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.
Generally, employers may require that all employees take this vaccine due to the risk of contagion to other employees, customers, and other third parties. If an employee cannot take a vaccine due to bona fide medical or religious reasons, the employer has the right to require substantiation of those reasons and should then consider if other accommodations may be available.
Companies are encouraged to talk with employees and share the facts about COVID-19 vaccines to help dispel some of the myths and misinformation.
WVNLA worked with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture to advocate for the inclusion of growers, landscapers and garden centers in the list of “essential” businesses as a growing number of states closed businesses deemed “non-essential.”
West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt and a representative of Governor Jim Justice’s office both confirmed that lawn and landscape maintenance and garden centers fall in the “essential” business category under the Governor’s COVID19 executive order and may continue to operate. Strict safety policies should be enforced, including hand and equipment sanitizing, maintaining social distance of six feet and sanitizing any gates, door knobs, or latches that crews might touch on customer’s properties. Garden centers may offer curb-side pick up for cautious shoppers.
Growers and sellers of vegetable and fruit plants and fruit and nut trees are obvious contributors to the food supply and must remain open. During this crisis, many Americans will see the wisdom of growing their own food, as the did with Victory Gardens during war times. They’ll purchase those plants at garden centers.
Landscapers are partners in public health and safety, maintaining lawns and green spaces with special treatments to reduce disease-carrying insects and pests. Crime rates increase in areas where green spaces are unkempt. Tree trimming and removal services prevent structural and service line damage.
And let’s not forget the spirit-lifting powers of a flourishing landscape. Good luck to all of you!
WVNLA will offer a Pesticide Applicators Recertification session in July at Glade Springs Resort in Daniels, WV. Attendees will earn 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.Register for this Event
Wonderful West Virginia magazine featured an article in the January issue on WVDA’s ban of barberry as a landscape plant. Author MiKenna Pierotti covered the subject with information supplied by WVNLA and others. Read the article on the links below.
The next Certified Professional Horticulturist exam will be given in July at Glade Springs Resort in Daniels, 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.
In a perhaps unsurprising move during these strange times, WVNLA’s board of directors decided to postpone the 2021 Winter Symposium, scheduled for February 9, to a later date. Concern about limited attendance due to COVID-19 prompted the decision. Keynote speaker Marty Grunder has agreed to reschedule his presentation to a time when in-person events are comfortable and safe for all. The new date will be determined as conditions improve.
The Pesticide Applicators Recertification education session and Certified Professional Horticulturist exam both remain on our schedule for February 10 at Embassy Suites in Charleston. Because so many WVNLA members depend on the biannual course to meet the state’s pesticide applicator continuing education requirements, the course will still be provided. Space will be limited, due to social distance requirements, and masks will be required in the common areas of the hotel.
Registration is open.Register for this Event
To register for the Certified Professional Horticulturist exam, visit wvnla.org, call 304-553-1234 or email .
WVNLA welcomes the following new members:
Bailey’s Gardens & Landscaping, Inc.
419 S. Mildred Street
Charles Town, WV 25414
Landscape architect or designer and construction, landscape and lawn maintenance, hardscape installation.
City of Morgantown –
389 Spruce Street
Morgantown, WV 26505
Municipal public garden.
East River Landscapes
227 Parkway St.
Bluefield, WV 24701
Landscape construction, lawn and landscape maintenance, Christmas tree grower.
Meadow Farms Nurseries and Landscape
43054 John Mosby Highway
Chantilly, VA 20152
Landscape and lawn maintenance, hardscape design and installation, retail garden center.
600 6th Avenue
St. Albans, WV 25177
Landscape architect or designer, , landscape construction, landscape and lawn maintenance, hardscape design and installation, landscape lighting, irrigation, seasonal lighting.
Penn Line Services, Inc.
David Lynn, president
300 Scottdale Ave.
Scottdale, PA 15683
Aborists – tree services.
374 Kanawha Salines Drive
Malden, West Virginia 25306
Gritt’s Midway Greenhouse supplies multitudes of churches with their potted Easter lilies and flowering bulbs. So what happens when COVID-19 forces the closure of churches, who then cancel their Easter flower orders? Undaunted, Gritt’s owners found a grateful recipients for these springtime beauties. Kudos to Gritt’s for bringing cheer to nursing home residents who aren’t allowed visitors during the virus outbreak. Read the details here.
UPDATE: MARCH 24
West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt and a representative of Governor Jim Justice both confirmed that lawn and landscape maintenance and garden centers fall in the “essential” business category under the Governor’s COVID19 executive order and may continue to operate. He urged that strict safety policies be enforced, including hand and equipment sanitizing, maintaining social distance of six feet and sanitizing any gates, door knobs, or latches that crews might touch on customer’s properties. Garden centers might consider offer curb-side pick up for cautious customers. He is not aware of plans to institute enforcement measures.
More detailed information on safety for our industry can be found at:
MARCH 23 — Today West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a “Stay Home” order, closing all “non-essential” businesses, effective Tuesday, March 24 at 8 p.m. WVNLA advocated with the governor’s office to secure a listing of “essential” for garden centers, lawn and landscape maintenance, growers and nurseries.
The 15-page order does not specifically reference garden centers or landscapers. Lawn and landscape maintenance providers appear to be covered by Section l Critical Trades: “other service providers who provide service that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, essential activities and essential business and operations.”
West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt indicates that garden centers, especially those selling fruit and nut trees and vegetable and herb plants and seeds, are covered under Section C “Agriculture.”
West Virginia landscapers, growers, and garden centers are working to decide how to best keep employees and customers safe and businesses going during the pandemic. Businesses that continue to operate should diligently observe safety guidelines, such as those found here. Garden centers that remain open might want to consider curb-side pick up for customers.
Rennix Scholarship Winner is Grounded in Experience
Described by his professor as a “credit to our landscape architecture program,” Tyler Bailey adds the honor of being named 2020 WVNLA scholarship winner to his credentials. Tyler is a native of Poca working toward his bachelor of science degree in landscape architecture at West Virginia University. He was selected as the 2020 Marcus W. Rennix Scholar based on his impressive work background, professor recommendation, and academic record.
Although Tyler began his college career as a civil engineering major, his experiences working summers for his father, Terry Bailey, who owns a landscape business, L&T Property Solutions in St. Albans, drew him to a landscape architecture major.
“I am excited and dedicated to being able to incorporate sustainable designs and seeing my designs come to life in the field. I think it is extremely awesome to plan a design and watch it come to life. This is the main reason I chose the landscape architecture profession to pursue my career dreams,” Tyler said.
Early on, while working for his father, Tyler learned hands-on how to bid, design, plan, schedule, and build projects in the field. He recalls learning to drive a dump truck when he was 14 years old. Later, as a project manager, he learned to take a project from start to finish. The projects included retaining wall and patio construction, sod installation, and lawn irrigation system installation. He operated skidsteers and excavators, and learned estimating and training techniques.
“Being able to acquire hands-on field experience has provided helpful knowledge that directly relates to my landscape architecture career while studying at WVU. I credit my father with providing me the proper opportunities and experience that directly resulted in being able to decide on my career path,” Tyler said.
Tyler says the guidance of both his father and his mother, Lisa Bailey, has played a key role in shaping him and the career he’s chosen. He watched the example set by his father, who started L&T Property Solutions when Tyler was very young.
Tyler’s classroom demeanor, leadership, performance, and work ethic impressed Assistant Professor Vaike Haas, who has instructed him in three courses. In his classroom and on projects, Vaike has observed Tyler exploring creative solutions and incorporating feedback from peers and instructors.
“He’s not afraid to take a chance or to learn from constructive criticism, and he is always willing to refine a concept to a finished design—markings of a strong designer in the making,” Vaike wrote in his recommendation for Tyler.
After graduation, Tyler hopes to find a position that will lead to a project manager job or perhaps toward starting his own firm as a licensed landscape architect in West Virginia.
“Being born and raised in West Virginia, I believe there are many opportunities to incorporate design elements and enhance a variety of locations across the state,” he said.
We wish Tyler well and congratulate him on being named the 2020 Marcus W. Rennix Scholar.
You’ll send your trees and shrubs off to a healthy new home when you include how-to planting instructions for customers. Download and print (front and back) the How to Plant Trees guide. Cut into thirds for a helpful hand-out.