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UPDATE ON CLCA – LIS 2009

2009 - Calif Landscape Contractors Assoc
Landscape Industry Show UPDATE
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It was all about GREEN and Saving H2o

If it wasn't actually green in color, it appears that every company has
found some way to tweak their marketing message to fertilize the "verge" or
green aspects.

It's a GOOD thing and amazing to see how quickly industries have either
reformulated or merely re-woven the features and benefits package together
to focus on the best their products can deliver to help California's
contracting community deliver on our commitment to a 20% reduction of water
usage by 2020.

Late last year, the California Dept of Water Resource held a public forum
and asked private citizens, companies, municipalities and water districts
to gather to review the DWR studies and talk about progress in developing
the plan to achieve the goal.

A short time later, the Calif DWR put out a press release that only 1 of
all of California's communities could make the goal - leaving the rest of
our state far behind. 

DWR, chartered with the responsibility to shepherd the goal to fruition,
has the power to resort to new laws and restrictions to get traction on the
deal - and the CLCA LIS show was abundant with information and resources we
will now need to incorporate into our designs to manage and reduce water
usage differently. If you weren't here - you missed something monumental -
and now you'll have to figure it out on your own - http://www.clca.org is a
great place to start ...

For the artificial turf industry - there were several water programs,
members of Metropolitan Water District, that featured samples of synthetic
grasses and their respective rebate programs in their booths. (more on that
next week!) 

Great news from the "trenches" is that cities such as Garden Grove, La
Palmas, Fountain Valley and other in Orange County, who had, years ago,
banned the use of artificial turf products for use in landscape, are all in
the process of reviewing those ordinances - especially in the face of
imminent water restrictions ahead. [ If you missed the note last week - the
northern California City of Roseville announced water restrictions last
week - curtaining the use for landscape and other uses - a copy is in the
members newsletter archive you can visit here:
http://www.asgi.us/amember/member.php ].

ASGi also had a great show - we met with new entrants into the market, as
well as many who have seen a decade or more in the biz.  Business is
healthy, products are even better looking and we see an increase in
artificial grass products being available through wholesalers, direct to
the contractors now.  

Few of these new ventures offer a complete line-up of consumables, tools
and equipment for their B2B customers - however - many are now keeping the
synthetic turf materials in stock, which is helping make it more accessible
to a wider trade and DIY audience. 

New synthetic grass styles of products are also reflective of the wide
variety of native and "cultured" grass seed and sod a landscaper can choose
from to plant a natural lawn.  Some are even showing a fleck of brown
thatch, and several different varieties of yarn color, fiber shape, texture
and weight on the same surfaces - there is such a wide variety that you
could probably find artificial grass to match any natural, to a "tee".  

One objection to artificial turf that we really need to address head on is
heat in areas that experience dramatic local high temperatures and lots of
sun.  

Of course, shade is the BEST of all the answers and we are also seeing
some other "clever" ways of decreasing the heat on the surfaces.  One firm,
expert in natural and synthetic field installation from the mid-west (also
renown for their excavation expertise) has a patented in-ground system that
does several things.  The system is awesome for drainage, the way it's set
up, you can collect (or harvest) water that percolates through it, and when
the field isn't getting rained on, the sub-surface system is a natural air
conditioner and on either natural or synthetic field, air can be BLOWN
THROUGH the field!!  Passing under the sub-surfaces, the air is cooled and
gently blows up and practically "lifts" the heat off the field - though
impractical for small landscape areas, it is brilliant for resorts, larger
daycare and play areas.  Poolside, even tennis courts would benefit,
especially in hot, sunny climates like Arizona or Las Vegas.

Several infill solutions are also racing to solve this problem - infill
solutions from natural materials to SBR alternatives like TPE - a virgin
olefin resin - or other materials that are made in lighter colors, coated
or dyed granulated products, some with added IR (ifra-red technology helps
to dissipate the heat quickly and efficiently) are helping to decrease the
heat and ambient temperature of artificial turf fields from 30 to 50%.

Though watering the field can have a heat decreasing effect - it isn't
permanent, due to water evaporation.  The very evaporative cooling effect
can backfire - causing an increase in field humidity which can be
unpleasant for the players. 

For Sunny Areas - SHADE is still the best answer and should be a
requirement for any play area for kids or pets in hot and sunny climates.
(Umbrellas, the new "wind sails" and canopies can easily and beautifully
add shade in a large or small area!)

Last and not least is that CLCA and other contractor organizations are
embracing artificial turf and synthetic grass - we have a place and a voice
and it was a really great show - if you weren't there, I'm sorry you missed
it!!!!

All the best!
Annie Costa

ps: I nearly forgot - duh!

ASGi  also announced the "Grand Opening" of
My-Compliance-Certificate.Org!!!!  

Earlier last year, after the signing of CPSIA into law and the request of
the CPSC to have ASTM develop a voluntary standard for lead content in
artificial turf yarns and fibers AND with pending settlements from the Prop
65 litigation on the horizon; more than likely; requiring its own set of
standards - we developed an "online" turn-key solution to help
manufacturers and their trade customers comply and help ASGi provide an
"off-site" registry to help consumers find out more about these companies
and their compliant products and programs, testing and conformity with new
ASTM Voluntary Lead standards (to be published shortly).

It's a significant and necessary investment for our manufacturers, US
Importers and private lablers - they ought to "get credit" for their
efforts in a very public way - and this was our way of helping to make that
a possibility while providing the best resource (the actual manufacturer)
for the information about all these products to the public!

Go visit! Send others - link to the site - if you're a manufacturer,
importer or private labeler - get registered and we'll get you set up!

Again - It's an online "library" that manufacturers can go to "publish"
and issue General Certificates of Conformity (Compliance Certificates) and
in doing so, comply with the CPSIA and FHSA.  

Consumer groups, HOAs, water districts and other municipalities are
already adding links on their sites to it, as well as an extensive web
based SEO campaign will begin next week to also promote its existence.

Companies appearing on the site today are our BETA testers - companies
willing to be "guinea pigs" in our testing of this system before we went
"live" on Wed.

WE THANK YOU ALL!!!! 

More companies are in line to be posted and surely, more will join
shortly. 

Enjoy the site!  I attached a "flyer" for consumers and market partners,
for more details - go have a LOOK!
CPSC Compliance GCC Flyer for My-Compliance-Certificate.Org

http://www.My-Compliance-Certificate.Org.

For more info on the CPSIA, CPSC, PROP65, ASTM Voluntary Standards - you
can get started (FREE Public Area) at http://www.asgi.us/cpsc

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ASGi
ASGi - the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers was founded in 2007 to help connect market partners and their customers in the artificial grass and synthetic turf industry. We have grown into a global presence, focused upon the niche markets of landscape and leisure sports. Take a moment, browse the site - or email or phone us if we can be of help in answering a question or locating information. Phone US TOLL FREE - 888-378-4581 View all posts by ASGi

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