President’s Notes, March-April 2021

By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
March-April 2021

I am sitting here on a cloudy Sunday morning, wondering what I should say in my final President’s Notes. The last two years have been interesting, educational, stressful at times, entertaining, and most of all a great deal of fun. I first would like to say “Thank You” to the NHLA board: Dave, Cori, John, Maria, Scott, Kyle, and Ben for working with me, as a team, to bring new ideas and events to our membership. Unfortunately, we had to cancel several due to COVID-19. We are still working hard and planning events for you.

I also want to say “Thank You” to our Education and Certification Coordinators, Cris and Abby, for their dedication to the NHLA. Additionally, I’d like to say “Thank You” to our Newsletter/Website Manager, Carolyn, and our Advertising Manager, Annette for all their hard work through the years.

My list of “Thanks” extends to all our committees: Golf Tournament, Dinner Meeting, NHLA Joint Winter meeting, Spring Kick Off meeting, and the Hardscape Education Day. Without their hard work and dedication, none of this could have happened. We have had some amazing and successful events over the years.

Last, but definitely not least, “Thank You” to my wife and your Business Manager, Pam, who has always been my right-hand woman. My final “Thank You” goes out to all of you, the members who had confidence in me to steer the ship, in the right direction, for a little while. I now know that being President of NHLA is an extreme privilege that I will not soon forget.

Amongst all the craziness of planning and canceling events, due the pandemic, we are always thinking of you. We are currently in the planning stages of an education/trade show event. We have been fact-finding for the past few months. We need to be mindful of the restrictions and precautions needed during this time. We are hoping to finalize the details and get it out to our members, in the next few months. Cori has been in contact with several vendors, to see if they would be willing to do the event and the response has been great. This could be one of our largest events ever. We are still in the planning stages, so if you would like to help, please contact me directly. Please stay tuned for more information.

Yes, we are also in the planning stage of the NHLA Golf Tournament. It is scheduled for August 3. We are waiting to hear about the restrictions from Candia Woods before we can finalize the details. Please SAVE THE DATE! It is always a great day to hang with friends and colleagues.

Where is the future of horticulture? I was contacted by Kevin McDonnell, from the Manchester School of Technology, where he teaches Landscape and Horticulture. Kevin is asking the NHLA to help with a program called “Learn Everywhere.” This is a program that the New Hampshire Department of Education has designed to deepen partnerships between employers and career tech students. It is designed to allow students to work for an NHLA member and earn high school credits towards their diplomas. There are many details to work out, like hours, education, and competencies. We will be forming a committee of teachers and industry professionals who will put the landscape and horticulture program together. Once the program is developed, we would like it adopted state-wide, so everyone can benefit from it. I believe it will be extremely beneficial to the Green Industry in New Hampshire. I know what you are thinking. This was tried before and it did not go anywhere and you are right. (“You will never succeed if you don’t try. – Dhwani”) I will give it my best shot. NHLA would become the supporting organization, which means the students would have to work for a member to get credit. I will keep you posted as this program unfolds.

I am proud to announce that Emma Erler is the new UNH Cooperative Extension Field Specialist, for Hillsborough County. She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Horticulture from the University of New Hampshire. She has worked for the Tower Hill Botanic Garden, in Boylston, MA, and many well-known Arboretums and Public Gardens. She also volunteers with the Squam Lake Natural Science Center and for the Master Gardeners. So, please drop Emma a note to say “Hi and Welcome.” Her e-mail is Emma.Erler@UNH.edu. (See more about Emma on pages 12-13, and 21.)

Well this is the last Newsletter you will receive from me as the NHLA President, and also from Minnie, who is sleeping in the chair next to me. The new President will take over after the elections, in mid-March. I want to say again, “Thank You,” and it was a pleasure working with and for all of you.
Best regards, Jim

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney