TOP 10 REASONS TO PARTICIPATE IN PLANET DAY OF SERVICE
10. Join your fellow green industry professionals on Earth Day, April 22, 2011, for a day of giving back to local communities around the world.
9. Raise awareness about the lawn care and landscape profession.
8. Create relationships with organizations in your community.
7. Show your commitment to a great cause.
6. Foster teamwork among your comrades.
5. Be recognized as a leader in community service.
4. Demonstrate goodwill and environmental stewardship.
3. Revitalize the places where people live, work, and play.
2. Become part of a movement to improve the world’s green spaces
1. Impact the QUALITY OF LIFE in your community.
PLANET Day of Service is a great way to give back to your community. Not only are you helping others, but you are establishing a great reputation for your company. Visit planetdayofservice.org to create a project profile for our online community of volunteers.
PLANET Day of Service would not be possible without the generous support of its Lead Sponsors: Agrium Advanced Technologies, American Profit Recovery, JOHN DEERE, PBI/Gordon Corporation, and Shindaiwa.
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LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR STUDENT CAREER DAYS!
Student Career Days (SCD) draws hundreds of students enrolled in landscape and lawn care programs from more than 50 colleges and universities across the country. Students have the opportunity to attend technical and industry-related workshops, to network with colleagues and green industry company personnel, and to interview for internships and employment possibilities.
This year, Student Career Days is March 17-20, 2011, at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois. Whether you are a company or a student, Student Career Days offers opportunities for you. The early-bird deadline for discounted registration has been extended to February 23, 2011.
The highlight of this event is the 28 competitive events, designed to mentally and physically challenge students in a variety of areas — from leadership, personnel and pest management skills to skid steer and compact excavator operation, and turf pest identification and woody ornamental plant identification, to name a few. Each event has a Lead Sponsor who organizes it, and multiple Assistant Sponsors and Donors who assist the Lead Sponsor. Anyone interested in competitive event sponsorships can visit the SCD Web site at StudentCareerDays.org or contact Anna Walraven at (800) 395-2522. Those interested in other sponsorships opportunities may contact Dina Wiley also at (800) 395-2522.
SCD is approved for up to 11 CEUs toward PLANET recertification. For more information on PLANET recertification, please visit PLANET’s Recertification Center.
The career fair on Friday, March 18, 2011 offers opportunities for landscape and lawn care companies to promote their company and their employment openings. Each booth will have an adjacent interview area so interviewing can be done right at the booth site. A limited number of career fair booths are left. Secure yours today!
SCD would not be possible without the generous support of its major sponsors with STIHL Inc. at the Platinum level; JOHN DEERE at the Gold level; Caterpillar, Gravely (an Ariens Company Brand), New Holland Construction at the Silver level; and BRICKMAN and Husqvarna at the Bronze level.
For more information about SCD, please contact Anna Walraven at (800) 395-2522. You may also register online at StudentCareerDays.org.
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WE WANT YOUR NEWS
News stories and alerts about PLANET members will now be featured on LandcareNetwork.org! A new button on the home page called Member News will showcase YOUR news for the green industry to see. Check out the member news section and send your company news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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These leaders of the industry who have “blazed the trail” are committed to helping their peers and the green industry. Each Trailblazer sets aside a full day each year to provide on-site mentoring to another PLANET green industry service provider member. This in-depth, personalized networking and mentoring program is a unique way for emerging and established companies to gain insight and advice on developing and growing their businesses.
Nominations for Trailblazers are due May 6th! If you know a well respected and proven leader of the green industry, nominate him or her today! We especially need Trailblazers in the Landscape Management and Design/Build segments! For questions, e-mail Gail Rogers.
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TWO NEW UNIVERSITIES GAIN ACCREDITATION STATUS
The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) is pleased to announce that Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa has earned it’s accreditation status in addition to Brigham Young University — Provo in Provo, Utah, who has earned their reaccreditation status.
PLANET’s accreditation program is an “industry accreditation,” driven by the needs of the landscape industry. It provides local and national recognition for schools with four-year Bachelor of Science and two-year Associate of Science degree programs that meet the needs of the industry, and it is the only nationally recognized endorsement offered to colleges and universities with landscape/horticulture curricula. Twenty-seven institutions of higher learning now have programs that are PLANET accredited.
The site visit team for Iowa State University included leader and co-coordinator of site teams Greg Jolley, associate teaching professor, Brigham Young University — Provo, Provo, Utah; Dr. Steven Cohan, professor, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland; and Jay Long, partner and director, Ruppert Landscape, Laytonsville, Maryland. The team also granted full accreditation through 2017 to the school’s Landscape Design, Installation and Management Program.
The site visit team for Brigham Young University – Provo included leader and co-coordinator of site teams Edward Plaster, retired instructor, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemont, Ohio; Dr. Zachary S. Johnson, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, professor, Landscape Design and Contracting and Landscape Business Programs, University of Colorado, Fort Collins, Colorado; and Russell Kimball, president, Kimball Property management, Draper, Utah. The team also granted full accreditation through 2017 to the school’s Landscape Management program.
Both schools will require another review at the conclusion of 2017. For more information about PLANET accreditation, contact Anna Walraven at (800) 395-2522.
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PLANET Webinars are an excellent way to learn and earn CEUs! Attend from the comfort of your own office and even at your own convenience when you view the archived version! See the schedule for upcoming Webinars and their descriptions.
For more information on PLANET Webinars, contact KristinStierle@landcarenetwork.org
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ONLA BECOMES PLANET STATE ASSOCIATION AMBASSADOR
The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) has pledged $25,000 to the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) scholarship fund, thereby making it the very first state association to be designated a PLANET State Association Ambassador. As a result of this donation, the ONLA will be given a $1,000 annual scholarship in perpetuity. PLANET AEF presented ONLA with the inaugural State Association Ambassador crystal at ONLA’s annual CENTS show held earlier this week in Columbus, Ohio.
“The ONLA scholarship program has provided nearly $500,000 over the last 15 years alone. In our research in developing an ONLA scholarship endowment, we discovered that PLANET’s Academic Excellence Foundation dovetailed nicely with our strategic goals of supporting students and advancing the association’s mission to provide leadership and guidance to Ohio’s green industry,” says ONLA’s Executive Director Kevin Thompson. “As Ohio’s only all-encompassing green industry association, we are proud to become a PLANET AEF Ambassador, ensuring that a scholarship in the ONLA’s name would be available for future generations.”
In addition to this great news, Rick Doesburg of Thornton Landscape in Maineville, received ONLA’s Distinguished Contribution Award. Rick is recognized for his outstanding and significant contributions to the nursery and landscape industries. Starting his career 30 years ago at Thornton Landscape, he now owns the business. Rick was also PLANET president in 2002. He currently sits on the board of directors of the PLANET AEF.
For more information about PLANET AEF, visit Landcarenetwork.org, e-mail email@example.com or call (800) 395-2522.
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CRYSTAL BALL REPORT #30, DOWNLOAD IT!
Competition is exceptionally keen, profit margins are under pressure, and the recent recession has changed the operating landscape for years to come. What are landscape professionals to do? That was the question posed to PLANET’s Crystal Ball Subcommittee as its members and invited guests met last fall to prepare the 30th annual report.
Their answer is there may never have been a time when landscape professionals needed to be more innovative than now. Crystal Ball Report #30, sponsored by Hunter Industries and titled Innovate (or Die): How Green Industry Companies Will Thrive in the New Economy, emphasizes that innovative thinking is not only the best way for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition and increase their profit margins, but it’s also fundamental to business survival in today’s economic environment.
Get your copy of Crystal Ball Report #30 — Innovate (or Die): How Green Industry Companies Will Thrive in the New Economy from the PLANET Bookstore, either online at LandcareNetwork.orgor by calling (800) 293-5542 and asking for item number MR-0030E (PLANET member price $10; nonmembers $30).
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DESANTIS LANDSCAPES BOOSTS COMPANY IMAGE BY REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINT
A discussion about environmental sustainability during DeSantis Landscapes’ annual strategic planning session in 2005 took an interesting turn. In addition to its longstanding commitment to natural landscaping practices, the company decided to focus on improving the environmental impact of its internal business operations, beginning with its fleet of vehicles and equipment.
Results are impressive. DeSantis Landscapes has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 500,000 pounds, the equivalent of taking 45 vehicles off the road. At the same time, the company is saving money on fuel costs as petroleum prices rise, receiving tax breaks, and enhancing its reputation for environmental sustainability by placing bumper stickers promoting biodiesel use on company vehicles that have high visibility in traffic.
DeSantis Landscape’s experience is a model for other companies. “There are so many ways even small businesses like ours can help the environment, and one of the easiest ways to have an impact is by ‘greening up’ your fleet of vehicles,” said Dean DeSantis, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, President and second-generation owner of DeSantis Landscapes, a nationally recognized, family-owned business with offices in Salem and Portland. “It may seem risky at first, but the benefits to your community and your business are worth it.”
The company’s fleet and equipment initiatives have included switching to hybrid passenger cars and smaller fuel efficient pick up trucks for executives and management team members, and using biodiesel instead of petroleum diesel for trucks, tractors, large mowers and other large equipment. Since 2005, DeSantis has avoided using more than 61,285 gallons of petroleum fuel for its fleet of 38 vehicles.
Along with its commitment to environmental sustainability, DeSantis holds weekly training meetings for employees that include sessions on driving tips to conserve fuel by limiting idle time, avoiding jack rabbit starts and taking the most efficient routes between jobs. The company also has a dedicated sustainability team leader who manages its participation in the national pilot program, Sustainable Sites Initiative, which is a third party certification for landscapes similar to the LEED certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.
According to Dean DeSantis, his was the first landscaping company in Oregon to meet the strict Eco-Logical Business standards, certifying its practices as eco-friendly and sustainable. “To do green well, you gotta BE green,” says DeSantis on the company’s website, desantislandscapes.com. “Our commitment to sustainability has become the foundation of our company. It goes beyond our commitment to natural landscaping practices and into the day-to-day operations of our business.”
DeSantis efforts have earned a number of awards, including a Grand Award in the 2010 Annual Environmental Improvement Awards sponsored by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), and a Small Fleet of the Year Award from the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition, a national organization supported by the United States Department of Energy.
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YEAR-ROUND CERTIFICATION TESTING
Testing to become Landscape Industry Certified is offered year-round — at industry events or via nationwide, computer-based testing centers that offer scheduling convenience and flexibility. Computer testing is available for select exams only. The Landscape Industry Certified Technician-Exterior (formerly CLT-E) requires a written and hands-on test offered by licensees at an authorized location. For testing center details, visit landcarenetwork.org/certification/testing.cfm, or call PLANET at (800) 395-2522.
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THE PASSING OF PLANET MEMBER LOUIS ROBINSON FOSTER II
Louis Robinson Foster II, lost his short but courageous battle with cancer on December 22, 2010 (He was diagnosed in June 2010 with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer). He was born on January 9, 1971, in Columbus. Louis graduated from Columbus State and The Ohio State University. Louis was fortunate to find his dream job as Grounds Supervisor for ATI-The Ohio State University in Wooster, Ohio in 2009. Louis was an active member of the OLA, ONLA, SIMA, MGIA, and PLANET. He held over 18 certifications in the Green Industry and THREE degrees; he not only was a Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, but also a judge for Ohio and Michigan. Louis loved horticulture. The family requests that all contributions may be made to ATI-The Ohio State University Agricultural Institute, 1328 Dover Rd., Wooster, Ohio, 44691-4000.
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