March 15, 2014
LO’s Canada Blooms garden carries important message
The entrance to this year’s LO garden has been deemed the awareness zone, where facts about our current sedentary lifestyle will be displayed on modified computer monitors. The willow branch hut leads into our opportunity zone to find out how the green industry can help combat this damaging passive lifestyle.
By Scott Wentworth

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi declared, “The strength of a team is based fully upon the strength of the individuals contributing towards its good.” The saying seems self-evident, but it is a fundamental truth of successful teams at every level.

Landscape Ontario Green for Life presents Come Alive Outside as one of the Canada Blooms feature gardens. The creation of the garden is about to move from the planning stages to reality. As with every complex landscape project, skill, discipline and craftsmanship is required to truly bring a design to life.

It has been a pleasure to work with team members who bring their dedication and commitment to the project in differing, yet complementary, ways. The commitment of everyone, from Landscape Ontario staff, suppliers willing to go way above and beyond, the craftsman prefabricating elements of the display, as well as the dedicated team of Canada Blooms organizers, is energizing and inspiring.

The display will educate visitors about the ever-increasing social impact and extremely serious health issues related to the sedentary lifestyle of our society, as well as its disconnection with nature. More importantly, it will present ways Landscape Ontario members can lead our clients and communities to live a healthier lifestyle outside.

Every week we are presented with reports of new studies regarding the health impacts of sedentary lifestyles being felt by all segments of our communities. The solution to these issues falls squarely at the feet of the green industry. We have  a rare opportunity to make a truly significant impact to our society to lead by creating the awareness, intention and opportunity for our clients and communities to live a healthier lifestyle come alive outside.

One of the most powerful statistics comes from the New England Journal of Medicine, which states that because of the epidemic of health issues related to sedentary lifestyles, the current generation of children will have a shorter lifespan than their parents, perhaps by as much as five years. We, the members who make up the team that is Landscape Ontario, have the opportunity to help give this generation those five years back. We can create gardens and outdoor spaces that will get our clients and communities back playing outside, experiencing nature, and gaining a multitude of benefits: greater physical and mental health, better self-esteem and social skills, and value and appreciation for the environment that leads to protecting it.

A team truly is only as strong as the individuals that comprise it. We invite all Landscape Ontario members to visit your display at Canada Blooms, and take the opportunity to lead both our clients and communities toward the Green for Life message, to Come Alive Outside.

Canada Blooms runs from Mar. 14 to 23 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.