ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace – March 3, 2011 – MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA
By Trevor Smith (Eco-Marketplace Coordinator)
“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” -Hans Christian Anderson
As Mother Nature pulls back the gray veil of winter, the chickadee begins to sing her Spring song and the sweet smell of earth returns to the air. Snowdrops, having pushed their way through the last stands of snow, rise elegantly defiant to embrace the New England Spring. The earth reawakens, as do our souls. Our senses, heightened, notice every change in the landscape. The smallest unfurling stem or swelling bud captures our eyes like a Vegas billboard. We become more inspired and hopeful by the day. Our hearts lighten as the weight of Winter’s burden diminishes with the snow banks. I tell my clients, “The gifts of Spring are small; it is our job to embrace them.”
I love Spring for many reasons. First and foremost, I’m back outside doing what I love – working in the landscape. But equally important to me, Spring greets the ELA Conference and Eco-Marketplace: my opportunity to introduce you to the latest cutting-edge technologies and practices in the eco-landscaping world and to reunite you with the tried and true people, products, and technologies that help us in our endeavor to be ecological stewards of the land.
I am very enthusiastic about the Eco-Market place this year. This year hails advancements in rain water harvesting, living walls, and other technologies. We are welcoming new friends like American Rainbarrel Company, Cavicchio Greenhouses, and Progressive Asset Management as well as returning friends, such as Compostwerks, Earth and Turf , Groundscapes Express, Ocean Organics, Oesco, and Planters Choice. Again this year, ELA volunteers have put a lot of thought and effort into planning the Conference & Eco-Marketplace. It’s an energizing process adding the educational component of suppliers to the Conference in the Eco-Marketplace and again this year, many live demonstrations will take place in the active zones on the exhibit floor. Now, I feel I’m waiting for someone to open a gift I’ve just given them; I know you’re going to love this gift on March 3rd!