February 4, 2020
Denis FlanaganChapter communications got off to a great start in 2020. Incoming Georgian Lakelands Chapter president Laurie Ann Stuart, had the great idea to personally invite all of the other chapter presidents to a meeting held during Landscape Ontario’s Congress trade show and conference. Laurie Ann chaired the meeting, which was the first time most of the people in the room had actually met face-to-face.

The meeting proved to be a great forum for chapter presidents to compare notes regarding subjects such as board procedures, succession plans, meeting topics, social events and how to best encourage companies to join the association.

Participants left the meeting knowing that many of the issues they face within their own chapter are common across the province. Many also left with a great deal of pride at what they have been achieving with their local chapters.

A big thank you should go out to all the chapter presidents who attended, and a special thank you to Laurie Ann for initiating the gathering — she has definitely earned a relaxing day at the spa for this year’s Georgian Lakelands Ski, Spa and Snowshoe Day!

This month, I will be on the road visiting as many LO chapters as possible, starting with the London Chapter Plant Symposium on Feb. 7. This unique and popular event combines members, students and the general public for a full day of top-quality presenters and vendors, many of which (attendees included), refer to themselves as plant nerds. It would be great if we could encourage other chapters to propagate the nerdiness at their chapter events.

I will then be flying to Ottawa to promote membership at the expanded, two-day GreenTrade Expo. In addition to the show (Feb. 12-13), the week includes an LO Peer to Peer Network session with Jacki Hart (Feb. 11), a special design workshop with Julie Moir Messervy (Feb. 11), Ottawa Chapter Awards of Distinction (Feb. 12), and two full days of great education sessions. And if that’s not enough, show organizers have many fun contests that are part of the show, including axe-throwing!

If I still have all my body parts, I will then head back to balmy Southern Ontario, where the Golden Horseshoe Chapter is hoping to breakdown that invisible barrier that happens on the Burlington Skyway by having a booth at the Niagara and area Home and Garden Show, March 27-29. The chapter will promote why professionals should join Landscape Ontario and why the public should hire them. The same message on the same weekend will be happening in the Waterloo Chapter at their local home show. I will have a busy time that weekend giving seminars at both events, then head back to the city where Toronto Chapter members will consider how to interact with the new City of Toronto Bio Diversity Strategy. This topic seems very appropriate following a recent visioning/strategic meeting I attended at the Toronto Botanical Garden, led by a couple of gurus in the world of public gardens: Dr. Don Rakow and Melanie Sifton, both from Cornell University. The outcome of the meeting was that the TBG is in the unique situation to be on the leading edge of incorporating natural habitat and ecology into a world-class botanical garden.

It promises to be a hectic few weeks ahead, but for me, it’s also a great way to meet with, and see the wonderful work of our chapter volunteers, and get feedback from them and the general public. I hope to chat with you soon!
Denis Flanagan CLD
LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations