The
W
est
Virginia
Nursery
Landscape
Association,
Inc.
Established in 1939, the
West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association
is a professional trade organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the nursery and green industries and to the education of its members and the public they serve.

Latest

2022 Winter Symposium

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After COVID forced the cancellation of WVNLA’s annual conference in 2021, we are coming back with a bang, with an explosive Winter Symposium on January 26, 2022. As usual, we have two speaker tracks, Design and Profit, in order to meet the diverse interests of the green industry in West Virginia. 

Marty Grunder, Rick Darke and Carol Reese will lead the 2022 symposium at Charleston’s Four Points at Sheraton. Marty is a leading voice on green industry leadership, sales, and company culture. He will lead Profit track participants throughout the day. Rick is a broadly knowledgeable field botanist, horticulturist, and photographer. He will present the morning session of the Design track. In the afternoon, Carol Reese of the University of Tennessee, will present a thought-provoking session on “Native Plants: Facts and Fallacies,” as well as a fascinating talk on “Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Stories.” Find out how the plants you see every day may have influenced our very history.

Register for this Event

Or register by mail, by printing, completing and mailing this registration form with payment to WVNLA, P.O. Box 20284, Charleston, WV 25362

Marty, who is based in Dayton, Ohio, is president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Company and of The Grow Group, a leading green industry consultancy.  He discovered his entrepreneurial spirit when he was just a teenager pushing a used lawn mower. He was looking for a way to put himself through college. Through determination and hard work, he grew his initial $25 investment into Grunder Landscaping Company (GLC), one of the most successful operations of its kind in the Midwest. GLC has earned more than 40 local and national design awards and is a two-time winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Eclipse Integrity Award. Marty has been named entrepreneur of the year by both Ernst & Young and the US Small Business Administration.

The author of The 9 Super Simple Steps to Entrepreneurial Success, he has coached thousands of landscaping professionals and companies across the US and Canada. He has delivered more than 550 talks, motivating audiences of all sizes, from small gatherings of 20 to a stadium of 9,000, to achieve success.

When Marty speaks, landscape pros listen because they know they’ll get the unvarnished truth from someone who’s faced many of the same challenges they’re facing and found a way to consistently come out on top.

Rick Darke is an independent consultant, author, and photographer based in northeastern Pennsylvania. His work is grounded in an observational ethic that blends ecology, horticulture, and cultural geography in the design and stewardship of living landscapes. His collaborative projects include parks, botanic gardens, postindustrial sites, transportation corridors, conservation developments, and residential landscapes.  Recent public projects include the Iron Garden at Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark, located near Pittsburgh, and the Moss Gibbs Woodland Garden at the Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville, Kentucky.

Rick began as a mechanical engineering major at the University of Delaware. He also took classes in art, cultural geography, and anthropology before graduating with a degree in plant science, with a dual focus on field botany and horticulture. Rick launched his independent practice in 1997, following 20 years on the staff of Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens. As curator of plants at Longwood, he played a major role in developing the gardens’ indoor and outdoor displays and in international plant exploration.   

Rick’s many books include The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest; The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable LandscapesThe Wild Garden: Expanded EditionThe Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, co-authored with Doug Tallamy; and Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes, co-authored with Piet Oudolf. He also teaches and lectures internationally on sustainable landscape design, planning, and conservation, and the ethical underpinnings of all of these. On the broad topic of livable landscapes, Rick has addressed audiences in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Chile.

Rick has been studying and photographing West Virginia’s wild habitats and community places for nearly 50 years. He uses insights from this work to inform and inspire his creative projects in public and private landscapes and gardens.  Rick’s own garden, created with his wife and co-horticulturist Melinda Zoehrer, comprises 1.5 acres of rolling, piedmont  terraine adjacent to the White Clay Creek Preserve. It features locally native and adapted plants. The garden has served as their living laboratory for more than a quarter century.  For further information, visit  rickdarke.com.

In his segment on drawing inspiration from West Virginia’s wild and wonderful places, Rick will feature many photographs of West Virginia flora. After a break, he will deliver a design lecture on the landscapes created based on the wild spaces around the world that he has photographed.   A tech-savvy speaker, Rick can access anything from his own archives and online during his presentation to address audience members’ specific questions.

Carol Reese is an Extension Horticulture Specialist housed at the University of Tennessee’s West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson. She is a nationally-known speaker, blending equal parts gardening knowledge, natural lore, and quirky humor.

Carol is the gardening and nature columnist for several newspapers, as well as a contributor to several gardening magazines. She was the Q&A columnist for Horticulture Magazine for several years.

Her B.S. and M.S. in Horticulture are from Mississippi State University, and she could also add her Ph.D. if she “had ever written that damn dissertation!” While there, she taught classes in Plant Materials, and co-taught Landscape Design for non-LA majors alongside a “real” landscape architect.

She attributes her love of horticulture to being raised on a farm by generations of plant nuts, including a grandfather who dynamited his garden spot each spring to “break up his hard pan”. Carol’s very personal appreciation of natural lore is at least partially a result of her near daily rambles through the wild areas near her home with her motley collection of mutts, also known as the strong-willed breed of “Amalgamations.”

Registration for the Winter Symposium will open in November. The fee for WVNLA members is $50. Non-member fee is $100.

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Pesticide Recertification

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WVNLA will offer a Pesticide Applicators Recertification session on January 27 at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Charleston. Attendees will earn 10 education credits through the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, applicable to categories 3, 4A, 4B, 7, 11 and 13C pesticide applicator licenses. WVNLA members attend at no cost. Non-members fee is $50.  

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2021 Scholarship Winners

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WVNLA’s board of directors has selected two recipients for the 2021 Marcus W. Rennix Memorial Scholarship. Sarah Naegele and Jacob Riggleman are both students at West Virginia University.

Sarah Naegele is a senior studying landscape architecture at West Virginia University. She grew up in Charleston, where she graduated from Capital High School. Her path to landscape architecture was initially sparked by a love of art.

“When I came to West Virginia University, I was undecided but had been leaning toward art or landscape architecture for my major,” Sarah explained.“I had taken art classes all four years of high school and already knew what to expect, but I had no clue what landscaping would require.

So I decided to take one of the basic classes, History of Landscape Architecture, and absolutely loved the idea of the job. It was amazing to think that my creativity could be reflected and produced into the landscape for people to enjoy.”

Summer employment with TerraCare in Charleston helped Sarah understand the type of work a licensed landscaper does. She used her auto-CAD skills for design, furthered her knowledge of plant materials, and installed beds. Her projects ranged from basic residential jobs to the elaborate flowerbeds on the State Capitol campus.

“It helped me realize that my job will have me outside as much as inside,” she said.

In her recommendation letter, Sarah’s landscape architecture advisor, Lisa Orr, spoke highly of her academic performance, as well as her potential.

“Sarah was a talented designer even at an early stage in her academic career,” Lisa said. “I expect her to be an accomplished professional in the field after she graduates.”

The news that she was a scholarship recipient surprised Sarah.

“When I received the email letting me know that I had received the Marcus W. Rennix Memorial Scholarship, I was very shocked. I do not think it quite set in until I received the letter a few days later. I did not stop smiling the whole day, it was such an honor,” she said.

After her graduation in May, Sarah hopes to return to TerraCare. An avid hiker, she hopes to one day design trails for state or national parks.

 “I would love to come back to West Virginia and be able to design something new and unique, to leave my own mark on these beautiful mountains,” she said.

Jacob Riggleman is a junior studying horticulture at West Virginia University. He grew up in Buckhannon, where he enjoyed working in vegetable gardens at an early age. When he was 16, he started his own lawn care and landscape business in his hometown.

After Jacob graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 2018, he decided to further his education in horticulture. He attended WVU Potomac State College in Keyser, where he earned an associate’s degree in horticulture in the spring of 2020. The following semester, he enrolled at WVU in Morgantown, where he is on track to earn a bachelor’s degree in  horticulture in 2022.

“I was very excited about this program, as it is what I am very passionate about,” he said.

Jacob’s advisor and instructor at Potomac State, Donna Coffindaffer, said that he is not only an excellent and devoted student, but that he also seeks experiences outside the classroom to further his education.

“He worked with our sustainable agriculture coordinator, Corey Armstrong, and our farm supervisor, Andy Walker, to gain hands-on knowledge of greenhouse work, high-tunnel production, maple syrup production, and general farm tasks,” Donna said.  “These have enhanced his education with practical knowledge that will serve him well in any future work. The work ethic that Jacob brings to each task is far beyond the normal college student.”

Today, Jacob mows some 15 yards and usually completes at least one landscape job a week. During the school year, he travels from Morgantown on weekends and some evenings to meet his customers’ needs. After graduation, he plans to grow his business and hire employees. He hopes to start a greenhouse for growing bedding and vegetable plants, and for propagating fruit trees.

“I would like to thank the West Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association for this scholarship. I intend to dedicate my future to making our world more aesthetically pleasing and more sustainable,” Jacob said.

 

Welcome New Members

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WVNLA welcomes the following new members:

Hadleys Lawn Care

Active member

Shawn Hadley

84 Plummer Drive

Leon, WV 25123

304-389-8468

Fertilization and weed control.

 

Harmon Vegetation Management

Active member

Edward Harmon

2187 Middle Fork Drive

Charleston, WV 25314

304-550-6645

Landscape and vegetation management.

 

Macsek Lawncare, LLC

Active member

Matthew Macsek

104 Fox Tail Lane

Elizabeth, WV 26143

304-741-3603

Landscape and lawn maintenance.

 

Perfect Lawn & Landscape

Active member

Corey Price

P.O. Box 503

Crab Orchard, WV 25827

304-552-6506

Landscape design and construction, lawn and landscape maintenance, hardscape design and installation, lighting and irrigation.

 

Jacob Riggleman

Student member

P.O. Box 2723

Buckhannon, WV 26201

304-439-9910

 

Sky Outdoor Living

Active Member

Scott Harrison

5165 Big Tyler Road

Charleston, WV 25313

304-546-4671

skyoutdoorlife.com

Landscape Construction

 

Tri-State Lawn & Landscape Pros

Active member

Creed Warner

4029 Piedmont Road

Huntington, WV 25704

813-304-3303

Hardscape design and installation, landscape design and construction, lawn and landscape maintenance.

 

West Virginia University Extension

Associate member

Karen Cox

51 16th St.  Suite 301

Wheeling, WV 26003

304-234-3673

 

Certified Professional Horticulturist Exam

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The next Certified Professional Horticulturist exam will be given on January 27 at 4 p.m.  at Four Points by Sheraton in Charleston, WV. The exam includes 100 multiple choice questions that cover material presented in the CPH study manual and 25 plants to be identified. Study guides are available for $60 for members and $100 for nonmembers.

To register to take the exam and/or order a study manual, complete an exam application here:

Register for this Event

Please note the education and experience requirements found at the bottom of the application.

 

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Member Benefits

Education

Educational opportunities to members through cutting edge speakers and programs.

AmericanHort

Industry representation through the Association’s membership in AmericanHort.

Networking

Increased business opportunities through industry networking.

Trade Show

Representation at Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, which WVNLA co-sponsors.

Research

Research association through West Virginia University, Virginia Tech and HRI.

Projects

Recognition of community commitment through member projects such as the West Virginia Botanic Garden in Morgantown, WV.

Discount

Discounts on the Association’s Winter Symposium fees for members.

Training

Free pesticide applicator’s training program for recertification credits.

Certification

Certified Professional Horticulturist exam annual opportunity.

Newsletter

Quarterly newsletter containing member updates and industry news and trends.

Directory

Inclusion in annual directory of members and their services, which is distributed to potential customers and other WVNLA members, and a website listing.

Scholarships

Involvement in scholarships for West Virginia natives who are horticulture and landscape architecture majors at institutes of higher learning.

Volunteer Projects

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WVNLA members work together on outstanding community volunteer projects aimed at making the quality of life in our West Virginia communities the best it can be.

We are proud of the many good things that “flower” as a result of our Volunteers in Bloom program, and we look forward to many future projects.

The West Virginia Botanic Garden

Morgantown, West Virginia For the past several years, WVNLA

The Golden Girls Group Home

2010 – The Golden Girls Group Home, Ceredo, West

The Raleigh County Women’s Resource Center

2009 – The Raleigh County Women’s Resource Center,

YWCA Sojourners Shelter

2008 – YWCA Sojourners Shelter,

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Scholarships

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The West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association provides scholarship funding for outstanding West Virginia students studying horticulture, landscape architecture, and nursery and greenhouse management.

Candidates must be in-state residents who have completed half the required courses in ornamental horticulture or landscape architecture and who maintain at least a 2.5 G.P.A. Students who meet these requirements and apply before December 1 will be considered  for the Marcus W. Rennix Memorial Scholarship.

Please see the Scholarship Application for more information.

Previous Recipients

Applications

Applications

We invite you to become a member and take advantage of member benefits. For more information, contact us. The application form is supplied here in pdf form:

Membership application

We proudly support West Virginia college and university students studying horticulture and landscape architecture with scholarship opportunities. The application form is supplied here in pdf form:

Scholarship Application

Our organization is pleased to consider funding projects that benefit residents of West Virginia. Each funding request will be reviewed by our board. Please note that requests must meet the criteria outlined on the Funding Request Form::

Funding Request Form

Contact