September 1, 2016
British Colombia Update
Certification continues to be important in developing qualified professionals for the hort industry.

British Colombia Update

Landscape Trades devotes space in each issue to provincial association news. This issue features an update from the British Columbia Landscape Nursery Association.

Continued success with certification

B.C. has been involved in the Landscape Industry Certified program since 1994, with at least two test days per year. This year, two test days were set in July and October at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) School of Horticulture. The most recent test on July 9, 2016, saw candidates tested in all five specialties: Irrigation, Hardscape Installation, Softscape Installation, Turf Maintenance and Ornamental Maintenance.

BCLNA members, led by Nicholas Funke and Jeff Foley, provided the strong backs and discerning eyes to help set up and judge the event. KPU staff Rob Welsh and Shelley Murley are strong supporters of the program, working with BCLNA members and CNLA staff to organize, set up and run the test day. BCLNA is especially grateful to BCLNA members who provide their time to judge the candidates. The list includes Kenji Maziguci, Jeff Pope, Cody Zahradnik, Monti Cantwell, Sandra Marriott, Jeff Foley, Shelley Murley, Frank Shang, Michelle Johnson, Thomas Schneider, Cable Baker, Kevin O’Connor, Jerry Ingram, Drew Cotton, Delanie Fisher, Conway Lum and Jamie Lamont.

BCLNA staffer, Michelle Linford, assists with organizing the supportive logistical aspects of the event and Colin Vince from CNLA provides operational details and processing.

If you have any questions about certification, or to sign up for the Oct. 14 and 15 test, contact Colin at CNLA,
bowl of cucamelons B.C.’s green industry has come up with innovative ideas to promote buying local.

Program promotes B.C.-grown plants

PlantSomethingBC was launched in Spring 2016 with the objective to spread the ‘buy local, buy B.C.-grown plants’ message. PlantSomethingBC is a BCLNA initiative, funded in part by the B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation, strongly supported by B.C.’s horticulture industry with over 100 landscapers, retailers, and growers participating in the program. Through out-of-home advertising, point of purchase displays, and social media marketing, the campaign asks gardeners to visit to find garden centres or landscapers that offer B.C.-grown plants in their area. Also available on the website is a searchable plant database to make finding B.C.-grown plants easy.

Between February to May the website hosted over 1,300 sessions, with visitors from Vancouver, Duncan and Kelowna. The campaign also connected with over 300 gardeners through a ‘Plant to Win’ photo contest. The contest encouraged B.C.’s gardeners to upload pictures to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a chance to win a wheelbarrow of gardening goodies. In 2017 PlantSomethingBC will be continued with a new focus.