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April Dinner & Expo

The Sustainable Side to our Suppliers Tuesday April 20, 2010 Rooster Run Golf Club in Petaluma 6:30 PM $25 PRODUCTS Biofuels Sheet Mulching LED Lights Living Walls Compost Teas BluLock Pipe Native Plants Bio Swale Soils Organic Fertilizers Rain Harvesting H2O Conservation Controllers

Come See What’s Out There

This is an expostyle event followed by dinner & dessert. There will be numerous vendors displaying their newest & greenest products. Don’t miss this great night!

and more

See RSVP flier inside for more information See more calendar events on the Website – 2010 North

Coast Chapter Calendar of Events

April 20th ………….The Sustainable Side to Our Suppliers – Expo & Dinner May 20th …………...Supplier Trade Show – Trucks, Tractors, Etc. – Buckeye Ranch in Petaluma May 22nd …………...Heavy Equipment Training – Buckeye Ranch in Petaluma June 25th …………...Awards Banquet – Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa


APRIL 2010

NORTH COAST CHAPTER BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board – Past President Brigid Flagerman Bertotti Landscaping (415) 720-0065

President Charlie Thompson Cagwin & Dorward (415) 892-7710 Secretary Ben Kopshever Sonoma Mountain Landscape (707) 695-2429 Treasurer Lisa Stratton Cagwin & Dorward (415) 798-1753

CLCA 2010 State Officers PRESIDENT William Schnetz, CLP Schnetz Landscape, Inc Phone: (760) 591-3453


(707) 462-9729

Robert Wade, CLP,CLIA Wade Landscape Phone: (949) 494-2130

Associate Member Chair


Web Guru Michael O’Connell O’Connell Landscape

Russ Clarke Park Ave Turf (707) 217-9669

Resource Chair Susie Dowd Markarian Susie Dowd Markarian Design (707) 546-6221

CLT State Committee Liaison Dave Iribarne City of Petaluma (707) 778-4591

Programs Co-Chairs Owen Mitchell Mitchell Landscapes (415) 717-6214 Tyler Doherty Cal West Rentals (707) 694-9108

Legislative Chair Chris Zaim Akita Landscape (707) 486-2548

Education Co-Chairs

Heath Bedal JPH Group LLC Phone: (916) 457-5925

SECRETARY/TREASURER Eric Watanabe Majestic Pools & Landscape Phone: (818) 831-1390 DIRECTOR OF CHAPTER SERVICES Andrew Simpson Quillen Enterprises (916) 721-1635

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Sharon McGuire Phone: (800) 448-2522, ext. 13 FAX: (916) 446-7692

Luis Lua Cagwin & Dorward (415) 720-6624 Will Jenkel Lampson Tractor (707) 206-2294

Membership Co-Chairs Kevin Kohl Ewing Irrigation (707) 457-9530 Jeff Hausman Gardenworks, Inc. (707) 974-5799 Salvador Ledezma Jr. Gardenworks, Inc (707) 974-5800

Chapter General Board Members Jeff Jones John Deere Landscapes (925) 595-6115 Jason North Wheeler Zamaroni (707) 293-8353

North Coast CLCA Executive Director Journal Editor Connie Salinas P.O. Box 1621 Sebastopol, CA 95473 Phone 707-829-5487 Fax 707-829-5487

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Sebastopol. CA Permit NO. 170

April 2010 In this Issue PAGE 3 ……………President’s Message by Charlie Thompson PAGE 4……………..The Judges are Coming by Susie Dowd Markarian PAGE 6….................Concrete Forming Systems PAGE 8……………..EARTH DAY – North Coast Community Projects PAGE 11…………….Rising Fertilizer Prices Smell Bad PAGE 17……………John Deere Landscapes – Associate Member Spotlight PAGE 18……………Soil: The Forgotten Miracle by Patrick Picard - Equinox PAGE 19……………Cutting Fleet Vehicle Costs This Publication’s Masthead is Printed on Recycled Paper North Coast Chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association

President’s Message from Charlie Thompson – Cagwin & Dorward “How we believe the world is, and what we honestly think it can become, have powerful effects on how things will turn out.” Some think things are bad getting worse and some see the current state of things as being full of opportunities. I have the pleasure of knowing both types….neither better or worse than the other. Neither can understand the other. “How can they be so negative when all these amazing things are happening?” says the optimist. “How can they be so positive in the face of such terrible times?” says the pessimist. Neither seems to have the ability to see the other side perhaps because of their strong belief in what the world is… them. Only they do not appear to think in terms of “to them” as this is the only world they know….their world. The pessimist only sees the threats and focuses on how to avoid them and is not able to see the positive things that could be. The way they see the world influences what they get in return….more of what they see and think…bad things. The optimist believes that the world is full of opportunity and therefore does not see the world as full of limits but of abundance and possibilities. The way they see the world influences what they get in return….more of what they see and think…good things The same can be said for how we believe some people are and recognize the influence that this can have over how they turn out. We believe some people have great possibilities and enjoy watching their careers soar. We also believe some people will never be successful and watch them struggle to find success. What if we are creating who they are (successful or not) by the way we see them….what we believe about them….good or bad? What if we are missing out on great employees and future leaders because we think someone is limited and therefore limit them with how we see them? How often do we as leaders let our perceptions and beliefs limit our people and our businesses from reaching their full potential? I read a great book on this subject recently. “Sway” describes many different influences on our thinking and decision making and describes how our thinking can affect the outcomes in ways that I had not considered before. Perhaps you may be the biggest asset to your business and your people….or perhaps you could be? Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill a

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. ~Attributed to both Jonathan Swift and Benjamin Franklin

2010 Achievement Awards The Judges Are Coming… by Susie Dowd Markarian For those of you interested in entering the Awards this season, I want to encourage you to follow your instincts! If you feel your company has done an outstanding job in maintenance or installation, and you are curious how you may compare to other landscape companies in the region, enter at will, and as many project categories that fit the criteria of your project.. On occasion, I have been privileged to be invited to judge other chapters in our region. Privileged may be a stretch on word choice, because once you hit the ground with the 2 or 3 other invitees, your pace is literally a race. One just flies through a very tight schedule of project stops. Often 20 + a day, that can range in distance from Napa, to Healdsburg, to Bolinas, and on. (Although, the committee member who also doubles as’ THE’ navigator, does a supreme job of keeping most sites within county lines. One must applaud the skill and time it took that individual). Some years the judging is a one day event, others a two day.. Thank goodness the CLCA has a standard rated point system / check list of items the judges use as criteria. It is so balanced and equal. This is the amazing part to me. Usually you are judging with other CLCA members from chapters not within the chapter who’s projects you are viewing, (for obvious reasons)… lets say they came from Chico, or San Diego. You may not know these people; they are most often not contractors, normally designers, landscape architects, and suppliers. We each have our check list on clip boards, privately, and quietly checking off the items. Bonus points here, deductions there …. We jump back into the van, begin rolling to the next stop, and start to tally our points… then the conversation starts…..” what did you get for drainage? Valve box detailing? Soil amendment (YES we take a soil probe, and dig deep, looking at the layers). Weeds? And 9 out of 10 times all 3 of us come up with the exact points……8.5 or a 4…. ( out of 10 possible ).. that always amazes me, as we do have our own personal view of ‘quality’, and the “WOW” factor can play on ones first impression, yet the check system keeps us focused. Some people run immediately to the valve boxes, open and check the wiring; others grab the soil probe and dig deep, while others may look carefully at the mow patterns on the lawn. depending on the criteria of the category, the rating system is well defined. Now the WOW factor and the First impression with star power with bonus points are the projects that quality for Sweepstakes, Judges and special award categories. But not all projects have to be on that level.

Helpful hints. What to do to prepare! Some you may not read elsewhere… Just because the Judges are on site for only limited time, do not assume you can ‘hide’ the blemishes.If your project is done with clean detailing and appropriate SOP – Standard Operating Procedures- you will rate high on the point systems. If you take time to visit your entry site prior to the judges arrival, and make sure that the weeds are pulled, the edges are neat (mowing –trimming) your mowing patterns are not worn and the turf

Continued on next page

is not laying down in one direction; your bender boards are not broken or out raised of the ground; your valve boxes are not filled with mud, and you have mulch in the right places… the judges take notice. If you have special effects, make sure they are working, water features running and lights are on; tree stakes are straight (and not remaining on 5 year old trees)… those kinds of things are noted on the point systems. Prepare as if you were being judged by experts in the field, some companies have hired a consultant to do a walk-through with new eyes to make a punch list a day or two before judging. Some years we have had NO entries in categories, and other categories are packed with entries. Review the criteria carefully on the entry forms and see if you can fit into a category you may not have thought of. AND one more final note, our North Coast Chapter has a higher standard of excellence than other chapters I have judged. Some areas do things differently. For example in Sacramento I seldom say irrigation valves that were in-line and in valve boxes. After 10 or more project visits we all came to the conclusion that is HOW they do it there…and the judging went on accordingly. You can be compared to your neighboring landscape contractors, but you will be judged off the point system sheets. Come forward and enjoy the process! Everyone learns from the experience and you may find you do things better than some or will begin to do things differently.

It really is a WIN-WIN… plaques or not!

The 2010 Achievement Awards “ I will survive “

Application Deadline: Digital Image Deadline: Judging Days: Awards Banquet:

Friday April 16, 2010 5:00 PM Friday May 7, 2010 5:00 PM Wed. & Thurs May 12th & 13th Friday June 25, 2010 6:30 PM

The Awards Applications have been mailed out, if you did not receive one, please contact Connie @ (707) 829-5487 or go to the chapter website…. and download it from there.

CLCA North Coast Chapter presents the NEW:

Wednesday June 9, 2010 Peacock Gap Golf Course|333 Biscayne Drive, San Rafael Best Ball Shotgun Tournament

Proceeds benefit the LEAF Scholarship Fund & North Coast Chapter

Registration & Lunch start at 11:00 - 12:30 Tee-off BBQ Lunch provided by Ewing Irrigation


Tournament Registration by 5/21 $110 after 5/21 $125

Includes green fee, cart, range balls, balls & marker, lunch, 1 raffle ticket and 3 drink tickets! Additional Raffle Tickets $5 – Mulligans $5 Great Prizes for the Top Placing Teams! Long Drive, Closest to Pin Competitions, and More! Total Tournament Entries @ $110 / $125


Hole Sponsors: with your company name at the tee box recognition in the North Coast Journal and profile in the Tournament Program. CLCA Associate Members $150 Contractor Members $150 Non-Members $200 -Awards Sponsors Discount $100 (Save $50) Sponsor Station $250 Have great visibility with a manned booth at the tee box. Includes table, chair, and enhanced signage Long Drive/Closest to Pin $150 (4 available) Gold Sponsor $500 Golf for 4 players & Hole Sponsorship Premier Sponsor $1,000 Headline sponsorship of the event, golf for up to 4 players

Total Mulligans

@ $5 each / 5 for $20 ______

Total Raffle Tickets

@ $5 each / 5 for $20 ______

Sponsorship Total



_________________________ Golfer Names:

12Contact Info _____________________________________ 3Phone _____________________________________ 4Name on Hole Sponsor


Mail Registration Form & Check to: CLCA North Coast Chapter PO Box 1621 Sebastopol, CA 95473 Questions? Email: Michael O’Connell at or call 415-720-0029

Concrete Forming Systems Today landscape contractors have more options than ever in selecting from labor-saving modular forming systems to specialized custom forms. Whether you’re building a staircase, forming a pool, staining a driveway or sloping a path, the following systems give contractors both diversity and creativity for their next hardscape project. Check out these systems and find out about all your options.

The difficulty of decorative concrete work can be eased with concrete forming systems. Paving forms are manufactured for building streets, roads, highways and airports around the world. Different strengths and styles are available to meet strict concrete paving specifications.

Stamped Concrete The planning and preparation for placing and finishing textured concrete, such as those found with Pacific Concrete Images, should take virtually everything into account such as: form work, sub-grade materials, concrete mix design, placing methods, obstacles, color base and release color, finishing accessibility, texturing tool layout, drains and locations of specialty features, manpower and weather. Driveways/Walkways/Curbing Using high density polyethylene, these forms can be reused up to 200 times. They can be used for both straight and radius with 4-inch forms per foot. Sets and strips in the time of wood with minimal finishing and easy horizontal and vertical adjustment. With uniform straightness, steel has infinite uses and can be maintained with a form release agent and form coating agent. It requires more manpower for setting and stripping due to weight, minimal finishing and easy horizontal and vertical adjustment.

You can order an extensive line of steel forms for all types of concrete construction including flatwork, curb and gutter, paving and barrier walls. Ask your manufacturer to make their poly, steel and curb gutter forming systems to your specifications.

Made from medium density polyethylene, this Valley View poly board 1" x 8" concrete border is great for straight lines and flexible for tight curves. It is 1" thick and 16 feet long and can be used over and over. Flexible concrete forms are ideal for curbs, curved entranceways, driveways, gutters, steps and walkways.

PVC Pipe as a bullnose for steps Cutting a 2”, 3” or 4” PVC pipe in half can be used as a bullnose for steps. There are growing numbers of installers that are trying to avoid straight lines in their concrete and landscape projects. Everyday is a challenge with forming procedures, adapting to job site terrain as well as trying to achieve a visually stimulating finished product. Once a contractor forms a project with curves, they find it is easier and faster than straight lines. Continued on next page

Concrete Foundations A concrete foundation system for contractors specializes in concrete foundation work. Regardless of the application, from simple structures to the most complex custom homes, this system will meet your needs. Post and Beam Post and beam systems have many applications in the international and domestic markets. Post and beam forms are optimally designed to produce variable concrete sections, keeping concrete forming costs to a minimum. Concrete forming systems can ease the difficulty of decorative concrete work. Flexible forms can be bent to form a 3-foot radius. Smooth curves are easy to obtain with these flexible, reusable forms. Both straight and radius forms can be stacked up to 18 inches high in order to fulfill all of your forming needs. Another application of concrete forming systems is made from medium density polyethylene. The poly board 1" x 8" concrete border is great for straight lines and flexible for tight curves. It is 1" thick and 16 feet long and can be used over and over.

Form liner patterns and textures Wood grain, stone, brick, and a wide variety of ribbed and other textures makes these form liners the best choice. Choose from standard patterns a choice of different materials to create an architectural concrete finish. Fence This fence system is designed for ease of use with minimal maintenance. These systems offer flexibility and a wide variety of designs. Facesheets are available in smooth, smooth brick, textured brick and vertibrick designs. Walls are designed to integrate with columns. Column spacings are adjustable with the use of fillers. Adjustable Column Form systems are a versatile, productive system that are ideal for square and rectangular columns. The adjustable feature ensures versatility. The adjustable column system is no exception. The system is built to withstand the daily punishment of any concrete forming project. Each concrete slab accepts the concrete stain in varying degrees of intensity, creating multi-hued color variations and a mottled surface that appears perfectly aged.

Heavy-duty and lightweight forming systems are available for both curbing and flatwork projects.

Aluminum Beam Gangforms Can be used for virtually any concrete forming application. Unlike some competitive products that may only be adequate for straight walls, the aluminum beam gang form can be adapted for corners, pilasters, core walls, curved walls and other forming configurations. Precast Precast form systems are ideal for many precast challenges. Lightweight modular concrete forms can create an infinite number of size and shaped precast concrete structures. Shoring Frames Shoring frames provide slab support strength with versatility. The shoring and deck support systems are engineered for maximum application strength. Heavy-duty capacity shoring frames balance strength with versatility. Special features and accessories make them easier to use than competitive alternatives. Placing Methods This will vary with every job, whether you use a pump, wheelbarrow, or chutes start with a slump of no more than 5�. Place approximately 1/3 of the truck load, add water, and place another 1/3 of the truck load, add water, and place the balance of the truckload. Always place the concrete and add water in the same direction as you plan on moving the rows of tools. This method of placement helps to insure the proper timing element for texturing.

2010 North Coast Community Garden Projects IN





Arroyo Community Garden in Petaluma Knox Community Garden in Santa Rosa Works Days: (All Saturdays) - March 2, April 24th (Earth Day) May 1st, 8th & 14th

NEEDED: Volunteers, Equipment and Materials for BOTH Contact: Susie Down Markarian – 546-6221


North Coast Bee Garden 2010 The Chapter is also looking for volunteers to help create a bee garden again this year.

Works Day: Saturday April 24th (Location TBA)

NEEDED: Volunteers Contact: Connie - 829-5487 Above are current pictures that show how much last year’s Earth Day project @ Corona Creek School has developed and thrived!! Pictured on right are Kaylee & Bill Thompson (Charlie’s kids).

New member spotlight David Sawyer just established his company in 2010 and has recently joined CLCA. He has a full service company that covers the North Bay area. He is looking forward to the greater education our our chapter offers and also the member support!


Bay-Friendly Marketplace: Exhibitor Information and Policies The Bay-Friendly Marketplace will take place at the 2010 Bay-Friendly Landscape Conference on September 17, 2010 at Saint Mary’s Event Center. The marketplace will provide conference attendees with a rare opportunity to browse displays and products, meet vendors, and learn about some of the most innovative landscaping technologies, services, and programs available.

The Bay-Friendly Marketplace will be open from 8:30AM to 5:00PM on

Friday September 17, 2010 Exhibitor Benefits ● Reach more than 400 potential customers, clients, and partners at the Marketplace. ● Increase visibility for your brand among professionals all looking for information on the latest products and technology in sustainable landscaping. ● Meet leaders and innovators in the sustainable landscaping industry. ● Become a sponsor and increase your visibility further through recognition on our website! The Conference includes morning and afternoon breaks and a lunch period all designed to allow attendees ample time to browse the Marketplace and talk to exhibitors.

Space is limited… apply today to exhibit in the Bay-Friendly Marketplace at under 2010 Conference

Deadline for exhibitor registration: May 3, 2010 Who should exhibit?

Vendors that sell or market products or services in support of healthy and sustainable landscapes, including:

Organic fertilizers and soil amendments, Bay-Friendly and native plants, irrigation equipment, rain barrels and water collection systems, grey water systems, xeriscaping supplies, seeds, compost tea, IPM products and services, erosion control, pervious hardscaping and materials, sustainable decking and fencing materials, mulch, compost, bagged and bulk soils, soil and compost testing labs, drought-resistant turf, turf alternatives, and sustainable landscape/horticultural books and magazines. Due to space limitations, the Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition reserves the right to select exhibitors to create the best overall exhibition. Priority will be given to vendors who specialize in innovative products, services, or programs that support sustainable landscaping practices. Organizations and public agencies that promote Bay-Friendly landscaping and/or specialize in pollution prevention, resource conservation, waste reduction, habitat restoration, or environmental education are also invited to apply. Multiple organizations may partner and jointly rent one booth. Each organization must submit its own application and include the name of the partnering organization.

Rising Fertilizer Prices Smell Bad

Some governments who were fertilizer exporters are now, in order to assure plentiful supplies for their growers, placing stiff tariffs on fertilizers. One example is China, which recently placed a 100 percent price tariff on fertilizer exports.

Market experts do not see fertilizer prices decreasing in the foreseeable future. Indications are that in recent years prices have doubled and even tripled. The simple reason is that this is the result of increased acreage and the production of ethanol-based crop production in the Midwest and other parts of the country, as well as increased production of major crops on a global basis in India, China and Brazil. Another big reason is that high energy prices also have affected the availability of natural gas, which can be sold more profitably as fuel than as a key ingredient in the production of nitrogen-based fertilizers. An additional factor is that foreign governments understand that there’s a fundamental need for countries to establish and maintain independence and economic growth through providing a plentiful food supply that is reasonably priced. This fundamental need has been largely ignored by our own federal government. Foreign governments’ understanding of this fact has led them to actively engage in the purchase and sale of fertilizer commodities for their growers. Some governments who were fertilizer exporters are now, in order to assure plentiful supplies for their growers, placing stiff tariffs on fertilizers. One example is China, which recently placed a 100 percent price tariff on fertilizer exports. Obviously, farmers need fertilizers to grow crops. Growers can change the type of fertilizers they buy to utilize lower cost products, but then they run the risk of seeing lower yields. And on the global stage foreign growers enjoy a competitive advantage because their regulations aren’t as stringent as those in the U.S. These countries’ regulations are often so lax that foreign growers don’t have to address the environmental or food safety issues that U.S. growers do. Because of these global pressures, any additional increase in the cost of production is heavily felt, especially by California growers who labor under some of the costliest fertilizer and pesticide regulations in the world. All the recent curiosity and media attention focused on rising fertilizer prices has prompted The Fertilizer Institute in Washington, D.C., a close ally of WPHA, to print up thousands of brochures explaining the reasons behind the increases. “Average prices paid for the major fertilizer nutrients reached the highest level on record in March, 2008, 168 percent higher than the January 2000 level, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” the brochure notes on its introductory page. “Overall, world nitrogen demand grew by 14 percent, phosphate demand grew by 13 percent and potash demand grew by 19 percent from fiscal year 2001 to 2006. China, India and Brazil are the three largest contributors to the growth in world nutrient demand,” the pamphlet points out. For those readers interested in learning more about the rising fertilizer price issue, you can read this six-page brochure by visiting the following link:

CLCA North

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Coast Journal

Use the right number…. Support Our Advertisers!!

Suppliers Guide Bamboo Pipeline……………………………………(888) 288-1619 Cal-West Rentals…………………………………...(707) 763-5665 Delta Bluegrass …………………………………….(800) 637-8873 Ewing Irrigation……………………………………(415) 457-9530 FX Luminaire-Jeff Calhoun……………………….(888) 711-7124 Gaddis Nursery………………………………….….(707) 542-2202 Hunter – Chris McNairy…………………………..(707) 933-0488 Instant Jungle –Bamboo & Palms…………………(707) 794-8292 John Deere Landscapes…………………………….(800) 347-4272 Landscape Contractors’ Insurance Services………………………………...(800) 936-9933 Landscapes Unlimited Nursery…………………… (800) 371-3300 Pacific Nurseries…………………………………… (650) 755-2330 Park Avenue Turf…………………………….……. (707) 823-8899 Shamrock Materials………………………………....(707) 792-4695 Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery…………………(707) 938-1196 Sweet Lane Wholesale Nursery…………………… (707) 792-5008

Donate or Shop for Surplus New and QualityUsed Building Materials!!!

Terra Trees…………………………………………..(707) 942-9944 Vine & Branches…. ………………………………....(707) 433-5091 Vista Lighting………………………………………...(800) 766-8478 Watersavers Irrigation………………………………(415) 454-6581 Wyatt Irrigation………………………Santa Rosa...(707) 578-3747 Wyatt Irrigation………………………Ukiah………(707) 462-7473 Wyatt Irrigation………………………Napa………..(707) 251-3747 Wyatt Irrigation………………………Petaluma…...(707) 762-3747

Donating Materials Your contributions are welcomed and needed. Each donation helps Habitat provide decent and safe housing to our county’s low income working families as well as redirecting useable materials and supplies from the landfill!!! ReStore is located at 24 Tenth Street at Cleveland Avenue, just north of Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square. Store Hours are: Thursday’s, Fridays and Saturday’s between 9am and 5pm or by appointment.

Call (707) 568-3228

Thanks Advertisers!!

Donations can include: irrigation, roofing, windows, doors, tiles, sinks, water heaters, mantles, columns, flooring, lighting, hardware, cabinets, appliances

PLANET and TCIA Continue Talks “While the two organizations have many similarities, including similar goals, the members of each organization have expressed concerns that unification into one organization could diminish the culture, identity, or industry sector benefits that each offer separately today,” stated Bill Hildebolt, president of PLANET. The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) announced today that the organizations have decided to defer continued discussions on unification at this time. They will continue to pursue partnership opportunities and explore ways to work together to further the interests of both memberships and the green industry as a whole. “The two boards were certainly aware of the issue of identity during their discussions. In fact, it is a primary concern that the boards believe can be addressed with the proper organizational structure. Nevertheless, we have seen discomfort around this issue among segments of the memberships that clearly need more time to digest such a big step. For that reason, the two organizations have decided it’s best to partner on projects and programs and further explore how the two organizations can best interact with one another,” stated Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, and president of PLANET. “We remain very excited about the synergies that exist between our organizations,” explained Randy Owen, chair of the TCIA board. “During our talks we noted the similarities between us and the close alignment of our goals. The potential for extremely productive collaboration still exists. However, at this time it was also apparent from the strong feedback we received that more needs to be done to be sure that cultural differences would not undermine a formal union. The boards have had the benefit of working with one another closely during this process and it has opened our eyes to some remarkable possibilities.” “Safety, for example, is a top priority for both associations,” noted Owen. “One of our first collaborative projects under consideration is to partner on safety programs, specifically the pursuit of joint grant-funded projects. If we are successful, we can create the best safety programs the industry has ever seen.” “We will continue to keep all members of the green industry informed on our collaborations,” said Hildebolt. “As we evaluate ongoing projects and the process of collaboration, we want all members to enjoy the best possible programs and benefits for their businesses.”

The North Bay District invites you to a special presentation:

Efficient Water Use in the Landscape with speaker: Debra Lane This educational presentation will cover and detail the critical considerations needed to effectively manage water use in the landscape, and help us conserve this valuable resource. Debra will also cover practical irrigation design methods and discuss irrigation product specifications.

Wednesday, April 14th 4:30pm - 6:30pm Cost: APLD Members FREE, Non-Members $10.00 Location: Margaret Todd Senior Center - 1560 Hill Rd, Novato (cross streets: DeLong/Diablo Blvd.) 415.899.8296

Pre-event Speaker: Allison Olson, Local Site Committee Chair for the 2012 APLD International Conference, will join us to talk about the conference (spanning five APLD No. Calif. districts) and how our district can participate in the planning for this exciting event!

RSVP to: About Debra Lane: Debra is a Water Conservation Representative for the City of Santa Rosa where she is responsible for administering the landscape water conservation programs. Prior to working for the City, Debra gained extensive experience in the landscape industry. She is a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor (Irrigation Association) and Certified Water Manager (CLCA). We are looking forward to you joining us for this important presentation! Karlyn Williams, President, North Bay District.

The Contractors State License Board Urges Licensees to Complete Renewal Forms Promptly *** CUTTING DEADLINE TOO CLOSE COULD LEAD TO LICENSE EXPIRATION!! *** The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is reminding its more than 300,000 licensees to submit their renewal application and fees as soon as possible after receiving their CSLB license renewal notice. CSLB receives an influx of renewals during the last couple of weeks of each month, meaning it can take longer to process applications toward the end of any month. ALSO NOTE: Due to Governor Schwarzenegger's Executive Order S-13-09, all CSLB offices are closed on the first, second and third Fridays of each month.

ASSOCIATE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Thanks to John Deere for all they do to support The North Coast Chapter!! John Deere Landscapes offers a complete line of irrigation, landscape lighting, nursery direct sales and service and a full array of agronomic products. With 800 tons of fertilizer in stock at any one time, a full selection of pre- and post-emergent herbicides, liquid fertilizers and maintenance products, John Deere Landscapes is ready to fulfill all your agronomic needs. As an exclusive supplier of Barbeques Galore barbeques and a complete line of Belgard and Techniseal products, John Deere Landscapes is prepared to meet all hardscape demands. Several large trucks are available for large deliveries with the convenience of forklift drop off and placement. John Deere Landscapes also provides a Partners Program geared towards making business for contractors a little easier through Business Solutions. Contractors who are a part of the Partners Program can take advantage of discounts with companies such as Sprint/Nextel, OfficeMax, Moveable Cubicle, Cabela’s, Paychex (the nations leading small business payroll processing and Human Resources provider) and many more. John Deere Credit is also made available to Program Partner members. With John Deere Credit homeowner financing contractors are able to up-sell projects and close more jobs using finance programs such as 180 days same as cash as well as other finance options.

For more information on John Deere Landscapes, visit their Web site at or contact the two locations in the North Bay. San Rafael – 60 Hoag Street Unit 2 San Rafael, CA 94901 (415) 259-0469 and Santa Rosa 180 Sebastopol Road Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (707) 526-1171

or your local sales representative Jeff Jones (925) 595-6115.

Soil: The Forgotten Miracle

By: Patrick Picard - Owner of Equinox Landscape, Petaluma

There is a quiet crisis occurring on our planet that you won’t find on the evening news or the front page of your morning paper. Crop land worldwide is shrinking by more than 37,000 square miles a year (the size of Indiana) due to soil erosion. According to Dr. David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell University, “Soil erosion is second only to population growth as the biggest environmental problem the world faces.” Currently, the U.S. is losing soil 10 times faster than nature can produce it. China and India are worse yet, losing their topsoil 30 to 40 times as fast. Imagine a dust bowl scenario across the globe and you will begin to understand the severity of the problem. The majority of this soil washes into rivers, streams and lakes, making waterways more prone to flooding and contamination from fertilizers and pesticides. What makes it more alarming is the fact that it takes nature 100 years to produce just 1 inch of topsoil. Topsoil is the unsung hero of our natural world. We walk on it every day and seldom stop to think what a miracle it is. Below our feet billions of organisms, some microscopic, some much larger, are busy decomposing today’s dead material, turning it into tomorrow’s living nutrients. They are the most efficient recyclers on the planet, with next to nothing being wasted. For the last billion years the soil food web, as these organisms are referred to, has been making all life possible on this planet. The extent to which these bacteria, fungi, earthworms, etc. are active in our soil determines the fertility of our land. Without these organisms we would undoubtedly perish. If we humans left these soil critters alone to do their jobs, the soil would be fine. However, mankind seldom leaves the natural world alone, especially since the invention of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. By producing carbohydrates and proteins and secreting them through their roots, the plant controls the soil food web for its own benefit, yet we somehow believe that we know better what is needed for our plants than they do. In the process we have damaged the soil so severely through our use of chemical fertilizers, compaction, over-plowing and deforestation (just to name a few) that the regular functions of soil organisms cannot provide all that plants need. Soil degradation along with accelerated erosion may eventually determine the fate of modern civilization, much the way it contributed to the decline of ancient Greeks and Romans. Now more than ever it is paramount that we understand the function of the soil food web that we are so dependent upon. Solutions exist to undo the damage that has been done. With the work of people like Dr. Elaine Ingham, soil food web expert (see, and the many techniques taught in permaculture classes throughout the world, real solutions for rebuilding soil and maintaining undisturbed natural lands are becoming more common. By applying organic compost, cover crops, nitrogen-fixing plants, mulch and compost tea we can assist soil critters in doing their work to rebuild topsoil. Compost tea is perhaps the most exciting new technique: it is the cheapest and most effective way to get life back into severely damaged soil. Soil experts are tailoring compost teas to restore specific microbes that can fight off disease causing pathogens. It’s time these microscopic heroes receive the recognition and respect they deserve for maintaining life on this planet. Patrick Picard is a permaculture designer and owner of Equinox Landscape, an ecological landscape company that designs, builds and maintains gardens by paying attention to the soil and the critters that inhabit it.

“Topsoil is the unsung hero of our natural world. We walk on it every day and seldom stop to think what a miracle it is.”

Cutting Fleet Vehicle Costs Companies with vehicle fleets can cut costs and carbon pollution by following a few simple steps as outlined in a new video from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The video, titled The Power of Scale, visually depicts how small actions done by many can result in big changes for the corporate bottom line. Fleet efficiency has become an increasingly important issue for corporations as they look for opportunities to reduce their environmental impact. Currently, there are over 3 million corporate fleet vehicles in the United States emitting 45 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The Power of Scale video demonstrates that companies can reduce their corporate fleet emissions by 6 million metric tons per year and collectively save over 2 billion dollars. The Power of Scale video was produced by stress limit design, a digital development agency specializing in interactive design, branding and marketing. The video uses stop-motion animation of models, combined with real-life time-lapse photography, leveraging sophisticated, innovative techniques for video production. The video is accessible at EDF’s website:

AB 1953 Analysis – New lead law update by Chris Zaim of Akita Landscape As of January 1, 2010, California AB 1953 requires any brass plumbing products used to convey drinking water to meet AB 1953 0.25% lead standard. Irrigation components not intended for potable use are excluded. Please be careful about what products you install as a contractor. Any hose outlet can be used as a source of drinking water, whether intended or not. This water can pass through brass backflow prevention devices, ball valves, and the outlet itself. Be aware that in certain municipalities, backflow prevention devices must be installed directly after the meter. This means all potable water and irrigation water run through the same devices. Be proactive and ask your vendors to carry the compliant products. Some of the vendors are already getting the word out and replacing inventory with the appropriate brass fixtures. I understand the new brass ball valves will be priced 80% above old costs. This is an important item to consider when pricing your projects. Keep in mind that as a contractor you are liable if your employees do not follow these guidelines and install products with the old standards of 8% for pipe and pipe fittings and 4% for plumbing fixtures and fittings. Go out and educate the workforce as well as clients. Being green can cost extra green but in the long run your body will thank you. Additional details can be found at Remember landscaping is the original green industry, that’s why we got involved. Happy plumbing!

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Mark Twain Quotes Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more. By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity -- another man's I mean. Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Honesty is the best policy - when there is money in it. I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it. I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way. I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know. If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before. When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.