May 15, 2008
The following is a report on the Provincial Board meeting held Feb. 20, 2008 at the LO home office in Milton.

President’s comments

Bob Adams called the meeting to order and introduced the new board members, Bruce Morton from Ottawa chapter, Mark Goodman from the Georgian Lakelands chapter and Brian Lofgren from the Congress committee.

CNLA report

This August, CNLA is organizing a landscape summit that will deal with issues facing landscape contractors. CNLA meets twice a year. Every member of LO is automatically a member of CNLA.

Vineland Research Station

Vineland Research Station recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. Even at that age, there is still much vitality in the centenarian. It is presently being renewed into a Centre for Innovation and Research. Chair of the Centre is Donald Ziraldo and the CEO is Dr. Jim Brandle (former vice president of Landscape Ontario at the time that Casey van Maris served as president). The advisory committee is chaired by Deb Whitehouse of the Niagara Parks Commission. John Bakker is LO’s rep on the committee. Two research positions are currently being advertised for the centre for the nursery/greenhouse and fruit industry. The centre will have a role in bringing international recognition to Ontario’s horticulture industry. The operation will go further than just research. Much of the focus will be on innovation and commercialization.

Project EverGreen Canada

Project EverGreen Canada is now incorporated and has held its first formal board meeting. The Wilfred Laurier MBA program has assigned a senior project team to examine sustainability models for the project. The university will donate 1,000 hours, with the project being completed by July 8, 2008.

In the U.S., Project EverGreen is currently engaged in a pilot project to saturate the Akron, Ohio area with environmental benefit messages. The purpose is determine if green benefit messages translate to social awareness and change.

Membership committee update

The membership committee is streamlining the LO application process and will present the template at the next board meeting. It is also looking at how to improve the company job posting service offered by LO.

Prosperity Partners follow up

Jacki Hart is holding information meetings across the province and is pairing mentors up with mentees. Jacki assigns homework and follows up with participants. Business templates are also being developed.

Licensing of horticultural trade

Licensing is expected to become an important issue in the near future, with the provincial government looking to develope licensing criteria. The last time LO investigated the issue of licensing the horticulture trade, the membership was divided. Demographics and attitudes have now changed and our recent survey shows substantial support of a licensing initiative.

LO promotion fund

Chapter recipients of the special promotion funds for this year are: London, $5,000; Waterloo, $6,500; Windsor, $3,000; Ottawa, $3,000; Upper Canada, $2,500. These monies are used by the chapters for special projects within their communities.

Environmental stewardship

Environmental stewardship is becoming a welcome concern in all sectors. We should not forget to look “in the mirror” while promoting the “greening of the green” industry. Stewardship begins at home. It was suggested that LO stop providing paper-based board packages. All packages are now distributed only in electronic form unless there is a special request for paper. Agendas will be displayed on the projector. Members are encouraged to print the documents they wish to bring.

Individual chapter websites

The website committee has prepared all the work necessary to offer all chapters their own websites at a cost of $2,500 per chapter. The Ottawa site can be found at It is now up to the chapters to request funding from the finance committee and board if they choose to pursue this. The London chapter already has its own website