OHBA HELPS TURN HOUSTON "GREEN"
Houston has never had a very good reputation for "going green." Whether it be because of the studies that show how low we are on the recycling meter (and, yes, we are), or because of our obvious affiliation with the petrochemical industries that are tied to synthetic fertilizers industry (And, there’s nothing wrong with that), it is a reputation that is dated and in most cases without merit. Still it is a reputation worth changing.
And it is changing, thanks is large part to the Organic Horticultural Business/Education Alliance of Houston – OHBA. You can tell through their efforts they would love Houston to be known as one of the "greenest" cities in America.
When OHBA first established, it was (in some people’s eyes) merely an educational committee of the Urban Harvest.
But this 501-c-3 non profit education committee still under Urban Harvest, has become so much more. OHBA was founded in 2004 to bring the very best in Organic & Sustainable education to the professional landscape community in the Houston Region. And if you ask me, no place but Houston does an organization like OHBA exists.
After 4 years of operations OHBA has 110 professional grade companies as members consisting of Retail Nursery Centers, Arborists, Landscape Architects, Landscape Contractors, Educational Institutions & Government Entities. Membership ranges from the largest of the large to the smallest of the small, but all share a common goal of striving to be the best and to manage our environment wisely.
I’ve been lucky enough to sit in on some of these meetings, and the most recent one I sat in on gave me all kinds of great information and fodder for my listening audience. I bring that up, because there is another educational meeting coming up June 19th, for those landscape and gardening business interested in learning all they can about the "greening up" of Houston, one landscape at a time.
I’ll provide more on the next meeting in a moment, but first let me educate you about how OHBA provides the very best speakers from around the country 6 – 9 times a year, to teach about Organic Landscaping. Often the speakers are considered global experts. The speakers range from scientists, to academia, to business leaders in many disciplines, all very successful with using organic methodology. The members learn at the local level how to best care for our soils, plants, how best to conserve water, how best to wisely design our landscapes & gardens and how best to care for our trees.
OHBA has also established co-sponsorship relationships with Texas AgriLife, USGBC-Houston, ASLA-Houston & SeaGrant. That is why on June 19th a huge collaborative effort is underway for an all day workshop centering on LEED & the Sustainable Site Initiative. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Full information can be found on the website. Houston is a recognized leader in LEED buildings and this seminar will go far in explaining what LEED is and how a landscape integrates into LEED.
Any landscape or gardening professional can attend this LEED Buildings and Sustainable Site Initiatives. Again, the meeting is June 19th and it will be held at the Urban Harvest location. It will be in the Americas Plaza 2nd Flood Ballroom at 2311 Canal. Plan to spend the day there as the event goes from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Even though OHBA is for landscaping and gardening professionals and their businesses, and this information goes to thousands of regular folk, I’m promoting this because when shopping for an organic retail center or landscape contractor one criteria to use is to ask if they are an OHBA member. That shows they are committed to learning at the highest level. Not everyone is there yet! And please, don’t hold that against them if they are not affiliated with OHBA at this time. However, if enough of you ask, more people might certainly join.
Having said all that though, OHBA is set up as an educational unit for The Professional Landscape & Nursery Industry to help their advancement. Members must be actively engaged in the industry as their main profession. To learn more about OHBA or to join please go to OHBA’s web site or email. I have enough landscapers and gardening professionals listening to my show and subscribing to my email tips, that maybe, just maybe someone will take this message and join. Or, you the customer, can also encourage your landscaper to join as well after reading this week’s tip.
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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