Contact: Lisa Stryker
Phone: 540-729-2214


Designs By Sundown and Mariani Landscape Took Home Top Awards

Fairfax, Va., October 25, 2018 - The National Association of Landscape Professionals held its annual convention, LANDSCAPES, in Louisville, Kentucky, October 16-19, 2018.

With a new schedule, LANDSCAPES and the GIE+EXPO trade show started a day earlier, on Tuesday, and ran through Friday. New educational offerings targeting at a company’s whole staff contributed to a 7% increase in conference attendees with nearly 100 technicians attending the first-ever hands-on technical training workshops.

“It was an incredible week,” said Sabeena Hickman, NALP CEO. “We were pleased to welcome so many new faces to the conference, with an increase of 54% more first-time attendees than last year. We had great feedback on the new schedule, the joint keynote address, as well as the education sessions which were targeted at everyone from CEOs to technicians.”

At an auction on Tuesday night, hosted by Marty Grunder of Grunder Landscaping and Frank Mariani of Mariani Landscape, and through additional fundraising throughout the week, approximately $100,000 was raised to support the work of the Industry Growth Initiative to grow the industry and its workforce. Watch the video that debuted at LANDSCAPES to learn more about the Industry Growth Initiative.

During its annual awards reception, the Association recognized 161 Awards of Excellence winners, honoring outstanding landscape maintenance, design/build, lawn care, and interiorscape projects. View a complete list of winners. Photos of the projects can be found in the Awards of Excellence gallery.

From the 47 Grand award-winning projects, two projects were selected to receive the highest honor – a Judges’ Award. Designs by Sundown of Littleton Colorado received a Judges’ Award for their Tazi Ranch project in the $100,000 - $500,000 budget category, and Mariani Landscape of Lake Bluff Illinois won a Judges’ Award is for their “Terrace with a View” project in the $100,000 - $ 500,000 budget category.

Photos of the award winners at LANDSCAPES 2018 can be found in the photo gallery.

Award entries for next year will be accepted beginning in late spring of 2019.

LANDSCAPES 2019 will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, October 15-18. Visit to sign-up for updates about next year’s conference.

The Awards Dinner was sponsored by Caterpillar, and LANDSCAPES 2018 was sponsored by JOHN DEERE (Platinum), Caterpillar (Gold), and Bayer (Silver).

About NALP

The National Association of Landscape Professionals represents an industry of approximately 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation, and tree care professionals. Through national advocacy campaigns, the association is growing the industry and its workforce. NALP offers its members professional development through education, networking, and training, and increases the professionalism of the industry through certification and accreditation programs. For more information about NALP, visit Also, visit for landscape information or visit to explore career opportunities.