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 will open in January. WVNLA members will receive early notification.
To register for the Certified Professional Horticulturist exam, visit wvnla.org, call 304-553-1234 or email .
WVNLA welcomes the following new members:
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
WVNLA is offering a Pesticide Applicators Recertification session on Feb. 10, 2021 at the Embassy Suites 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. Registration will open in January. WVNLA members will have early registration opportunity.
The next Certified Professional Horticulturist exam will be given on at 4 p.m. on February 10 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. 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.
As our members struggle to determine how to best keep employees safe and businesses going during the pandemic, reliable resources and guidelines can be hard to find. Useful resources may be found here:
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!
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.
West Virginia University students Brent Mitchell of Shady Spring and Nicholas Oxendale of Oak Hill have been selected as the 2019 WVNLA Marcus W. Rennix Memorial Scholarship recipients. Both are landscape architecture majors.
Brent, who plans to minor in horticulture, has owned and operated his own landscaping company, HighLine Landscaping, for three years. He began the company while attending Concord University and Bridgemont Community and Technical College, where he knocked out some of his early semesters of course work. His experience with his landscaping business, which has grown each year, led him to a green industry career path.
“My decision to become a landscape architect was based upon my business. I hope to one day run my company as efficiently as possible with all the knowledge that I will gain in this program. Landscape architects focus on aesthetically pleasing areas in the field and that is exactly what I strive to do,” Brent said in his application.
Landscape Architecture Assistant Professor Elisabeth Orr, who has instructed Brent in several courses, recommended him for the scholarship. “I am certain he will continue to excel in our program, and I expect him to be an accomplished professional in the field after he graduates,” she said.
A junior, Nicholas Oxendale manages to hold down four jobs in addition to his course work. When he’s not in class, he works occasionally for a landscaper and is also a personal trainer, group fitness class instructor, and AutoCad instructor.
Nicholas particularly enjoys landscape architect classes that take students on-site for projects. “Our natural terrain is a thing of wonder, but it can be fragile. Development must recognize this and adapt projects to be compatible with it. I would hope to use in my professional career as a landscape architect the principals of adapting economic and development projects to the terrain to enhance both human life and the environment,” he wrote in his application.
Associate Professor Peter Butler wrote a glowing recommendation for Nicholas, whom he has known for the three years Nicholas has been a WVU student.
“Nick is a highly motivated student who strives to find creative and thoughtful solutions to complex design problems.… His communication skills are excellent. He has a strong interest in plant materials and their application to improving aesthetics, quality of life, and spatial definition in our contemporary environments,” wrote Peter.
Both Brent and Nicholas met all the requirements of the scholarship. We wish them the best as they pursue careers in the green industry.
Program is first of its kind in West Virginia
Any professional association worth its salt not only educates and advocates for its industry, but also works for the industry’s future. A crucial component of the nursery and landscape’s future is encouraging young people to embrace industry careers.
WVNLA and the secondary school system in West Virginia took a big step in that direction on November 13 when education officials presented documents to companies whose owners agreed to participate in a newly launched apprenticeship program at Carver Career and Technical Center in Malden. The program is the first partnership with a career and technical center in West Virginia.
The signing ceremony, in which Cary Levenson of Valley Gardens in Charleston and representatives of Terra Care in Malden and Lisa’s Gardenscapes in Cross Lanes agreed to take on student apprentices, was the result of efforts between staff members at Carver Career and Technical Center and the U.S. Department of Labor to launch a pilot apprentice program at the school.
“This is an exciting day for us all. This apprenticeship is ground-breaking in the state, and perhaps even at a national level,” said Jim Foti, regional director for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
Dr. Kathy D’Antoni, who is an assistant superintendent of the state Department of Education, enthused about the partnership between schools and employers, while she also shined a light on the students attending the ceremony. After the ceremony, several plant science students introduced themselves to the landscaping company representatives and talked about their plans.
WVNLA’s involvement with the program began when executive director Julie Robinson attended an apprenticeship seminar last year. She had the good fortune to sit beside Karen Wade of the DOL and asked about apprentice programs in the green industry. Karen said a landscape technician track was available. Karen worked with instructors and administrators at Carver to meet DOL program requirements.
Lisa McDavid of Lisa’s Gardenscapes and Julie met with the plant science instructor Sandy Lynch and Karen to discuss the landscape technician apprenticeship. When asked about sponsoring an apprentice, Cary Levenson and Kevin Arnold of Terra Care readily agreed to work with one. Lisa was already onboard for this pilot program.
The apprentice process is an age-old and time proven method to provide motivated students with the tools, experience and expertise needed to give them a solid start in their chosen careers. Employers have the opportunity to match potential employees with a mentor to guide them along the way. Carver students will be ready to go to work part-time in the spring 2019 semester on the terms arranged by their employers.
As an industry, we are grateful to Carver for launching the apprenticeship program to provide opportunity that benefits both the apprentice and the employer.
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.