Reaching Local Communities Across the Country!
An Honorable Profession
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One of the best things about being in the landscape industry is the people. There is something about working with plants and the outdoor environment that gets right to the core of life. Salt of the earth kinda stuff.

This industry is not for stockbrokers or lawyers. Thereís no selling short, speculation, or ambulance chasing in the landscape professions. Itís not for fashionistas or movie stars or people looking to get wild acclaim from the masses. Itís definitely not a business for professional politicians, although there is a need for manure and earthworms. (Did I just say that?!?)

Yep, the landscape industry is an honorable profession: one for people who care about the environment, who care about the living and breathing, who care about balance. Yet often times it is looked at as one of least important and least appealing industries: home to illegal aliens, beer drinking Bob, and tree hugging neophytes. To the uneducated public, landscape is the land of low wages, low esteem and low impact.

However to those who know, the landscape industry is home to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners. From planners who make sure there is a learning element in the city park, to the contractor who makes sure the slope is stable, the landscape industry is full of motivated, educated, dedicated and responsible men and women who make a difference to the everyday lives of almost everyone, everywhere.

Thatís one reason I get upset when I see landscape associations focus more on expanding worker permits than on developing a domestic workforce. In the landscape industry there is a strong national association for landscape architects (ASLA), a couple of semi-effective national associations for contractors and maintenance professionals, a few strong state associations and a ton of other, unconnected state and local associations. And while many of these groups have great people involved in them, the bureaucrats have of a way of taking over the agenda and watering down the purpose.

To me that purpose should be to build the industry and build up the hard working professionals who comprise it, to portray to the public the honorable work involved and recruit the best of our youth to participate. And one of the best ways to do this is to organize events that put the profession in front of and in the embrace of the public.

You may have noticed over the years, on hard working professionals setting aside monetary gain to help their fellow man. Whether it is rebuilding after a natural disaster or pitching in to landscape a shelter for battered women, these kinds of projects are the ones that can really make a difference and show the public who a landscape professional really is and what the profession is all about

So as we all gear up for the summer rush, and as D.C. rushes to install yet another form of immigration reform, it is also time for the landscape industry to put its best feet forward and engage the public as an honorable, hardworking, profitable and impactful profession, worthy of the best of our youth and willing to help when called upon.

I know so many of you who fit that description; itís time the public knew you as well.

One of the most honorable and fulfilling professions . . . That would be one of the oldest professions in the world . . . the landscape profession!

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