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➾ legacy

Cultivating a Legacy Luke Midura | Natural Creations

This year the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association recognized Mark Stennes with its Special Service Award, an honor earned by MNLA members and friends who have selflessly given of themselves personally and professionally to the nursery and landscape industry over a long period of time.

I

first met Mark during my initial trip to the Green Expo about ten years ago, when I stuck around after his session to pester him with a couple questions pertaining to his presentation. He patiently answered my inquiries and encouraged me to learn more about the topic. I’ve since forgotten my questions, but memories of that presentation remain prominently etched in my mind. He spoke primarily about elm trees, and the importance of their promotion and preservation in the landscape. Specifically, the images he shared of magnificent elms that once graced the Minnesota State Fair grounds and were lost to poor management practices and priorities awakened me to how dramatically the architecture of a mature tree can affect a designed space.  With few exceptions, a properly planned, planted and protected tree has the potential to persist longer than any element of the landscapes we conceive of, create, and care for as professionals in this industry. Mature trees are the only element of city infrastructure that can’t be readily remanufactured or replaced.  This concept is slowly but surely entering our consciousness as the financial benefits of trees via their direct environmental services to our communities are more fully understood and utilized. Mark Stennes was among the few that truly grasped these principles well before most professionals and politicians began to put them in practice. My enthusiasm for landscapes became rooted in the realization that my career could grow at their intersection in nature, art and science. I began to understand that the lasting impacts of a well conceived and executed landscape design could have the potential for exceptional endurance and could provide future generations with important environmental assets. At the time of that first trip to the Green Expo, I was still dusting myself off from the wreckage of my initial college experience. I was in no rush to hurry back to school, but my desire to learn was still strongly intact. It was this first encounter with Mark that encouraged me to continue learning more each season through the short courses offered by the MNLA and University of Minnesota.   Last year I finally returned to the University of Minnesota to complete the undergraduate degree that I had embarked on years earlier. There, I began working with the Urban Forestry and Horticulture Research team in the department of Horticultural Science as a research assistant responsible for the collection of elm specimens that were suspected to be tolerant may 14

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The Scoop Online - May 2014  

The May 2014 issue of the official publication of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is packed with insights and information for...

The Scoop Online - May 2014  

The May 2014 issue of the official publication of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is packed with insights and information for...