longmont.

This new Boulder home is surrounded by farmland and pasture grasses, and the homeowners wanted the design to blend into the existing rural area. “The footprint of the house and the openness of this rural property allowed for a unique design, different from most landscapes we create,” says Brian Rasmussen, landscape architect and project manager for this project.

The client was very engaged with the Changing Landscapes team through design and construction. “They expressed their needs and concerns and were open to solutions we suggested,” says Rasmussen.

Read more...
 
SLM Initiative Email
Written by Colorado Green Now   
Tuesday, June 27, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Join the Sustainable Landscape Community initiative

What does it take to stand out as an environmentally savvy community while saving water and money? ALCC is inviting communities to join the Sustainable Landscape Community (SLC) initiative. With ongoing drought increasing the strain on local and national water supplies, ALCC created the SLC initiative to demonstrate how larger water users can become part of the solution.  

Read more...
 
Shifting National workforce demographics Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, June 12, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Joelle Martinez, president and CEO of the Latino Leadership Institute (LLI), was the keynote speaker at ProGreen EXPO 2023. She confessed to loving data and statistics for their ability to measure – well, most anything. Martinez opened by reminding the audience of a key outcome of the U.S. 2022 census – the U.S. is a nation of minorities. While that may not be surprising for some, she stated that Latinos, as a proportion of the nation’s population is expected to rise from its current nearly 20% to about 30% within less than 30 years. 

In Colorado the trend is more pronounced. The Latino population is expected to reach 33% in less than 20 years. The most recent data presented by LLI states that about 70 % of Colorado’s population is non-Latino white, and by 2040 this white population will decline to 55%. Of note, Latinos in Colorado are younger – the median age is 27 compared to 42 for non-Latino whites.  

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EDI received 2022 Gold ELITE Award Email
Written by Lyn Dean   
Monday, June 12, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

EDI designed for shelter-in-place pandemic response 

Homeowners wanted a backyard getaway  

“This project started during the pandemic lockdown when the family – whose children were getting to the teen years wanted to minimize exposure while enjoying recreation in their own yard,” says Lyle Fair, project manager at Environmental Designs, Inc. (EDI). Yet, the Westminster homeowners, who are active in the community, were also looking longer term and wanted a backyard that could host neighborhood parties and their children’s sports teams and have quiet gathering spaces. 

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Water conservation initiative for HOAs Email
Written by Chuck Montera   
Monday, June 12, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Colorado landscape trade association launches water conservation initiative for HOAs

Large water users use less water through Sustainable Landscape Community initiative

Last month’s Earth Day was a reminder for people to put into practice ways to take care of mother earth.

It is in this spirit of sustainability that Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado has recently launched the Sustainable Landscape Community (SLC) initiative, which incentivizes large water users (including master-planned and homeowner association communities) to use less water.

Why should a landscaping group spearhead a water conservation program? First, an understanding of meteorological conditions in Colorado and the Western United States is needed. Colorado is often referred to as “the headwaters state” because eight major river basins originate in the state, including the Platte, Arkansas, and Colorado Rivers, as well as the Rio Grande. Yet Colorado’s ongoing, more than 20-year drought has put increasing strain on both local and national water supplies.

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Training and communication Email
Written by Daniel Grange   
Tuesday, May 23, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Up the ante for training and communication

Immigration policy will loosen up soon. Availability of work visas will go down and demand will go up. Unemployment rates can’t possibly stay this low. High school kids will never do manual labor jobs again 

These are the theories I have heard about the future labor market in our state and country. For readers with a crystal ball, feel free to move on to the next article. For the rest of us, I want to explore how we plan for our future workforce with so much uncertainty. 

Read more...
 
Landscaping in harmony with nature Email
Written by By Jody Ash & Wesley Cooper   
Tuesday, May 23, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 Wild Heritage does front yard makeover

Nature has been at work landscaping the world for eons. Living in Colorado, we are fortunate to be immersed in many of the majestic landscapes created by nature – mountain lakes and streams, forests and prairies, meadows and alpine void. The ancient wisdom at our fingertips is immense, so we need to ask, “How does nature landscape?” Then we must apply this knowledge, as professionals in the landscape industry, to create balanced, harmonious landscapes.

When we started Wild Heritage Gardens in Boulder County in 2016, we were determined to follow Mother Nature’s lead by providing Earth-centered, all-natural outdoor sanctuaries for our local community. By observing nature, we can see a terrifically self-sustaining model at work: cyclic actions built to create an efficient land management strategy. Through the various seasons, we see how nature cultivates just what it needs. No more and no less.

We sometimes hear the adage echoing, “but it’s always been done this way,” referring to industry standards. Yes, the standards are important and valuable, but what is not of value is when standards do not consider the future impact on the earth. While the industry has made great strides in recent years, it has done harm to the environment. We do not believe it is irreparable, but the industry needs to continue to evolve, and the time is now.

Ethical, nature-based landscapes – key components

It seems that, historically, most humans have wanted to control nature, instead of working with it. When we step back and observe how nature works, we see creation of diverse, living, natural landscapes providing healthy habitats for pollinators, birds, insects and other wildlife, while also reducing the heat and CO2 released into our atmosphere and returning water to the aquifer. The important sustainable principles discussed below might sound familiar but worth revisiting in a new light.

Xeriscape: It is one of the main requests from clients, but we have seen time and time again how this is often misunderstood, poorly designed and poorly executed. In Colorado, nature creates low water, low maintenance landscapes by integrating cooling plants, trees, shrubs and groundcovers to retain moisture and suppress weeds. A human-built xeric landscape with excessive amounts of rock, weed cloth and pesticides kills the microbiome, and the microbiome is the life of the earth.

Drainage: Building bioswales, rain gardens and dry rivers to reuse water on the property not only decreases pollution downstream, but also provides water to plants on the site and slows stormwater runoff. The goal of proper drainage is to slow the water – diffuse it, use it, clean it, sink it, and send it back to the aquifer.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that as development continues, “…we replace forests and meadows with buildings and pavement. And now when it rains, the water runs off roofs and driveways into the street. Runoff picks up fertilizers, oil, pesticides, dirt, bacteria and other pollutants as it makes its way into the storm drains and ditches – untreated – to our streams, rivers, lakes and ocean. Polluted runoff is one of the greatest threats to clean water in the U.S.” (www.epa.gov/soakuptherain/soak-rain-what-problem).

Lawns: The average lawn uses 55,000 gallons of water a year per 1,000 sq.ft. Converting 100 lawns to low use water gardens, could save 5.5 million gallons a year! Many conversion options exist. Overseeding a high-water lawn with a lower-water lawn seed, such as clover or a Colorado native grass mix, is a great way to reduce the water consumption. Plugs are available for buffalograss and blue grama grass. For clients who want sod, a lower water fescue can replace thirsty Kentucky bluegrass. Introduce clients to options such as veronica, thyme, Greek yarrow or Mount Atlas daisy as we have with clients. Mix and match for a great design.

Weeds: Weed cloth is a common commodity in the landscaping world, but should it be? Although it prevents weeds from the base, it does not prevent seeds from blowing on top of the mulch or soil and making a home. Nature is in constant procreation mode. Seeds blow and weeds grow where there are negative spaces, so by designing a landscape with abundant native or Plant Select plants and low-water ground covers, we can combat the weeds without the use of chemicals.

Source Local: Colorado has a wonderful selection of natural stone and many other products. Using natural flagstone, cobble and boulders from local vendors, brings the natural beauty of Colorado to our client’s backyard along with locally grown, native plants.

The project we showcase below, highlights a few practices Wild Heritage has integrated into our designs and installations.

Books and Berries project

In 2021, a client came to us wanting to remove their front lawn and reduce water use, while creating a habitat for pollinators and a yard with year-round interest that also incorporates a ‘little free library’ at the front sidewalk. A main design goal was to use and move the water from the gutters into dry rivers that flow through the pollinator gardens and ground cover areas.

To traverse the dry river swales, we installed a path with natural flagstone bridges leading to the patio and gardens. We also incorporated woolly thyme, veronica and clover for low, green areas, which provide a place for art sculptures and an area to walk through the bountiful gardens throughout each season.

The ‘little library’ area includes boulder seating and a berry patch for children in the neighborhood to have a place to learn and read in the midst of raspberries, blackberries, honeyberries, strawberries, gooseberries, thimbleberries and more.

One concern was how to establish separation between public versus private space. We added a low garden fence behind the row of berry shrubs to provide division while the hedge of berries grows in. We look forward to seeing how this garden flourishes over the years to come!

Adapting to nature’s way

The urgency of consistently engaging in practices that protect the planet cannot be overlooked, particularly with advancing climate change and water shortage in the dry West. At Wild Heritage, we are committed to following nature’s lead and nurturing the deteriorating microbiome by minimizing pesticide use, and curb water use and polluted runoff. Polluted waters and declining biodiversity are screaming for us to do things differently. As Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese philosopher and farmer known for ‘natural farming’ said, “…rain grows from the ground up. Our climate is destabilizing because we are stripping the earth of her natural clothing.”

We get that some in the industry may be defensive or resist, but by collectively reexamining our practices and bringing our clients onboard to help them understand, we can reduce water consumption and help heal the earth’s microbiome and still enjoy our landscapes.

This article was featured in Colorado Green Magazine. 

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:

 
Washington D.C. Fly-In Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 23, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

 All hands-on deck are needed in D.C.

We are having some very strong momentum in Washington, D.C. It is very important that we have more people join us for the Fly-In June 13-14. 

It has just been announced that a RWE provision with a three year look back has been put in the base text of the FY 24 DHS appropriations bill (see more information below). This was not an easy feat with Republican controlled Judiciary Committee members objecting to authorizing language on appropriations. We must continue to work on those folks to keep them at bay as this moves through the process in the house. On Thursday the bill will be approved by the subcommittee and we don’t expect much activity at this point but the full committee markup in June will be the key markup. The bill will then need to move through the House floor and then onto the Senate. 

This means that we need all hands-on deck in D.C. to help push this with our Colorado representatives. It is important to act now as hotel rooms are very limited. Register today! Once registered please email [email protected] to let me know you are attending and who your representative is based on your home address. If you are unsure of who your representative is check here

June 13 – 14, 2023 – H-2B
Viceroy Washington DC
1430 Rhode Island Ave, NW
Room Rate - $289

Book Your Room Now

The schedule for both events will be the same Tuesday/Wednesday format:

•    Arrive Tuesday afternoon/evening.  NALP will host a happy hour to network with other advocates. Dinner on your own, NALP can assist with grouping attendees together.
•    Wednesday morning, we will hold our briefing on Capitol Hill where breakfast will be served, and some elected officials will be invited.
•    Following the briefing, meetings will be scheduled between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and attendees can fly out on Tuesday evening.

 This is a free event, there is no registration fee. This is the model NALP has used with H-2B the past two years and have found it is more effective when we can time the event to best leverage your time with the legislative calendar, while also remaining efficient with your time and limiting your stay in D.C.

Please book your room, as soon as possible and email Karla Segundo and provide your:
•    Name
•    Company Name
•    Address of Office(s) need exact address(s)

•    Phone number 
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Homeland Security Funding Bill Fails to Provide Critical Border Management Resources

Legislation squanders billions of dollars on useless border measures while disregarding the threats presented by terrorists, transnational criminals, and violent extremists.

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Republicans today released their draft 2024 Homeland Security funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The bill covers agencies, offices, and programs in the Department of Homeland Security, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

For 2024, the bill provides $62.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and an additional $20.3 billion for major disaster response and recovery. The legislation:

1. Provides a false sense of national security, by spending billions on outdated and expensive border wall, leaving our ports of entry and interior Border Patrol checkpoints vulnerable to trafficking of fentanyl and other illicit narcotics.

2. Cuts necessary funding to manage the border safely and securely, putting our DHS workforce and our border communities at risk.
3. Fails to protect our communities from violent extremists, underfunding programs that enhance regional preparedness and response capabilities, making our communities less secure.
4. Leaves Americans vulnerable to cyberattacks and foreign adversary influence through inadequate cybersecurity and infrastructure investments.
5. Leaves Americans vulnerable to the growing number and increasing severity of natural disasters by failing to deliver needed resources to mitigate the loss of life and property, combat climate change, and support climate resilience.
6. Undermines the Transportation Security Administration workforce through unfairly implementing the TSA pay restructuring and committed to in the last Congress.
 

“Our duty is to help ensure our country’s domestic security. I certainly support investing in border security technology, employee care and suicide prevention programs, and Homeland Security Investigations. However, this bill offers a 14th century solution to a 21st century problem, instead of providing our frontline officers and agents the resources they need,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. “This bill also misses opportunities to address the fentanyl and opioid crisis, provide investments in checkpoints and ports of entry, and leaves our border communities without support. Until we look at real solutions to address the problems we’re currently facing, I cannot support this bill. I look forward to working with Chairwoman Granger, Ranking Member DeLauro, and Subcommittee Chairman Joyce to produce a bi-partisan bill that meets our country’s needs.”

 

“This Homeland Security funding bill is just another sham bill that would crumble if we learned the full scope of the proposed cuts House Republicans will make in other bills. Aside from being built on a house of cards, this bill squanders billions of dollars on useless border measures, while disregarding the threats presented by terrorists, transnational criminals, and violent extremists,” Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) said. “Instead of focusing resources where we need them most, like combatting fentanyl entering through our ports of entry, this bill funds ineffective border security strategies like Trump’s border wall. House Republicans are making irresponsible investments that will weaken our national security and abandon our values.”

 

A summary of the draft 2024 Homeland Security bill is below. The text of the draft bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked on the House Committee on Appropriations website.

 

The 2024 funding bill:

7. Eliminates critical funding for CBP’s border management requirements, $2.4 billion below 2023 levels, and fails to fund a third Joint Processing Center. 
8. Guts funding for climate-change, climate-resiliency, and facilities transformation initiatives by over $748 million.
9. Wastes over $3.7 billion on ineffective border security and immigration policies, while failing to address the ongoing fentanyl and opioid crisis and doing nothing to address the growing requirements at our ports of entry and interior Border Patrol checkpoints.
10. Reverses our commitments to the TSA workforce cutting funding for workforce pay and collective bargaining initiatives by over $437 million from the request.
11. Cuts requested funding to combat terrorism, extremism, and cybersecurity attacks by over $232 million.
12. Slashes funding for humanitarian programs by over $786 million, including family reunification efforts, immigration detention oversight, and refugee processing.
13. Reduces funding for diversity and inclusion efforts by over $12.5 million.
 

Policy Provisions

Provisions Targeting Underserved, Underrepresented, or Vulnerable populations:

1. Section 222 prohibits the use of funds to provide necessary health care services for women.
2. Eliminates a provision that protects potential sponsors of unaccompanied children from being deported. 
3. Section 223 prohibits the use of funds to provide necessary health care services for transgender persons.
4. Section 545 prohibits the use of funds for Executive Orders related to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
 

Restrictions that Weaken Our Defenses and Resiliency

5. Section 540 limits the Department’s ability to counter disinformation campaigns, including from foreign adversaries who seek to undermine our democratic elections.
6. Section 543 limits CISA’s ability to counter mis-, dis-, or mal-information efforts by domestic extremists and other adversaries who seek to cause harm to our critical infrastructure and our communities.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green Now:

Training and communication
Landscaping in harmony with nature

 




 
Pesticide applicators Act will remain Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 09, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Sensible pesticide regulation is critical to public health and safety and impacts jobs. The most important issue in this bill was to maintain our current system of uniform statewide regulation. Allowing a patchwork of conflicting local laws would result in confusing and inconsistent regulations that would negatively impact our ability to effectively manage weeds and pests and threaten health, safety and the environment. More information available here.

Read more...
 
Water features have value but rules are changing Email
Written by Matt Hiner   
Tuesday, May 09, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Ornamental water features have been a part of landscaping for centuries, adding beauty and tranquility to any outdoor space. From grand fountains in public spaces to backyard ponds and waterfalls, these features are not only pleasing to the eye, but also bring a myriad of ecological, environmental and health benefits. 

Water features create habitats for a wide range of plant and animal species. The plants and algae that grow in and around the water, provide food and shelter for insects, birds, and other small animals. Fish and other aquatic animals can live in the water feature, adding to its ecological diversity. 

Read more...
 
Yellowstone Landscape announces new partnership with Bloom Floralscapes Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 09, 2023 12:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Yellowstone Landscape recently announced a new partnership with Bloom Floralscapes. This new partnership will expand Yellowstone's service area into the greater Denver metro area. Read full press release here. 

Read more...
 
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