Defending Our Turf

Just as America In Bloom is turning up the flower power in communities of all sizes from coast to coast, another like-minded non-profit, Project EverGreen, would like us all to see green. This green industry alliance is funded by large and small companies and associations in the turf and landscape industry with a mission to educate consumers about the benefits of well-maintained green spaces.

“It’s not critical for consumers to know about us,” says Project EverGreen’s Executive Director Den Gardner. “What’s important is that they understand what well-maintained green spaces mean to their lifestyle, the environment around them and the economic benefits, along with the people, products and organizations that make it possible.”

So how do you meet the challenge of promoting something that most people take for granted and a few – but vocal – others criticize? To find out we asked Gardner to provide a snapshot of a philosophy that Project EverGreen has been busy planting nationwide: Because Green Matters.

A good place to track this progress is on the Web at This steadily growing site is becoming an important resource for both consumers and the media. The site is a good place to get updated on a whole range of consumer education initiatives and community outreach programs, as well as green space-related awards, promotions and other events that are making news. Many of these involve partnerships with non-profit organizations connected to green spaces as well as with providers of landscape care products and services. Some current examples include:

America In Bloom: Project EverGreen will again sponsor the Landscape category in this widely-publicized annual contest that awards communities and institutions working to “Plant Pride in Their Communities.” The 2006 event is scheduled Sept. 28-30 in Eureka Springs, Ark. In 2005, Project EverGreen’s AIB Landscaped Areas Champion was Westlake, Ohio.
Habitat For Humanity: In 2005, this pilot landscaping program was launched with four Habitat For Humanity families in the Twin Cities. It is being expanded to several locations this year including: Biloxi, Miss.; Lawrence, Kan.; Houston, Texas; Fort Myers, Fla. and Hartford, Conn., as well as the Twin Cities.
Soccer Field Renovation: To dramatize that green matters in providing healthful recreation, Project EverGreen worked with local landscape care providers to enhance playing fields at the WRAL Soccer Center in Raleigh, N.C. This event will be expanded nationwide this year with projects scheduled in several cities.
GreenCare For Troops: Announced on May 24, National Armed Forces Day, this community outreach program focuses attention on meeting the lawn care landscaping needs of families whose major breadwinner is on active duty in the Middle East. Gunnery Sergeant R. Lee Ermey (Gunny) has graciously volunteered to serve as the celebrity spokesperson for the GreenCare for Troops program. Project EverGreen produced a special “MissionKit” for use by local lawn and landscape contractors who volunteer to provide free care. In addition, it acts as a coordinator in helping match eligible families with landscape care providers.
Because Green Matters Award: Now in its second year, this program is presented to a company, organization or individual who promotes the beneficial effects of green spaces through a major project. The 2006 award was announced on Earth Day, April 22, and Southern Land Company, Franklin, Tenn., was selected as this year’s winner.
Stewardship Award: This award gained national attention last November when it was presented to the city of Chicago and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, environmental initiatives representative. It was presented at the opening of the Green Industry Expo in Orlando, Fla.
Scholarship Awards: Announced last year, the Because Green Matters Scholarship Program will make its first awards in 2006. Two $2,500 scholarships will be given to deserving undergraduate students pursuing a career in the green industry.

Add to this a steady flow of news releases, press interviews, media contacts and trade show presence and you have what Gardner describes as “a good foundation for progress in portraying the value of our industry.”

“Of course we have to realize,” he says, “that it’s just the foundation. During 2006, we hope to triple the number of our consumer events and grow each program to showcase the tangible benefits of green spaces. That takes a lot of work and a lot of industry support ­– but I’m confident we can accomplish both.”

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories

March 19, 2018

Bug Your Customer About Biocontrols

Getting customers educated about your biocontrol use and using it to build your brand is all about telling your story in way that attracts attention.

Read More

March 18, 2018

New Soil Amendment From Kemin Promotes More Efficient N…

Valena, a soil amendment sourced from a proprietary strain of Euglena gracilis (algae) rich in beta-glucan, is designed to support the growth of healthy and strong plants.

Read More

March 17, 2018

National Garden Bureau Once Again Bringing Garden Write…

The National Garden Bureau is again hitting the road for California Spring Trials (CAST) with influential garden communicators, with the goal of connecting breeders and brokers with consumers via these influencers with large followings.

Read More

March 16, 2018

Knock Out Rose Family Has New Website

Star Roses and Plants recently launched the new Knock Out Roses website, which features how-to tips, gardening inspiration, and more.

Read More
John Sorenson

March 15, 2018

Vestaron CEO John Sorenson Dies at Age 68

Sorenson, a long-time crop protection specialist in the horticulture industry, was a key figure in Vestaron’s launch of new and innovative biological products.

Read More
Dramm TracFOG Nozzle Extension

March 14, 2018

Dramm Offering New Video Chat Option for Service Issues…

The Dramm Corporation recently introduced two new resources for its greenhouse grower customers to deal with indoor growing conditions.

Read More
Gary Mangum

March 14, 2018

Bell Nursery Acquired by Central Garden & Pet

Greenhouse Grower just learned that Bell Nursery, headquartered in Elkridge, MD, has been acquired by Central Garden & Pet Company, a leading innovator, producer, and distributor of branded and private label products for the lawn and garden and pet supplies markets.

Read More

March 13, 2018

Greenhouse Biocontrol Goes Mainstream

Biological control has moved into the mainstream for greenhouse growers. And the timing couldn’t be better, as consumer demands for more sustainable production methods for the plants they buy are moving back upstream.

Read More

March 13, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region Preview: …

Check out this California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region preview of new varieties from Benary, Thompson & Morgan, American Takii, Sakata Seed, Beekenkamp, and Plug Connection.

Read More

March 12, 2018

Eason Horticultural Resources Adds to its National Sale…

Roger Kehoe joins the company as a Sales and Production Management Expert. He was most recently the Director of Young Plant Production at the Color Division of Costa Farms.

Read More

March 11, 2018

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture Releases …

A new series of four #PlantsDoThat Inside infographics focuses on the multitude of ways indoor plants affect where we live, where we work, where we heal, and where we learn. The first two infographics are now available.

Read More
Downy mildew sporulation on underside of leaf

March 10, 2018

Segovis Fungicide Now Available to Ornamental Growers i…

Segovis, from Syngenta, features a unique active ingredient that helps control downy mildew and Phytophthora.

Read More
Penn State University campus

March 9, 2018

Check Out the Top 40 Ag Colleges in the World

The most recent World University Ranking by Subject report includes a breakdown of the top agricultural colleges. Find out if your alma mater made the list!

Read More

March 9, 2018

GCA Announces Complete Seattle Garden Center Summer Tou…

The Garden Centers of America Summer Tour in Seattle will feature visits to some of the most unique plant retailers in the Pacific Northwest.

Read More

March 8, 2018

Southern Nursery Association to Award $18,000 in Schola…

The deadline for application is May 27, and 12 scholarships are expected to be awarded.

Read More

March 7, 2018

BASF Names New Director of Its Specialty Crops Business

Stephanie Jensen will focus on new and innovative solutions for growers in the pest control, turf, and ornamentals markets.

Read More

March 6, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region Preview: …

Check out this California Spring Trials 2018 Northern Region preview of new varieties from Spring Meadow Nursery, Syngenta Flowers, Danziger, Cohen Nurseries, Hishtil Nurseries, Jaldety Nurseries, and Nir Nurseries.

Read More

March 6, 2018

How Green Leaf Plants Continues to Thrive in the Young …

During a time of uncertainty in some sectors of the market, Green Leaf Plants remains committed to supplying industry-leading plant quality, with a diverse product line.

Read More