Democracy Collaborative Features Verde Landscape: Building Resilience


“Creating climate-resilient cities takes more than a series of infrastructure investments; more than sea walls and permeable pavement. It take investment in people.”  

Check out how Verde Landscape (pg. 49) and our peers across the country are building resilient cities through economic development and green infrastructure! Verde Landscape was one of four social enterprises or worker cooperatives featured in Johanna Bozuwa’s recent report “Building Resilience Through Green Infrastructure: A community Wealth Building Approach.”  

Here are some of the lessons Bozuwa draws from Verde Landscape:

  • A mixed financing model of business contracts and philanthropy allows the organization to continue to provide important services, like access to ESL for trainees, while seeking competitive bids with mission-aligned institutions, such as other affordable housing commercial property managers and the local municipality.

  • While government contracts provided large amounts of work, the proposal, bidding, and reimbursement process is burdensome and puts a social enterprise at a disadvantage by not considering its social benefits, including its nonprofit status.

  • Collaboration with other community-based groups to implement anti-displacement, sustainable development initiatives can both act as a way to ensure workers are not pushed out of their communities at the same time as providing long-term contracts.

  • The combination of a general contractor for projects like weatherization—Verde Builds—and a landscape contractor—Verde Landscape—can provide unique opportunities for cross-pollination and contracts.

Read the full report here!

Jess Faunt