Condo Media - March 2013 - (Page 42)

vendor spoTlIGhT The Groundskeeper, Inc. Certified Experts in All Aspects of Landscaping & Snow Removal by Pamela Schweppe A s the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s especially true in the real estate industry, where a property’s appearance has everything to do with not only property values, but also the residents’ everyday quality of life. It’s what the management of The GroundsKeeper, Inc., calls “curb appeal”—and they should know. They’ve been helping condominium associations keep their properties looking their best since 1996. “Landscaping is often the largest single expense in an association’s budget,” says Richard Churchill, co-founder and co-owner of The GroundsKeeper with his son, Brian Churchill. “We’ve built our company on servicing condominium complexes and homeowner associations, and we know how to keep a property looking its absolute best.” Grounded in the Specific Needs of Condominium Associations Based in Ashland, Mass., The GroundsKeeper serves properties throughout MetroWest Boston, from Worcester to the South Shore, providing a full range of services, from landscaping design and installation, maintenance and hardscaping to snow management and removal. Because of their unique understanding of the needs of condominium associations, The GroundsKeeper has increasingly focused on long-term planning in recent years. “We really try to get a full range of one-, two-, and three-year plans, even up to a five-year 42 Condo Media • Advertisement plan, so that we really see what the future is for the site and what we can do to help them,” says Beth Tramontozzi, The GroundsKeeper’s office manager. “We try to build plans and budgets that are meaningful,” Richard adds. “We like that, because it gives us a chance to do some long-range planning.” A case in point is The Villages at Walker Meadow, an over-55 community in Westborough, Mass., that is spread out over 45 acres that include wetlands. “It had a big red flag right at the start, because, with wetlands, you really have to know what you’re doing,” Beth explains. When The GroundsKeeper first took on the property, the wetlands were flocked with loosestrife, an invasive plant that can quickly degrade the area and choke out other plants and wildlife. Simply cutting the loosestrife down is not enough to eliminate it, but after several treatments by The GroundsKeeper, The Villages at Walker Meadow is now loosestrife free. “They have turtles now, which are very popular, and very pretty walking trails,” Beth says. “That’s very important to that property.” Geri Matraia, who recently ended eight years of service on the board of trustees at Walker Meadow, was confident that the community would receive excellent grades from the town’s conservation officer when he made his annual inspection of the wetlands. “He always makes a comment about how well the wetlands are maintained. We have The Groundskeeper to thank for that,” she says, adding that, over the years, the company has consistently upgraded its equipment and practices, which has improved service as well as its own efficiency. The Magic of Technology Continually seeking to improve the delivery of its services is important to The GroundsKeeper, and that includes keeping up with the latest technology. Irrigation services are one example. With a technician and a truck dedicated to the division, the company offers irrigation services that include spring opening and fall closing, maintenance and repairs, controller upgrades, water updates and weather stations. “You set up an irrigation system to replenish the moisture that evaporates,” Richard explains. “Based on factors like the wind and the temperature, evaporation changes on a daily basis.” The GroundsKeeper recently invested in a system that scientifically measures these factors and allows the technician to change the irrigation rate remotely, to avoid over- or under-watering. Another area where The GroundsKeeper has embraced the latest scientific advances is snow removal. While many landscaping firms see snow removal as a way to keep crews employed during the winter months, The GroundsKeeper treats winter weather as a major feature of its business. At the heart of this effort is Magic Salt (or Magic Minus Zero™), a byproduct of the brewing industry. Non-toxic and biodegradable, with a corrosion index lower than that of distilled water, Magic Salt remains effective even below zero degrees (regular salt stops working at 18 degrees) and not only works to melt snow, it can even help keep black ice from forming. It

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - March 2013

Condo Media - March 2013
From the CED’s Desk
Editorial Board
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Vendor Spotlight
Industry Perspective
Self-Managed Association Boards
2013 CAI-NE Spring/Summer Service Directory
Classified Service Directory
Advertisers Index

Condo Media - March 2013