With the addition of the Irrigation & Water Management Specialty Group, PLANET now represents five distinct segments of the green industry. The timing couldn’t be better. Water and water management impacts every member of the green industry, and issues regarding the conservation and proper use of this valuable resource have become a key concern, not only for PLANET members, but also for their customers and public officials.
The fact that water and landscapes fit like hand-in-glove was not the only incentive for the PLANET Board of Directors to approve this new specialty group. More than half of all PLANET members already install or maintain irrigation systems. The new group will give them a greater sense of community, a chance to network with peers , and the platform to develop strategies within PLANET that address challenges and opportunities specific to their specialty.
I say the timing is right because water and water management has assumed a front-burner position. This is true at the national level (with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program for example) and at the regional and local levels where topics such as the availability of fresh water and control of water runoff have put the irrigation industry on the defensive.
Certainly, one of the charges of this new group will be to develop resources and strategies to help all irrigation contractors regain positive traction when dealing with water issues and concerns. A big part of this, of course, is helping them promote the positive message that proper use of water is a requisite for sound environmental practices that create a healthy and attractive living space.
The operation of the Irrigation & Water Management Specialty Group will mirror that of its predecessor groups — Design/Build/Install, Interior Plantscaping, Landscape Management, and Lawn Care. The chair of the new group is John Eggleston, who, I am proud to say, is a manager of one of our sister companies in Michigan and an experienced industry veteran. Like the other group members, he shares a tremendous passion for the irrigation industry.
Join me in welcoming this group and getting the word out to irrigation contractor nonmembers that the timing is also right for them to join PLANET.
As a side note about how important water is to all industry members, PLANET’s Lawn Care Summit, scheduled for December 7–9, 2011, will feature several sessions on the topic of water. Among them are sessions titled “Bad Lawns, Bad Water; Good Lawns, Good Water,” “Turfgrass Water Needs — Separating Fact From Fiction,” and “State and Local Fertilizer Restrictions Driven by Water Quality Impacts.”
This is our third Lawn Care Summit held in partnership with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The event was conceived as a means to disseminate important technical information and provide legislative briefings on developments in lawn care. It has been very successful and well attended, giving attendees tremendous take-home value.
The Lawn Care Summit will be held at Turnberry Isle Hotel & Resort Miami in Aventura, Florida. In addition to the aforementioned topics on water, the agenda features more than a dozen other sessions that will help attendees identify and take advantage of emerging trends in lawn care and pest management, and discover ways to work smarter and more efficiently. There will also be a product showcase, networking lounges and receptions, and an ever-popular Breakfast With Champions event on Friday morning.
If you have questions about becoming part of this new specialty group or about the Lawn Care Summit or registering for this event, please contact PLANET at (800) 395-2522.