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IPLLA News Online - June 2011

12 Jun 2011 8:00 AM | IPLLA Admin (Administrator)


IPLLA News Online
  June 2011

Bob Andrews,
IPLLA Executive Director

We are now in the process of printing the registration program for the 2011 Summer Field Day to be held on August 25, 2011 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds and Conference Center in Danville.  This will be an outstanding educational opportunity and you’ll be hearing much more about it in the next two months.  What I want to talk about today is the evolution of the Field Day, our association, and our industry; over the course of the 25 years we have held the Summer Field Day.

When the Indiana State Lawn Care Association was founded in 1987, the lawn and landscape industry was really just coming out of infancy.  We really did not have much in the way of professional tree care.  The irrigation industry was extremely limited in customers to very wealthy property owners.  Other than professional sports, no one except the parents really paid much attention to athletic fields, and professional tree care was pretty much limited to those who needed something cut down.  We also did not have much oversight or groups who were concerned about what our industry did, or why we did it.  When I started my lawn care company, the whole objective was simply to do what Chemlawn did, but at a lower price!

Our first few Field Days reflected the industry.  As I recall, we had about 100 people attend, about 15 or so exhibitors, and all we talked about in our education program was weed control and more on weed control.  There was nothing wrong with this, we were just a fairly new industry and very limited in scope.   My, how we have changed.

The original Indiana State Lawn Care Association became the Indiana Professional Lawn & Landscape Association in 2001 in response to a change in the make-up of membership that was precluded by a change in the make-up of our industry.  As more homeowners realized the benefits of a professional lawn care service, the same customer recognized that other landscape services might be helpful as well.  Perhaps some firm could mow their lawn?  Maybe it would be easier to install and in-ground irrigation system rather than dragging around sprinklers?  If your lawn benefited from professional care, why not your trees? 

At the same time, office buildings and shopping centers recognized that a well maintained landscape drew in customers and made the commercial development more compatible with their residential neighbors.  Athletic Directors began to understand the value of safe and attractive sports fields.

The building of golf courses literally outgrew the number of people who played golf.   Pond and lake management grow in importance.  As all this happened, our association changed.   Thus our educational programs and focus of membership has changed as well.

When you attend the 25th annual Field Day, you will get more than just your required CCH’s--you will be exposed to those changes that have happened since 1987 and to those which we expect to happen in the second 25 years of this industry--and this ever evolving trade association.

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