Skillshare: A certified pro gives back to the industry

The quest to make his own Irrigation contracting business more water-efficient led Stephen Blackburn to FNGLA certification.

The Brevard County resident and owner of Lush N’ Green Irrigation Services earned an FNGLA Certified Landscape Contractor designation to further his own skills. But Stephen didn’t stop there. Instead, he pushed on to earn designation as an FNGLA Certified Judge, ISA certified Arborist and Tri-County Certified Irrigation contractor. Over the years, Stephen has volunteered his time and talents at FNGLA’s South Florida test site in Davie, assisting in administering the irrigation portion of FNGLA’s landscape technician exams.

Stephen also volunteers close to home helping to administer certification exams at FNGLA’s Central Florida test site in Orlando.

“When called upon, Stephen is always right there, whether teaching at a training program or being a judge at an exam” says FNGLA Certification Manager Gary Weitermann. “He shares his knowledge and time with everyone wanting to learn.”

Based in Merritt Island, Stephen considers it a big part of his job to minimize the amount of water used by assuring irrigation systems are correctly designed, installed and maintained.

It’s a dedication to professionalism he takes on as a clarion call -- even creating a portable station display board, complete with two different controllers, a soil moisture sensor and irrigation box with solenoid.

“It works well to train and test applicants on the irrigation section of the FCLMT and FCLT certifications,” Weitermann adds. “Stephen also plans to make a portable irrigation parts board to be used for the exams as well.”

This donation is just one of the ways Stephen supports FNGLA’s goal of training and certifying the landscape industry.

“Certification is important because it shows you care about understanding your industry’s guidelines and standards” explains Stephen Blackburn. “It is a mark of professionalism.”

Ever the advocate for both lifelong learning and Florida’s nursery and landscape industry, Stephen will collaborate with nearby Eastern Florida State College’s new Landscape and Horticulture Technology Associate of Science degree program.

Stephen Blackburn will also lend his time to FNGLA’s upcoming expansion of its educational offerings in Brevard County, starting with a Florida Water Star Accredited Professional. That training will take place for the first time in Brevard County on February 20, 2020.

For more information on FNGLA Certifications, visit its website.


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