July 15, 2017
Moving beyond the GTA
By Myscha Burton
LO Membership and Chapter Coordinator

Myscha StaffordWhile the Landscape Ontario office is physically located in Milton, Ont., your LO staff try to avoid the phrase “head office” simply because LO doesn’t have a head office. Rather, we have a “home office.” Our home office is a space meant to foster a sense of community and exists for all members to use. The nine regional chapters that make up Landscape Ontario encompass the entire province. The majority of members fall geographically within the GTA, but it is important to remember the Landscape Ontario family extends far beyond those boundaries.

Chapter events

Each LO chapter hosts at least five events per year. These may include social events: a golf tournament, ski and spa day, holiday party, or chapter meetings. All provide a great atmosphere for networking and sharing of ideas and experiences. Each chapter is committed to providing quality education and training opportunities to local members. Chapter Boards organize these meetings and are conscious of the large geographic area their chapters cover. In an effort to make these meetings accessible for all members, some chapters move meeting locations around within the chapter boundaries. For example, the Georgian Lakelands Chapter rotates meetings between Collingwood, Barrie, Huntsville and Owen Sound and the Upper Canada Chapter rotates between Kingston and Belleville. Utilizing the resources available in your local community — access to education, networking and the chance to showcase your company, are all key benefits of being a member of LO.

All LO members have access to the networking benefits of chapter meetings regardless of where they are located. You may meet a new supplier that is more convenient, has better product or better pricing. You may find another member who can install landscape lighting or irrigation for you more efficiently.

Community projects

Each LO chapter has a strong connection with local community groups and participate in various projects, including: food gardens, revitalizing public green spaces (ie: at schools or hospitals), tree plantings and countless other projects. Our members across the province are incredibly active — not only in their own thriving businesses, but also in their local communities.

The LO community

Over half of the total LO membership belong to chapters outside the GTA, stretching to Ontario’s borders. As a member of LO, it is important to recognize you are part of a greater community and can utilize your network of members and professional colleagues to help develop your own businesses. In smaller communities, you may find you are competing against local, fly-by-night ‘landscapers’ who offer low prices, but no guarantee for their work. Educate potential clients on how being a member of LO means you have verified credentials (two sponsors, appropriate insurance, etc.) and how that separates you as a professional business.

The strength of LO’s chapters and local communities is driven by members, for members. Remember, you are a part of a community of professionals dedicated to developing the landscape and horticulture profession across Ontario.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about the many benefits or programs available to LO members, please contact the membership services department at home office.
Myscha Burton can be reached at myscha@landscapeontario.com or 905-875-1805, ext. 2333.