October 15, 2017

By Myscha Stafford
Membership and Chapter Coordinator

Myscha BurtonAhoy mateys! I was really hoping to hear someone say that phrase during my recent vacation in the Maritimes, but had no such luck.

In 11 days of travelling, my husband and I covered five provinces, three states, 5,000 km and two botanical gardens. While in St. Andrew’s, N.B., we visited the award-winning Kingsbrae Gardens, which boasts 27 acres and over 2,500 species of perennials, trees and shrubs (plus rabbits, ducks and alpacas). We also visited the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, which consists of 295 acres of coastal land and forest. These two sites were absolutely breathtaking and offered countless photo opportunities. The plant material was also rather different compared to the botanical gardens here in Ontario. We saw gigantic paperbark maples, copious amounts of lichen on trees that resembled photos of a rainforest in British Columbia, and the most incredible hydrangeas you will ever see.

The trip was also a great experience to see what other provinces and states had to offer both the public and companies involved in the landscape and horticulture profession.

Your membership questions answered

Last month I mentioned we were looking for submissions for an “Ask the membership team” feature that would answer your questions in this magazine. During our busy membership renewal season, one of the most common questions we are asked is, “Why are my dues increasing?” The short answer is that we live in a world of flux and inflation is a reality. Japan’s economy went through a long period of slightly negative or no inflation in the 1990s and was avoided by investors from around the world. Another reality is that overhead costs (just like taxes), never go down.

To coincide with this reality, the LO provincial board of directors decided years ago to increase membership dues each year by two per cent. For a brief overview of how dues fit into the overall revenue and operating costs of your association, see Where to LO dues dollars go? from page 12 of this issue.

An investment with great returns

The annual cost of your LO membership may not be in the same realm as new equipment or vehicles, but just like them, the cost is actually an investment toward running your company efficiently and effectively. Like any investment, the more you put, in the greater potential for reward. And this investment is as risk-free as they come. The more you actively engage with your LO community through your membership, the more benefits you will start to realize. The members who make up the LO community are one of the greatest assets the association has. By connecting with like-minded professionals, attending events, utilizing training programs and using promotional tools and cost savings available to your company, you will truly see the great value and return on investment your membership dues create.

Landscape Ontario membership gets you access to:
  • Exclusive savings on new vehicles, equipment, business needs and training.
  • A province-wide network of green professionals.
  • A community with your local colleagues and education opportunities through chapter meetings and events.
  • Exclusive tools to promote your company as a professional.
  • The latest industry news that may impact your business — via LO’s print publications and electronic news.
  • Connections to local and provincial government and staff who lobby for change on your behalf.
  • Thousands of potential clients through LO’s public website, Garden Inspiration magazine, home shows and many public relations campaigns.
  • Education and training events for you and your staff.
Don’t risk losing access to the many benefits of LO membership. Renew your membership dues online at horttrades.com/dues, mail in a cheque or pay by credit card over the phone by calling

Are you using your membership to its fullest potential? Send me your questions about how you can make your LO membership work for you.
Contact Myscha Stafford with your questions about LO member benefits.