Arizona Adopts Sustainable Landscape Management Standards

The Arizona Landscape Contractors Association has officially adopted sustainable landscape management standards resulting from collaboration between landscape architects, installation contractors and maintenance contractors.

The Arizona Landscape Contractors Association’s 2010 Board of Directors has officially adopted the standards outlined in a new book titled “Sustainable Landscape Management” Standards for Landscape Care in the Desert Southwest written by landscape architect and certified arborist Janet Waibel of the firm Waibel and Associates.

Many in the field of landscape maintenance might find it odd to adopt standards written by a landscape architect. “The beauty of this book,” says Matthew Johnson, partner at All Year Round Expert Tree & Landscape Management and vice president of ALCA, “is that not only was a landscape architect the author, but she asked ALCA for help in making sure the book was practical and reflected the true process of professional landscape management. To have such collaboration between landscape architect, installation contractor and maintenance contractor is a significant step toward a unification of principles.”

A committee of ALCA member landscape contractors and associate companies with industry expertise spent months and countless hours reading this book together word for word and offering suggestions on how sustainable landscape management is achieved in the field. The end product is a book that was not only endorsed, but actually adopted as a set of standards that ALCA believes elevates the professionalism of their member contractors as well as benefits their customers realized in the form of savings on water, healthier and more aesthetically pleasing plants, and plant life that lives longer. The standards listed in this book are basically the standards used when judging the annual Arizona Excellence in Landscaping Awards where submitted entries are rated and awarded against projects submitted by their peers.

Moving forward, ALCA is making presentations to its membership, in addition to local trade associations representing building owners, homeowner’s associations, and other commercial, industrial, hospitality and retail managers. This will not only communicate that “sustainable landscape management” is already being practiced by many member contractors, but also increase the visibility of ALCA and their membership within this professional organization.

Judy Gausman, ALCA CEO, says, “Over the past several years, ALCA has strived to increase the professionalism of the industry and value to our membership. With programs such as the Arizona Certified Landscape Professional, DIRT University and Sustainable Landscape Management, our members are continually increasing their horticultural knowledge, business knowledge, and overall industry professionalism in our state.”

ALCA will be creating a curriculum based on the Sustainable Landscape Management standards so contractors can be certified in the techniques outlined in the book. ALCA’s president elect and horticulturist for Blue Star Resort and Golf, Will Pereira, says, “It is our desire for every professional involved with landscape management to read and understand these principles and standards in an effort to elevate the quality and professionalism within the communities and cities we live and work.”

The Arizona Landscape Contractors Association currently has a membership of nearly 400 companies representing nearly 50,000 employees. ALCA is the only statewide trade association representing landscape contractors since 1963. Led by CEO Judy Gausman and the Board of Directors consisting of local contractors and associate members, ALCA maintains an office in Scottsdale, regular mixers in Phoenix and Tucson, monthly certification classes toward the ACLP designation, bi-annual field day, and an annual award presentation which rewards members for outstanding work on submitted projects, both installation and maintenance in an effort to encourage and reward outstanding performance. Visit ALCA, call 602-626-7091 or send an email to Judy Gausman CEO.