Author Tom Tracy is the Executive Director of the Virginia Turfgrass Council
Turfgrass, horticulture, arboriculture, environmental sciences, and other industry segments can operate in self-imposed isolation.
Working towards achieving cohesiveness between different industry segments, Virginia Tech’s new School of Plant and Environmental Sciences conducted the second annual Lawn, Landscape, and Sports Turf Field Day on August 14. This event, administered by the Virginia Turfgrass Council, was held in Blacksburg at the Virginia Tech campus and more than 90 people attended.
The day started at the Turf Farm with tours of the latest turfgrass research. After the tours, persons visited outdoor vendor displays, enjoyed lunch, and traveled to the main campus for one of three afternoon options. One group learned the latest tree and shrub selection and maintenance from horticulture and forestry experts at the Hahn Horticulture Gardens. The second went to the Worsham football field to gain insights on providing top-level playing surfaces for the Virginia Tech Hokies. And the third group attended classes to earn required pesticide and fertilizer recertification credits.
Response was fantastic! Attendees came from city and county parks and recreation departments, sod growers, sports field managers, and lawn/landscape companies. After attending the turfgrass tours, one landscaper said, “I never knew Virginia Tech conducts research on 100 different Bermudagrasses!”
Our industry is great and working together we can make a great living while preserving and enhancing the environment. We can accomplish so much when we break out of our isolating spheres and learn from one another.
Plans are underway for the 2019 Lawn, Landscape, and Sports Turf Field Day. Contact the Virginia Turfgrass Council (firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-464-1004) for more information.