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  • Writer's pictureCat Meholic

Professional Show-&-Tell: Part 2

Updated: Jul 19, 2018

The second part of our event recap from our June 30th Professional Show-&-Tell at Ambler Arboretum at Temple University! Here we follow up with our last three speakers of the day. Enjoy!

Speaker #4

Partnerships are crucial for the success of Women in Horticulture. Fran Lawn and his colleague, Alanna Wittet, of the Sustainable Business Network were great partners to have for this event! They reached out to Women in Horticulture a few months ago, and met with me over coffee to see where our groups overlapped. I am so glad Fran was willing to speak and share more about their organization!

The term "triple bottom line" (TBL) was brought up many times during Fran's talk, and is a key tenant of Sustainable Business Network. He says "It’s always heartening to know folks are familiar with and understand TBL. To me it’s the key to doing business in a way that places as much value on people and the environment as it does profit. When those are in alignment, businesses will continue to be a driver for good. What winning combo!"

Fran and Alanna have highlighted some ways to see if the Sustainable Business Network or Green Stormwater Initiative are right for you;

-We welcome Women in Horticulture to experience GSI Partners through our Quarterly Meetings. It’s a great way to get a taste of what we’re doing, as well as meet folks in the industry. Next meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 25th. Folks can register online.

-In addition to attending a Quarterly Meeting, I would encourage those interested in getting a taste of SBN as a greater network to also join us for our upcoming SBN Open House on August 2nd at Vault + Vine in East Falls.

-All of our upcoming events are posted on our website:


Speaker #5

"When was the last time you changed your behavior?" Katie asked the room. I know I couldn't think of a recent time where I changed my behavior for the better. I hope attendees had a chance to connect on that topic! Katie Bohri, the Marketing and Communications Specialist of Mt. Cuba Center, shared her quick notes of a multi-year study done on behavior change.

Katie walked us through the basic steps to change a behavior:

1) Pre-contemplation (you don't even know you are doing this!)

2) Contemplation (you're thinking about the change)

3) Preparation (making a plan)

4) Action (putting the plan into action)

5) Maintenance

Katie followed up with us and said "As you can see from the Wikipedia article, it's been used a lot in public health outcomes: At Mt. Cuba Center, we're applying it to our audiences by trying to assess and understand which stage of change they're at, and how we can help move them up to the next level. That way, you don't have to go from 0-60 mph, you can go from 0-20, or 20-30, or 50-60."

This last point "maintenance" was a unifying theme in each of the speakers' talks in Part 2 of our event recap. Fran Lawn pointed at an initiative with Green Stormwater Infrastructure is ensuring people know how to maintain it systems once they are installed, and Margot Taylor, below, discussed the goal of using only 55 hours to do annual maintenance on a site. But, here Katie is using it to describe that once you change a behavior, you still have to maintain that change.

She also shared that "Information campaigns DON'T work on their own." This needs to be part of a bigger campaign that makes the "right" choice the easy choice.


Speaker #6

As the final speaker, Margot had a tough spot to fill, but got us all ready for her talk but having us stand up and stretch. Great idea, Margot! Despite Katie's comment about making the "right choice" the "easy choice," Margot chose the toughest of the "right" choices and chose to get SITES certification for her home. One of only two residential properties to do that in North America.

Margot spoke about the time it took to do the application alone (over 600+ hours!). She told us that one concept she uses for design is the idea of a living system in place of a "stage set" that many of our gardens turn into. Permaculture holds the landscape as a lving system of a key component, and Margot encouraged all of us to research more into permaculture and soil health.

The question "Where do you like to sit?" was posed to the audience, and we all laughed a little at the thought of having time to SIT in our gardens! The idea of allowing living systems to take such good care of themselves as to allow us time to actually sit in our gardens was pretty enticing. Perhaps, Margot's simple question of "Where do you like to sit?" should be re-framed as "How will you make time to sit in your garden?"

Thanks again to all of our speakers, and to Kathy Salisbury, Director of Ambler Arboretum, for hosting this event! We can't wait for the next one!

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