Operations + Maintenance

Native, sure. But "low maintenance" does not mean "no maintenance."

When we’re restoring living, growing, dynamic vegetation systems – with interactions between land and water and weather – we can’t simply install and walk away. Because next season, next year, and the year after – conditions will have changed.

“Operations + Maintenance” is every bit a part of the ecosystem restoration lexicon as in, say, manufacturing.

Proper installation of ecosystem restoration projects – with good site preparation and informed native seeding, planting, and erosion control techniques – goes a long way toward reducing maintenance of natural area restorations.

Annual maintenance to detect and treat encroachment of invasive species completes the job of ecosystem restoration.

Typical maintenance work is far less costly and less frequent than the landscapes we create with turfgrass. However, while native landscapes are low-maintenance, the importance of an annual program of monitoring and adaptive management cannot be overstated.

  • Multi-Year Management Planning
  • Monitoring + Adaptive Management Strategies
  • Comprehensive Ecosystem Management Services
    • Custom Herbicide Application
    • Prescribed Burning
    • Erosion Control
    • Streambank + Shoreline Services


Looking at ecological restoration projects 10 years old or more, it’s not difficult to see which have been cared for and others that have gone unloved.

Invasive species is usually the tell-tale sign. In Midwestern woodlands, it’s European buckthorn and invasive honeysuckle. In wetlands, invaders like reed canary grass, purple loosestrife and phragmites will be found, if left unchecked. In the East, South, West, and in many specific areas, hundreds of invasive species are significant threats to natural areas.

It is to be expected that natural area restorations will need to fend off the exotic competitors.  And that if annual monitoring and O+M “repairs” are not made, the non-native species with no natural control agents will win.  And the value of the property – ecologically, recreationally, and economically – will decline.

Low-maintenance repairs are not costly, however, and with a science-based adaptive management plan in place, sustainable natural area restorations actually decline in maintenance cost as they mature.


Operations + Maintenance Portfolio

Appleton Detention System

Appleton Detention System

Indiana Dunes Natl Lakeshore

Indiana Dunes Natl Lakeshore

Lake County Brushing

Lake County Brushing

appliedecoOperations + Maintenance