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February Construction Jobs Maintain Slow Upward Trend

The construction industry workforce totaled 5.94 million in February, the highest total in 4-1/2 years and an increase of 152,000 (2.6 percent) from a year earlier. Unemployment decreased from 15.7 percent to 12.8 percent, the lowest February rate since 2008, in large part because of workers leaving the industry. Construction analysts are predicting that the shortage of skilled workers could negatively impact growth through the rest of the year.

Dust Devil Park, Phoenix--Engaging La Familia

Dust Devil Park, named for the nearby school mascot, is located on the southeast corner of 107th Avenue and Camelback. Approximately 14 acres, constructed with a budget of $4.6 million dollars for the city of Phoenix, this park was once a fenced-off dirt lot full of weeds, trash, and asphalt remnants, with an unsightly open-earth irrigation channel paralleling the western boundary. Sharing two of its edges with the Villa de Paz Elementary School to the east and the Villa de Paz neighborhood to the south, Dust Devil Park has been transformed into a point of pride for the community.

EP Henry Continues HeroScaping Program

Beechwood Landscape Architecture and Construction in Southampton, N.J., designed the "Fallen Heroes" firefighters memorial in Shamong, N.J. The 2-foot steel beam remnant from the World Trade Center was sent to the Indian Mills Fire Co., by the New Jersey governor's office. EP Henry in Woodbury, N.J., donated pavers and wall blocks for the memorial foundation. Superior Landscape and Lawn Care in Shamong installed the pavers. Sharpless Surfaces and Surroundings dug the footings and installed the irrigation system. Springersbrook provided labor to plant flowers and plants. Wharton Landscape Supplies, owned by Ed Moniot, vice-president and fire chief at Indian Mills Fire Co., donated stone, mulch and trucking.

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Supreme Court Weighs in on Former Railroad Right-of-Way

A 21-mile bike trail in Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyo. is interrupted by a half-mile section of land granted to a Wyoming family that includes a former railroad right-of-way corridor. The family sued the Forest Service to keep the bike path off their land.

ASCA On-Demand Webinars

ASCA, the national association for consulting arborists, has announced two new on-demand webinars - ''10 Invasive Species'' and ''Insurance Needs''.

Laguna Lake Park Fitness Course

Construction of the Laguna Lake Park project in San Luis Obispo, Calif., included many happy volunteers. It took a number of weekends, even with the use of heavy equipment provided by a local construction company. Volunteers also brought out an array of hammers, shovels, rakes, levels, wrenches and a cement mixer.

Public Transit Ridership Up in 2013
APTA, an organization that represents the transit industry, has announced ridership results for 2013.

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Modern Design, Outdoor Living Leads 2014 Trends

Outdoor living trends in 2014 will include homeowners seeking contemporary design both within and outside the home, according to this year's Garden Trends consumer report. Homeowners are adding contemporary flair outdoors by mixing materials in their patios, walkways, driveways and garden areas, such as combining pavers with wood, natural stone or metal frames. Outdoor cooking also continues to grow in popularity, as homeowners customize their outdoor kitchens with the indoor modern conveniences that fit their lifestyles, from built-in gourmet cooking stations and brick ovens to wine coolers and beer taps.

Altoz(TM) Increases Dealer Footprint Throughout U.S.
Altoz, a high-performance zero-turn mower manufacturer, continues to expand its dealer network.

SketchUp Improvements Expand Modeling Ability, Add BIM Measures

Trimble Buildings Group recently released SketchUp 2014, the latest version of its 3D modeling platform for architects, engineers, designers and construction professionals. Among other new features, the new version of SketchUp's 3D Warehouse, "an online repository for finding, storing and sharing useful 3D models," has been rebuilt to make it easier to find models and organize files into collections.

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Brick Association Lines Up New Leadership
The BIA appointed new officials to its top positions last month, including a new chief operating officer, chairman of the board and other executive staff. Ray Leonhard, most recently the group's chief financial officer, will succeed outgoing president and CEO Gregg Borchelt, who was honored for 40 years of service to the brick and masonry industry.

A Milestone for Safety in the Building Trades

The OSHA 10 Construction Card is an on-site safety certification given to entry-level workers who complete an industry outreach training program and prove their comprehension of OSHA-regulated health and safety topics and requirements.

WCISA Annual Conference

The WCISA, which includes Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, will host their annual conference April 5 - 10 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif.

Landscape Studies Fellowship Recipient Named
The Maeder-York Family Fellowship in Landscape Studies at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum recognizes emerging design talent in the landscape disciplines, and supports experimentation, research, and achievement in design through landscape.

Ox Bodies Introduces New Stampede Ultralight

Ox Bodies' Stampede Ultralight dump body features widths of 96 and 102 inches, side heights of 36 to 46 inches, lengths of 10 to 21 feet and capacities from 6.9 to 19.0 cubic yards.

The Sky's The Limit For Hot Purple Energy

After installing more residential solar in California's Coachella Valley than any other company in 2013, Hot Purple Energy won the prestigious Sunpower "Intelegant Award of Excellence."

Aluminum Flatbed for Pickup Trucks

In addition to aluminum flatbeds, Highway Products offers standard and custom beds for GMC, Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Freightliner, International or other brand trucks.

Arboretum Offers Help to Northern Illinois Cities

The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. is helping northern Illinois cities to better plan and care for community trees. One of its resources is "Retrofitting Large Landscapes for Sustainability," a 96-page online handbook for property owners, managers and residents.

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PLANET Grants Leadership Awards

PLANET, the national trade association that represents more than 100,000 landscape industry professionals, has granted leadership awards to two recipients.

Hardscape Showcase

EP Henry village square pavers with brickstone borders were installed on the pool deck by Evergreen Hardscaping at this residence in the Boothwynn, Pa., area. The fire pit, steps and raised bond beam of the pool are faced with Fenoff building stone. The pool coping, fire pit caps and step treads are Pennsylvania antique flagstone. George Schoffield near Edison, N. J., provided the building stone, and Rotunno Stone Yard in Avondale, Pa., supplied the flagstone. A mix of flagstone and native boulders were used for the waterfall. The wall in the backdrop is also made of native granite boulders. When the pool was dug, the excavator hit a large granite deposit. After unsuccessfully trying to break up the deposit, explosives were used. Evergreen reclaimed all the stone and incorporated it into the waterfall and surrounding landscape. All illumination is Cast Lighting from Aquarius Supply of Hawthorne, N.J.

A Well Composed Renovation

At this expansive residence in Bergen County, N.J., Ryder Landscaping Design of Unionville, N.Y., designed and built a new backyard entertainment area with Techo-Bloc slabs, pavers, wall stone, caps, coping and steps. These curving steps were made with stone from the manufacturer's Aged Cap collection in Champlain grey. Also included in the install was a fireplace constructed from FireRock products.

Mount Vernon Exhibit Celebrates George Washington As Landscape Designer

At the center of the "Gardens & Groves: George Washington's Landscape at Mount Vernon" exhibit is an 8'x 9'x 11' model of the estate as Washington knew it in 1799, the last year of his life. Mount Vernon was smaller than the grand estates of England, but Washington was still able to incorporate the English landscape design influences he sought for his estate.

An Off the Wall Original

The outdoor area at the Kula Lodge Garden Terrace restaurant, on the island of Maui in Hawaii, was designed and built by John August and his crew. It includes nine dining areas in gazebo settings. The walls of the gazebo bases are three layers. The inner wall is built of site-cast cellular concrete blocks. The outer wall is basalt stones and reclaimed bricks set with 1/2-inch joints of cement mortar. Between them, August installed #4 rebar through holes drilled into the bedrock and secured them with epoxy. Concrete was then poured into this cavity. August designed both the tables and the gazebos and had them shop fabricated.

Retaining Walls Spur San Antonio School Construction

Bonnie Ellison Elementary School, a new addition to the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, included a total of 3,000 square feet of retaining walls during construction to maintain the landscape, preserve native trees and maximize usable space.

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The Digital Issues are Available
The March issue of LASN is available online!
To view the complete issue click here.
To view the table of contents click here.

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The March issue of LC/DBM is available online!
To view the complete issue click here.
To view the table of contents click here.

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Last Updated 03/18/2014

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Joshua 5:13-14
"Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand . . ."

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