December 18, 2019
Will climate change affect the future of your company?
Fusion Landscape Professional program is here to help
Over the last decade, news reports of our changing climate have dominated headlines and our lives. These stories often paint a gloomy picture of the future, leaving us feeling helpless and unable to make a difference. But this is not the case. There are solutions and opportunities available — and the landscape and horticulture profession has a significant role to play.
With changing climate and weather patterns causing an increase in intensity and frequency of rain events, communities are experiencing an urgent need for stormwater management and Low Impact Development (LID) practices. These practices mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration of runoff of rainwater into the ground, improving water quality and reducing the load on stormwater infrastructure.
The demand for stormwater management and Low Impact Development currently is, and will continue to be, driven by property owners and insurance companies working to protect assets and mitigate risk. Municipal, provincial and federal governments are also very concerned and are focused on preserving stormwater infrastructure and keeping communities healthy and safe. These factors will continue to drive the growth in the market for stormwater management and Low Impact Development.
Industry and government working togetherLandscape Ontario prides itself on being a leader in representing, promoting and fostering the advancement of the horticulture profession. The challenges created by climate change represent a significant opportunity for our profession. In alignment with our mission, Landscape Ontario, in partnership with the Region of Peel and York Region, developed the Fusion Landscape Professional (FLP) program — the first and only stormwater management training and certification program developed by industry and government for the landscape profession in Ontario.
The Regions originally partnered with Landscape Ontario back in 2013 to develop the Water Smart Irrigation Professional (WSIP) program, which focuses on irrigation system efficiency. Due to the success of the WSIP program, the next challenge was to tackle water efficient landscapes that help with stormwater management. Two of the largest and most rapidly growing municipalities in Canada, the Region of Peel and York Region, were also looking for solutions to reduce outdoor water use and lessen the load on stormwater infrastructure. Together with key players in the landscape profession, the partners developed the Fusion Landscape Professional program, which launched in November, 2017.
Now in its third year, the FLP program provides experienced landscape designers and architects, construction and maintenance contractors with the tools and knowledge to promote and provide aesthetically-pleasing landscape products and services that utilize residential lot-level stormwater migration. The program focuses on skills needed to design, construct and maintain Fusion landscapes. It also includes the science behind Fusion landscaping, advanced site analysis from a stormwater management perspective, and how to educate clients about the benefits of these types of landscapes. The program’s training manual and seminar were developed by Credit Valley Conservation, in collaboration with Landscape Ontario, through the lens of a landscape professional. The program will help participants to meet the needs of a variety of clients and sites, while increasing the sustainability of our communities.
Program expanding across the provincePreviously only available to Landscape Ontario members operating in Peel and/or York Region, the Fusion Landscape Professional training and certification program will now be available to all members of Landscape Ontario across the province. For companies operating predominately within Peel and/or York Regions, the cost of training and certification will still be sponsored by the Regions, and eligible companies will be able to access the region’s incentive program. Companies operating outside of Peel and/or York Regions can participate in the program for a set fee.
Regardless of where your business operates, the Fusion Landscape Professional program will open doors to new business opportunities and will help to support you and your company to remain relevant and competitive in an evolving market.
Over the past six years, the Region of Peel and York Region have provided Landscape Ontario with support for the WSIP and FLP program development and delivery. Landscape Ontario is grateful for this partnership. We are proud of the quality programs that have resulted, and the subsequent impact on lot-level stormwater management. Our intention is to support our members in continuing to move forward toward a more sustainable future.
With a new year (and new decade) upon us, the Fusion Landscape Professional training and certification program may be just what you need to further your professional development goals for the future. For details, visit HortTrades.com/fusion or contact Cassandra Garrard at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 2397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strengthen your business. Enhance the environment. Create resilient communities.