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Reflections and Intentions

2020 has been a year that could be written and go down as an epic book of nightmares come true. We quickly figured out that 2020 was not going to be a sweet dream and we all have worked together to get through this unprecedented year.


Kendra Gray


January 23, 2024

2020 started with massive wildfires in Australia, the tragic death of Kolbe Bryant, murder hornets spotted for the first time in the N.W., a divisive sided presidential election and then the whole world got stuck dealing with the pandemic of COVID19.  Finally, 2020 decided to top Arizona off with the hottest summer recorded in Phoenix ever! Despite these tremendous challenges Agave Environmental Contracting worked out a plan to sustain through these trying times. Here are some of our highlights from our plan and how we kept on track to still grow and thrive through 2020. 

When many of us were asked to work from home, we decided this would be a perfect time to grow and redesign our current website into a beautiful new visually stunning website. While our old website was functional, it was just a basic site with some of the services we offered but did not clearly explain our full story. We had so many new and enhanced services that we could now do and needed show business and communities what we offered and wanted and how to focus on them. We were so much more than just a killer landscape construction company! These services include landscape maintenance, tree care services, landscape enhancement construction, and finally our unique salvage department. We include details about the professionals Agave has hired to create our highly educated and experienced landscape team, and finally what our purpose is at Agave Environmental.  We have details about our other websites we built in helping our community through the 2020 crisis. These are the company sponsored organizations that include Urban Farming Education and Agave Farms. These organizations teach and grow horticultural education and work in conjunction with other nonprofits to provide food to those that needed it. 

The next step in our plan was to offer Maintenance Services to the Clients we were providing Construction Services for, during the grow in transition period and many years to come.  This service aids in the transition from Development to turnover by having direct knowledge of the development of the project from start to finish and being a one stop provider should any need arise. One of the communities we are proud to be maintaining is the beautiful new Sterling Groves community in Surprise AZ for Toll Brothers. This community has a grove like design with citrus lined entries and a mulch/granite hybrid instead of the usual granite. There have been some challenges that we have faced in this community. We worked strategically and efficiently to solve them. The incredible loss of newly planted trees and shrubs due to our bizarre hot summer and poor soil drainage issues. We also needed to find the best way to combat the high sodium prevalent in the area by thinking outside the box with some non-traditional water treatment through a state-of-the-art injection system.  All these conditions make it difficult for plant and tree material to thrive. We worked with Toll Brothers and our Construction Team to begin planting trees with soil drainage in mind. We also carefully mapped and wrote down the progress of struggling trees and created a plan to replace any trees that did not survive. We brought out a citrus grower to help us understand the needs of some of the struggling citrus trees that were having problems before our hot summer. We created wells around the citrus trees to help them retain water, as the initial plan did not recognize the gradient challenges. We worked in partnership with a water conditioning company to analyze the soil conditions to best determine the best formula that could be added to the irrigation system that will add nutrients to the soil while reducing the effects of the sodium. Now that we have addressed these problems in 2020, we are excited to take on any new challenges that come with keeping this community beautiful in 2021. 

We also were able to obtain new communities to add to our portfolio. One of the communities we recently obtained was Arrowhead Lakes. This is a beautiful community with multiple lakes for fishing and boating and small, pocketed areas for relaxing and meditation. When we performed our normal site assessment, we discovered some minor Irrigation challenges that we will be resolving as a team.  We have partnered with the Community Manager and the Board of Directors to fulfill their expectations.

Another step was creating smart and healthy growth for Agave’s Tree Management Team, allowing them to grow in 2020 despite the many issues that were happening. We are proud to say that this department has seen the largest growth in our company in 2020 and continues to thrive in maintaining trees for most of our clients. Jeremy Sholes our Tree Director does a great job in developing tree trimming plans for our clients and communities. For instance, we have been trimming trees at Layton Lakes for several months that were at a higher risk of failure. We developed a plan to properly trim their trees throughout the community to prevent them from losing several trees that we were damaged during storms in past seasons. This plan is specifically for them that works with their community forest, budget, and timeline. We have been working with them to preserve their most important landscape assets.  

We also worked hard on expanding our Enhancement department which was established in 2019 during this challenging time. They have been busy as well, especially with the long hot summer, doing proposals and replacing trees and plants for our communities that did not survive the brutal summer of 2020. We also have completed a large enhancement project for Doubletree Canyon that needed a complete plant redesign and new entryway. This took considerable amount of planning involving updating an antiquated Irrigation System and removing a substantial amount of lawn area to be a better steward of our limited water resources. Now, the new plant palette looks stunning to anyone driving into the community and has vastly improved and updated the look of the community. 

While 2020 has been a taxing year for many companies, Agave Environmental Contracting rose above 2020’s nightmares and stuck to a plan that has helped our company continue to not just stay healthy, but to grow during this unprecedented time. We are excited to see what 2021 will bring and working toward a plan that will continue to help our clients and establish the niche of a true landscape company.