NY Landscape and Property Management around Lake George/Adirondack Region

June 8, 2013

Entranceways Make Statements

Entranceways can be an extension of your home. Entranceways can help make statement. They lead or help direct visitors into your home. A small flagstone walkway can provide a solid entrance to the home while also act as an functional outdoor space that can be complimented by landscaping.

Flagstone Walkways & Patios created from local stone can provide Adirondack Character

 

Concrete pavers are another great material to use for walkways and patios. They are a uniform size, which make installation easy. Pavers are interlocked together providing a bond between each paver, preventing them from moving. The pavers will act as a system. One great new product on the market that is gaining traction around the Lake George basin  are permeable pavers. The pavers are still solid concrete blocks, but have voids (small gaps) between where the pavers meet next to one another to allow water to filter through the voids into a stone material below the pavers.

Permeable Paver Walkways compliment new construction by reducing the stormwater runoff footprint

Permeable Paver Walkways compliment new construction by reducing the stormwater runoff footprint

The permeable paver systems are designed to store surface runoff that is travelling over the pavers under the paver system, thus reducing the amount of stormwater runoff that is leaving the site. They are considered “green infrastructure” measures within the NYSDEC Stormwater Management Design Manual.  These systems can be designed by a licensed professional engineer so that they meet your required storage volume for your patio or walkway.

Techo-Bloc "Mista" are a great choice for Permeable Pavers.

Please give us a call if you are considering using these products. The design and installation of these systems seem straight-forward, but do require a great bit of experience of installing them to make them truly work properly and last for a lifetime . The proper design will also prevent major “ponding” issues of standing water sitting on top of you patio. You do not want to cut any corners when using a permeable paver system. There also are some maintenance requirements that homeowners need to be aware of prior to installing so that the permeable paver systems last. One reason that we like the Techo-Bloc products are that they meet the Canadian ASTM requirements, meaning they have met the freeze-thaw cycle testing, which means that they will hold up to Adirondack winters!

Patio constructed from Techo-Bloc Mista permeable pavers in Lake George

 

June 7, 2013

Boat House Cottage- Stormwater Design, Septic System Design and Landscape Installation- The Complete Package

We had the unique opportunity to work on a property that we have been involved with for over a decade. With the new construction work for an addition being completed, there was an opportunity to correct many existing problems. It started with Anthony DeFranco, PE designing (2) new rain gardens for capturing and treating all of the stormwater runoff from the existing house along with the addition per the Town of Hague Planning Board’s request.

The rain gardens were shaped into the existing contours of the site to minimize disruption to the banks above Lake George. The rain gardens were constructed and planted by DeFranco Landscaping’s green infrastructure crew. New gutters and roof leaders were installed to collect and convey stormwater to the rain gardens.

 

Rain Garden Installation

During the construction work on the addition, the residents were experiencing problems with their existing pressurized wastewater treatment system. Anthony DeFranco, PE and Bruce Geraw of OK Sanitary did some exploritory work on the alarm system and realized that the pumps were not pumping a large volume of leachate up to the leachfield. It was determined through an excavation that the 1-inch pressure line’s 1/4-inch holes had been clogged. Anthony DeFranco, PE re-designed the system with a new leach field configuration along with increasing the size and capacity of the duplex pumps.

OK Sanitary replaced the leach field with new piping and (2) new 1-horsepower pumps were installed in the pump chamber to better serve the system’s head requirements. Trees were cleared around the perimeter of the leach field to allow more sunlight in and provide better evapo-transpiration. The leach field was hydroseeded after the construction.

June 7, 2013

Rain Gardens to Shoreline Buffers-Why DeFranco Landscaping is focusing on Sustainability with Green Infrastructure

As many businesses are focusing on becoming green, site design and landscaping practices have also been evolving with more low-impact development techniques , particularly using green stormwater infrastructure practices. Established in 1984, DeFranco Landscaping, Inc. is a full-service professional landscaping company that focuses on using these techniques on
sensitive lakefront properties along the Lake George shoreline and surrounding Adirondack region.

DeFranco Landscaping has been using these techniques on many of the properties over the years and were the proud recipient of the 2010 Frank Leonbruno Memorial Lake Stewardship
Award from the Lake George Watershed Coalition for use of native plants in their landscape design.  Some of their native plant designs and lake-friendly landscaping have been featured on the Lake George Association’s website.

DeFranco Landscaping’s shoreline and stormwater expertise and recent projects were featured in The Post Star on June 4, 2013:

http://poststar.com/news/local/defranco-landscaping-inc-works-to-protect-lake-george-by-limiting/article_5dd901e2-ccc5-11e2-888a-0019bb2963f4.html

 

Post Star Photo- DeFranco placing native plants in a new buffer along the shoreline of Lake George.

Anthony DeFranco, PE, CNLP who manages the firm, received a “20 Under 40” Award from the Post Star newspaper in 2011. The newspaper along with Glens Falls Hospital recognizes 20 of tomorrow’s leaders who are not only successful in their careers, but also leaders within their community.

He is a Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional (CNLP) who has been focusing some of the company’s staff on green infrastructure installations, such as rain gardens, permeable paver systems, shoreline buffers using native plants to help reduce stormwater runoff from reaching Lake George.

DeFranco is also a licensed Professional Engineer with a degree in civil and environmental engineering is the owner of an engineering consulting business: Anthony W. DeFranco,
PE-Consulting Engineer, which focuses on site design, stormwater management design, permitting and engineered septic systems. DeFranco notes that his area of expertise focuses on areas that are critical to the long-term health of Lake George. He notes that new NYSDEC Stormwater design regulations went into effect in March 2011 that are going to affect all property owners who are building houses or disturbing the ground.

DeFranco notes that the combination of his consulting practice and his family’s landscaping business provides a one-stop shop for clients looking for civil/site design through the installation of the green infrastructure practices to reduce stormwater runoff volumes that potentially could have been entering the shoreline of Lake George.

DeFranco stresses that the landscape industry will need to have a good understanding of stormwater to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

Vegetated shoreline buffers help protect the shoreline from erosion and minimize sediment and nutrients from entering the lake. Native plants thrive without fertilizer and filter nutrients out of the runoff before they enter the lake. The buffers also provide privacy by screening out light and noise from activities on the lake. They can also help frame a beautiful view and provide habitat that attracts birds and other wildlife.

August 26, 2012

Annual Stormwater Managment Maintenance is a Must

A large commercial retailer in Ticonderoga had a bank slide into their stormwater basin and had contacted DeFranco Landscaping for their expertise on how to solve the problem and minimize the chance of it happening again. A 100-foot long steep bank had slid into the large basin. It appears that the slide was most likely due to hydrostatic pressure on the clay soils and shallow bedrock outcroppings which allowed the groundwater to weep right under the clay and eventually making the small amount of soil above the rock to become unstable. When the bank slid, it took the perimeter chain-link fence along with it.

Stormwater Basin's Re-stabilized upgradient bank

It is critical for any designer to consider long-term maintenance on any of their stormwater measures. This site had an access gate to the main basin, but had very limited access around the perimeter for large trucks and excavating equipment. A temporary access road had to be cut into the bank and due to the stability issues-smaller 1-ton dump trucks were used to haul the material out of the basin location.

Spoil material was removed from the basin and hauled to a flat location on-site, dumped, spread, seeded and mulched in a timely manner per the current NYSDEC stormwater guidelines.

DeFranco Landscaping provided the client with a few different options on how to stabilize the bank. The selected option removed the soil material that had slid into the basin and tapering of the upgradient bank’s slope to help alleviate the soil pressure around the basin’s side slopes. After the material was removed, the area was raked smooth and seeded with a grass seed. Erosion control blankets were installed per the manufacturer’s instructions to help stabilize the banks from sliding again and then the damaged chainlink fence was replaced. Hydroseeding wasn’t used in this option, but was provided as another option.

View of the side slope of the re-stabilized bank

There are many stormwater regulations that a commercial property owner needs to be aware of. They must comply with various maintenance requirements depending on the type of stormwater management system that they have on their site. Many of these stormwater management systems require annual inspection and maintenance that needs to be properly documented so that they are in compliance with the latest regulations.

Feel free to contact DeFranco Landscaping about your stormwater needs on your site or current project. Anthony DeFranco, PE, CNLP would be happy to provide you with design guidance to keep your project on track, keep you up-to-date on the current stormwater regulations or provide you with services and/or products that have been used on previously successful projects.

Remember that stormwater is one of the most critical aspects of any construction project within the Lake George basin-whether you are a contractor, realtor or home owner- you will want to work with a company that has a solid reputation and expertise to handle your stormwater projects. With the combination of Anthony DeFranco, PE-Consulting Engineer and DeFranco Landscaping, stormwater projects are handled from the Design and Permitting phase to the Installation/Construction phase. We can also handle your long-term Operation & Maintenance needs of your stormwater management basins/structures.

 

 

August 15, 2012

Growing your own “Local Produce”

We’ve all been hearing about buying local, whether it be supporting your local businesses which in turn supports your community’s economy. Another is buying local produce at your local farm stands which is a great way to support the local farms in the region. Many people are concerned with where their fruits and vegetables are being grown and what type of chemicals are being applied to them. You can’t get any more “local” if you grow your own vegetables in your backyard. Nothing is more rewarding than picking lettuce and tomatoes that you grew yourself and making a fresh salad for that evening’s dinner.

Gardening can be very rewarding yet very time consuming. Gardening with your children teaches them important life lessons on responsibility  and experiences that will be with them for the rest of their lives. There are a lot of ways to help minimize the effort needed for your “local” gardens. One way is to create a raised garden planter box which elevates the planting media above the existing grade which provide excellent drainage and also allows for the proper mixture of topsoil and compost so that the vegetables thrive. Locating the vegetable planters in a sunny location is key.

DeFranco Landscaping has constructed numerous raised bed vegetable gardens and perimeter fences over the years. One thing to remember is that garden boxes should not be constructed out of pressure-treated timbers if you are going to be planting edible fruits and vegetables due to the chemicals used to treat the wood.

Below is one raised bed vegetable gardens that was creatively decorated.

Raised Vegetable Garden Box

Selecting the right vegetables is also important for making your gardening experience a success. Stick with vegetables that tend to require less maintenance: lettuce, carrots, beets, cucumbers, squash, brocolli and peppers.  Add a few of your favorite herbs too. There are a variety of fruit trees that can also be added for your gardening pleasure as well.

Raised Garden Boxes and fencing to keep the critters out

One last word of advice: After you plant all the vegetables and plants in your vegetable box, you need to consider whether a perimeter fence is needed. Most locations in the Adirondacks will require some type of fencing to keep rabbits, woodchucks, deer and the occasional birds off the blueberry bushes.  The type of fence that you need will really depend on what you plant.

Let our skilled carpenters create your dream garden for you. All we need is an idea and we can “dream” up the design that meets or exceeds your expectations. Garden boxes can be filled with organic topsoil or even “certified” organic topsoil should you desire to go to that level.

 

 

August 15, 2012

Memorial Tree in Loving Memory of Anthony J. DeFranco

Chip Holmes, CEO of Inter-Lakes Health, recently presented David DeFranco, of Hague, with a plaque in honor of his  father Anthony J. DeFranco Sr. Mr. DeFanco recently donated a tree to the Heritage Commons Courtyard in loving memory of his father and in appreciation of the great care his father received while an inpatient at Moses-Ludington Hospital.
The plaque will serve as a reminder of the donation and that tree stands in loving memory of Anthony J. DeFranco 1915-2011.

Chip Holmes, CEO of Inter-Lakes Health presents David DeFranco with a plaque in honor of his father Anthony J. DeFranco

Tony W. DeFranco (Jr.) has planted many memorial trees over the years at DeFranco Landscaping. “It was a great honor to plant a tree with my dad for my grandfather. It brought back a lotof fond childhood memories of my grandfather teaching me the meaning of hard work- the only way- a hands on approach . Knowing who I was planting the tree in memory of, even with the tough soil conditions, I was able to get that hole dug for that tree in less than an hour, something I know my grandfather would have been very proud of. He was one who had a very hard old-school Italian work ethic and he measured everything in “work”. He would always ask ‘How you doing?’ and then follow it up with ‘How much work did you get done today?’ “, noted the younger DeFranco.

We are all certain that there are no leaky pipes in heaven now and the lake trout have better be on high alert.

Anthony J. DeFranco-1915-2011-"One of the Greatest Lake Trout Fisherman on Lake George" Thank you for instilling a hard work ethic in many generations of DeFrancos

Memorial trees seem to take on the personality of the loved one that they are planted for. It changes the way you look at that tree. Proper tree selection is also important.

July 31, 2012

Sod Installation at the Chelka Lodge-in time for the Summer Season

The Chelka Lodge located in Diamond Point on Lake George recently completed a large remodeling project of their lakeside units. The resort is located on 400-feet of shoreline in a very quiet bay on the west side of Lake George and has 25-units.

DeFranco Landscaping was contacted to install sod on a portion of the lawn area that had been disturbed during construction. The timeframe and deadline for completion of the work was tight with Memorial Day fast approaching. All deadlines were met and the irrigation system was extended to provide sprinklers in the new sod locations.

 

Sod Installation at Chelka Lodge in Diamond Point

 

The Chelka Lodge is a member of the Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce. For more information on the Chelka Lodge, visit their website at www.chelkalodge.com

July 31, 2012

102 Montcalm Street-Landscape Renovation Project

The landscaping of the building that houses the Times of Ti was recently renovated. The existing landscaping was outdated and overshadowed the building, blocking sunlight into many of the building’s windows and reducing visibility of the building to traffic travelling along Montcalm Street.

The large tree in the front lawn was in poor condition and growing into the roof of the building. It was decided to remove it to provide better visibility and reduce the chance that the tree would fall into the building. The trunk of the tree was rotted in numerous locations. Many of the shrubs were overgrown and had lost their shape.

102 Montcalm Street

102 Montcalm Street

 

July 31, 2012

Hague Veteran’s Memorial Park- One Year Later

We wanted to post a few more pictures of the Hague Veteran’s Memorial Park, 1-year after the project was completed so viewers can see how well the site looks.

 

Hague Veteran's Memorial Park

Hague Veterns' Memorial

Wild flowers and vegetation were established on the steep banks in the background that had previously experienced erosion problems prior to DeFranco Landscaping’s hydroseeding and stabilizing the banks with the placement of erosion control blankets.

July 31, 2012

Historic Hancock House has Updated Look

DeFranco Landscaping recently renovated the shrub beds at the Hancock House in Ticonderoga. The original beds were overgrown and a bit outdated. Volunteers removed the overgrown evergreens. A new landscape plan was submitted to the Ticonderoga Historical Society for approval. The shrubs and plants were installed in the summer of 2012. An extensive stone roof drip was installed to capture water running off the roof and direct it away from the building’s foundation.

DeFranco Landscaping has worked on the grounds of many of the historical sites in the Ticonderoga region. It requires proper coordination with the client to make sure that the site has been properly checked for historical artifacts before starting work. Even after the site has been checked, there is still a chance of finding a historically significant artifact on these grounds. Our crews have been trained to contact the appropriate person on each site to make sure that no artifact gets lost.

Hancock House-Ticonderoga, NY

The Hancock House is a Georgian Mansion replica of Thomas Hancock’s Beacon Hill residence that was built in 1737 and demolished in 1863. It is located next to the Liberty Monument (Moses Circle). The exterior of the building is constructed out of Weymouth granite. The weather conditions can cause the illusion that the color of the building changes from a green, rose and warm gray at varying times. The Hancock House was placed on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES by the United States Department of the Interior on July 8, 1925.

Hancock House-Front View

Hancock House-Front View

For more information on the Hancock House, visit the following link:ahttp://www.thehancockhouse.org/index.htmncock House was a gift to The New York State Historical Association (NYSHA)
from native son and philanthropist Horace Moses. He built the house as a
repository for the purpose of perpetuating “American Traditions in History and
the Fine Arts,” and it served in this capacity for many years as the NYSHA
“Headquarters House,” although it can no longer claim this title. This imposing
Georgian mansion is a replica of Thomas Hancock’s (uncle to John Hancock) Beacon
Hill residence built in 1737 and 1741, and demolished in 1863.
he
Hancock House was a gift to The New York State Historical Association (NYSHA)
from native son and philanthropist Horace Moses. He built the house as a
repository for the purpose of perpetuating “American Traditions in History and
the Fine Arts,” and it served in this capacity for many years as the NYSHA
“Headquarters House,” although it can no longer claim this title. This imposing
Georgian mansion is a replica of Thomas Hancock’s (uncle to John Hancock) Beacon
Hill residence built in 1737 and 1741, and demolished in 1863.

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Memberships & Affiliations:

>> NY State Nurseryman's Association
>> NYS Adopt-A-Highway Participant
>> Hague / Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce
>> CNLP: Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional
>> Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce
>> ICPI Certification
>> Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce
>> Member of the Lake George Association
>> GlensFalls.com
>> Planting What Comes Naturally
>> The DeFrancos of Hague-Sustainable Landscapes & Green Infrastructure

NYSNLA

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DeFranco Landscaping Inc. - Landscaping and Property Management Lake George/Adirondack RegionDeFranco Landscaping Inc. :: Phone: 518.543.6089
Mailing Addess: 244 Dodd Hill Road, Hague, NY 12836
Display / Material Loading Site: 110 NYS Route 9N in Ticonderoga, NY
(Appointments should be scheduled in advance)

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