By Mike Jiggens
DR. Deborah Henderson, director of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s
Institute of Sustainable Horticulture (ISH), has been named educator of
the year by the British Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association
“I was surprised and delighted to receive the educator-of-the-year award from the BCNLA,” Henderson said. “For many years I’ve enjoyed working with growers and the public in both a service capacity and in sharing research results.”
She was honoured with the award for her work in educating the industry and the public about the horticulture industry, products and services, as well as her dedication toward integrated efforts in conservation, biological pest control and sustainable landscaping.
Along with Kwantlen’s school of horticulture and ISH, Henderson established a conservation biocontrol trial garden, or “Bug Garden,” which has proven to be a valuable resource in providing class materials and a living lab for students to practise horticulture activities and study plants, pests and beneficial insects as well as the relationship between them.
Under her direction, ISH recently established a lab and pre-commercial scale production incubator for microbial insect pathogens, providing growers and landscape care providers with biological solutions to pest problems. The incubator facility is a first in Canada and has the potential to put British Columbia in the forefront of development of new microbial biocontrol products.
Henderson also helped to establish PlantHealthBC, an organization that provides an accreditation program which assures consumers that their landscape professionals operate—in accordance with integrated pest management practices—on an educated and preventative basis to keep gardens pest-free, and to use pesticides only as a last resort.
Kwantlen’s ISH is a partnership with academia, B.C.’s horticultural industries and the community to support British Columbia in meeting demands for a higher level of sustainability and environmental responsibility from horticulture, agriculture and urban landscapes.