Steven L. Abrams
Mary Lou Berger
"An equal opportunity
2012 Master Landscape Management Program Graduates 38
Submitted by Laura Sanagorski
The Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program emphasizes nine major principles that protect natural resources through erosion prevention, water conservation, reduction of waste and pollution, and the creation of wildlife-sustaining habitats. The Palm Beach County Master Landscape Management (MLM) program was developed by Laura Sanagorski, environmental horticulture extension agent, to encourage the use of University of Florida / IFAS research-based best management practices in the landscape, with a focus on the nine components of the Florida-Friendly Landscaping program.
The eight-week UF/IFAS Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service’s 2012 Master Landscape Management course concluded successfully in March. A total of 38 Palm Beach County area horticultural professionals completed the entire program and earned a striking certificate of accomplishment. An additional 21 persons completed individual classes “a la carte.” Participants represented commercial tree care, landscape design, installation, and maintenance firms, as well as county and municipal public works, parks and recreation, and landscaping departments.
There were 22 university specialists, industry subject experts, and local extension faculty members who conducted presentations and hands-on learning activities over the course of this program. Topics included: Pruning Young Trees for Structure; Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Legislation; What License Do I Need?; Fertilization and Palm Nutrition; and Extension Services Available to You, to name a few. Hands-on learning activities included a landscape design elements tour, an insect scouting workshop, and a demonstration on proper planting.
Participants said they were highly satisfied with the quality of education they received, and they enthusiastically shared their feedback. Here are some of their written comments:
“I am so grateful that this level of professionalism exists in our county.”
“I learned so much in this course. [My employer] also sees the value in it and will increase my salary for earning this certificate.”
“As a new landscape designer, I found this information to be superbly informative.”
“It was my privilege to have learned so much from so many passionate and resourceful people in the horticulture industry. I am also very impressed with the professionalism of the Palm Beach County Extension Service.”
Many horticultural professionals are required to earn continuing education units (CEUs) to maintain the licenses they need to do their jobs. This program provides professionals with a reasonably-priced source of quality CEUs in a number of licensing areas. Nearly 500 CEUs were earned by this hard-working group, including eight from the Landscape Inspectors’ Association of Florida, 60 from the Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association, 81.75 from the International Society of Arboriculture, and 345 pesticide applicators.
University of Florida agricultural economists recognize a return value of $3,200 per CEU (Steed, 2011; Hodges et. al 2011). Based on this figure, the 2012 Master Landscape Management Program resulted in more than a $1.5 million return to Palm Beach County. The next program will begin in January 2013. For more information, please contact Laura Sanagorski at 233-1748.
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