Thursday, March 15, 2018

Metro Hort Group Elects New President: Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Ph.D

Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Newly Elected Metro Hort President 
Recently, Metro Hort Group Inc, the Mid-Atlantic association of horticulture professionals elected Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Ph.D. as its new president to lead the organization for a three-year term, the first such tenure in its history. Previously, Yurgalevitch served as Secretary on the Metro Hort Board Member since 2004.
By all counts, Yurgalevitch is the seventh president since the group was founded.

The brainchild of three professional horticulturists in 1986, Metro Hort launched its first meeting of “charter members” and established its Planning Board in 1987.

Soon to follow its incorporation as a 501 (c) in 1988, the Metro Hort Guest speaker series launched - and still held at winter meetings along with the seasonal field trips to all variety of horticultural venues including private gardens, parks, zoos, cemeteries, botanical gardens and nurseries. Workshops began in 1993 taught “by professionals, for professionals” on topics ranging from garden photography to rooftop gardening, pruning, CAD technology, and more. The signature horticultural trade show and symposium, Plant-O-Rama was launched in 1997.

During a recent interview, Yurgalevitch talked about his vision and upcoming agenda for Metro Hort moving forward.

In a macro sense, he is looking to lend Metro Hort’s expertise to help shape a community-wide agenda to influence greener, healthier, environmental attitudes and behaviours. “We can further establish Metro Hort’s leadership and its advocacy for sustainable practices in business and government,” Yurgalevitch explained. “We have a unique platform to affect a determined path to a plant-based, sustainable way of life, especially in a world that is increasingly urban. Plants and horticulture touch every vital element of our lives from food to water resources, pollution management, to architecture and art -- to the very air we breath,” he continued.

In turn, this outlook will increasingly appeal to the next generation - upcoming green professionals who seek to be vital members of Metro Hort.

Yurgalevitch has been a pioneer in leading younger, green industry professionals from his position as Director of the School of Professional Horticulture at The New York Botanical Garden and as the creator of the now annual, Green Industry Intern Field Day - affectionately referred to as “Hortie Hoopla.”

“We see burgeoning activists in our ranks who want to make changes in the way we interact with our parks and gardens, how we grow and harvest our food, how we safeguard our shores and wetlands and preserve the flora and fauna for future generations, especially in a world of climate chaos and science skeptics,” he added.

With a determined effort to develop “Plant Ambassadors,” Yurgalevitch will seek to challenge Metro Hort’s members and solicit new members with exciting, trailblazing programs and updated processes.

Membership goals also include an effort to revise, revamp, and refresh the organization’s web site and social media practices, including more visuals and video to engage its members and the wider, public community.

Already, the group has added a Local Events Calendar where anyone - members as well as non-members - can post horticultural events of interest, gratis.

The networking and educational talks and workshops and field trips will continue its tradition of excellence with the added objective of highlighting topics of import and interest - meaning those issues that are salient to today’s diverse and fast-moving culture, including aquaponics, technology in horticulture and design, plant propagation and care especially given today’s increasing dramatic climate swings, and visits to innovative and enterprising hort-based initiatives and businesses that are sure to spark learning and collaboration.

The group’s website provides its background description:

Metro Hort Group, Inc. is an association of horticulture professionals practicing in the New York City and tri-state region. Members are active in the worlds of public and private horticulture; we are landscape architects, designers, arborists, growers, educators, contractors, garden writers and every specialty in between. We create and deliver a greener New York. The professional sponsor meetings, lectures, workshops and field trips geared to common interests, with a focus on education, networking and socializing.

Metro Hort members gather to share ideas, information and employment opportunities. Each member receives a detailed listing in our online membership directory, an invaluable resource for horticulture professionals. Membership in Metro Hort Group offers the opportunity to stay connected in these challenging economic times.

To learn more about becoming a member of the Metro Hort Group, visit the membership page.

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