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Professional Grounds Management Society

By Greg Nichols

I am very pleased to report that PGMS has accomplished much in this past year. We've made great strides to make our organization a dynamic forum for networking and educational opportunities for grounds managers. PGMS has and continues to be a source for grounds professionals to get relevant industry updates, learn about new innovations and technologies and get insider information on the newest equipment being released into the market. We also have a solid network of professionals--grounds managers, landscape architects, directors and assistants--who are willing and ready to share information with their peers related to problem solving, budgeting, staffing and more. Each member of PGMS has made this organization uniquely qualified to enhance and advance the position of grounds professionals.






Greg Nichols, President, Professional Grounds Management Society.


The future of PGMS is extremely promising as we continue to expand our reach and build on our educational programs. We will continue to reach out and partner with other Green Industry organizations, support the Sustainable Site Initiative and further push the Tree Campus USA program.

We also look forward to expanding into western markets. There are grounds professionals who have organized small groups around the country that are designed to do just what PGMS does exceptionally well already. I envision that we can formalize these small groups into regional PGMS branches. By expanding PGMS into western regions, those grounds managers that don't have a good grasp of who we are and the benefits of being members will become exposed to the many educational and networking opportunities that we offer that can ultimately help them in their careers.

"We also look forward to expanding into western markets."

Building the membership and increasing knowledge about various industry trends will certainly help us as we push through this financially troubling phase of the current grounds market. Many of us have seen the trend of "belt tightening" in our budgets, but we have also seen additional responsibilities despite these reductions. Some of us have been asked to add recycling, fleet management and sustainable practices to our loads and are left with the task of finding how to incorporate the new changes into our individual programs. PGMS has been able to help on this front because we provide an outlet for our industry experts to share with each other how they've dealt with these issues or how they've managed to get around them.

This is when our membership is at its most valuable, when each of us takes the opportunity to offer solutions to problems grounds managers are facing across the nation.

We've accomplished some great things and look forward to continuing the trend. Each of us has an opportunity to make PGMS the best it can be and I'm happy to know that I've been a part of such a great organization.








Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA)

The Sports Turf Managers Association's (STMA) 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition will be held on January 13-17, 2009 in San Jose, Calif. Go to stma.org for more information.

Ten sports fields from around the country were selected and will be recognized as Fields of the Year at the annual STMA Awards Banquet in January.

Winners were selected using criteria based on the management techniques of the sports turf manager, innovative solutions to problems, the ability to maximize budget dollars and resources, and the safety and playability of the field's surface. A new category, Sporting Grounds of the Year, was introduced this year to recognize natural sports surfaces used for less traditional sports.

In baseball , the winners are:

  • Russ Chandler Stadium (college) – Atlanta, GA – John DeWitt
  • Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium (pro) – Appleton, WI – Eddie Warczak
  • JW Sadler Field (schools and parks) – Westerville, OH – Kenny Nichols






Sports Turf Manager, John DeWitt's hard work at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia was named one of STMA's fields of the year. Located on the historic Rose Bowl Field on the Georgia Tech campus, the site has been the home field of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets college baseball team for more than 70 years.


In football , the winners are:

  • Lane Stadium, Worsham Field (college) – Blacksburg, VA – Jason Bowers, CSFM
  • Bobby Gruhn Field (schools and parks) – Gainesville, GA – David Presnell

In soccer, the winners are:

  • Pape Field (college) – Eugene, OR – Eric Fasbender, CSFM
  • Dick's Sporting Goods Park (professional) – Commerce City, CO – Bret Baird

In softball , the winner is:

  • Patricia Wilson Field at Stetson University (college) – DeLand, FL – George Marshall

In sporting grounds , the winners are:

  • University of New England Field Hockey (college) – Biddeford, ME – Lance Tibbetts, CSFM
  • Longwood Cricket Club (pro) – Chestnut Hill, MA – Michael Buras, CSFM

The STMA Awards Committee includes Chair Jody Gill, Andrew Gossel, Steve LeGros, Doug Linde, Ph.D., Dennis Klein, Chuck Pula, and Jim Welshans.

SportsTurf Managers of the Year to be Honored at Baseball Winter Meetings

The STMA Minor League Sports Turf Managers of the Year were presented in December. Each of the sixteen Minor Leagues selected a sports turf manager of their league. Those winners were invited to submit an entry to the STMA Minor League Baseball Sports Turf Manager of the Year Awards Program. The entries were judged based on the fields performance, cultural practices, game day routine, field use, staffing, budgeting and resources, etc. Of those submisssions, the following four winners were selected:

  • Jarad Alley, Albuquerque Isotopes – (AAA) Pacific Coast League
  • Brock Phipps, Springfield Cardinals – (AA) Texas League
  • Greg Burgess, Greenville Drive – (A) South Atlantic League
  • Israel Hinojosa, III, Greenville Astros – (Short Season/Rookie) Appalachian League








American Nursery and Landscape Association

By Bob Dolibois, Executive Vice President

  • Current membership numbers: 1,960

Among ANLA's important accomplishments for the industry in 2008, we continued to lead the industry's legislative initiatives for reforming federal laws on immigration and seasonal guestworkers. That effort ensured the viability of AgJOBS legislation that enjoys the support of both agricultural employer and worker advocate groups. We also forestalled changes to the H-2B seasonal worker program that would have gutted key employer benefits of the too-limited-but only available—program for seasonal guestworkers used by landscape businesses. In addition, ANLA partnered in the development and launch of Live Asset Insurance policies, the first-ever non-government insurance program to cover replacement-cost losses of trees and shrubs in installed landscapes and in nursery/greenhouse production. (see: www.liveassetinsurance.com). ANLA joined forces with 43 green industry state associations and the Irrigation Association to build a national legislative grassroots network of 20,000 industry businesses. These 20,000 voices will be critical to influencing the future direction of state/federal laws and regulations.






Bob Dolibois, Executive Vice President, American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA)


ANLA's goals for 2009 include, with ANLA member and industry support, the association will aggressively represent the industry's interests before the changed faces and perspectives of the new U.S. Congress and new White House leadership. ANLA plans to provide unprecedented education and networking opportunities (The Management Clinic, industry tours, focused courses in retail and landscape business management) focusing on increasing revenues and operational efficiency in tough economic times. ANLA will also launch a new website featuring state-of-the-art technology with access to multi-media presentations on business knowledge critical to the success of industry businesses.

Current economic issues will, of course, have an impact on ANLA members. For most smaller businesses in a seasonal industry like ours, reliable access to a source of credit is absolutely essential, immediately followed by successful managing of accounts receivable. Both of these business essentials are severely challenged right now. In this context, managing "the back office" elements of the business are trumping the conventional issues of labor recruitment and management. Tough times can also inspire needed changes and increased focus. The best businesses will see the opportunities these times provide and go after them through new alliances, changed habits and greater discipline.








PLANET

By Vicki Bendure

2008 has been a tough year for many in the landscape and lawn care professions. With the economic slump and housing starts taking a huge dive across the country, it didn't take long for many firms to begin to feel the pinch. The H-2B guest worker program has also been a huge challenge over the past year. Attempts to pass an extension of the H-2B returning worker exemption were unsuccessful. Now PLANET will work to try to get the extension into a 2009 bill. Without the extension, companies have faced critical employment shortages that are expected to continue even in a soft economy.

PLANET's membership is up this year with 4,395 member companies, representing more than 100,000 individuals. Member participation was up for PLANET's signature events. PLANET's Renewal & Remembrance registered more than 400 participants (up 20% from 2007) who donated more than $350,000 in goods and services to Arlington National and Historic Congressional cemeteries this past July. Once again, PLANET received an award from ASAE for Renewal & Remembrance. PLANET's Student Career days also saw record member attendance and student participation.






Over $350,000 in goods and services was donated to the national cemeteries by participants. The event also received an award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). Images courtesy of PLANET.


In 2009, PLANET will launch a National Day of Service to be held annually in April. This event will be a unified effort by landscape and lawn care professionals to gain recognition for the industry by improving green spaces across America. The first event will be held on April 22 (Earth Day), 2009.

PLANET also recently renewed an alliance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). PLANET, representing the green industry, has served as the model industry for the more than 70 industry sectors that OSHA oversees.

The number of certified professionals has also increased with a total of 6,501 landscape and lawn care professionals now holding certifications. PLANET will continue to heavily promote the importance of certification to members as well as to consumers.






PLANET saw a 20% increase in turnout for their Renewal & Remembrance event, which saw 400 participants working to improve the grounds at Arlington National and Historic Congressional cemeteries. The event was held in July.


PLANET has been blessed with great partnerships, sponsors, and volunteers. This past year, many companies stepped up to the plate and sponsored PLANET programs and events. Volunteerism is alive and growing too, as PLANET's successful events require increasing time from volunteers.

Overall 2008 has had a successful year for PLANET, and the association will work to carry this momentum into 2009. With housing starts slowing and the uncertain economy, the green industry will face some tough challenges in 2009. As an association that cannot rest, PLANET will continue to reflect and retool and re-think and listen closely to members to ensure that the association is the best it can be, and that it delivers the greatest value to members.








National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 21,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.

The 2008 recipients of the prestigious National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management were announced at the NRPA Congress & Exposition in Baltimore.






Lenora Park in Snellville, GA is part of the Gold Medalist, Gwinnett County Parks Association. Comprised of 178 Acres the park features an outdoor leisure pool, 1.5-mile paved multi-purpose trail, a gymnasium, pavilion, playground, fishing lake, football field with lighted walking track, dog park area, and six baseball/softball fields and a unique, 18-hole disc golf course.


The highest award in the field of parks and recreation, the Gold Medal honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, fiscal resource management, citizen support systems, environmental stewardship, preservation, technological integration, program planning and assessment, professional development, agency recognition and services for special population.

Gold Medal honors are awarded across five classes based on population served, in addition to a state park award that is given every other year. The 2008 Gold Medal recipients by category include:

  • Class I (population 250,000 and over) -- Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, Lawrenceville, GA
  • Class II (population 100,001 - 250,000) -- Grand Prairie Parks and Recreation, Grand Prairie, TX
  • Class III (population 50,001- 100,000) -- Canton Leisure Services, Canton, MI
  • Class IV (population 25,001 - 50,000) -- Carol Stream Park District, Carol Stream, IL
  • Class V (population 25,000 and less) -- Town of Herndon Parks and Recreation Department, Herndon, VA

Education & Conferences

NRPA schools and conferences are forums where the park and recreation community comes together to exchange ideas and information. These events are valuable resources to the advancement of research and the professional development of attendees. NRPA invites you to review our calendar of events and attend those events that best meet your information needs and interests.

2009 Events

  • Rocky Mountain Revenue Management School -- February 7 – 11, 2009, The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colo.
  • Pacific Northwest Resource Management School -- February 22 – 27, 2009, Fort Worden State Park Conference Center, Port Townsend, Wash.
  • National Aquatic Conference -- March 22 – 28, 2009 Hyatt Houston Hotel, Houston, Texas
  • NRPA Congress and Exposition -- Oct. 13-16, 2009 Salt Lake City








The Fertilizer Institute

The core purpose of The Fertilizer Institute is to bring the viewpoints and interests of its members to bear on public policy issues. Whether it is before Congress, federal agencies, foreign governments or the media, TFI ensures the industry's voice is heard. Key issues facing the industry today are detailed below.

Lieberman-Warner: "America's Climate Security Act"

TFI commissioned a study by Doane Advisory Services, which demonstrates the potential impact of the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill on the production of eight U.S. crops due to rising energy prices if the legislation is voted into law. The study shows that the bill would add $6 to $12 billion to total crop production costs, leading to a significant decline in farm income.

Energy

The ongoing natural gas crisis is exacting a heavy toll on America's nitrogen fertilizer producers and the customers they supply. The cost of natural gas -- which is used in nitrogen production -- accounts for as much as 90 percent of the cost of producing nitrogen fertilizer. Since the natural gas crisis began to manifest itself in 2000-2001, 25 ammonia nitrogen fertilizer plants have been permanently closed and an additional five have been idled. When natural gas prices rise rapidly, production facilities are sometimes temporarily idled due to the excessive cost and volatility of U.S. natural gas prices, jeopardizing hundreds of high paying jobs in local communities.

TFI supports federal policies that increase the supply of natural gas and eliminate disincentives for using conventional fuel sources such as coal and other forms of energy, and encourages the greater use of energy sources other than natural gas.






TFI teamed with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Department of Homeland Security, and Association of American Plant Food Control Officials to create the "America's Security Begins with You" -- a campaign aimed at security ammonium nitrate against criminal misuse.


Security

TFI is actively engaged on the industry's security front. In addition to creating an industry voluntary security program, TFI is leading the industry in its efforts to keep ammonium nitrate for its intended positive use. TFI supports record-keeping for anyone who handles ammonium nitrate.

The fertilizer industry faces environmental challenges on a wide variety of issues including air quality, water quality and issues specific to fertilizer manufacturing. For instance, the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico is believed to be caused in part by an excess of nutrients in the system. TFI supports environmentally-conscious efforts in the production and use of our products, while at the same time producing nutritious food for people.

Modern farming practices are using fertilizer nutrients with increasing efficiency to build high yielding, nutritious crops. Maximizing production from existing agricultural areas not only feeds the world's growing population (almost 80 million per year), but also makes it possible for us to continue to use large areas of land for forests, parks and wildlife areas. TFI staff assists members with local, state, national, and international regulatory and compliance support.

2009 Industry Calendar of Events

  • February -- TFI Fertilizer Marketing Business Meeting -- Feb. 2-5, 2009, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Calif.
  • September -- TFI World Fertilizer Conference -- Sept. 13-15, 2009, Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, D.C.

Fertilizer Industry Quick Facts

  1. Nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) are the three primary components of fertilizer.
  2. Top three fertilizer-utilizing crops: corn, wheat, soybeans.
  3. Top five fertilizer-consuming states: Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Texas, Indiana.
  4. The fertilizer manufacturing industry is responsible for approximately 33,000 jobs in the United States.
  5. Fertilizer production facilities are located in 34 states.
  6. The U.S. nitrogen fertilizer industry operates production plants in 27 states, the phosphate fertilizer industry operates production plants in 12 states and potash is mined in Michigan, New Mexico and Utah.
  7. The United States is the second largest producer and consumer of fertilizer in the world. China is the first in both categories.
  8. Research shows that fertilizers account for at least one-third of all crop yields in the world.
  9. The fertilizer industry has annual revenue of approximately $10 billion.








Turfgrass Producers International (TPI)

Association News & Accomplishments:

  • Continues its commitment to disseminate scientifically-based information about the environmental benefits of turfgrass to the general public, educators and key decision makers.
  • Continues to interact with turfgrass extension specialists in an effort to maximize communication and improve access to timely information.
  • Continues its effort to educate the public on sound irrigation practices and water conservation.
  • Distributed over 5,000 copies of the booklet, "Natural Grass and Artificial Turf: Separating Myths and Facts". Published by the Turfgrass Resource Center.
  • Introduction of the TPI E-Newsletter and "The Lawn Guide" educational materials.






Dr. Laurie Trenholm: Dr. Laurie Trenholm, Associate Professor/Extension Turfgrass Specialist at the University of Florida, was the proud recipient of the very first Turfgrass Educator – Award of Excellence presented by Turfgrass Producers International. Photo Courtesy of hort.ifas.ufl.edu


2009 Calendar of Events

  • February 9-13 -- TPI Midwinter Conference -- Point Clear, Alabama
  • July 27-31 -- TPI Summer Convention & Field Day -- East Lansing, Michigan – Michigan State University

2008 Election Results

  • 2008/09 President: Randy Graff - Founder, Graff's Turf Farms, Inc. Fort Morgan, CO
  • 2008/09 Vice President: Charles Lain, Jr. - Pine Island Turf Nursery, Inc., Pine Island, NY
  • 2008/09 Treasurer: Claus Zander - Zander Sod Co. Limited, Kettleby, Ontario, Canada
  • Elected Board Trustee (3 year term): Mike Selman - Buena Vista Turf Farm., Garland, TX
  • Elected Board Trustee (3 year term): Duane Klundt - sales manager of Scotts Company, Gervais, OR

Concerns for the Future

  1. Turfgrass Restrictions
  2. Cash for Grass Programs
  3. Artificial Turf

Additional Information

Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) supports The Lawn Institute which was created in 1955 as a not-for-profit corporation to assist in and encourage through research and education the improvement of lawns and sports turf. Since then, the Institute has been one of the most respected authorities in North America among turf professionals and scientists for monitoring, reporting, and interpreting the latest advances in turfgrass research, landscape horticulture, and agronomic science.

Website: www.thelawninstitute.org.








Int'l Facility Managers Assoc. (IFMA)

IFMA is the international association for professional facility managers, supporting more than 19,500 members in 60 countries. Members, represented in 125 chapters and 15 councils worldwide, manage more than 37 billion square feet of property and annually purchase more than $100 billion in products and services. Formed in 1980, IFMA certifies facility managers, conducts research, provides educational programs, recognizes facility management degree and certificate programs and produces World Workplace, the world's largest facility management conference and exposition.

2008 Accomplishments

The success of our 28th annual conference, World Workplace 2008, as well as the new FM-3D conference was encouraging, as well as the association's growth in membership from 19,000 to 19,500.

Additionally, IFMA-produced research and publications continue to thrive. Recent examples include IFMA's Green Practices 2008 study and "Violence in the Workplace" and "Business of Green Cleaning" publications.






The IFMA World Workplace 2008 conference was held in Dallas, Texas. World Workplace has long been recognized as a premier educational and networking conference for facility managers and those in related fields. The conference brings industry leaders from the world's top business and government organizations together with educators and exhibitors to focus on the future of the work environment.


2009 Outlook

The IFMA hopes to continue to grow its membership; expand the number of councils they offer (to include new industries such as the hospitality industry and restaurant industry); and otherwise continue to have successful conferences and put out timely, relevant research and publications that elevate the profile of the facility management profession. The association will also continue to promote and encourage sustainable, environmentally friendly design practices through education and outreach to our members, the public and elected officials.

Association Goals

The IFMA accomplishes new things day in and day out. They are a forward thinking association, constantly challenging themelves. Many of their goals and challenges are best described as "ongoing." As an association, IFMA operates under a vision and mission that guides its employees.

Economic Impact

Facility managers will succeed in spite of tough times. There will always be buildings with people at work in them, and there will always be a need for someone to help manage those buildings. Facility professionals focus on people, place and process, and as such, they will continue to be in demand, regardless of whatever economic factors might be at work.

As times get tough and government and private-sector organizations begin to tighten their belts, they look to cut costs. Facility managers often play an important role in cutting costs, whether it's in finding ways to reduce a building's energy consumption, cutting expenditures in remodeling/expansion projects or encouraging sustainable initiatives that save the company money in the long term.

Additionally, as of late there has been a pronounced move toward strategic facility planning. Executive level business professionals are looking for the right building, with the right amount of space, at the right cost and time to maximize the benefit for their organization. Facility managers help provide the expertise to address these issues and make the best strategic business decision for the organization.

Admittedly, there are few professions that prosper in times such as these, but I feel facility managers will always be a vital part of an organization's strategic business success.








The Pesticide Applicators Professional Association (PAPA)

The Pesticide Applicators Professional Association, a California non-profit, public benefit corporation, is dedicated to providing Continuing Education and to the implementation of safe and effective pest control techniques.

The PAPA Board of Directors stands for election every three years and is responsible to all members of PAPA. No elections were held this year. The day-to-day activities of PAPA are administered by an Executive Director selected by the Board of Directors.

PAPA Objectives

PAPA sponsors statewide educational programs in cooperation with the University of California, municipal agencies and industry training in safety, rules and regulations, current technology and field tested research for pest management professionals. They also represent the concerns of members to industry and federal, state and local agencies.






PAPA sponsors educational programs all over the country in cooperation with municipalities, universities and trade shows. Here Susan Sims of Sims Tree Care gives a talk on insect ID at the Western Turfgrass and Landscape Expo (WTLE) in Pomona, Calif. this past November. Photo courtesy of Guy Nelson


Upcoming Papa Qualified Applicators Certification (QAC) Exam Preparation Courses/Educational Opportunities:

PAPA now offers online courses, Visit papaseminars.com for full registration and test taking procedures. Three courses currently available online are:

Ant Identification and Biology:

  • 1 hour Structural credit, Technical Branch II,
  • 1 hour DPR "Other" Credit $10,
  • 91 Slides
  • Developed By: A.M. Glassey, Ph.D. – Medical Entomology

Pesticide Labeling Requirements and M.S.D.S:

  • A Basic Overview.
  • 1 hour Laws and Regulation Credit, $10,
  • 43 Slides
  • Developed By: Thomas Olivares – College of the Redwoods

Vertebrate Laws and Regulations:

  • 1 hour Laws and Regulation Credit, $10,
  • By Terrell P. Salmon – Wildlife Extension Specialist, University of California, Davis and, County Director, San Diego Cooperative Extension








New York State Nursery & Landscape Association

By Kim Tiberia, Executive Director

Summer sights, scents and sunshine were plentiful during NYSNLA's two days in central New York this August when board members, staff and membership came together to conduct business, enjoy the first annual Green Exploration event and honor outstanding green industry professionals. The Board of Directors met at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Onondaga County to present and work out the details of NYSNLA short- and long-term initiatives as well as brainstorm ways to add membership value. After a day of hard work, the Board was thrilled to host the Association's first ever Green Exploration event.

Green Exploration

With the support and help of so many, especially Ted Stetler, Marcellus Nursery, Inc., arrangements where made to hold Green Exploration at Sycamore Hill Gardens. Karen and George Hanford are the owners of Sycamore Hill Farms and graciously offered to have NYSNLA hold its event within their own private gardens. Members, CNLPs and friends made their way to Marcellus, anxious to see what Green Exploration had to offer.

George Hanford provided visitors with a guided educational tour of the grounds -- 25 acres of grounds. Needless to say, CNLP credits were not the only thing given out, exercise was too! There are very few chances to tour the grounds of Sycamore Hill Gardens. Remember, it's privately owned and not open to the general public. To be exclusive guests as NYSNLA was, well that's a special treat. By all accounts, I believe Green Exploration was a successful event. And, I'm excited that we're currently searching for our next Green Exploration location, and we'll continue to meet our original goals of uniting members to network, socialize and enjoy the harmony of our great, green outdoors. And, we'll strive to exceed them.

Awards

Also in August, the NYSNLA Award Ceremony was held on opening day of the New York State Fair. The 2008 New York State Environmental Beautification Awards were presented to Jerry Parmenter, CNLP, Elemental Landscapes Inc., for his project entry into the Garden Structures & Pavements category and James Sollecito, Senior Lifetime CNLP, Sollecito Landscaping Nursery LLC for his project entry into the Unique Use of Water category.

Robert Mungari, New York Department of Agriculture & Markets,was presented the George L. Good Gold Medal Award by NYSNLA's newly appointed Gold Medal Committee Chair, Dr. A. Martin Petrovic (Cornell University, Department of Horticulture). Following the Gold Medal presentation, Ed Dore, Senior Lifetime CNLP (Dore Landscape Associates) inducted Gregory Frank, Ted Collins Associates, Ltd.into the New York State Nursery and Landscape Hall of Fame.








Georgia Turfgrass Association

By Mark Banta, President

As I write this, we have just received some welcome rain from Hurricane Faye and there are three other hurricanes lined up to march our way. Hopefully your businesses and properties are looking as good as the Park with these increased rains. The Georgia Turfgrass Association (GTA) and the Urban Ag Council continue to work on your behalf to track and engage in the decision making process of drought management response by EPD and others. There is still a very disturbing logic working in some of the media and in general public opinion. The very idea that it is "Going Green" to push water conservation to the point of loosing the trees that clean our air and turf that cleans our ground water is the epitome of environmental ignorance. We have to keep educating and telling our story.

I'm extremely pleased with our recent golf tournament and the UGA Turfgrass Field Day in Griffin. June and August aren't the easiest months to get away for two days, but many of you participated in both events. The golf tournament raised $4,000 with all proceeds going directly to support turfgrass research.

This was probably the best Turfgrass Field Day I have attended. The day opened with comments from Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and the Dean of the College of Agriculture Scott Angle. From talking to the attendees, vendors and UGA staff, there is strong consensus this was the best ever. More than 1,000 industry professionals enjoyed the greatest weather, research stops, BBQ and vendor interaction we have had in years. Thank you to each of you who helped make this a tremendous success. Congratulations to the UGA Turf Team at Griffin. Your organization and presentations were topnotch and well received.

By now I'm sure you have put the upcoming Turfgrass Institute and Tradeshow on your calendar. This once a year opportunity is scheduled for December 10-11 at the Gwinnett Center. The program committee has lined up a strong list of speakers including hot topics such as the impact of drought on plants, fungicide action and irrigation system updating within water restrictions. We continue to add activities and giveaways to the tradeshow making it more interactive and engaging than before. The perennial favorites will still be there, but we will continue to raise the bar on incredible door prizes and special features making this year's tradeshow a must see.








Massachusetts Recreation and Park Association

The association has been moving forward in many areas with more than 500 members, compared to 401 in January of 2006.

Constant contact

We began using Constant Contact in June of 2007. This allows our association to communicate on a weekly basis information that is time sensitive and could be held until our next issue of the MRPA Review. This has proved to be well worth the expense. With this tool, we can also produce surveys of our membership with all the analysis being done as surveys are completed. We were able to do a survey for the Department of Public Health having results to them in less than two weeks - this would not have been possible in the past.

New Logo

Working with students from the Art Institute in Boston, we were able to design a new logo for MRPA at no cost to the association. We are now working on business cards and the development of our registration flyer for our upcoming state conference.

National Playground Safety Course

In March, we offered the CPSI Course for the first time in Massachusetts. We had 70 participants with some 20 of those from the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. We have joined forces with the states insurance carrier and ran another course in October in Worcester.

2008 State Conference

The 24th Annual State Conference and Trade Show was held in Westport on October 26 to 28. The keynote speaker was Dr. John Crompton. We currently are taking applications for vendor space.

New Web Page

We have developed a new web page and web address. There are many advantages to this new site - as stated there are no fees. MSN Office provided templates that are easy to use. You fill in the information and it is immediately posted to the web. We have the opportunity to set up a BLOG page, insert maps that when you click on them they provide mapping capabilities.

Partnerships

We have made huge inroad with the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Partnership for Healthy Weight. We now have two members of our association sitting on this advisory committee.



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