January 15, 2009
A coalition of interiorscape groups in the U.S. and Canada has been formed. This coalition is expected to improve the economic outlook for the interiorscape business.

The summit took place in Atlanta, Ga., initiated and attended by the Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET) Interior Specialty Group Chair Chris Raimondi CLP, and moderated by Terry Anderson CLP, of the National Interiorscape Network. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen several interior groups emerge,” Raimondi explains. “We wanted to pull in everyone to see how we can all best work together to optimize resources and eliminate duplication.”

Landscape Ontario was well represented by Stephen Schell CHT, chair of LO’s Interiorscape Group, and Sally Harvey CLP, CHT, LO’s manager of education and labour development. The gathering defined its mission as follows: “To increase interiorscaping industry awareness, raise industry professionalism, and promote inclusion of plants in the interior environment through collaborative efforts of participating organizations.”

The group, that named itself the Interiorscape Industry Coalition, agreed that the various associations should work together in partnering and sharing opportunities and in raising awareness of the industry. It also agreed to collaborate on enhancing professionalism within the industry and advocating the use of plants in interior environments.

Schell said that there was a genuine spirit of unity in the industry that he had not seen before. “Hopefully this is the beginning of an ongoing dialogue that will uncover exciting possibilities for all of us to work together to educate industry professionals, and create a better, common understanding of the industry as a whole for everyone who is a part of it.” He adds that LO’s Interiorscape Commodity Group plans to entice some smaller businesses to join LO in order that they may reap the benefits of the association.

The new coalition will meet to work on strategies and action items during the 2009 Tropical Plant Industry Exposition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., January 15-17.