Survey Says…

Thirty-five responses were returned during the recent NHLA survey window, with ten of those during the first day it hit your in-boxes! This rate of return beat the generally recognized rate of return on surveys by a long shot – thanks so much for letting the Education Committee know what your thoughts are and what an impressive array of members NHLA has in its roster. There is a lot of information that will be so helpful as we plan (yes, there is a lot of planning going on) for the direction we’ll take as we close in on winter and already look toward next summer. While the COVID-19 challenges and unknowns still could hamper our progress, we are not being hampered and are excited to shape our Association beyond the virus’ roadblocks.

We’d like to thank the folks who offered a location for a Twilight Meeting, however the logistics of getting speakers with availability that could mesh with site availability and the additional uncertainties we faced about gatherings of certain sizes, Twilight Meetings became unrealistic to plan with so many details and considerations. These have been such successful social, and sometimes hands-on, that the interactions we have come to expect could not be guaranteed. So where does that leave us with those opportunities and recertification opportunities?

Taking the recertification situation first – with the Recertification Committee reallocating requirements to 3 credits (not the usual 5) this year, we hope the people involved seeking recertification can use the 2020 January Joint Winter meeting as a great starting point for the accrual. Thinking back on that meeting, we heard presentations which have hopefully inspired you so far this year; notably, from our Keynote, Josh Altidor who offered info and inspo on leadership, management, and ways to keep connected to your teams of employees thereby helping your business move forward and keeping clients pleased with your performance. We heard about the ways in which the Boston Parks Department is working against the clock on designs to help manage increasingly intense storms and rising water levels. With many in our field working in parts of the state where these topics are especially imminent, we hope you’ve found local sources on climate considerations related to water or storm water management that are helpful.

Take a look at the recertification information tab on our website to learn more ways to earn your credits and please connect with the Recertification Committee if you have any questions about your situation. The survey responses show that more than three-quarters of the respondents learn of professional development through professional journals and newsletters. Here’s hoping this Newsletter has been offering ideas for you in recent issues. In the October-November Newsletter (log in for access to the Newsletter) you will find more ideas for professional development sources.

Survey respondents listed a broad array of professional organizations in answer to the survey question about what other organizations you belong to. From specific organizations centered on hardscapes, outdoor lighting, aquascapes, and ecologically minded groups, our NHLA members represent professionals who are devoted to the highest quality education and best management practices available. We’ll look at those organizations to see what ways we might be able to offer presentations either in person at some point or via Zoom, to share their expertise with our membership.

We value your time in responding, and we’ll be pouring over the responses to see exactly what our next steps are to incorporate your input in our planning! To those respondents who have offered to present a workshop, or to be on a panel, or to serve NHLA in its broad outreach, we offer a whole-hearted Thank You. If you have ideas you would like to share and didn’t respond during the open window, feel free to send an e-mail with your ideas to We would like to know the topics you would like to learn more about. Who may be an engaging presenter? Would you like to serve on a committee, or volunteer for a specific task for the organization?

NHLA members are a vibrant group, willing to share information and offer support to one another and carry on the great tradition of camaraderie and professional development upon which the organization was founded.

by Cris Blackstone, NHCLP