Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

ECHO Expands Lake Zurich Headquarters
ECHO Inc. recently expanded its Lake Zurich, Illinois headquarters, adding 51,000 square feet that will house two additional business divisions, according to The Chicago Tribune. The business has an existing staff of 860 people but are not sure of how many new employees the expansion to bring. They are officially unveiling the expanded space during a grand opening Sept. 15. The added square footage increases the size of ECHO’s corporate offices in Lake Zurich to 585,000 square feet. The added room will include the company’s industrial generator division, which recently launched in North America, and also ECHO’s robotic division The expansion reflects Yamabiko Corporation’s confidence in the continued growth of ECHO, which is Yamabiko’s largest subsidiary, said ECHO President Tim Dorsey.

Mean Green Welcomes New Dealer in New York
Mean Green Mowers has announced their newest service dealer serving the southeast New York area. Arroway Tractor is located on 140 Bedford Rd., Katonah NY 10536.

Judy Guido Plans Shark Tank Event for LANDSCAPES 2017
The National Association of Landscape Professionals is partnering with industry expert Judy Guido to present Shark Tank, The LANDSCAPES 2017 Edition! on October 19, from 9:45 a.m.–11:15 a.m. as one of the Power Sessions at GIE+EXPO in Louisville. The Shark Tank-style Power Session will bring together Judith Guido, Chairwoman of Guido & Associates; Frank Mariani, CEO Mariani Landscape; Mike Rorie, CEO of GoiLawn; and Doug York, CEO of Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply. The entrepreneurs will present their ideas for new industry products and services and if their ideas tempt the “sharks,” they may receive an investment from the sharks.

Ariens Company Donates to EDA Disaster Relief Fund
Ariens Company has donated $10,000 to the Equipment Dealers Association’s (EDA) Disaster Relief Fund, administered through the organization’s foundation. Donations to the relief fund will go directly to equipment dealerships and their employees in Hurricane Harvey’s affected areas surrounding Houston, Texas. Contributions will help hurricane victims find shelter, transportation, and money for food, clothing, school supplies, medicine and countless other daily needs.

ONLA To Host Landscape Olympics for 200 Students
The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association plans to welcome 200 students to its second annual Ohio High School Landscape Olympics Nov. 2 and 3 at The Ohio State University Agriculture Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio. Educators and students from 20 schools and career centers across the state will travel to the hands-on competition.

Minnesota Extension Survey Says Consumers Waste Water
This past summer University of Minnesota Extension researchers surveyed more than 900 metro area residents about how they irrigated their lawns/landscapes. Here is what the survey revealed:

  • More than 60 percent of respondents water on an automatic cycle—usually odd/even according to their city’s ordinance.
  • 75 percent of residents’ irrigation systems had one leaking sprinkler head, 27 percent had 5 or more.
  • The average resident irrigates 500 square feet of impervious surface such as streets, driveways, sidewalks, and patios.
  • 73 percent of lawns were made up of Kentucky bluegrass, which requires more water and care compared to low-maintenance fescue grasses.

“One of the most important findings is that at least half of our survey respondents did not have their irrigation systems audited (checked for efficiency),” said Sam Bauer, an extension educator who specializes in turf grass science.

BrightView Acquires Florida’s Girard Environmental Services
BrightView Landscapes, LLC, headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, Massachusetts, announced the acquisition of Florida’s Girard Environmental Services, LLC, which specializes in commercial landscape maintenance, construction and facility services. The Sanford, Fla.-based company operates nine branches, employs nearly 450 people and services more than 800 client sites across Florida. Employing more than 22,000 people, BrightView is one of the largest service providers in the nation, offering landscape and snow services.

Coast Landscape Management Merging with Signature Landscapes
Coast Landscape Management, based in Napa, California, and Signature Landscapes, based in Reno and Tahoe, Nevada, plan to merge into a single entity in the fourth quarter of 2017, creating a company with about 400 employees and sales of about $31 million. Coast was established in 2005 and Signature in 2001. Both companies had been growing via the merger route in recent years. In October 2015 CLM merged with Marizco Landscape Management in the North Bay Area. This past spring Signature Landscapes merged with Celtic Lawn & Landscape in northern Nevada.

Read last week’s industry news roundup: Private Equity Firm Invests in Two of the Nation’s Largest Landscape Contractors