WVPA Sharing

W.Va. Nursery & Landscape Association 2024 Winter Symposium Feb. 21 in Charleston to feature variety of landscaping experts

Registration Open for Annual Gathering at Embassy Suites Hotel

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (WVNLA) is holding its Winter Symposium from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. February 21 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Charleston. The two tracks of programming which feature national expert speakers will allow attendees to focus on both landscape design as well as green industry business development best practices.

At the annual WVNLA Members Breakfast before the education courses, five college students studying horticulture and landscape design will be recognized and presented scholarships from its Marcus W. Rennix Memorial Scholarship program. 

Business Development Speakers

Landscape business guru and motivational speaker Jeff McManus will provide powerful insights on how to grow great workforce teams. Author of the bestselling Growing Weeders into Leaders, McManus will present three topics. • “G.R.O.W. – Exploring Ways to Invest in and Grow Employees and Leaders in Any Organization • “Crew Leaders Aren’t Created – They’re Cultivated.” • “How Creating Your Company Core Values Will Attract and Retain Top Talent.” 

For the day’s final business session, attendees will hear from Brian Branthoover of Halian Landscapes in McHenry, Maryland about how he motivates his employees and encourages green industry careers. 

Landscape and Design Speakers

Design speakers will address landscaping for climate change, tropical plants, pruning techniques and West Virginia’s own Little Missy boxwood and its introduction into the European market and famed gardens there. 

Kim Eirman, founder of EcoBeneficial, will discuss “Taking Landscapes to the Next Level: From Leveraging Ecosystem Services to Changing Cultural Norms.” Kim teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center and Massachusetts Horticultural Society. She is the author of The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening.

Marianne Wilburn, opinion columnist and author of Tropical Plants and How to Love Them and Big Dreams, Small Garden, will discuss “Tropical Fusion: Incorporating Tropical Textures in Temperate Gardens.” Wilburn is a contributing editor at GardenRant.com.

Former WVNLA president and board member Norman Cole is the third-generation owner of Cole Nurseries in Pipestem, W.Va. During his career, he has nurtured many boxwood cultivars, but the success of his patented Buxus microphyllya “Little Missy” has exceeded all expectations. Hear about the plant’s development and meteoric climb in popularity, despite the worldwide threat of boxwood blight. Cole and his wife, Missy (the cultivar’s namesake), have taken the West Virginia native plant to Europe, where Little Missys thrive in Paris, most notably at the Luxembourg Gardens, home of the French Senate.

Audra Egan, a regional project manager for Davey Resource Group in Ohio, will close out the day with a comprehensive program on pruning. Egan is an ISA Arborist, Certified Pesticide Licensed Applicator in Ohio, and OCNT Master Status with the Ohio Green Industry Association each for more than 20 years. She is an active ISA Ohio Chapter member.

Cost to attend is $50 for WVNLA members and $100 for non-members and includes lunch. Visit https://wvnla.org/category/wvnla-events/ to register for this event. Contact Julie Robinson at [email protected] or 304-553-1234. Vendors may rent a display table at the event for $25. 

West Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc., established in 1939, is a professional trade association dedicated to supporting nursery and landscape businesses and vendors throughout the Mountain State.

WVNLA members support West Virginia college students studying horticulture and landscape architecture with scholarship opportunities. They also share expertise and support in their  communities; meet for volunteer projects; and support worthy, industry-related endeavors through Association donations. Regionally, WVNLA co-owns the annual Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show along with the Maryland and Virginia associations.

For membership, events or mission priorities please visit https://wvnla.org/

Photo caption:
Paul Westervelt of Saunders Brothers Nursery took a close look at new annual and perennial plant introductions – and asked whether they were better, or just new, at the 2023 WVNLA Winter Symposium. Photo courtesy of West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

And get our latest content in your inbox

Invalid email address