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Land Stewards’ Oath

ELA_logo_green_background_circle SMI swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this oath:

I will respect the hard-won horticultural gains of those stewards of the land in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the Earth, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and environmental nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to horticulture as well as science, and that Low Impact Development, Integrated Pest Management, and understanding nature’s cycles and processes may outweigh the lawnmower, chainsaw, or the chemist’s solution.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are required

I will respect the diversity of the planet, both seen and unseen. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of nature and humanity. There will be opportunities to maintain natural landscapes. But, it may also be within my power to change the natural landscape; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humility and awareness of my own frailty.

I will remember that I do not work on a single property, but a whole ecosystem – intertwined and connected down to the smallest organism. My responsibility is to all the children, of all species, for all time.

As a steward of the land, I accept the responsibility to help undo the damage done by human development by re-nourishing depleted soils, re-establishing native vegetation, and avoiding the overuse of pesticides and herbacides. I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

May I always act to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of landscapes I have nurtured.

With thanks to Hippocrates and the Hippocratic Oath.

Trevor Smith, Land Escapes