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Archives for September 18, 2015

US Demand for Landscaping Products to Reach $8.2 Billion in 2019

September 17, 2015 ( stocks newswire) Demand for landscaping products in the United States is forecast to grow 5.3 percent per year to $8.2 billion in 2019 as the market continues to recover from the effects of the 2007-2009 recession. Strong gains in the residential and nonresidential construction sectors, growth in existing home sales, and increases in disposable incomes will support gains. Additionally, demand will be influenced by long-term drought experienced in areas of the West and the South, and growing environmental concerns of consumers. These and other trends are presented in Landscaping Products, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The residential market is by far the largest of the three major markets for landscaping products, accounting for nearly 70 percent of all demand in 2014. According to analyst Christine O’Keefe, “The popularity of outdoor living spaces such as outdoor kitchens and living rooms will continue to grow as homeowners look to increase their usable living space.” Such living spaces will drive demand for landscaping products, including concrete pavers for patios and flooring, bricks and stones for walls and seating areas, and trellises and pergolas for cover.

Nonresidential building is the second largest market for landscaping products. The outdoor living trend will also influence demand in the nonresidential market as businesses such as restaurants, coffee shops, and bars look to increase their seating space during the temperate months by adding outdoor seating areas, supporting growth in hardscaping products such as pavers and stone. Sales of outdoor heating products like fireplaces and fire pits, as well as landscaping lighting, will also increase as businesses try to maximize the time during the year that outdoor seating can be used. Nonbuilding applications will also show healthy growth, in part due to municipal efforts to mitigate the effects of water runoff by increasing the use of permeable pavers and other related products. However, the continuing decline in the number of golf courses, particularly in the Midwest, will restrain growth.

© 2015 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.

Landscaping Products (published 08/2015, 273 pages) is available for $5300 from The Freedonia Group, Inc. For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600 or e-mail Information may also be obtained through

A limited license to use or reprint information from this news release is granted to you provided attribution for the same – including, if possible, the price of the report – is given to The Freedonia Group, Inc. (Cleveland, OH). We would also appreciate the courtesy of receiving a copy of the article or publication in which we appear.

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Landscapes for a changing world

You know the bar for design is set pretty high when the 7-11 and KFC in town look nothing like their sister convenience stores and fast-food take-outs in other cities.

Palm Springs is a city with no shortage of architectural obsession. The city seems filled with real and self-appointed experts and many building projects are required to move through numerous levels of architectural review and approval.

So it stands to reason that the city’s landscapes would also come under the same level of scrutiny. And that may be what the future looks like as landscape design in the desert makes the radical departure from decades of gratuitous — to say nothing of water-guzzling — lawns and shrubs to desert landscaping, made more urgent by the state’s historic drought.

Cities such as Palm Springs are required to meet 36 percent water-use reductions, which can only happen with a wholesale change in the approach to outdoor irrigation. Across the valley, thousands of square feet of lawns are being ripped out and replaced with a landscape that looks a little more like the California Desert.

Public approval bodies like the Palm Springs Architectural Advisory Committee have been meeting to hash-out design and other guidelines for landscapes in an age of drought, weighing the sometimes conflicting issues of water conservation, planting and the overall costs for property-owners.

And if the bar is held high for architectural design in Palm Springs, shouldn’t it be as lofty for landscape architecture?

“I think most of our point of views on this commission or committee is, we’re still holding the bar up kind of high, whether that’s right or wrong,” said Randy Purnel, a member of the Palm Springs Architectural Advisory Committee and a landscape architect.

“I’m wondering why landscape is being viewed any different than architecture, when it comes to the requirements and the quality of the design,” Purnel added, speaking during a joint meeting last month of the AAC and the Palm Springs Planning Commission to discuss landscape design.

Clearly, landscape design is an area increasingly under the AAC’s review. Since July 1, 2014 the Palm Springs planning department has reviewed more than 32 lawn conversion applications, said Flinn Fagg, director of planning services in Palm Springs. Seven of those landscapes — because they were for an area smaller than 2,500 square feet — required only an administrative approval. The others were reviewed by the AAC.

Since July 2011 through May 2015 some 208 residential lawn conversion applications have been processed in Palm Springs, amounting to 5 acres of turf removed, said Marcus Fuller, city engineer for Palm Springs. The city has also processed another 50 HOA lawn removal applications, resulting in another 5 acres of grass removed. It’s estimated that removing this grass has saved more than 13.4 million gallons of water, according to a city report.

One of those HOAs is the Sandcliff condo community, a classic mid-century complex built in 1963 on a plush pillow of velvet lawn.

Sandcliff recently removed a large swath of lawn in front of the units. Nearly 60 percent of Sandcliff’s original turf area is now a geometric arrangement of desert flora, rocks and other ground cover.

“We knew we had to switch away from turf,” said Michael Mahon, a member of the HOA board at Sandcliff. “We saw that coming even before we had a water crisis. And we wanted something that would echo some of the striking modernist ideas, and by doing something geometric, and using the textures of the surface materials to generate the pattern.

“And then softening that with the plant material,” he added. “And I think that result has been actually — even better than what it was in the drawing.”

That level of thought to the design is what the AAC and planning commission would like to see come forward in the future — particularly for areas like street frontages that are open for public view.

“From an aesthetics quality of the city, personally, I would like to see a higher level of design coming through,” said Purnel.

Large landscape conversion projects with a significant amount of public visibility will be the projects that receive the most scrutiny and must meet the highest design standards say officials, who have not yet finished drafting landscape design guidelines.

However, the small single-family home-owner likely will undergo the least scrutiny.

“I think, at the expense of having the most beautiful desert landscape in the world, we need to have desert landscape,” said Doug Donenfeld, a member of the planning commission who cautioned against making the approval process too difficult for the average home-owner.

“There will be a lot of people who will look at that and say, ‘it’s too much, too much red tape, I’m not going to do it,’ ” Donenfeld cautioned.

Part of what’s inspiring so many to rip out their lawns is the generous lawn removal rebate program operated by the Desert Water Agency.

The program pays homeowners, businesses or HOAs $2 per square-foot of lawn removed. The program requires a 25 percent funding match from the property owner, and with residential properties, the program only covers front yards.

“At this point, the demand for our program is so high, I mean, we’re going to take out 2 million square feet of turf this year, easy. Whether we do backyards or not,” Katie Ruark, spokeswoman for the Desert Water Agency, told the joint meeting of the AAC and planning commission in August.

A community-wide desire to conserve water — and financial incentives to transition lawns into displays for striking and sculptural groupings of agave or even Manzanitas — is rapidly changing the look of Palm Springs, offering landscape designers a whole new dimension of creativity in which to work, even as much of the architecture retains its modernist aesthetic.

“It’s really a remarkable thing,” said Mahon. “Fifty years later, have a do-over.”

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‘Pinterest is my friend’ — Gardener collects ideas, provides inspiration

McCOOK, Neb. — Marla Messersmith has been known to lead impromptu tours of her yard for curious walkers who pass by her family’s home at 113 East M in McCook, Nebraska.

And then, recently, she hosted members of the McCook Good Earth Garden Club. Marla said she was flattered that garden club members wanted to see her yard and gardens, that they found it so interesting. Marla said that she enjoys sharing her gardening and landscaping ideas with others, just as she gleans ideas from them.

Her mother, Sundae Fritz, has been her greatest inspiration, although Marla admits that she appreciated her mother’s knowledge much more after she and her husband, Shane, and their children moved into their home on East M about 11 years ago. The back yard was rocks and weeds, with rare level areas for the kids’ playground equipment.

Marla and Shane moved dirt and river rocks, dug a pit into which to sink the kids’ trampoline level with the ground and built a flagstone patio. Marla created border gardens, amending the soil as needed.

Shane’s interest in landscaping projects waned after the first couple years, Marla said, but hers only grew. And grew. And grew.

She’s never tried to count the variety of plants in her yard; besides, she might count something twice, as she moves plants from one place to another to provide them with a better environment.

Marla said her mother encourages her to try new things. “She says, ‘Just try it. If it doesn’t work out, try something else’,” Marla said.

Even as she and her family travel, Marla’s watching closely for landscaping and gardening ideas.

The Home and Garden television (HGTV) channel is another source of ideas, as is the Pinterest Internet idea exchange. “I like Pinterest a lot. Pinterest is my friend, my inspiration,” Marla chuckles.

One Pinterest idea that she’s used is to place a dresser — shabby and probably headed for the landfill — in her garden, and fill its opened drawers with plants and flowers. “I don’t cover them (from the weather),” Marla said. “I leave them out until they deteriorate and then I start again with another idea.”

Marla has started to add pops of blue in the accessories in her gardens, but she doesn’t follow a strict color scheme. “I have no definite color scheme,” Marla explains. “I like all colors.”

Marla does like plants with long seasons, and is expanding into three-season plantings, adding tulips for spring and mums for the fall. She likes color and texture throughout the yard and gardens.

Marla admits that gardening and landscaping is “a process,” that teaches her patience, because — as her mother has often pointed out — “I like instant gratification.”

“Mom has always told me, ‘You’ll appreciate it more if you have to work for it’,” Marla said.

Marla enjoys spring and summer, and the cooler temperatures of fall. She admits that winter is rough on her, and she can’t wait until garden catalogs start to arrive in the mail in late winter.

“I’m by no means professional, but I love gardening and landscaping, and helping others,” Marla said. “It might be my God-given talent.”

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Curbside gardening aims to provide more drought-tolerant landscape options

Rain gardens now only allow for a fashionable landscape but a functional one as well.
Courtesy photo


Long Beach Water Department

Offers free landscape designs, along with before-and-after photos. It also has ongoing classes and workshops. Kathleen Irvine will discuss “Low Maintenance Gardening the Natural Way,” 9:30 a.m-1 p.m. Sept. 26, 1800 E. Wardlow Road, Long Beach.

Information: www.lblawn

San Bernardino

The city has an extensive online program and also hosts classes. The next landscape design class is 9 a.m.-noon Nov. 14. Classes are usually held at 777 N. F St., San Bernardino. Reservations required.

Information: 909-384-5141,

Chino Basin Water Conservation District

The district has two October events planned at its building, 4594 San Bernardino St., Montclair. A sustainable landscaping workshop is set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 3 and the ninth annual Water Conservation Fair is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 17. Reservations are required for the workshop.

Information: 951-750-0943,

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

The district maintains an informative site that includes suggestions for drought-friendly plants, tips on water-efficient irrigation and more.


Homeowners are kicking their gardens to the curb — literally.

Most homeowners must contend with small swatches of property located just beyond their yards and before the city streets, space seen as a no-man’s-land parcel to some. But not anymore.

As traditional lawns are being dredged up and discarded, these sidewalk sidekicks are being included in landscape plans as part of a curbside gardening movement that aims to lessen water use in front yards and to save as much of the precious resource as possible.

Chuck Schaich, a senior analyst in the public works department in Torrance, recommends using California native and drought-friendly plants. Using pebbles, mulch and other loose materials isn’t a good idea since they can become dislodged and end up clogging storm drains.

And since the size of most parkways is small at best, Schaich said, removing sprinklers altogether may be a good idea, and opt instead to water by hand. A good directed drip system is another option.

But a word of caution: Check with the city first. Depending on where you live, you can be encouraged to bulldoze full-steam ahead or be slapped with a hefty fine.

City codes vary, but in most cases, as long as the rules are followed, homeowners are free to include these parcels in their landscaping plans. For example, Upland residents need to continue to irrigate any trees located in these spaces and not create any accessibility hazards, according to Rosemary Hoerning, Upland public works director/city engineer.

Combining plants and some hardscape designs is fine, but don’t use plants that grow more than 24 inches high, she added, recommending residents contact their local water district for guidance.

WaterLA, a collective of nonprofits, local government agencies, small businesses and residents, believes this is an important teaching moment that can change mind-sets. The concepts of the parkway as a landing strip to walk across and the social expectation of having to keep it green have to be changed, said Melanie Winter, founder/director of WaterLA and director of The River Project.

“This is a great opportunity right now for cities to reconsider policies about the trees planted in these parkways and these parkways themselves,” she said. “These parkways should be looked at as miniwatersheds.”

When curbside gardens are allowed to work properly, they are tremendously useful.

Kaylee Weatherly of the Long Beach Water Department said the city’s Lawn to Garden Program, seen by many municipalities as a shining example of what to do right, complies with the municipal code. It encourages the use of colorful rocks, plants and groundcovers, allowing that at least 50 percent of the parkway is plant material. Those plants must not be taller than 32 inches, a height restriction, as is the case in most cities, to ensure visibility and accessibility.

Getting started

Selecting the right plants can help turn the looks of this space from ho-hum to beautiful. Succulents are extremely popular now, but there are abundant groundcovers available that not only are drought-friendly but attractive, said Dave Schroder of the Chino Basin Water Conservation District.

Schroder likes Myoporum paryifolium “Pink,” Senecio mandraliscae, Drosanthemum floribundum, commonly called “Rosea,” any of the Sedums, Cistanthe grandiflora or “Roack Purslane” and Dymodia margarete or “Silver Carpet.”

Then, when designing the space, Schroder suggests concave soil grading instead of convex designs, sometimes referred to as low-impact development, which allows for the capturing and retaining of water from rains or sprinklers. This also has the added benefit of helping to block trash and pollutants from running down storm drains, while keeping the soil moist.

And maintaining the health of any trees located there is crucial. The goal is to minimize runoff while promoting a deep-root system. WaterLA advocates capturing, conserving and then reusing water, which means reconfiguring the spaces with parkway retrofits where curbs have cutouts that catch water from the street. Flat landscapes miss the now vital chance to keep and maintain water when it rains or at least from sprinkler use. Simple grading that creates basins and swales can go a long way toward water conservation.

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Customize gardens to help native bees


Dogged by pests, pathogens, poor nutrition, and other problems, the European honey bee is having a rough time these days. The bee pollinates over 90 different kinds of fruit, vegetable and nut crops. These same crops are also pollinated by native bees, particularly on smaller or diversified farms and especially in home gardens. Together, their pollination services are an $18 billion annual asset to U.S. agriculture, and concern over their welfare prompted the White House in May to issue a directive aimed at bolstering their numbers and health through a series of initiatives including improving and expanding pollinator habitat.

Citizen involvement is another component. Among the actions citizens can take is growing nectar- and pollen-rich flowering plants; another is “customizing” garden or landscaping areas to make them more hospitable to these pollinators — especially native bees, says entomologist Jim Cane, with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Pollinating Insect–Biology, Management, Systematics Research Unit in Logan, Utah.

In a three-year outdoor experiment conducted on the campus of Utah State University, Cane found that the common, widespread social bee species Halictus rubicundus (H. rubicundus) prefers digging its subterranean burrows next to small surface stones rather than in areas of bare soil. The next generation of queens, who mature in the fall and hibernate away from the cluster, return in the spring to use those same sites to establish nests of their own. Indeed, when Cane created a thin mulch of flat stream pebbles along the edges of a landscaped sidewalk area, he observed 66 to 78 percent more burrows there the following spring than in adjacent areas of bare soil.

Creating habitat

Together with Utah State University Extension, Cane turned his research findings into practical guidelines that gardeners and landscapers can follow to create habitat areas that will serve other ground-nesting bees, which comprise about three-fourths of the 4,000 described native species in North America.

“Bees have two primary needs in life: pollen and nectar to feed themselves and their offspring, and a suitable place to nest,” writes Cane in his guide, Gardening and Landscaping Practices for Nesting Native Bees. While lists of bee-friendly plants are available, most practical advice focuses on practices to avoid, like using buried landscaping fabric or sprinkler-irrigation systems during daytime, which can disrupt a female bee’s orientation to familiar landmarks.

For ground-nesters, like H. rubicundus, Cane suggests creating a single surface layer of small, streambed-type pebbles along the perimeter of a flower garden or landscape area. It’s important that these pebbles remain undisturbed by foot traffic, because female bees will burrow into the ground near them and rely on the pebbles’ positions as landmarks to return to their nests after foraging for nectar and pollen. When pruning plants with woody stems that have pithy or hollow cores, Cane advises, leaving a few foot-long dead sprigs in place. This will attract species that prefer to nest above ground, like small orchard bees.

Urbanization, loss of habitat, and other events have taken a toll on managed and wild bees. But they’re resilient insects, and even a few simple steps to help these important pollinators can go a long ways.

“Watching them forage and nest can be great fun as well as educational for curious homeowners — they’ll quickly appreciate the truth in that old saw, ‘busy as a bee!'” said Cane.

Jan Suszkiw is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Agricultural Research Service.

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Garden and Nature Calendar: Seed collection, nature hike, landscaping lessons

“Got Gardening Questions? Get Answers with Mecklenburg Master Gardeners”: Sept. 19, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, 1801 Yorkmont Road located in the Greenery Shed. 704-336-4011

“Seed Collection Workshop:” Sept. 19, 10:30 a.m. – noon Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 South New Hope Road, Belmont. Propagate your favorite flowers by collecting and spreading seeds of the plants you enjoy most. Join horticulture staff on a tour of perennial gardens to collect seeds from the gardens best summer performers. Fee $25. Advance register 704-829-1252

Budding Botanists: Daring to Dye with Flowers:” Sept. 20, 1-3 p.m. McMillan Greenhouse, UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden, 9090 Craver Road. Sharing the world of plants and creating a fun and exciting learning experience for children 4-8 years old.. $5 donation per child. Advance register

“Gardens Past and Present”: Sept. 20, 3 p.m., Duke Mansion, 400 Hermitage Road. Learn about the history of Wing Haven Gardens, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, UNCC Botanical Gardens and Duke Mansion gardens from an expert on each garden. Free. Reservations required 704-714-4453

“Blending Horticulture with Hardscape Using Heritage Plants in New Ways”: Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. Charlotte Garden Club at The Mint Museum, 2730 Randolph Road. Dabney Peeples, Landscape Designer and chairman of the South Carolina Botanical Garden in Clemson, will discuss new ways to use heritage plants in landscapes.

“Landscape Design Basics for Beautiful, Low Impact Yards”: Sept. 23, 12 – 1:30 p.m. Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension Center, 1418 Armory Drive. Learn to use elements of shape, texture and color to combine plants and hardscape in your yard into an appealing landscape. Register online, in advance $5

“Adult Hiking Series: Birds”: Sept. 22, 10 – 11 a.m., McDowell Nature Center, 15222 York Road. Learn about nature in this adult only hike through our preserve. Free, registration required: or 704-588-5224. “Family Campfire and Hike”: Sept 24, 6 – 8 p.m. Families are invited to hike along a trail followed by a cozy campfire with s’mores. Ages 6 up. Free, registration required: or 704-588-5224.

“Sustainable Gardening Practices”: Sept. 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sept. 27, 1 – 5 p.m. and Oct. 10 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. UNC Charlotte Botanical Garden, McMillan Greenhouse classroom, 9090 Craver Road. Mary Stauble, environmental scientist will introduce you to a home yard care system using sustainable approaches to manage your landscape including soil stewardship, water conservation, toxicity reduction, ecosystem/ecological gardening, reducing waste and energy. Cost $132.00. Advance register:

Send regional garden and nature calendar listings to: Mecklenburg Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

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OKC Beautiful’s Gardening Tip of the Month: Viburnum will soon put on a fall show

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Tips for putting your garden to bed

Are you looking for ways to improve your garden for next year?  

Purdue Extension is offering a class to help you do just that. Learn steps at the end of the growing season to prepare the garden for winter and get a head start on next season.

On Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 6 p.m. there will be a free workshop on how to put your garden to bed in the fall. The workshop will be presented by Extension Educator, Jill Richards at the Ohio County Extension Office

Registration is preferred to the Ohio County Extension Office by 4 p.m. on Sept. 25. To register or if you have any questions please call 812-438-3656.

For more information on this topic or any other, please contact Jill Andrew-Richards, Purdue Cooperative Extension Educator, ANR/4-H Youth Development, 812-438-3656 or Purdue University, Indiana Counties and U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution.

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Fall tips for Ky. gardens


Fall is a beautiful time in Kentucky gardens, but it can also be a messy time. Tree leaves turn from green to vibrant fall colors and then drop, creating big piles. Then there are the leaf and spent shoots from our flower beds.

The way we address our yard waste can have a significant impact on our gardens and on the environment. Gardeners commonly rake up and bag leaves to haul away to yard waste dumps.

This option, while tidy, uses a lot of energy, both yours and the energy to transport the leaves and mixed garden waste.

An alternative is to mulch leaves and yard waste. You could use the bountiful resource to enrich your lawn and garden, while creating less waste and air pollution.

A very simple technique with leaves is to rake them into a line and mow over them with your lawn mower.

The mower will chop the leaves into pieces small enough to fall between the blades of grass in your lawn. The chopped leaves will break down out of sight, provide nutrients to your lawn and improve the quality of your soil.

For larger items like spent flower stalks, composting is a simple, easy and environmentally friendly option. Done properly, it produces no odor and provides a generous amount of nutrient-rich organic compost for your garden, which reduces or eliminates the need to buy fertilizer.

Composting also eliminates the need to transport garden waste, making composting a triple-win situation for your garden, wallet and the environment.

The speed of compost production is influenced by the size of the material placed in the bin, so the more you can chop up the garden debris, the quicker you will have usable compost. Many options for compost bin design and construction are well suited to any location and budget.

Using leaves as mulch has many benefits. The mulch helps retain moisture in the soil and insulates plants from extreme winter temperatures. The decomposed leaves become an excellent conditioner for warming spring soil, helping to attract worms and other beneficial microorganisms.

For more information on mulching and composting, contact the Bell County Cooperative Extension Service.

Stacy White is the county extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. Source: Rick Durham, extension professor. Educational programs of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

Stacy White

Extension News

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As garden grows, Lindblom students give back to veterans – WLS

In an urban garden in West Englewood, vegetables now grow where a drug kingpin’s house once stood. The garden itself has grown thanks to the efforts of engineering students from Lindblom Math and Science Academy.

“To offset the food hunger, the food desert issues, the food insecurity, you guys have helped us turn this corner into a bounty of green on our tables,” said Cordia Pugh, project manager at Hermitage Gardens.

But there’s more to this bounty, for the students saw something else in a parking lot across the street – a garden of a different kind.

The students designed it, and with generous donations and some guidance, they transformed it into a meditation garden for veterans. Pergolas stand where cars where cars were once parked. Vets have an oasis where they can sit and think, maybe grow.

“I’m just immensely thankful that they saw something, that nobody had to encourage. It came from them,” said Issa Umi, a veteran.

“I’m really proud of things you have done and things you’ll do in the future,” said Robert Hart, another veteran.

What began as a computer design exercise became a real world project, with real world benefit.

“I think it makes them happy. It gives them a sense of dignity and pride, something they’ve done,” said Kelim Clark, a Lindblom student.

“You feel a sense of community and connection and closeness you don’t get all the time, and it’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” said Nia Gray, another Lindblom student.

What’s been planted here is a seed that – over many months – has grown into immense pride for a group of students who’ve grown by giving back. Years hence they can pass by and say we did that.

“Are we in good hands with our young people today? Rest easy. They got this. They got this,” said Lawrence Bass, a Lindblom teacher.

Bass sets the bar for his students and they keep exceeding it. He laughs that he’s having way too much fun in his job.

The reward is not just seeing his students exceed their own expectations, but that other schools are looking to do what they’re doing at Lindblom – get out of the classroom and make a difference in the world.

The meditation garden will be dedicated Saturday.

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