December 15, 2014
When the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation was formed in 1979, it set out to encourage young people to look at the horticultural industry as a viable career. To do this it provided young people with scholarships to help them pursue formal education toward the industry.

Along with the scholarships, the Foundation also provides financial assistance toward research projects.

The Foundation has been very successful raising money to maintain a healthy fund, which year after year provides over $25,000 in scholarships. In 2014, 20 students were awarded scholarships, who are all listed below.

The students will also be introduced during the Awards of Excellence ceremony at Congress on Jan 6. As well, the scholarship recipients have been invited to the Legacy Room at Congress.

The Foundation is governed by a volunteer board, comprised of respected industry members. Members of the board include John Wright, president; Monica van Maris, vice-president; Brian Cocks CLT, secretary; Hank Gelderman CLT, treasurer; Directors, Bob Allen; Tony DiGiovanni CLT; Ben Kobes; Mark Ostrowski; John Peets; Mike Thomas; Dave Turnbull CHT; Neil Vanderkruk and Bob Wilton.

This year the Foundation received several large donations, including a pledge from Mark Cullen to provide $30,000, Bob Allen pledging $10,000 and Unilock announcing its intention to give $10,000 towards design scholarships.  

Foundation chair John Wright said, “The major contributions are wonderful, and will greatly boost our fund, and potentially help more students create a future in our industry.”

The Foundation offers four methods to support the program:
  • Sponsorship: Join the Foundation by making a pledge — an annual donation or a one-time gift.
  • Memorial Gift: This is a meaningful way to honour a friend, loved one or professional contact and help support the industry
  • Legacy Gift: Earmark funds through your estate to sustain the horticulture industry. Contact your estate planner or lawyer to include this legacy provision in your will.  
  • Stewardship Program: Many Foundation sponsors share their expertise by speaking to groups, and directing their honorariums to the Foundation.

A donation to benefit Ontario’s horticultural community is tax-deductible. More information and forms may be found online at

Information are not available for Zac Hertel of St. Clair College, Michael Masson of Fanshawe College, George Peacock of Seneca College and Lingping You of Seneca.

Chad Huggett
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I currently reside in Woodstock, and am enrolled in my second year of the Horticulture Technician program at Fanshawe College. My recent co-op work term experience at the City of Woodstock Parks reinforced my desire to pursue this field. After graduation, I plan on working within the industry, applying my academic training with my managerial background to make a difference through landscaping, thus contributing to the overall quality of community living.

Sharri Honsberger
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I am in my final year of the Horticulture Technician program at Fanshawe College. I love anything to do with native plant species and conservation for future generations.

Tyson S. Jennett
Graduate Research Assistant Program
I completed by Honours B.Sc. (Environmental Sciences) in 2008 and a Masters in Land Resource Science, specializing in Toxicology, in 2011. My Ph.D. project with Dr. Youbin Zheng will focus on modelling and attenuation of phosphorous runoff from green roof substrates.

Patti Prieur
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I have several environmental interests including stewardship for Adopt-An-ESA in London. I am looking forward to a fulfilling career in landscape design. I am so grateful for having been chosen for this scholarship. Thank you all so much!

Scott Ferguson
Post-Secondary Scholarship
A nature-lover to the core, I have lived in and travel to places all over the world. I am inspired by nature all along the way. I hold a BA from UBC, and I am finishing my last year of Humber’s Landscape Technician program with the hopes of pursuing a career in sustainable landscaping and horticulture.

Amanda Henderson
Tony DiGiovanni Scholarship
With a passion for horticulture, I am currently apprenticing as a horticulture technician. I plan to expand my knowledge in hopes to educate and inspire others about the importance of Ontario’s green industry.

Matt Shushack
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I am a graduate of the Landscape Design program at Fanshawe College and currently a student at the University of Guelph for Turfgrass Management. I have worked in the golf course construction industry and golf course maintenance with hopes of being involved in golf course design in the near future.

Lindsey McCain
High School Program
I am a recent graduate of Sinclair Secondary School where I graduated with honours and received individual achievement awards in Visual Arts and Creative Writing. I am currently attending the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Guelph and enjoy my summer job at Vandermeer Nurseries in Ajax.

Stephen Corradino
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I am 23 years old, and born and raised in Richmond Hill. I am an enthusiastic young adult with a strong passion for horticulture, and beyond thrilled to have received acknowledgement for my effort in this growing field.

Elizabeth Roy
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I am a final year student of Landscape Technician Program at Humber College. I worked as a summer intern gardener with the City of Toronto’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Derek McIntosh
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I am an experienced, mature student (26), who has the good fortune to become a student. I am very appreciative of all who support me. I am passionate about the environment with vested interest in water and sustainability.

Jonathon Jacques
Post-Secondary Scholarship
I am a second year Turfgrass Management student at the University of Guelph and Turf Club co-president. I currently work at Cutten Fields in Guelph. I did an internship this past summer at Bigwin Island Golf Club.

Jordan Valters
Casey van Maris Memorial Scholarship
I am a SHSM/Red-Seal graduate with the help and expertise of teacher Allan Nason. I was the first-ever high school co-op student at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.