2014 ONLA Distinguished Contribution Award

Posted On 09 Feb 2014
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untitledWESTERVILLE, Ohio: It is with great pleasure that the ONLA Board of Directors announces the 2014 Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association’s (ONLA) Distinguished Contribution Award Winner, Peter Scarff of Scarff’s Nursery, Inc. in New Carlisle, Ohio.

The purpose of the ONLA’s Distinguished Contribution Award is to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to the nursery and landscape industries. Any Ohio resident, who has significantly contributed to any aspects of the horticulture field, is eligible.

Scarff was born in Dayton, Ohio and began working in the family nursery business at the age of 6. He spent most summers riding his bicycle into the fields to hoe weeds for 4 hours each day. When he left home for college at Ohio University in 1978, the family nursery in New Carlisle, Ohio, had already passed through four generations, and his brother Bill seemed poised to be the fifth. His mind was on playing tennis, and he had no aspirations to return to carry on the legacy of his horticultural family. After spending a few years in the financial world he realized this life wasn’t for him and he belonged outdoors. In July of 1985, he spoke with his father, who was president of the Nursery, and his mother, who was vice president, and asked if there was a place for him. For two months that summer, all five members of the family worked together at the Nursery.

Working in all areas of the family business, Peter built his knowledge of horticulture, propagation, and landscaping. As part of that apprenticeship, he began to contribute to The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association through committee work and was asked to lend his talents to the ONLA Board in 1992. He expanded his contributions, serving on various committees for AAN and ANLA. He became president of the ONLA in 1995 and led the organization through the first dues increase since 1981. Back home on the farm, he became the president of the nursery in 2000, and he continues in that role today.

He has also served his local community in a variety of facets. He has been elected to the local school board for two terms, sat on the Cox Arboretum Foundation Board, New Carlisle Library Board, member and past president of the New Carlisle Rotary club and a Deacon at Lake Avenue Christian Church. He married wife Cindy in 1987 and has three children Nelson, Henry and Anna. The ONLA is pleased and honored to present the 2014 Distinguished Contribution Award to Peter Scarff.

The ONLA’s annual convention, the Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show (CENTS), is scheduled for January 7-9, 2015 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel, Columbus. The trade show is open to persons in the nursery and landscape industry.

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