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.

Texas A&M Breaks Ground on Outdoor Classroom
Texas A&M University broke ground in June on the institution’s first large-scale public teaching garden, The Gardens, in College Station. Phase I of The Gardens, the Leach Teaching Gardens, will serve as Texas’ leading teaching and demonstration garden. The 7-acre outdoor classroom will include a pavilion and thematic gardens such as a rain garden, food and fiber field, vegetable beds, butterfly and bee garden, and Earth-Kind plantings. Construction is expected to be completed and ready for visitors in 2018.

Hindsite Snow Industry Survey Pinpoints Emerging Trends
What a difference a year makes. The 2015-2016 snow season turned out to be less busy than the 2014-2015 season, yet profit margins remained healthy. That’s the main message coming from the 2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report shared June 23 by Hindsite Software. The Minnesota-based snow removal software provider based its findings on its annual industry survey. More than 100 snow professionals responded to the survey. Nearly 40 percent of survey respondents experienced a 20+ percent decrease in snow events, while 22 percent of survey respondents saw snow revenues decline by more than 20 percent year-over-year, according to the survey. The 2016 Snow Industry Benchmark Report is available online for free.

Kohler Named Title Sponsor for Verizon IndyCar Series
Kohler Co. signed on to be the title sponsor for the Verizon IndyCar Series event at Road America, and the race will be known as the KOHLER Grand Prix. The Verizon IndyCar Series KOHLER Grand Prix took center stage at Road America June 23-26 with an international lineup of drivers.

Ruppert Landscape Announces New Director of Fleet & Facilities
Greg Franklin has been hired by Ruppert Landscape as the director of fleet and facilities. In his role as director of fleet and facilities, Franklin will oversee the purchase and maintenance of Ruppert Landscape’s fleet and equipment including over 350 vehicles, 160 trailers, 500 mowers, and 2100 2-cycle pieces of equipment.

New Reports Reinforce the Value of Sustainable Forests
The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) released two new reports confirming the ongoing relationship between strong markets for wood products and sustainable forestry in the U.S. The reports study the 32 most forested states, representing 91.3 percent of all working forests in the contiguous U.S., 74 percent of which are privately-owned. Both reports were produced by Forest2Market, a company providing market data and analytics to participants in the wood supply chain.

TurfMutt Signs On For Second Season of CBS Show “Lucky Dog”
TurfMutt signed an agreement for a second season with the Emmy-award winning “Lucky Dog” television show on CBS and is expanding its relationship with global children’s media and education publisher, Scholastic. The new episodes of “Lucky Dog” will feature TurfMutt messages for viewers about how to create a quality, living landscape and outdoor space for the health and well-being of families and their pets. The “Lucky Dog” show airs on Saturday mornings as part of the CBS Dream Team.

Heaviland Landscape Management’s Water-Saving Efforts
Heaviland Landscape Management projects it will save the Palomar Tech Center 2.3 million gallons of potable water annually through landscape design renovation and a recycled water irrigation system conversion. The goals of the project were to reduce water required to irrigate the property’s landscape and improve the property’s sustainability. By converting the site’s irrigation system to one that utilizes recycled water, the center is no longer using potable water to irrigate, saving a projected 1.26 million gallons of drinkable water annually. The irrigation system retrofit and plant replacement saves the commercial property a projected 2.3 million gallons of water annually.

New IFMA Foundation Chair Announced
The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Foundation named Kent Miller its foundation chair. Miller is the president of Caretaker Landscape & Tree Management. The 25-year-old foundation has an 18-person board and operates a $1 million budget, while also providing $150,000 in scholarships annually. Prior to his appointment he served as First Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for the IFMA Foundation.

STIHL Releases New Backpack Battery and Lithium-Ion Batteries
Gas-powered performance is still possible with these STIHL battery products. The 36-volt, 1148 watt-hour AR 3000 backpack battery is interchangeable with all handheld tools in the STIHL Battery Line. According to STIHL, the battery has 25 percent more capacity than the STIHL AR 900, running for up to 13 hours and eliminating exhaust emissions and fuel costs. The new STIHL Lithium-Ion batteries, both the AP 100 and AP 300, are compatible with the full line of STIHL battery products and can recharge within 35 minutes.

CASE Announces 2016 Dealer Award Winners
CASE Construction Equipment
has released its list of 2016 “Diamond Dealer” and “Gold Dealer” award recipients as a part of its North American Construction Equipment Partnership Program. The awards recognize dealerships across the US and Canada for leadership in growing the CASE dealer network, as well as excellence in five categories: sales performance, marketing and communications, product support, parts support and training.

KeySCAPE LandCADD from Keysoft Solutions Now Available
Keysoft Solutions has released KeySCAPE LandCADD. Combining KeySCAPE’s drafting and landscape design capabilities with the updated 3D, surface modeling, site analysis and irrigation capabilities of LandCADD, KeySCAPE LandCADD allows landscape architects to automate workflow processes. Available immediately, KeySCAPE LandCADD supports all versions of AutoCAD from 2010 to 2016 and Windows 7 to Windows 10.

Spring-Green Welcomes Newest Franchise Owner
Jon Thurman of Trimworks Lawn Care and Irrigation in Springfield, Missouri will be taking over an existing Spring-Green franchise in the Springfield area. He started with Trimworks in 1997 and has focused primarily on mowing, landscaping and irrigation services.

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