SOLscapes Landscape Design Inc. is an ecologically sustainable landscaping company that services the Sea-to-Sky Corridor between West Vancouver and Whistler, brought to you by a team of urban farmers and horticulturalists. We work with both homeowners and local businesses. We focus on environmentally friendly land care, growing edible and indigenous plant landscapes and connecting the community to their food and land through education. We are committed to your gardens, to this environment, to this ecosystem. We offer design, installation, maintenance and education services for all types of properties (residential, commercial, strata); so we’ve got you covered!
Question: How are you supporting other local businesses?
Answer: As a Squamish based business, it is our responsibility to support the community to establish a strong foundation of interconnectedness. Sourcing plants, soil, tools, equipment and building materials locally is always a priority in our installations and maintenance contracts. Our soil, mulch and gravel comes from Coast Aggregrates, our trucks are serviced by the fine folks at Good 2 Go Tirecraft Auto Centre. All of our mowers, weed wackers, hedge trimmers and blowers are purchased and maintained at Howe Sound Equipment. Our plants used in installations are predominantly grown in B.C. Since Squamish has no nursery, we use several suppliers in the Lower Mainland, including Art’s Nursery (Surrey), Cedar Rim Nursery (Langley) and Golden Spruce Nurseries (Langley). We like to focus on edible landscapes, and also on incorporating native and bio-regionally appropriate plant species into our designs.
All of our services are purchased from local businesses. Our promotional materials (decals, landscape designs, advertising) are printed at Inbiz, and we bank with Vancity. Our insurance is from Westland, our accountant is Ross at GSK Chartered Accountants (Squamish), and our bookkeeper is Anne from Clearly Accounting (Squamish).
Question: What social and environmental practices are you proud of?
Answer: We have an amazing team of employees. We work really closely with customers, and we need clear, honest and transparent communication in order to meet our clients needs. In order to achieve that, we need a rockstar crew. We would never make it without our awesome staff! Together we are all quite literally the backbone of the machine that runs a small business like SOLscapes. We provide a competitive living wage, regular raises, ongoing training and team building opportunities. We remind them of how important they are to us regularly – we provide lots of treats especially on rainy or hot days. And we do our best to provide a supportive environment for employee growth.
We take the environmental aspect of our business very seriously. Our equipment is low impact – we only use human powered (muscles) or electric equipment (blowers, weed wackers, etc.). We never use any chemical or synthetic products in our gardens…ever. Through organic plant care we minimize noise, air, soil and groundwater pollution. Because we educate and support our customers through the process of growing their own food, we’re working on improving local food security and nutrition. We occasionally take on land reclamation projects by replanting/ rewilding areas overgrown with invasives with native plants. They transform into pollinator friendly habitats that will help build soil structure, provide food, become sustainably naturalized and of course bring us joy. We recycle all of our planter pots, and take all our plant matter to the green waste disposal at the Squamish landfill. We’ve taken a great crash course put on by the Sea To Sky Invasive Species Council and so we make sure we separate any invasive species so that the composted material is not contaminated.
We love to support community initiatives. We often donate time to various projects. We’ve worked with the Squamish Farmers Market in the past, and more recently with Don Ross Middle School Courtyard Revitalization Project to help redesign their space to incorporate food plants. We donate to the Squamish Seed Library and we’ve taken the reins on running the Squamish Fruit Tree Project. Within this project we help pick and maintain fruit trees in order to minimize human-wildlife conflict in our community, all the while providing food for local organisations such as Squamish Helping Hands and Squamish Food Bank.