Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Governor Issues Proclamation Honoring WNLA’s 100th Anniversary
Commemorating its 100th Anniversary, Governor Scott Walker issued a State of Wisconsin Gubernatorial Proclamation on January 3, 2018 officially declaring it as Wisconsin Nursery & Landscape Association Day (WNLA). Governor Walker presented the Proclamation to WNLA President Ross Swartz in a ceremony at the State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin. Also on hand were WNLA Board members and officers, Executive Director Brian Swingle, Representative Paul Tittl of Wisconsin’s 25th Assembly District, and Representative Amy Loudenbeck of the 31st Assembly District. The Proclamation recognizes the economic impact of WNLA and acknowledges the environmental and social impact of nursery plants and landscaping, mentioning the benefits of erosion control, noise abatement, water filtration and purification, air quality improvement, oxygen production, energy savings, community beautification and pride, plus the advantage to wildlife and pollinators that a robust landscape provides. The Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association serves the Green industry and its 225 members, which include growers, landscapers, and industry suppliers. WNLA is celebrating its 100th Anniversary with events in 2018.

MGIX Kicks Off January 15 with Powerhouse Lineup
The Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association’s regional conference, Midwest Green Industry Experience (MGIX) takes place January 15-17 at the Columbus Convention Center. Featured presenters include Marty Grunder (Attain, Train, Retain and Entertain a Modern Day Green Industry Workforce), Jeffrey Scott (Nine Proven Profit Strategies for Tree Lawn and Landscape Contractors). In addition to business education, the MGIX is loaded with courses on pruning, plant maintenance, identifying weeds and planning pest management strategies. It also includes a State of the Industry report by Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort.

Portland’s New Pesticide Ban Expected to be Costly
Beginning July 1, 2019, residents and city workers will no longer be able to freely use synthetic pesticides in Maine’s largest city, except in a few limited cases, reports the Portland Press Herald. The City Council on January 3 unanimously passed an ordinance regulating pesticide use in Portland. Advocates say it’s one of strongest anti-pesticide ordinances in the country, with scofflaws facing potential fines ranging from $100 to $500. Portland will start using organic pesticides on all city-owned properties beginning this summer. The only exempt properties will be Hadlock Field, Riverside Golf Course and five high-use athletic fields that remain exempt until 2021. City staff estimates that the ordinance could cost up to $700,000 to implement. Those costs would cover new employees, equipment and up to a $250,000 set-aside to replace the turf on athletic fields.

WaterSmart Innovations Conference Issues Call for Abstracts
Experts in the field of urban water efficiency are invited to submit abstracts for the 11th annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition (WSI), slated for October 3-5 in Las Vegas. Abstracts must be submitted to speakers no later than Monday, February 26. Professionals, scientists, government employees, organizations, public and private institutions, policy makers, students and all others working in an industry related to water efficiency are invited to submit an abstract for an oral presentation, panel discussion or workshop. A complete list of topics and submittal guidelines is available at the WSI website. Candidates chosen as presenters will be notified by email and postal mail no later than Monday, April 30.

Industry Consultant Dan Pestretto Forming Peer Groups
Landscape business consultant/coach Dan Pestretto is forming “Mastermind Peer Groups” focused on helping owners build businesses that work for them. The groups will be based on honesty, accountability and the sharing of diverse perspectives in a safe haven of confidentiality. Group members will learn how to implement the “Seven Step Business Systemization” plan along with developing a complete operations manual specific to their own company and brand. Pestretto says affordable groups (no more than six members each) are being formed for different revenue-range companies, including companies of $500,000.

CASE Announces “Kickstart” Landscape Business Development Contest
CASE Construction Equipment is now accepting entries for the CASE Kickstart Contest, a business development contest where landscaping contractors can win a suite of prizes designed to take their company to the next level. Business owners are encouraged to enter the contest online by answering basic questions about their operation, and describing how they would evolve their services by winning the contest. The deadline for entry is March 30, 2018

Six Landscape Pros Earn Jeffrey Scott’s 2017 Mighty Oak Awards
Six outstanding lawn and landscape companies earned business consultant and author Jeffrey Scott’s 2017 Mighty Oak, based on their performance as a business leaders. Scott announced the awards at his Leader’s Edge peer group meetings. The award winners: Seth Kehne, The Lawn Butler, Knoxville, Tenn.; Loriana Harrington Beautiful Blooms Landscape & Design, Menomonee Falls, Wis.; Douglas McIntosh, McIntosh Grounds Maintenance, Milan, Mich.; Bob Drost, Drost Landscape, Petoskey, Mich.; Sean Baxter, Lawn & Landscape Solutions, Olathe, Kan.; and Chris Cotoia, Executive Landscaping, South Yarmouth, Ma.

Website Launch for Drought Tolerant TamStar St. Augustinegrass
TamStar St. Augustine is a new drought tolerant, low water use grass developed by turfgrass breeders at Texas A&M University. A new website dedicated to TamStar at tamstargrass.com, was launched recently by the Turfgrass Producers of Texas to serve as a resource for industry professionals and homeowners. The site offers research and information about TamStar’s benefits, installation, maintenance and where to purchase this scientifically advanced sod. TamStar St. Augustine is the result of more than a decade of  research at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. It was bred to stand up to drought and specifically meet the demands of commercial and residential lawns and landscapes in Texas.

LiveWall Installed To Bring Comapny’s Corporate Values To Life
Applied Imaging installed a 198-square-foot LiveWall Living Wall as the main design element in the lobby of its new corporate headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Applied Imaging is an independently owned provider of document imaging technology and managed IT and network services. LiveWall is the developer and supplier of the green industry’s most sustainable, durable and low-maintenance living wall system. The 198-square-foot living wall is 9 feet tall and 22 feet long. In total, it includes 98 LiveWall modular planters, which contain inserts that hold the growing medium and a mix of six different tropical plants, chosen for their ability to thrive indoors. The integrated irrigation components use drip stake assemblies, which inject water into the growing medium. The light fixtures above the green wall use LiveWall Norb (Nutri-Orb) bulbs, a specialized white-light LED grow bulb that provides the light spectrum and light nutrition plants need while giving off a white light like regular indoor lighting.

Greenworks Commercial And Carswell Establish Partnership
Greenworks Commercial, producers of battery-powered outdoor equipment for landscaping and turf management professionals, and Carswell Distributing Company have announced an exclusive partnership to benefit independent lawn and landscape dealers throughout 13 southern states. Through the arrangement, Carswell and Carswell OEI will provide distribution, logistics, service and sales support for both the Greenworks Commercial 82-Volt line of tools and the newly launched Greenworks Elite 40-Volt line of tools, among independent dealers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

Ruppert Landscape Announces New Branch in Southern Richmond
Ruppert Landscape has expanded its Virginia landscape management operations to include a new branch in southern Richmond. This branch joins four existing landscape management branch offices in Virginia located in northern Richmond, Gainesville, Alexandria, and Fredericksburg. Dave Sharry has been promoted to branch manager and tasked with overseeing the new branch. As branch manager, he will be responsible for the overall welfare of the branch, including the safety and development of his team, strategic planning and budgeting, training, and day-to-day operations.

Douglas Dynamics’ Doug Clark Receives Certified Snow Professional Designation
Douglas Dynamics LLC, has announced that Doug Clark, product manager for Western Products, has earned his Certified Snow Professional (CSP) designation from the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA). Clark joins fellow Douglas Dynamics CSP employees, including Andy McArdle, director of product marketing for Douglas Dynamics, and Daniel Gilliland, training manager for SnowEx. SIMA’s Certified Snow Professional certification was developed for owners, operators, and executives within the snow and ice industry. It focuses on the critical elements of running a professional snow business and recognizes a level of service, quality and value to customers.