December 15, 2019
Tony DiGiovanniThe end of the year provides a natural time for reflection. Landscape Ontario’s 2019 Annual Report, covering association activities from Sept. 1, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019, is included as a special section in this issue of Landscape Ontario magazine. The Annual Report truly reflects the huge amount of work and contribution by thousands of awesome members, collectively mobilized in a common effort to advance the landscape profession.

I have often wondered why so many people participate in this common effort. What is driving and motivating this effort? As far as I can tell, it is primarily because people care.

The business of caring

Although we say we are in the landscape and horticulture business, we really are in the business of caring. Landscape and horticulture are simply the conduit. We are a club for mutual benefit and mutual improvement. We are prosperity partners. Within our organization, even as competitors, our role is to wish each other well, mentor each other, and generate goodwill that inspires others — now, and in the future. This is the unique aspect of our organization that makes us different from many others.

I find it interesting to note that the act of caring is infectious and inspiring. It communicates at an emotional level. Acts of caring are indelibly imprinted in our memory and last a lifetime. Acts of caring are like a flame that spreads wildly. Acts of caring enhances lives, build each other up and promote growth financially, personally, spiritually, emotionally, socially and most importantly, they leave a legacy because they spread from one person to the other and from one generation to the next.

Caring for each other

In my role at Landscape Ontario I get to sit in on many sector and committee meetings. Here, the room is full of competitors, yet they willingly attend and wish each other well and work together to deal with common challenges. Business relationships are formed at these meetings. Friendships are formed as well. Those same competitors will then help each other out when a need arises in the business world. They’ve got each other’s back. This demonstrates the heart of Landscape Ontario as an organization and a family. As long as we continue to inspire each other with acts of caring and contribution, we will continue to represent the industry we love in a manner that will bless each other, our community and the generations to follow.

Caring for society

There are few occupations in the world that provide as many benefits as ours. Our work provides economic, health, recreational, environmental, tourism, lifestyle, therapeutic and even spiritual benefits. We are in the beautification business. We are in the health business. We stimulate feelings of pride and reflection. We connect emotionally with people at so many levels.

Caring for the future

We are not a profession that likes to boast, but we certainly are a profession that likes to give back. Members in our regional chapters work together to green schoolyards, plant trees, raise money for scholarships, fund research, promote best practices, inspire learning, and so much more. I am proud to be in the horticulture profession. I am also proud to be associated with so many great people whose passion and contribution ethic leaves a legacy of benefit.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season, surrounded by loved ones and those who inspire you in your daily life. I hope you get time to pause and reflect on the success of another year. I hope to see you in 2020 at LO Congress, January 7-9.
Tony DiGiovanni CHT
LO Executive Director