National Association of Landscape Professionals
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The National Association of Landscape Professionals, formerly known as the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), is a professional body for lawn care professionals, landscape management professionals (exterior maintenance contractors), design/build/installation professionals, and interior plantscapers. The organization represents more than 100,000 landscape industry professionals, mainly in the United States.
The Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) was founded in 1961. In collaboration with NASA, the ALCA sponsored the NASA Clean Air Study, which was published in 1989. After the study was published, the ALCA formed the Foliage for Clean Air Council, later renamed the Plants for Clean Air Council (PCAC), a nonprofit that promoted the use of plants in homes and offices. PCAC was dissolved in 2000 due to lack of funding.
In 1993, the ALCA established the Certified Landscape Professional (CLP) credential, which was later expanded into what is now the Landscape Industry Certified program.
The Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA) was founded in 1979. PLANET was formed on January 1, 2005, when the ALCA and the PLCAA merged. It was then rebranded as the National Association of Landscape Professionals on April 1, 2015.
Landscape Industry Certified is a broad but powerful distinction for individuals who have taken their experience, skills and desire for excellence to the next level by studying, testing and becoming certified. They stay on top of their game by maintaining their certification every two years through recertification. The International Certification Council administers the certification program for PLANET.
Several certifications are available leading to the Landscape Industry Certified Manager, Technician or a combination of Manager & Technician designations. Lawn and landscape professionals choose between the following:
Landscape contractor business owners or managers should consider the Manager (formerly CLP) designation.
Exterior technicians in softscape installation, hardscape installation, turf maintenance, ornamental maintenance or irrigation should consider the Technician - Exterior (formerly CLT-E) designation.
Interiorscape technicians should consider the Interior Technician (formerly CLT-I) designation.
Green industry professionals looking to expand or reinforce their knowledge of landscape plant life should consider the Horticultural Technician (formerly COLP) designation.
Lawn care professionals wanting a well-rounded foundation in warm- and cool-season turfgrass establishment, growth, maintenance, troubleshooting, and customer relations should consider the Lawn Care Manager (formerly CTP) designation.
Lawn care practitioners looking to underscore their professionalism and commitment to best practices should consider the newest designation, Lawn Care Technician – National (new).
Lawn care professionals focusing on cool season lawns should consider the Lawn Care Technician (formerly CTP-CSL/cool season) designation.
The association hosts a number of public service and educational events throughout the year. These include Day of Service, Renewal and Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery, Student Career Days (now the National Collegiate Landscape Competition), PLANET Gives Back, as well as hosting the Green Industry Conference (now LANDSCAPES) and participating in GIE+Expo, the landscape industry's largest educational conference and expo.
- LM Staff (12 March 2015). "Backstory: National Association of Landscape Professionals". Landscape Management. North Coast Media. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- Wolverton, B. C.; Johnson, Anne; Bounds, Keith (15 September 1989). "Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement". NASA Technical Report Server. NASA. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
- Wolverton, B.C. (1997). How to Grow Fresh Air. Penguin Group. p. 21.
- "Plants For Clean Air Council To Cease Operations". Lawn & Landscape. GIE Media, Inc. October 23, 2000. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- Palmieri, Marisa (26 February 2015). "PLANET launches new brand". Landscape Management. North Coast Media. Retrieved 10 November 2018.