The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) and Project EverGreen announce David Shetlar, Ph.D. as the recipient of the 18th 2016 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year Award. Shetlar, a professor of urban landscape entomology at The Ohio State University, received the award, which recognizes individuals in the green industry for outstanding communications efforts regarding environmental issues, this month at the TOCA annual conference in Omaha, Neb.
Fondly known as the “Bug Doc” for not only his knowledge of insects, but the entertaining way he communicates the information to all audiences, Shetlar is a universally recognized researcher, educator, author and speaker. Shetlar earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in entomology from Penn State University.
“Dr. Shetlar exemplifies the type of communicator needed in the green industry today to guide consumers through the myriad of sometimes mixed messages about the importance of green spaces,” said Den Gardner, TOCA executive director. “His communications style is one that easily translates the positive benefits of turf and ornamentals to consumers as well as to business audiences. We are proud to recognize him for this award.” Shetlar has been on staff at OSU since 1990 and his areas of insect expertise include nurseries, urban landscapes, turfgrass and Christmas trees. He is frequently asked to speak on the value of well-managed green spaces and biodiversity in urban habitats.
“Urban biodiversity is real and resilient,” remarked Shetlar when accepting his award. “There’s more biodiversity going on in turf than most people give it credit for. Select the right plants first in any landscape setting, and they’ll be more resistant to pest infestations and last longer.”
Sharing the environmental and health benefits of yards, parks and green spaces is central to the mission of Project EverGreen. Through programs like GreenCare for Troops (GCFT) and Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.,TM (HTHK) the national non-profit communicates the emotional and physical benefits of well-maintained green spaces. GCFT serves military families and veterans with a service-related disability, and HTHK revitalizes sports fields and recreational play areas in areas in need. “Project EverGreen is pleased to recognize Dave with this well-deserved honor,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Well-maintained green spaces provide tranquil areas for families to reflect and safer places for kids to play. They’re also an intrinsic part of any community.” Previous Environmental Communicator Award recipients include:
1999 – Mark Welterlen, former publisher Grounds Maintenance magazine
2000 – Bill Love, W.R. Love Golf Architecture
2001 – Tim Doppel, Atwood Lawn Care
2002 – Doug Fender, former executive director, Turfgrass Producers International
2003 – Allen James, former CEO, RISE
2004 – Rod Dodson, Audubon International
2005 – Jeff Gullickson, Spokane Country Club
2006 – Kevin Trotta, grounds manager/IPM specialist, Cornwall, NY
2007 – Helen Stone, Southwest Trees & Turf magazine
2008 – Allied Golf Associations of Colorado
2009 – Drs. Larry Stowell/Wendy Gelernter, PACE Turf
2010 – Christopher Gray, formerly Marvel Golf Club
2011 – Anthony Williams, formerly Marriott Golf and golf course consultant
2012 – Dr. Frank Rossi, Cornell University
2013 – Phil Fogarty, Weed Man and Crowley’s Vegetation Management
2014 -Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee
2015 – Dr. Brian Horgan, University of Minnesota
About TOCA The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) is composed of editors, writers, publishers, photographers, public relations/advertising practitioners, industry association leaders, manufacturers and others involved in green industry communications. From its beginnings in 1990, it has served members of the green industry by fostering an open exchange of information regarding issues that affect how members communicate to various audiences.
About Project EverGreen Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Project EverGreen (www.ProjectEverGreen.org) is a national non-profit organization committed to promoting the positive effects managed green spaces – including lawns and landscapes, athletic and recreational turf, golf courses and trees and parks – have on the physical, mental and economic well-being of communities across the United States. Project EverGreen’s initiatives include GreenCare for Troops, SnowCare for Troops and the “Healthy Turf. Healthy Kids.™”