Touchmark in the West Hills
Touchmark is a retirement care community offering assisted and independent living, set on 22 beautiful acres in the west hills of Portland, Oregon.
The client’s goal is to provide a colorful, vibrant campus where residents are encouraged to explore and stay active. Safety is paramount, and while the rolling hills discourage wandering too far from the property, greenhouses, tennis courts, vineyards, and other outdoor amenities allow residents to safely reconnect with nature.
The Pacific Northwest was hit hard with unusually extreme weather this past year, and the climate fluctuations were particularly straining on the landscape. In the winter, Portland experienced higher than average snowfall and lower than average temperatures; this summer, record-setting heat waves scorched lawns and burned plants.
While the property offers beautiful views of downtown Portland, it is also very hilly, meaning there are different grades and slopes throughout the landscape. Also, residents often want plant diversity in their yards, so plant care can prove challenging.
The extreme weather in the winter and summer months meant our team members were constantly monitoring storm conditions and plant health. During winter storms, our team was on call 24/7 for ice and snow removal. Some days required round-the-clock deicing services to make sure the hilly roads were clear for emergency vehicles – an important caveat, considering we were still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and Touchmark is a senior care facility.
Our teams successfully kept the roads clear during these times and no incidents were reported. The summer offered no reprieve, and many plants were strained during the heatwave; however, our management team took care to use a high-quality, slow-release fertilizer in the spring, so when they found that the undergrowth was healthy, they ultimately recommended that the client wait for the plants to bounce back. The begonias, rhododendrons, and other flowers ultimately recovered, and only 30 plants needed to be replaced. This strategy spared the landscape and saved the client from plant replacement costs.
The varying grades of the landscape mean lawn care is a difficult task. Our team uses small push mowers to avoid the risks that ZTRs pose. We also have a horticulturalist who visits the site and provides recommended maintenance programs for the 20 different plant species present on the property.
LandCare was awarded a NALP Award of Excellence – Silver in 2021 for its work on Touchmark in the West Hills. For photos and more, please visit the awards photo gallery here.