Landscape Industry Supports H-2B Discharge Petition

The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) are asking members of Congress to sign a discharge petition filed by Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., on H.R. 1843, the “Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2007.” The livelihood of the landscape industry and its American workforce is dependent on immediate congressional action.

Employers continue to face increased immigration enforcement pressure from the federal government, as well as state and local governments. Congress’ failure to renew the H-2B returning worker exemption is placing great hardship on businesses and has already resulted in many millions of dollars of lost revenue this year.

TNLA Education & Research Foundation Announces New Projects

The Education & Research Foundation of the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association announced the release of two research projects it is funding. Both reports can be viewed online at www.tnlaonline.org/education/ed-foundation-SubPage.html.

Using Google Earth to Enhance Water Planning and Conservation for the Texas Green Industry by Don Wilkerson and Dan Lineberger of Texas A&M University describes the method developed to use Google Maps to determine producers’ location and relationship to Texas’ major and minor aquifers, soil distribution, groundwater leaching potential, precipitation and other key information needed for water planning.

Water Use by Mixed and Single-Species Urban Landscapes by Kurt Steinke of Texas A&M addresses the complexity of using ETa in mixed-species landscapes. The study examined water use, potential evapotranspiration, seasonal variation in ETa and water quality in landscapes planted with St. Augustinegrass, mixed species or native perennial grasses.

PLANET Announces New STARS Members

The Professional Landcare Network announced the addition of 10 lawn care and landscape companies to the roster of participants in the STARS Safe Company Program, sponsored by CNA and Husqvarna. STARS is a free safety initiative developed by PLANET to assist green industry companies in their efforts to lower their total costs of risk by reducing hazards and injuries. The most recent participants are E.G. Rall Jr. Landscape, Norristown, Pa.; Green Earth Landscape Services, Panama City Beach, Fla.; Groundmasters Landscape Corp., Stoneham, Mass.; James River Nurseries, Inc., Ashland, Va.;  Landscape Associates of De Pere, Inc., De Pere, Wis.; Landscape Renovations, Afton, Minn.; Milieu Design, LLC, Wheeling, Ill.; Milwaukee Lawn Sprinkler Corp., Menomonee Falls, Wis.; Primary Grounds, Greenwood, Ind.; and Villani Landshapers, Menomonee Falls, Wis. 

GreenCare for Troops Program

The GreenCare for Troops program is facilitated by Project EverGreen and offers free lawn and landscape care for military families whose major breadwinner is serving in the Middle East. Developed in 2006, the program is working to serve more than 4,500 families. GreenCare relies on professional and citizen volunteers to make the program possible. In 2007, more than 1,000 volunteers were involved.

Cub Cadet provides underwriting for volunteer coordination and administration. Lawn-Boy is accepting nominations at www.lawn-boy.com for a program to place new Lawn-Boy mowers in the yards of military families.

To find out how qualified families can apply for free lawn and landscape care this summer, go to www.projectevergreen.com and click on the GreenCare for Troops logo, or call 877-758-4835 to have an application mailed.

TPI Conference Highlights

Turfgrass Producers International saw a record number of countries represented at its Midwinter Conference. More than 700 representatives from 20 countries attended the event, which included a seminar, two days of education sessions, Roundtable Forum, exhibits, golf tournament, banquet and awards ceremony. Industry leaders recognized were Doug Brede, Jacklin Seed, Innovator of the Year; David Doguet, Bladerunner Farms, Distinguished Service Award; and Harry Niemczyk, professor emeritus of turfgrass entomology, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State University, Honorary Member Award.

News From GCSAA

The National Golf Course Owners Association has pledged its support to The Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, with a $25,000 donation over the next five years toward research and education to enhance golf’s relationship with the environment.

Arysta LifeScience Corp. and Andersons Golf Products have committed to participate in the association’s Partner Recognition Program at the Silver level.

Duich Honored With C. Reed Funk Award

The Turfgrass Breeders Association recently honored Joe Duich with the C. Reed Funk award. Duich is the fourth recipient of the award, intended to honor individuals for their dedication to turfgrass breeding and their impact on education. Duich spent nearly 40 years at Pennsylvania State University, where he developed several turfgrass varieties.