History of LICH

by Dr. Fred D. Rauch

It all started with a letter to the Dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), Dr. Noel P. Kefford, dated July 9, 1985. The letter from three organizations associated with the landscape industry in Hawaii (Hawaii Chapter, American Society of Landscape Architects, Hawaii Landscape & Irrigation Contractors Association of Hawaii, and Hawaii Association of Nurserymen) requested that the College undertake an analysis of the industry to help identify problem areas and possible solutions. The College is responsible for the preparation of the analysis of the various segments of Hawaii’s agricultural industries.After a series of meetings and consultations, the administration of CTAHR decided to do a preliminary analysis. Dr. Charles H. Ingraham, Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University, was employed to (1) determine the structure of the Hawaii landscape industry and the interaction of the components, (2) identify specific problems in the Hawaii landscape industry, and (3) determine options for solutions.

Initial efforts consisted of gathering background information and visits with various components of the industry. CTAHR resource persons included Fred D. Rauch, Horticulture Specialist, and Melvin Wong and Fred Fujimoto, County Extension Agents. This was followed with a series of four meetings in which representatives of the organizations involved with the various components of the industry were invited to participate. The Hawaii Turfgrass Association was not included since they had already completed a separate analysis. A final report, which included a summary of industry problems and possible solutions, ranked by order of priority, was submitted on April 22, 1986.

Having generated considerable momentum through the sharing of mutual concerns, the participants continued their monthly meetings.

After little progress, Dr. Fred D. Rauch was asked to take the lead and serve as convener for the meetings. After some initial discussion at the next meeting (June 3,1986) to bring those in attendance up to date, it was decided to focus on the first priority identified in the Ingraham report, ‘no organized communication and coordination among the components of the landscape industry’. One of the solutions was to form a Landscape Industry Council. To accomplish this it was decided to form a working committee comprised of two representatives from the existing six component organizations.

Some of the issues addressed were: if a council should be formed, the nature and structure of such a council, and what would the council do (purpose). After agreement that an organization would be beneficial to the landscape industry in Hawaii a name was selected, LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY COUNCIL OF HAWAII (LlCH), with the purposes ‘improve the quality of the landscape environment and promote the growth of the landscape industry in Hawaii. In achieving these purposes, the Council shall serve to:

  1. Coordinate and establish communication between the respective segments of the landscape industry
  2. Encourage and support research and development conducive to the advancement of the landscape industry;
  3. Promote and represent the landscape industry;
  4. Educate the members of the Council to improve their knowledge and skills;
  5. Lobby for legislation favorable to the landscape industry;
  6. Increase public awareness and appreciation of the landscape industry;
  7. Other activities beneficial to the landscape industry as determined by the Council.

The Council started work on the top priorities identified in the Landscape Industry Analysis by forming three committees; Education, Landscape Specifications, and Plant Grades and Standards.

Dr. Fred D. Rauch is an Emeritus Professor in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Hawaii and one of the catalysts for the birth of the Landscape Industry Council of Hawai’i.