PLANET launches new blog
Take a peek into the more personal side of PLANET and its members with the launch of PLANET’s new blog, VoiceoftheGreenIndustry.org. Jeff Korhan, CLP, of True Nature, Inc.® will kick off the blog with his take on the benefits of blogging. Other members will be contributing information on a weekly basis. So visit this member-driven blog site often to find out what your peers have to say about happenings at PLANET and in the green industry.
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PLANET to offer FREE Web conference on media training Register today for PLANET’s latest FREE Web conference focused on media training for the green industry!
Join Bendure Communications, PLANET’s public relations consulting firm, to learn how to develop story ideas and pitch them to reporters. Learn how to work with the media just in time for the start of spring. This Web conference will be especially beneficial to those companies participating in the PLANET Day of Service on April 22, but it is also useful to those who want to increase the media coverage of their business.
Pitching to and Working With the Media
April 2, 2009
2:00–3:00 p.m. (EDT)
Hurry, space is limited!
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A day of giving back to your community PLANET members will be undertaking a variety of volunteer lawn and landscape projects in communities across the country to demonstrate the importance of maintaining our green spaces on the national PLANET Day of Service this Earth Day, April 22, 2009. Here’s a glimpse at some of the projects that are in the works.
- Flooding in Iowa last year created a path of environmental damage. PLANET member Paul Dykstra of Iowa City Landscape Design & Installation Center decided that his company could do something to help repair the damage. Members of his company along with volunteers will be working in parks in Iowa City and Coralville to replace dirt and mulch that was carried away by the floods. “Trees can get girdled roots, trunk rot, and other damage and disease if they are not cared for,” says Dykstra. “When we heard about the day of service, we thought it was a great opportunity to repair some of the damage.”
- Buck & Sons Landscape Service, Inc., in Hilliard, Ohio, is one of the companies doing a project with their local elementary school. At Britton Elementary School, volunteers will be installing an educational planting display about the regional ecology. The company is working with the science teachers to develop teaching materials. “It is really important that kids understand that everything we do has an impact on the environment,” says company owner Steve Buck. “We all need to understand how our actions affect the environment.”
- Rita Stewart of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) says NJLCA is excited about participating in the PLANET Day of Service. “We wanted to give back to the community and thought this would be a great way for our members to come together on a project,” says Stewart. NJLCA will be highlighting the ecology of the Garden State by creating a habitat for the ruffed grouse at the 80-year-old No-Be-Bo-Sco Boy Scout camp in Hardwick, New Jersey.
- Hundreds of volunteers will be cleaning up and mulching the green spaces in Louisville, Kentucky, in preparation for the Kentucky Derby during the Brightside/Chase Pre-Derby Cleanup.
- When Miles Kuperus Jr., CLP, Farmside Landscape & Design, Inc., Wantage, New Jersey, contacted his local chamber of commerce to determine needs in the community, the chamber mentioned a war memorial being planned at a local park. The idea of a memorial was conceived of by an Iraqi soldier when he was serving overseas. It will contain a tribute for every war beginning with the Revolutionary War to the present. “Farmside will be the frontline team,” says Kuperus. “We’ll be doing either hardscaping or planting around the base of the future memorial.”
For complete details about the PLANET Day of Service, log onto planetdayofservice.org, or contact PLANET Public Relations Director Heather Finney at (800) 395-2522.
- “In our Westchester market, we are working with the Pelham Art Center, a not for profit serving the community, replanting their garden,” says Richard Heller, CLP, CLT, of Greener by Design, Pelham, New York. “The project is evolving into an Earth Day celebration.” Notices will go out to parents of five elementary schools, inviting them to bring their children by the art center after school to participate in eco-art projects that Greener by Design will sponsor. “Eco-education is a component of our mission,” continues Heller, “so we are very excited about the expansion of PLANET Day of Service event into an educational experience, as well.”
Lead Sponsors include Agrium Advanced Technologies; American Profit Recovery, Inc.; JOHN DEERE; Lawns by Yorkshire Inc.; and Shindaiwa.
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Political analyst Charlie Cook to speak at Legislative Day on the Hill With a new administration in town, it’s more important than ever to make sure your concerns are heard on Capitol Hill.
On Tuesday, July 14, 2009, during PLANET’s Legislative Day on the Hill event, members will be briefed by political experts on key industry issues on Monday afternoon. Kicking off the briefings will be keynote speaker, Charlie Cook, “widely regarded as one of the nation’s keenest litmus testers on U.S. elections and political trends.” Cook uses his vast knowledge of American politics, memorable stories, quick wit, and meaningful insights to deliver speeches packed with timely information about the changing political climate. A political analyst for NBC News, Cook has been deemed “the Picasso of election analysis” by The Wall Street Journal. His expertise has been featured on the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs, as well as on Good Morning America,the Today show, Nightline, Meet the Press,and This Week. He is also a welcome fixture on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio.
Besides visiting the offices of their representatives and senators, companies will also have the opportunity to help beautify some of the most cherished and hallowed ground in these United States by participating in Renewal & Remembrance at Arlington National and Historic Congressional Cemeteries.
The newly renovated Key Bridge Marriott at 1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia, will be the center of action for this year’s Legislative Day on the Hill. Just four miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and within three blocks of the D.C. Metro system, the Key Bridge Marriott gives guests easy access to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, the Kennedy Center, and Georgetown. Reservations can be made by calling (703) 524-6400 on or before June 19, 2009, and asking for the PLANET rate or by visiting the Marriott Web site.The registration deadline for this event is July 6, 2009.
Bayer Environmental Science, Husqvarna, and Syngenta Lawn & Garden are the event’s Platinum Sponsors.
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April is National Lawn Care Month As spring arrives, 30 million acres of turf across the nation is turning green and growing. PLANET observes the importance of lawns and their aesthetic and environmental benefits during National Lawn Care Month each April. Share these facts with your customers …
Be proactive in April and propose lawn care programs for your clients that ensure both a healthy and beautiful lawn throughout the year.
- Well-cared-for lawns can significantly increase your clients’ property values. A healthy lawn is of utmost importance to our environment. A 50-foot by 50-foot lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four. Lawns cool the atmosphere. Eight healthy front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning, which is enough for 16 average homes.Grass converts carbon dioxide to oxygen, a process that helps clear the air.
- Dense, healthy grass slows water runoff, removing contaminants and trapping soil. Fresh, filtered water returns to the underground water supply.
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PLANET’s Recertification Center details activities that qualify for CEUs As of January 2009, PLANET has transitioned to a two-year recertification cycle. The continuing education and industry service needed to maintain the active status of your PLANET certification will be measured in Continuing Education Units (CEUs). You will be required to report 24 CEUs earned during the two-year cycle to maintain the active status of your certification.
Recertification is a major component of a strong certification program and is considered a best practice across the certification industry. Certified individuals will be able to submit CEUs earned in any of four education and three service areas during the two-year cycle. Certified individuals may substitute up to eight CEUs from the three Service categories or report all 24 CEUs in Education.
In addition to the education and service opportunities that are specifically mentioned in the PLANET Recertification Requirements information sheet, certified individuals may request pre-approval of other educational or training programs. A list of pre-approved programs and the maximum CEUs assigned is listed here. Refer to this list to plan your participation.
If you hold a PLANET certification designation and have not received information about the change to the two-year recertification cycle, e-mail or call the Certification Department at (800) 395-2522.
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Can you dig it?
FedNet, a collaboration that addresses youth worker safety and health issues, has published the brochure, “Can You Dig It? — A Safety & Health Guide for Young Workers in Landscaping, Greenhouses & Nurseries.” The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a participant of FedNet and contributes to the program. If you would like printed copies of the brochure, contact Cheryl Claborn or call (800) 395-2522.
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Vila & Son becomes PLANET AEF Ambassador
With its commitment of $25,000 to the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) scholarship fund, Florida-based Vila & Son Landscaping Corp. becomes the latest PLANET AEF Ambassador.
Juan Carlos Vila launched Vila & Son in 1984, three years after arriving in the United States with his family. As CEO of this award-winning $70-million-a-year company, he oversees a staff of 750 employees, spread among its five branches and corporate office. "I chose to become an Ambassador in order to provide the opportunity of education to a young person; an opportunity I didn’t have,” says Vila. “Being able to impact somebody’s life is wonderful, and if it’s somebody that shares my passion for this great industry, it makes it even better.”
The PLANET AEF scholarship fund was formed in 1998 to award scholarships and fund educational activities for the green industry. Promoting and advancing the lawn and landscape services industry by supporting academic excellence is the Foundation’s mission. To fulfill its mission the PLANET AEF relies on tax-deductible donations and long-term pledges from individuals, corporations, organizations, and estates. The Foundation’s assets total more than $2 million.
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Safety $ense finds a new home To reduce the number of e-mails coming to your inbox, PLANET’s monthly safety e-newsletter, Safety $ense, will now be included in Front Page News. This month’s issue includes ways to prevent lifting injuries, including proper lifting techniques and beneficial warm-up stretches. A safe work environment is very important so be sure to check it out.
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Kudos to certification testing at PSI/LaserGrade
“I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of the whole test center process,” says newly certified Linda Kiscellus, CLP, of Moore Landscapes. “The online program was very thorough, and I was given as much time as I needed to become comfortable with the format before the test began. Previously, taking the tests in the midst of the Green Industry Conference or Mid-Am was a real challenge because there was so much other activity competing for my attention and energy. The test centers allowed me to plan and prepare based on my schedule and my needs.” Find out more about computer-based certification testing.
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A message from your PLANET President PLANET President Jason Cupp, CLP, stresses the importance of PLANET partnerships in his latest From the President message. “We’ve discovered, just as other professional associations, that doing things together gets everyone a whole lot closer to the end goal than forging ahead on your own,” says Cupp.
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Inside PLANET PLANET is working hard to deliver on the five strategic goals of the PLANET Promise and would like to share those achievements with its members on a monthly basis in this e-newsletter. Read the latest edition of Inside PLANET.