February 15, 2008
Denis Flanagan CLD
Manager, membership services

Denis FlanaganOn the first week of our Winter Professional Development Series the parking lot at LO’s home office in Milton was jam packed, and every meeting room was full to capacity — a fabulous indication of how keen our members are to improve their practical and business skills. It’s also great to see how freely the instructors share their wealth of knowledge with other people in the trade.

The week also served as a reminder on how varied this wonderful industry is. We had several concurrent sessions running with Phil Van Alstyne, CHT, teaching a course on interior plantscaping, Joachim Schwien, LA, covering the techniques of stone masonry, an introduction to design graphics with Beth Edney, CLD, landscape lighting with Carl Hastings and a new course on strategic planning and business assessment taught by Michael Lewis. To complete the educational mix, a course on landscape design was tutored by Don Chase, BLA, CLD, and George Urvari, BA, covered a course on job site efficiency.

Speaking of which, our own seminar co-ordinator Kathy Mclean could probably teach us all something about efficiency. She effectively manages the registration of over 1,500 participants, hires and assists 52 instructors, and organizes 156 courses. This hive of activity comes, of course, with some challenges with having only a limited amount of space and a large number of people passing through, each and every day. Thankfully, members always accept any minor hiccups with understanding and often humour. For instance, there were many humourous suggestions offered when a Jan Gelderman Landscaping truck pulled into the parking lot with an outhouse strapped on the back while members were outside enjoying a lunch break. I’m sure you can imagine the comments…

The true story is that particular composting washroom unit will be used as part of our living educational garden called Backyardecotopia at Canada Blooms (March 12-16), demonstrating energy conservation, responsible use of water gardens and how to create sustainable landscapes.
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at dflanagan@landscapeontario.com.

Caption: This composting washroom unit will be part of the Backyardecotopia educational garden at Canada Blooms.