March 15, 2013
Ottawa Chapter thrives on service
The Day of Tribute has become a major community-building project for the Ottawa Chapter.
Landscape Ontario’s Ottawa Chapter has always been known for getting results that are disproportionate to its numbers.

Its most recent project supported a custom home, the grand prize in a lottery benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Chapter member Jason Smalley jumped at the opportunity to design its landscape and manage chapter volunteers, since both his small boys have benefited from the hospital’s care.

According to Smalley, “The design challenge is to create a landscape that appeals to the average person and has enough pizzaz to encourage them to buy a ticket and support the hospital. The management challenge is to coordinate several dozen contractors who are donating their time and resources, while trying to juggle schedules to fit the home’s construction timeline.” Labour and material donations from member contractors and suppliers appear on page 14.

This large-scale project follows a string of successful community-building Ottawa Chapter initiatives: maintenance of the Cancer Survivors Park and  landscape renovation at Ronald McDonald House.

In addition, the Chapter distinguishes itself every fall by grooming Beechwood National Military Cemetery — an outstanding show of respect for Canada’s veterans.

The Ottawa Chapter Education Committee, led by Ed Hansen, celebrates a strong commitment to connecting with eastern Ontario educators. Algonquin College is well under way with the second semester of a revised curriculum, that Chapter leaders helped to develop. In February, Landscape Ontario is hosting a strategic planning meeting called Connecting Educators, which was inspired in part by the near-loss of the Algonquin program. From that experience, Chapter members learned how important it is for Landscape Ontario to play an integral role in facilitating connectivity between education and the industry, to ensure long term success for students and employers alike. The Ministry of Education responded, and a Specialist High Skills Major in Horticulture and Landscape, connected to the Algonquin College program, is offered at St. Patrick’s High School.

Future plans include development of an annual education conference, driven by all stakeholders, to inspire connectivity, relevance, student success and therefore industry success, as we attract the brightest and the best to our industry.

GreenTrade Expo (story on page 6) is another proud Chapter achievement, as well as evidence of  the Chapter’s strong industry leadership for eastern Ontario. This year, membership benefit pamphlets were distributed to exhibiting members, along with a request to pass on the message of what LO can do for business owners, employees and the industry. The plan was simple, to give an LO-branded pamphlet holder and stack of membership benefits pamphlets to the exhibiting members, in hopes that they will proudly display them in their showrooms or office space. This back-to-basics approach has been discussed several times, but now more than ever we are hearing that our members are overwhelmed by electronic marketing and might just prefer a handout. This year’s show proved very successful from a member recruitment perspective.

Ottawa Chapter snapshot

Number of members: 162
Active members: 109
Current Awards of Excellence winners:
   Garden Creations of Ottawa
   R.J. Rogers Landscaping
   Welwyn Wong Landscape Design
   Yards Unlimited Landscaping
Ottawa Chapter Facebook
Ottawa Twitter @LndscapONottawa
Chapter Board
   Sundaura Alford, Director
   Chris Burns, Director
   Jim Curran, Director
   Mike Fulcher, Director
   Ed Hansen, Director
   Sarah Johnston, Past President
   Mark Mallette, Director
   Bruce Morton, Director, Trade Show chair
   Kelly Mulrooney-Cote, Director
   Bill O’Reilly, Director
   Patricia Stanish, Director
   Chris Urquhart, Director
   Erin Schuler-Van Gilst, Director
   Martha Walsh, Chapter Coordinator