January 12, 2022

Lindsay Drake NightingaleI’m extremely proud to represent you all for the next two years as President of Landscape Ontario’s Provincial Board of Directors. I would like to thank outgoing president Dave Wright for leading the organization these last two years through the dilemmas that COVID-19 presented for Landscape Ontario and the membership.

David’s legacy was leadership and he carried that out with strength and humility. We became the “go-to” organization because of the tireless work carried out by the volunteer LO COVID-19 Task Force and home office staff who gathered, researched, and presented accurate, and at times, up-to-the-minute information. Moving forward, we need to remain vigilant and ensure that we don’t let our guard down.

After the trials and tribulations of the last two years, I would like to start my presidency by defining the future. How can we define the future of Landscape Ontario? Of our profession? What will it look like? What does the future hold for ourselves, our businesses, and our staff? How are we, as an organization, going to evolve? What can Landscape Ontario do to advance the profession into the future? Landscape Ontario is considered a leader in North America. How do we propel the organization into the future?

The labour shortage is the bane of most landscape companies. Great strides have been made by our Inclusion, Diversity and Belonging Committee to embrace, respect and accept inclusion within our profession, which will undoubtedly encourage a wider group of people to enter horticulture. I encourage you to look internally at your own organization to see how you are going to dismantle barriers and breakdown ignorance.

Changes have been made on the Landscape Ontario website and a toolbox of information is available to assist member companies. Increased diversity within the profession will definitely make us better professionals — especially if we are willing to share our knowledge and histories with one another. The future of our profession is linked to labour, so how can we encourage more people to enter horticulture?

2022 is the International Year of the Garden. How are you choosing to recognize this auspicious event? How are you going to use it to push your business further into the future? How are you going to use this incredible occasion to promote horticulture-based careers? How can we continue to encourage the public to take a stand for climate change and make our own profession greener? We are incredibly proud of the work we do to enhance, protect, beautify, nurture, and steward the land, now how can we do it better and with a smaller footprint?

I look forward to your input, discussions, ideas and knowledge. Please feel free to reach out.

Lindsay Drake Nightingale
LO President