NICH Environmental Committee Activity Update

2016

Identified and prioritized committee goals/objectives:

  1. Communicate the environmental benefits of Consumer Horticulture.
  2. Develop and promote sustainable practices specific to Consumer Horticulture.
  3. Educate practitioners on the appropriate use of production and management inputs.
  4. Identify and implement the positive environmental impacts of Consumer Horticulture on water quantity and quality resources.
  5. Identify and develop plants, products, and technology appropriate to the diversity of landscape and gardening practices to enhance ecosystem services.
  6. Forge a collective strategy with sectors of Consumer Horticulture to proactively address important issues such as the importation, introduction, and spread of invasive species

2017

  • Reviewed/shared existing Extension publications and materials on environmental issues. To-do: a Literature review on focused area(s) of environmental horticulture.
  • Draft design and framework for an interactive infographic tool:
    • Potential adoption by the horticulture industry and educational institutions and gardens
    • Engages consumers interested in adopting a more environmentally friendly landscape
    • Customizable; present information appropriate to region / area / zone; brandable

  • ASHS Presentation (Weisenhorn) on the NICH Environmental committee: “National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture,” September 20, 2017
  • NICH Take-over Twitter Tuesday (Bauske, Hamrick, and Weisenhorn). October 3, 2017
  • Presentation to University of Minnesota student Horticulture Club about NICH (Weisenhorn), November 11, 2017.

2018

  • Environmental Survey (89 people completed surveys)
    • People were asked to rank the committee’s objectives per importance:
      • Communicate the environmental benefits of Consumer Horticulture.
      • Identify and implement the positive environmental impacts of Consumer Horticulture on water quantity and quality resources.
      • Educate practitioners on the appropriate use of production and management inputs.
      • Develop and promote sustainable practices specific to Consumer Horticulture.
      • Identify and develop plants, products, and technology appropriate to the diversity of landscape and gardening practices to enhance ecosystem services.
      • Forge a collective strategy with sectors of Consumer Horticulture to proactively address important issues such as the importation, introduction, and spread of invasive species
    • Some key points from those surveyed:
      • Educate consumers using easy-to-understand terms and language
      • Establish research and science-based standard sustainable practices specific to consumer horticulture, and promote models of these standard practices
      • NICH should be the advocate/clearing house/library/promoter of the good work already being done rather than develop new work
  • Dorn, S., et al., “The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture: Focusing on the Critical Role of Communication and Collaboration to Further Research, Extension, and Industry goals.” Revised/submitted for publication to HortTechnology, May 24, 2018.
  • Weisenhorn, J., “Make a Difference! Join the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture”, The Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association SCOOP, June 2018, pgs. 37-39

Thank you NICH Environmental Committee members!

  • Julie Weisenhorn, Chair, University of Minnesota weise019@umn.edu
  • Lauren Garcia Chance, Clemson University, lgarci3@g.clemson.edu
  • David Close, Virginia Tech, dclose@vt.edu
  • Toby Day, Montana State University, toby.day@montana.edu
  • Amy Jo Detweiler, Oregon State University, amyjo.detweiler@oregonstate.edu
  • Rick Durham, University of Kentucky, rdurham@uky.edu
  • Cyndi Haynes, Iowa State University, chaynes@iastate.edu
  • Sarada Krishnan, Denver Botanical Garden, krishnas@botanicgardens.org
  • Esther McGinnis, North Dakota State University, esther.mcginnis@ndsu.edu
  • Bodie Pennisi, University of Georgia, bpennisi@uga.edu
  • Paul Pugliese, University of Georgia, pugliese@uga.edu
  • Kelly White, New Mexico State University, lkelly@ad.nmsu.edu

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